The best of Stockholm archipelago

By | Category: Travel destinations

Lidö Island

It may be a cliché, but you are spoilt for choice in the Stockholm archipelago – there are some 30,000 islands, islets and skerries to the north, south and east of the Swedish capital, many of them easily reached by local ferries. The area can be explored year-round, but spring, summer and autumn are the best times to visit. There’s everything from luxury yachting hangouts with five-star accommodation, to remote, uninhabited rocks only reachable by private boat. A handy island-hopping ticket allows you easy access to some of the best places to stop

This is the archipelago at its most accessible. Only half an hour from the city centre, Fjäderholmarna can be enjoyed as a daytrip, a half-day trip or in a couple of hours, if you’re really pushed for time. The main island, Stora Fjäderholmen, is well-known for its artisan village, complete with pottery, smithy, glass-blowing studio and much more. It’s well worth a visit to see the local artisans at work and find some unusual gifts and souvenirs to take home. Fjäderholmarna also has some good quality restaurants and bars to choose from, including a smokery serving traditional Swedish fish dishes.


Summer in Vaxholm

Vaxholm, known as the capital of the archipelago, has a longstanding history dating back to the mid-16th century, when Vaxholm Castle was built here. The castle and fortress from 1549 originally protected capital Stockholm from sea attacks from the east. Still standing, these days it’s open as a museum and its impressive bulk towers over Vaxholm harbour. The town itself is surprisingly bustling with a comparatively large permanent population, plenty of accommodation, as well as food and drink options. There’s even a division 4 football club based here and Vaxholm is easily reached year-round.

A relatively recent addition to the archipelago landscape, Artipelag, on Hålludden 12 miles east of Stockholm, opened its doors in the summer of 2012. This art gallery, restaurant, activities’ and events’ space can be reached by boat in summer and by bus or car the rest of the year. It houses temporary exhibitions and combines interesting art with innovative food also hosting wine tasting evenings. It’s possible to book an after-hours tour of the art hall.


morning in the archipelago

Situated in the outer archipelago, some two and a half hours from central Stockholm, Sandhamn pulls off a perfect mix of quaint, picturesque old-world sailing culture and a nice dollop of luxury, home as it is to the Royal Swedish Yacht Club. Most of the main hub is pedestrianised with impossibly cute wooden houses, surrounded by colourful, well-tended gardens. It’s great for whiling away a day or two, swimming, going for walks, cycling or canoeing. There are plenty of excellent options for staying the night or even renting one of said quaint houses for a week or more. Despite a year-round population of only a few hundred, Sandhamn has an astonishing number of eateries and bars of a very high standard and remains one of the best-loved places in the archipelago.

Further information:For more about Sweden, click here
For more about Stockholm, click here.
For more about Skärgården, click here.

Images © Visit Stockholm

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