This summer provides no free time to run the blog because of the numerous trips we have to make. Still we are willing to tell about our journeys and so posts are made right on the road :) So today, we have prepared a brief guide to the Stockholm archipelago, based on our sailing adventure in the Swedish islands! It all started with our friend’s suggestion to make an open voyage for anyone who would like to join us. Due to our love for Northern Europe, it was decided to sail along Sweden. Of course, we had an experience of sailing on ships and boats, but we did just to get to the neighboring island or to cross the strait. But a week out in the sea – that was the first time ever. Nevertheless, we are always for something new, so we immediately agreed, assembled a team of great guys and set off!
So, what is the Stockholm archipelago? This is a group of islands spread over 80 km east of Stockholm and out into the Baltic Sea. These are small deserted skerries and large islands with Swedish summerhouses in pine forests. The place is one of the most loved holiday destinations as for Swedes and so for yachting enthusiasts from all over Europe, because the water here is very calm and sceneries are Nordic and stunningly beautiful. If you like Scandinavia – this place is for you! So, to make your trip even better, here is a list of most interesting places in the Stockholm archipelago.
It is also worth to spend a few days in Stockholm to explore the Old Town ( which is called Gamla Stan ) before the sail. We stayed at the hotel Scandic Gamla Stan, we have chosen primarily because of the location . The hotel is very cozy and beautiful , located in a building of the XVII century and the design of the hotel takes you on a couple of centuries ago :)
If you start your trip from Stockholm, then one of the most convenient places for the first stop will be a town called Vaxholm. The town is quite small, but the proximity of the Swedish capital still can be smelt in the air, so there are many shops, restaurants are open until late at night (be sure to try the fried herring in the restaurant Hamnkrogen). So, making your way through Vaxholm is an excellent warm-up before a long voyage through the archipelago. Like many other Swedish towns – the location is very nice, it is certainly worth a stroll through the narrow streets with traditional Swedish wooden houses and having a cup of coffee in a cafe right on the wooden dock. Well, for all history fans, we recommend to visit the Vaxholm Fortress, built in the XVI century. It should be considered that it is open for visits only in summer. In addition to the boat, Vaxholm can be reached by bus or ferry from Stockholm.
Just imagine: pine trees around you, majestic stone cliff with stunning view of the sunset and a quiet harbor at the bottom, where swaying boats berth for the night – this is what you see first, approaching the island. You start to feel a special unity with nature on the island. You can even see a deer in local groves and you will find no lanterns to interfere with enjoying the starry sky in the evening. There is one restaurant-hotel (by the way it is the former home-residence of Alfred Nobel) and a couple of small shops. All other buildings are scattered all over the island holiday houses that can be rented during the summer. Although, in our opinion there is nothing better than sleeping in the boat. One can only reach the island by boat or ferry from Stockholm or Vaxholm.
The Sandhamn settlement inhabits the island Sandön that is located just before the way out to the Baltic Sea. Sandhamn is a very popular summer destination, but in May town streets are empty and one could feel the real, not touristic, island life: we had dinner in the cafe alongside the local anglers, than had relaxed evening at the local pub side by side with them. The way to the island on a boat worth special mention – the uninhabited rocky islets around, only lighthouses and small boats storage houses occasionally adorn this northern landscape. The easiest way to get there is by your own boat; there is only a ferry from Stavsnas among public services.
We have seen a lot of Sweden and this trip certainly contributed many beautiful places, but the Oja island surely makes an impression. There is stunningly beautiful rocky shore sprinkled with tiny but very cozy red houses. The westernmost point is crowned by the lighthouse of incredibly beauty, whose light not only helps ships to find a way through the night but also creates magical atmosphere of peace and tranquility. The place is very popular among Swedes. Foreign tourists are unlikely to come across – we have heard only the Swedish language here. The Island can be reached by public transport^ you need to go by train from Stockholm to the Nunanskhamn, catch a bus №852 there and keep the way to the last stop, after take the ferry to the island. Note that you will not find the island’s name in any schedule – it is marked by the name of the village Landsort located on it.
Boat trip on the Stockholm archipelago is a great adventure, but it is necessary to take into account that your journey will be different depending on the season. Summer is the most comfortable time for sailing the islands, but that's why people from all over Sweden flock here during this period, so that some islands even impossible to moor. There are fewer people in autumn and spring, but the journey will be quite cold and shops/cafes/restaurants will be closed most of the day.
If you want your journey to succeed, it is necessary to choose not only the right place, but also the people you will be with. When we invited everyone to take part in the campaign, we did not know who would go with us, why should they go, whether they like such journeys. But we all became friends almost immediately. I am hugely thankful to everyone who took part in the adventure since you have made it so memorable! Due to your support now we know what to strive for.