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Summer in the Stockholm archipelago

Photo: Lotta Andersson

Categories: Excursions

Discover the Stockholm Archipelago

Publish date: 8 July 2024

Beautiful nature, great local food, and exciting adventures. Just 20 minutes away from Stockholm a world of 30 000 islands begins.

The Stockholm Archipelago is the largest of its kind in Sweden. With over 30 000 islands it covers an area of more than 650 square miles; from the city-close Fjäderholmarna Islands in the west to the Svenska Högarna islets in the east, and from the abandoned fortifications on Arnholma in the north to the lonely lighthouse on Landsort in the south.

Being such a vast area there’s certainly something to discover for everyone; serene nature seemingly untouched by civilization, cozy and accessible camping grounds, idyllic villages and coastal towns, hiking trails for both experienced and amateur outdoorsmen, great food, and fantastic culture. Oh yeah, and water. Lots of water.

The question is, of course, where to begin. Well, narrowing down how much time you have for an archipelago excursion is a good place to start.

Travel by archipelago boat.
Jeppe Wikström

In Stockholm on a tight schedule? Then Fjäderholmarna, Vaxholm, Gustavsberg, and Värmdö might be up your alley. All are easily accessible by local transportation or ferry, within an hour's reach from downtown Stockholm. Great day trips that don’t require too much preparation, while at the same time offering a sample taste of what the archipelago has to offer.

The islands of Sandön, Möja, Nåttarö, Utö, Finnhamn or Grinda, on the other hand, are perfect destinations for explorers who have more time on their hands. They might be a couple of hours away, but offer a welcome respite from the busy inner-city streets of Stockholm. Being further away from the city, a trip might require more careful planning. And if you’re not in a hurry and want to spend a night or two at a cozy hotel or camping site, there are several options.

All the islands are on regularly scheduled routes by the public transportation company Waxholmsbolaget. If you are pressed for time, the privately-owned Cinderellabåtarna may be better for reaching the outermost Archipelago islands.