Made up of some 30.000 islands, theStockholm archipelago it is truly a paradise for lovers of nature and relaxation!
Some islands are private, but others are free to visit and are really worth a visit or a short boat trip if you are in Stockholm for just a few days.
If you have more time, instead, immerse yourself in the sun and beaches by allowing yourself a few days in a resort.
THEStockholm archipelago it is also a much loved refuge by the inhabitants of the capital, who come here during the summer months to escape the frenzy of city life.
How to visit the Stockholm archipelago
There are more than 24.000 islands to choose from, some with lively things to do and others with nothing else to do and see but serene, rocky landscapes and breathtaking views of the Baltic Sea.
Some of the islands can be difficult to reach without having your own boat boat.
In this article I have chosen to list only 6 islands that are easily accessible from Stockholm with public ferries.
The best ferry company is called Waxholmsbolaget and on their website (in Swedish though) you will find prices, timetables and other updated information. this is the company usually used by the inhabitants of Stockholm.
The Waxholmsbolaget Ferry Terminal is located at Strömkajen, a few minutes walk from Royal garden in the city center. Look for a geometric brass building near the water and you will see boats docked right there.
It is not strictly necessary to book tickets in advance: you can buy them on board very easily.
Another transportation option is boats Cinderella e Stream Canal Company that you find from the pier a Strandvägen: generally these boats have faster connections, but they are also more expensive and it is better in this case to book in advance.
If you are short on time but still want to get a taste of the beauty of the Stockholm archipelago,certain tour offer not missing.
In fact, in addition to the public ferries that I have listed above, there are many other activities in which you can take part.
Stromma.com organizes several and of different duration. Beware that some of them are free and included in the Stockholm Card which I absolutely recommend you buy as in addition to various boat tours it also includes walking tours, transport around the city and entrances to various museums including the wonderful Vasa Museum.
Going to Stockholm? Do not get lost my post on all the things to see and do!
In addition to various different tours as a destination and as a duration, it is also possible if you want book a full day sailing tour (About 8 hours) or, why not, by kayak!
Vaxholm is the closest island to Stockholm and is known as the gateway to the archipelago: it is relatively close to the city center and is connected to the mainland by a bridge, but it is also the first stop for most of the ferries to the archipelago .
Getting there is very easy: take a Waxholmsbolaget ferry from Strömkajen on the opposite bank of the Royal Palace, opposite the Grand Hotel (Kungsträdgården metro station)
The journey takes between 50 and 80 minutes, depending on the time of day.
During the summer, the Cinderella boats make the journey from Strandvägen in about 55 minutes, but be prepared to pay dearly for the outward journey alone.
Vaxholm is a nice little town, much more developed than the other islands of the archipelago.
Just be aware that, thanks to its proximity to the city, it can get very busy, especially in July and August, when tourism in Stockholm is at its peak.
Upon arrival explore the old town, strolling the winding alleys flanked by quaint houses, and peek into some of the many souvenir shops or take a rest in one of the many cafes.
Even if you are not passionate about history do not miss it Vaxholm Fortress, the huge fortress that was built to protect the capital from the Russian invasion in 1544.
Although in reality this fortress never saw the action, nevertheless the museum set up inside is very interesting because it explains a lot about the historical defenses installed in the archipelago and how they have evolved to this day.
During the summer, (quite expensive) taxi boats make the journey between Vaxholm and the fort every 15 minutes. But if you have taken the Waxholmsbolaget Ferry to Vaxholm, ask the Captain why he might make a stop.
Honestly, the small island group known as Fjäderholmarna it's so close to the city center that the only acceptable reason not to go is in bad weather.
Fjäderholmarna is super easy to get to from Strömkajen (just 20 minutes by ferry), and is perfect if you want to take a short half-day trip to the archipelago without breaking the bank and without leaving central Stockholm.
Once you arrive at Stora Fjäderholmen, the main island, you can take a walk along the seafront, or a short hike on the forest paths that run through the center of the island.
Fjäderholmarna is also a bit of a hangout for artists' studios, so there are plenty of places to explore and buy handicrafts, from jewelry to ceramics and glass. A quiet road goes around the entire island, making it pleasant and easy to visit.
