Tanum is a manucipality in Bohuslän. It is best know for the numerous bronze age and iron age rock carvings (petroglyphs, Swedish: Hällristningsområdet), which were inscribed on the UNESCO cultural heritage list in 1994. In addition, Tanum seaside region is well-known for the small port towns facing a beautiful archipelago, which are popular holiday places.
Tanum consists of several towns, none of which has more than 2,000 inhabitants:
- 1 Fjällbacka - a summer tourist seaside resort; scenes from the movie Ronia, the Robber's Daughter were shot in gap at the King's cliff (Kungsklyftan)
- 2 Hamburgsund - a seaside locality
- 3 Grebbestad - a harbour town
- 4 Kämpersvik - a small coastal locality
- 5 Rabbalshede
- 6 Tanumshede - around Tanumshede many ancient rock carvings have been found
- 1 Touristinformation Tanumshede, Apoteksvägen 6, Tanumhede (Located in the municipal building), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 08:00–16:30.
- 2 Hamburgsunds Tourist information Center, Gästhamnen, Skolvägen 3, Hamburgsund, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Mid Jun–Mid Aug 10:00–18:00 daily.
- 3 Info Center, destination Grebbestad, Nedre Långgatan 48, Grebbestad, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Sep–May 10:00–14:00, Jun 10:00–16:00 Jul–Aug 10:00–18:00.
- 4 Fjällbacka Tourist Information, Ingrid Bergmans Torg, Fjällbacka, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Jun–Aug: daily 11:00–17:00, Sep: F–Sa 11:00–16:00.
The E6, one of the main traffic routes on the Swedish west coast and the main north-south link between Sweden and Norway, runs through Tanum. From Gothenburg it is about 135 km to Tanum on the E6, and about 160 km from the Norwegian capital Oslo.
Tanum is located along the long-distance EV12 The North Sea Cycle Route.
The petroglyphs are located where at that time was the sea shore. Nowadays, due to post-glacial rebound, the sea level is several meters lower in many parts of Scandinavia. Depicted are mainly ships, people (men are characteristic by erect penises, women by long hair), animals (oxes, horses, deer, birds, dogs, geese, snakes, and even a whale), footprins, weapons and cupmarks. Some carvings can be interpreted as scenes, such as hunts, weddings, fights, dances, mournings, celebrations or ceremonials.
Many of the ancient carvings are painted red to highlight the motifs. However, it is not known exactly, whether or not the carvings were highlighted in a similar way at the time of their creation. Experimental archeologists showed, that the fresh rock carvings are lighter than the background rock and contrast sufficiently to be easily spotted and admired. This is not the case for the aged carvings. Those not highlighted by the paint or chalk can be best seen in the morning and evening sun, on a rainy day or at night with artificial illumination from the side. It is demaging for the petroglyphs to touch them or walk on them.
- 1 Rock carvings at Vitlycke, only 200 m from the Vitlycke museum. The largest panel contains the "Bridal Couple", one of Bohuslän’s most famous carvings.
- 2 Rock carvings at Litsleby: the most prominent carving is a 2.3-m tall warrior known as the "Spear God".
- 3 Rock carving area of Aspeberget: a hill virtually covered with carvings. The main pannel with beautiful and numerous carvings of bulls, warriors and ships, as well as a ploughman, is badly damaged by weathering, and therefore covered in winter. Many other carvings are not highlighted by paint, and therefore more difficult to find.
- 4 Rock carvings at Fossum: images of people, ships, footprints and animals, as well as cupmarks. Further along the path, at Balken, there are unpainted carvings, including the "Sun Horse".
- 5 Skräddö (a gateway to the Tanum World Heritage). A restplace along the E6 motorway south of Tanumshede with information about the Tanum UNESCO site and the bronze age landscape.
- 6 Tanum Museum of Rock Carvings (Tanums Hällristningsmuseum, Underslös), ☏ . May - Oct 10:00-17:00. This non-fancy museum is a non-commercial institution run by the Scandinavian Society for Prehistoric Art. This is where you can get a very detailed and expert information about the petroglyphs in a wider context, their documentation, registration, protection and preservation. The museum organizes tours, workshops or courses. 30 kr.
- 7 Vitlycke museum (UNESCO information centre). From Easter to the beginning of November, weekends in April and daily May to November, times depending on the season.. Located near the Vitlycke carvings, the small museum contains an audiovisual exposition of the life in Tanum 3000 years ago. The outdoor area includes a reconstruction of a bronze age farm, the way archeologicsts imagine it. A large part of the information center consists of a souvenir shop and a caffeteria with local and organic food and a great view over the Vitlycke site. The information center offers guided tours and bicycle rentals. Free.
Other archaelogical sites
- 8 Greby grave field. Iron Age grave field.
- 1 Bella Gästis, Norra Kajen 1 (Hunnebostrand), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Open all year around. An a la carte restaurant and pizzeria, notable for their lobster dishes.
- 2 Falkeröds Trädgårdscafé & Crêperie, Falkerödsvägen 8 (Grebbestad), ☏ . A garden café specialized in pancake dishes.
- 3 Restaurang Hertigen, Nedre Långgatan 21 (Grebbestad), ☏ .
- 4 Hjalmars Bar & Brygga, Strandvägen 8 (Hamburgsund), ☏ .
- 5 Q-Skär, Grebbestadbryggan, Strandvägen (Grebbestad), ☏ . Specialized in seafood.
- 6 Rasta Tanum, Brehogsvägen 1 (Tanumshede), ☏ . A resting stop with gas station by Road E6.
- 7 Restaurang Telegrafen, Nedre Långgatan 28 (Grebbestad), ☏ . Traditional Swedish cuisine.
- 1 GrebbestadFjorden, Grebbestad Camping (Grebbestad), ☏ . Has guest houses and a camping site.
- 2 Stora Hotellet Bryggan, Galärbacken 2 (Fjällbacka), ☏ .
- 3 Tanums Camping & Stugby, Vitlycke 4, Tanumshede, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Camping site, RV park and huts neighbouring the Vitlycke museum.
- 4 Tanums Gestgifveri, Apoteksvägen 1 (Tanumshede), ☏ .
- 5 TanumStrand, Tanum V (Grebbestad), ☏ . Four star spa and conference resort.
- 6 Villa Akvarellen Bed & Breakfast, Övre Hogslättsvägen 19 (Gerlesborg), ☏ . In a renovated villa built in 1933.
- 7 Villa Evalotta, Skolgatan 2 (Fjällbacka), ☏ . Family owned hostel/hotel.
- 8 Väderöarnas Värdshus & Konferens, Fjällbacka Fyren, Falkev 3, Väderöarna, Fjälllbacka (In the archipelago), ☏ .
- Gothenburg - The second largest city in Sweden is on the southern edge of Bohuslän. Follow The E6 ~135 km South.
- Kungälv - Has Bohus Castle, after which Bohuslän is named. Follow the E6 ~115 km South.
- Oslo - The capital of Norway. Follow the E6 ~160 km North.
- Uddevalla - The largest city in Bohuslän. Follow the E6 ~60 km South.