Over the summer, we have had the best weather possible. It was actually so warm that we needed to escape the city! One of the options available for Stockholmers is a day, weekend or vacation in the archipelago. Many Swedes actually have their summer cottages there. Despite the fact that we do not have a cottage, we have enjoyed some day trip to the archipelago and it was really good.
We usually go on day trips as we live in the city, and it is quite easy to jump either on a ferry or a bus. The archipelago consists of around 36.000 islands which gives a super large choice when deciding where to go!
So, we have been to three different places, which are listed and described below. 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 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, but it is also located the furthest away. Going in early May was great, since it was the first nice, warm and sunny days here.
Travelling to Sandhamn, from Stockholm Strandvägen, takes a little over 2 hours by ferry. It gives an amazing overview of the archipelago as many islands are crossed on the way. The boat is also stopping on different islands, which is good to know if you want a shorter ride. You can also then discover several places in one day.
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, but cycling is a great option too. Sandhamn combines the sea, a teeny tiny center with some shops and restaurants and an impressive pine forest. The smell of pines in the sun can be sensed all over the island, which is truly amazing as it reminds me of childhood holidays!
When we got there in the beginning of May, many things were closed and very few people went all the way to Sandhamn. We planned our picnic before. Which was great because we could stop where we wanted. Of course, we had no problem finding a little peaceful and quiet area. Sandhamn seems to be a very popular destination during the summer. Just 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. It is also the last island accessible by road, if you are driving or willing to take a bus. We went there in early July, for what looks like a half-day trip. The ferry left the city center 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. But also some green areas where one can swim, relax or meet friends. We enjoyed a large part of the day there, till we went on a walk, always following the same path. The great thing is that you can walk super close from the water and pretty much all around the island. We finally reached a super nice viewpoint, giving a nice view of the archipelago’s landscape. Shortly after, we had to head back to the centre to hop on the ferry back.
My only regret about this trip is that it was way too short! Keep in mind that you can walk everywhere on the island, but acknowledge the distance. For this trip we just wanted to get out of the city and get some rest by the water. Even though we could have seen more of the island, sometimes you need to time off! 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 nice roads, make sure you take some sneakers or other proper shoes. You can’t tell from the pictures but there are a lot of trees and roots everywhere on the smaller paths around the island.
*Info* The ferry ticket costs around 125 SEK and can be purchased online or on board. The bus ride is included in the SL transport card, so does not cost anything extra than your pass/monthly ticket.
Kayaking around Resarö
This excursion could be qualified as a last-minute plan, but what a plan! The kayak centre is located in one of the island close to Vaxholm and is very easily accessible by city buses. We used the public bus to get there, and I believe it took us about 1:30h door to door. If you live closer from the centre I believe it will be way less for you!
We arrived there around 10, so we could get a bit of practice since it’s been a long time without paddling! Once again, we took our picnic on board. This gave us the freedom of stopping 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 while 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 centre.
What you have to know, is that depending on the route you choose to take, the sea can be 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 no worries, everything is perfectly explained. Hopefully, next time we can try Canadian boat/canoe overnight!
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 here.
*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 centre, all costs are covered with the SL pass.