Although Marstrand is not part of the Gothenburg council, it is still often referred to as an island in Gothenburg. Taking around 90 minutes to travel to, you will find yourself island hopping until you see the imposing Carlsten fortress that makes Marstrand unique.

Completed in 1860, Carlsten Fortress actually dates back to 1667 when work first started. The reason for this fortress was to protect Marstrand as a strategic position, mainly because of the ice free harbours. By 1882, the fortress was not being used for defence and was used as a navy school between the years of 1907-1937.

Carlsten Fortress was also used a prison and housed one of Swedenís most infamous prisoners, Lasse Maja who dressed up as a maid to escape. You will find his cell on the fortressís grounds with information on how he plotted and survived in the fortress.

Once every year, the fortess plays host to a role play weekend which features olden day guards, armies and Lasse Maja himself. Here you will see reinactments of jail conditions and army preparations including musket shots and cannon fire. It is advisable to buy ear plugs for this occasion!

Other than the fortress, Marstrand is really geared up for tourists with a huge choice of shops to choose from. These range from art galleries, souvenirs and clothes shops. There are no less then 3 hotels on the island and it houses a large number of cafÈs and restaurants which means you wonít be stuck for something else to do.

It is impossible to get lost on this island and losing your way is virtually unheard of. Past the fortress, there are a few nature trails that lead out to the west part of the island. Along the way, you will find two bathing spots that are very popular.

All in all, Marstrand is an island you can make a day of. The Carlsten Fortress takes a while to see, especially if the roleplay weekend is on. Alongside all of the small shops that make up the rest of the island, Marstrand offers a lot to do. If you do manage to see everything here, you can always catch the boat back over to Koön and take in another island which is equally as scenic.

Click here for a map.