Over the summer, the weather has been surprisingly amazing and warm, which allowed us to escape the city! One of the options available to Stockholmers is a day, weekend or vacation to the archipelago, as a lot of summer cottages are located there. In this case, why not following the locals?
We usually go on day trips as we leave in the city, and it is quite easy to jump either in a ferry or in a bus. The archipelago accounts around 36.000 islands which gives a super large choice when deciding where to go!
So, we have been to three different places, and so you’ll find them all listed and explained below, and of course if you wish to have more details, just ask your questions in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them. I believe that this article is just the part one of many as we are planning some more excursions over the summer, so please stay tuned!
Here is the map of the archipelago, and the highlighted places are where we have been!
Sandhamn happened to be the first island we visited in the archipelago, when my sister came to visit us in Stockholm, but it is also one of the further away. Early May was great as it was also the first nice, warm and sunny days here, so we enjoyed this trip a lot!
Going to Sandhamn, from Stockholm Strandvägen, takes a little over 2 hours with the ferry, and gives an amazing overview of the archipelago as many islands are crossed on the way. The boat is also stopping on different islands so if you want to spend more time there it is possible to navigate to different places.
This island is not too big, and there are no cars around. In my opinion walking was a great choice as it allowed us to discover places off the beaten paths, out of the main roads which are great to cycle. Sandhamn combines the sea, a teeny tiny center with some shops and restaurants and an impressive pine forest. On top of this, there is this great smell of pines in the sun all over the Island, which is truly love as it reminds me of childhood holidays!
When we got there at the beginning of May, many things were closed and very few people went all the way to Sandhamn, but we planned our picnic before and we had no problem finding a little peaceful and quiet area to stop and enjoy the scenery. Sandhamn seems to be a very popular destination during the summer, as many other islands, which is why I am glad we had the chance of going there before everybody else!
*Info* The ticket with the ferry is around 180 SEK, one way, and can be purchased on board or online.
Vaxholm is about 50 min ferry ride from the city center, but is also the last Island accessible if you are driving or willing to take the bus. We went there early July, for what I’d call a half-day trip. We left the city center, with the ferry, around 12PM, and so arrived there around 1PM. We planned a picnic and a chilled day as the heat wave already started and so we wanted to get somewhere close to the sea seeking for some freshness.
After a little walk along the coast you can find the first beaches and green areas where one can swim, relax or meet friends. We enjoyed a large part of the day there before walking around and following the path along the coast and between the trees to reach a super nice viewpoint, giving a nice view of the archipelago’s landscape. Shortly after we had to head back to the center, bought some more water and walk around town while waiting for our ferry back. My only regret about this trip is that it was way too short and we didn’t see as much of the island as I wanted to. But after all, this is just a call to go back another time right?!
If you are planning on walking around, and not necessarily following the roads available for car, make sure you take some sneakers or other shoes that you feel comfortable walking with, as there are a lot of trees and roots everywhere on the smaller paths around the island.
*Info* The ferry ticket costs around 125 SEK, can be purchased online or on board, and the ride with the bus is included in the SL transport card, so does not cost anything extra than your pass/monthly ticket.
3. Kayaking around Resarö
This excursion could be qualified as a last-minute plan, but what a plan! The kayak center is located in one of the island close to Vaxholm and is very easily accessible with city buses, which we used to get there, and I believe it took us about 1:30h door to door, which isn’t too bad honestly. This is, also for now the most recent one as we went there just last weekend!
We arrived there around 10, so we could get going pretty fast and also practice a little as it’s been a long time without paddling! The sea was super warm, so no fears to fall in. Once again we took our picnic on board so we could stop where and when we wanted to. We decided to kayak around the Resarö island, which is about 12 km. This island has a lot of summer cottages, so it took us a little longer than what we thought to find the perfect lunch place, but all in all it was amazing! We decided to go for a dip during our lunch break and then head back to the center, to clean and give back the kayaks.
What you have to know is that depending on the route you choose to take, the sea is either very calm as a lake or quite wavy. You should also be aware of the traffic and potential ferries you’ll cross on your way, but everything is perfectly explained, so there is nothing to worry about. Hopefully, next time we can try Canadian boat/canoe overnight! Some more experiences to be shared on the blog!
If you are interested in renting kayaks to do something similar or even go overnight somewhere, we’re highly recommending Skärgården Kanotcenter, you’ll find all the info you need by clicking this link.
*Info* this is not a sponsored post. A single kayak costs 350 SEK for the whole day and 800 SEK for a double one, including all the equipment you’ll need. To access the center, all costs are covered with the SL pass.