If you want to visit Fjäderholmarna, you can go there just 14,60 euro!
HERE you will find more information
THEisland of Nässlingen it's one of the islands that have been turned into resorts (which you can book from the website) from its owners and it is an absolute pleasure to stay there a few days!
These guys turned the forest into an outdoor gym using trees.
The most beautiful place on the island is perhaps the spa. It features two saunas and a whirlpool tub and there is also the opportunity to take a dip in the sea!
We often talk about Beam like Stockholm's paradise for swimming in the sea and is one of the most popular islands for Stockholmers who come here on summer holidays to enjoy the sun, swim and relax.
The Waxholmsbolaget ferry takes around two hours from Stockholm to get to Grinda.
The Cinderella boat is faster (about 80 minutes) but much more expensive.
Better get off at Södra (sud) Grinda since the boat then takes another half hour to reach North pier (the north pier).
Grinda is almost entirely owned by Skärgårdsstiftelsen (the Archipelago Foundation), which helps preserve the natural beauty of the island.
This makes Grinda particularly lush and clean, with totally free access to explore its forest and swim until you run out of breath.
Most of the island's shops and cafes can be found in Södra Grinda, including a traditional Swedish värdshus (inn). Try the traditional bread, the island's famous baked bread.
Also Svartsö can be reached by Waxholmsbolaget ferries from Strömkajen.
Although Svartsö is actually one of the largest islands in the archipelago, fewer than 100 people live here all year round.
This makes this remote, lesser known island a great place to go out and enjoy some peace and some time in contact with nature.
It is probably better dock in Ahlsvik, as there is a small beach there perfect for sunbathing.
Svartsö Krog, the only restaurant on the island is located here: it is very good but also expensive as blood so better if you bring a packed lunch.
A good idea is to rent a bike and explore the surprisingly varied scenery that the island offers.
Expect lakes, forests, cultivated fields and of course beautiful views of the Baltic Sea.
If you fall in love with the relaxed atmosphere of the island, why not spend the night there STF Svartsö Skärgårdshotell & Vandrarhem? This bright, modern and affordable hostel is also the only place to stay (unless you want to try camping) and offers the perfect setting to rest and recharge your batteries.
6. Sandhamn (Sandön)
Sandön is the furthest destination from Stockholm on this list, and you will need to take the Cinderella ferry from the port of Strandvägen. The trip takes about two hours, the cost is quite high but necessary and trust me, it's worth it but just remember that you have to book it in advance!
Sandön is a beautiful destination that is worth the time and cost of the trip. Sometimes people get confused about the name of this island: Sandön is the name of the island, while Sandhamn is the name of the pretty port village where you will arrive.
With the long stretches of white beaches, Sandön it is a reference point for the Swedes and in the summer and the sea is constantly plowed by sailboats and yachts.
The town of Sandhamn is much more elegant than the settlements on other islands near Stockholm, with many boutiques and retail shops in addition to the usual must-see cafes and souvenir shops.
If you're looking to avoid the crowds, choose to rent a couple of kayaks and paddle around the island - there are some wonderfully quiet hideaways along the coast.
Do you want to stay the night? There is a comfortable Bed & Breakfast just off the beach on the north coast of the island (book in advance!).
Useful tips for visiting the Stockholm Archipelago
Plan your trip in advance: take note of the ferry timetables because it is not fun to wait: it can be hours between departures.
Leave early in the morning, just in case: so if some inconvenience happens you have time to solve it. This is
it is especially important if you use the Cinderella boats and if of course you have booked your tickets in advance.
If you are on a tight budget, bring a packed lunchPrices on the islands tend to get expensive as they are small communities targeting summer tourists.
You want to stay overnight? Plan ahead to avoid full bookings, or pack camping gear for the big archipelago adventure; this option is highly recommended for Grinda.
Certainly bring your swimsuit and towel!
In fact, even if you may think that the sea is cold and the idea of a nice swim just does not appeal to you, sure when you are under the sun, the desire for a dip in the sparkling blue of the Baltic Sea will certainly come to you.
Bring cash. Even if in Sweden I don't think I ever pulled out a penny because I paid anytime and anywhere with a credit card, you can never be too safe, especially in the islands!
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