Ainnelise Niyvold Liundbye UPDATED: 27 MAR 2021
Sannäs is one of the spots in Bohuslän, that resumes activities when the days start getting longer and warmer in the beginning of summer. In contrast, in winter, there are barely a hundred people living here. This is a remarkable decline from the old days, when the quarry industry, replacing the earlier hering fisheries, to a larger extent contributed to the small local community.
The old Karlssons Stenhuggeri (Karlsson’s Stonemansonry) is a continuation of earlier decades’ prevailing industry around Sannäs. It still flanks the main road through the village.
In addition to the traditional 19th-century bostadshus (traditional houses), there is the old simple wooden mission church, as well as the former post office and fire station, that both still have the names signposted on the building facades, although no longer serving as such.
Today, most of the wooden houses in Sannäs appear well preserved, and painted in eye-catching bright colours, they are pure Swedish idyll!
Why not stay in the nearby picturesque Fjällbacka? Villa Evalotta where some rooms feature sea view/shared balcony, Bryggan Fjällbacka – waterfront hotel with nautical decor and panoramic views of the Skagerrak Strait.
However tranquil the place is during the winter season, it ‘takes revenge’ in summer. Then the village is converted into an active place where the holiday houses and classic villas all of a sudden fill with their owners and other occupants. Moreover, these years Sannäs is expanding in direction of the rocky mountainside. A number of luxurious houses with absolutely panoramic views are popping up above the original village.
The lively maritime archipelagic traffic between the small coastal towns also brings small yachts and other boats to the harbour here.
Beyond the Swedish residents, also quite a few Norwegians have discovered the picturesque spot further down the Oslo Fjord, and they also own houses here and come to spend the summer in southwestern coastal Sweden, where the outdoor life, with a morning swim in the sea, kayaking or a fabulous hike in the forest, tempts. Also the adjoining golf course is a big draw that attracts people to the small coastal community.
Close to the harbour the traditional market square appears with its red wooden booths and the raised dance floor, a podium, where the weekly Friday Dance took place for many years. Then the orchestra would play on the stage – and people dance traditional Swedish folk dance behind the balustrades.
The Sannäs Day is an annual summer event where the locals offer food and drinks from the booths, and sell a variety of items on the loppis (flea market) around the square. Activities such as coffee lottery and shrimp lottery are popular here – you can actually win a bag of real coffee beans or a bag of frozen shrimps!
Gårdsmarknad med loppis can be found everywhere in the region. Quaint finds include cupper pots and pans, woven baskets, old machine parts, decorative vases, homemade jam and dried mushrooms.
Sannäs’s guest harbour has an enticing location with magnificent views of the beautiful boulders above the mirror of calm and pristine water. As remains of a bygone time, the old fisherman`s houses, also named sjøboder in Swedish, still stand at the edge of the cliffs – between the beach and the harbour.
Passing the majestically appearing boat crane, always ready for use in case a boat needs to be brought ashore or back into the water, you will arrive at the driving tower. In summer it is frequently used by both children and adults.
Whether jumping off the rocks or from the 3- or 5-metre platform, it is all at a brisk pace, and happy voices, screams and splashes resonate through the air, when the water surface is broken by a bodily arrow, diving for a refreshing swim in the clear water.
A stone’s throw from the cliffs, the place changes completely character and turns into a child-friendly sandy beach, adjacent to the local campsite, well integrated into the rocky grounds.
Just opposite Karlssons Stenhuggeri, a steep trail begins, which snakes up through the pine forest with its blueberry floor, across boulders to the bare, flag rocky plateaus with reindeer moss and heather. Now and then you will spot the cairns indicating the way to the top and breathtaking viewpoints enabling panoramic views of the inner archipelago.
From the right angle you may actually be able to spot Norway! The setting here in the midst of pines and rocky terrain is completely different from the maritime surroundings at the fjord just a few hundred metres further down.
Maybe a bit surprisingly, the mountainside in some places reveals some exciting geological phenomena: large areas of pebbles from the Ice Age, which can even be a bit difficult to cross over!
A bit further away, another interesting phenomenon appears: the Ice Age Cave made up of two large boulders, which have lain here for 10,000 years, naturally forming the roof of the cave!
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