GUIDE / VARBERG & THE SWEDISH WEST COAST

”The harsh coastal climate with constant changes between rain, wind, sunshine and rain again has hardened us”

MONICA KYLÉN & MATS JOHANSSON
On coastal weather’s impact on creativity
October 07, 2021

After an extensive background from fashion, shoes and interior brands, Monica Kylén and Mats Johansson started the natural skincare brand L:a Bruket in 2008, produced on the west coast of Sweden. Based on the traditional bathing culture of Varberg and inspired by the coastal nature, the brand started out as a reaction to a lack of honest, qualitative, natural and organic skincare brands being relevant to a contemporary audience. Today they have received international recognition and with their premium yet accessible approach are considered to represent a holistic perspective typical for Sweden.

Our favourite thing that makes us love the Swedish West Coast: 

It is certainly the nature and the climate with the energy the ever-shifting conditions it brings with saltwater sprayed coastal walks, oxygen-filled air to breathe, strong winds, occasional sunshine, variation between sandy beaches and rocky shores, the freshness of Kattegatt sea, saltwater, seaweed and so on.

The harsh coastal climate with constant changes between rain, wind, sunshine and rain again has hardened us. The traditional bathing culture and the surfing culture has been influencing the energy of the city, the state of mind of the people and has contributed to its reputation as a spa and summer destination. Health is a big thing here.

I know that you’re very much into baths, where is the best places for a bath?

We have a few very good options to let you in on. The obvious one is Kallbadhuset, which sits on poles in the water close to the city harbour. It is housing a section for men and one for women, each with different saunas and when overheated you can take a cooling dip in the sea, all year around. 

Next for the brave and nude, we have Skarpe Nord (for women) and Goda Hopp (for men) which are located just south of the fortress by the coastal walk Strandpromenaden.

If you want to explore straightforward coastal nature, you should jump in the water from the cliffs of Getterön, just north of Varberg. Choose the 5:e Vik bus station and walk north on the path leading to flat rocks and an unforgettable sunset. You also should not miss the beach of Apelviken, with its long-stretched beach slowly reaching out in the water.

Our favourite weekend routine: 

A perfect weekend routine starts with a brisk walk along the coast, followed by a cold bath directly into the ocean or by a hot sauna and cold bath at Kallbadhuset. Not much brings you back in shape and back to life better than this, especially winter time.

Energized and ready for the next favourite destination of any weekend day, we transport ourselves to Träslövsläge, the old fishing harbour south of the city. Here we take lunch at Joel’s Brygga, while enjoying the harbour’s activities. After, we grab a world-class coffee from Kaffeboden by the pier, surrounded by hundreds of surfers of all kinds on a good day. Before heading home, we pass Läjets Fisk to secure the supply of fresh seafood for dinner.

Our favourite cultural spot:

The music scene in Varberg is best nurtured by the restaurants Majas in Apelviken, Fridas at Kärradal or Strömma Farmlodge, slightly on the countryside, all with an impressive lineup of, mostly Swedish, artists every season. 

The cultural expression of bathing is best experienced at Kallbadhuset, Varmbadhuset, with the locals at our nude baths or at any of our numerous spas. The surfing and beach culture you should look out for at Apelviken with loose hanging people and good beach restaurants. 

Our favourite place for dining out:

Nowadays we have a decent choice of nice places. In the city, we could recommend Nami with its Asian/Swedish Westcoast fusion and Deilig, the wine bar/restaurant on the same street. Your tapas you should get at Lokalen snack bar.

On the beach of Apelviken there is a choice of places, most of them good, but to mention two we would choose John’s Place (all year) and Brittas Strandveranda (summer season). For all hillbilly wannabes and all others with a taste for cuisine, watch out for Spiseriet at Johnsson’s Gård on the outskirts of Varberg. It is worth the extra mile.

John’s Place.

Our favourite place for a creative or business meeting:

Kanotklubben at Skrivareklippan would give you everything that is so hard to come by even if you pay up. Authenticity, escape, tranquillity, beautiful views, a boat trip but not necessarily the conference package, so you need to make an effort yourself finding the contact details and arranging transport and food baskets.

Our favourite breakfast place: 

Some years ago, two of the country’s most reputable bakers decided to move to Varberg and open Kustbageriet. I wouldn’t say that their place is perfectly located in the harbour but a blessing for the city and for our morning routines. 

Our favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:

For the adventurous looking for a new experience, we can recommend booking a seaweed expedition with Louise at Vågrät. She is supplying fine dining restaurants with a variety of plants from the seaside of Varberg. If you manage to book her, she will supply equipment to your ability and take you on an underwater tour showing you and teaching you about all eatable things that grow down there.

”The traditional bathing culture and the surfing culture has been influencing the energy of the city and the people’s state of mind”

We also need to mention our appreciation for Surfers Varberg and Markus Boman. Friends and entrepreneurs whose team and activity have shaped and energized the identity and reputation of Varberg for decades. Surf’s up!

Our favourite city escape or staycation:

If you are at all interested in clever architectural solutions to how to build a contemporary farm or simply just want to take your family and friends and get away from it all, Rörbäck Forest Retreat is the place. Beautiful, private and managed by a super nice couple that will become your friends for life.

Our favourite route for a run or walk: 

Take a coastal walk along Strandpromenaden that stretches by the waterline from the Fortress to Apelviken. If you are getting tired of the sea or if you fear the wind is too strong, turn towards Åkulla Bokskogar and take one of the trails through magnificent beach forests instead.

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