Resolutely insular, Stockholm extends over 14 islands nestled in the heart of the 24,000 islands that make up its archipelago, the largest in Sweden (in Swedish Stockholms skärgård). Far from the bustling city life of the capital, islands, islets and reefs stretch across the Baltic Sea up to 80 km east of the city to the Åland Islands. A veritable maritime labyrinth which offers its visitors landscapes of breathtaking wild beauty!
From Öregrund in the north to Landsort in the south, only 150 of these islands are inhabited year round compared to nearly 1,000 islands populated in the summer: a good number of them are home to the vacation homes of Swedish and Stockholm families in search. of tranquility and change of scenery. The largest islands are connected to the capital by around fifty bridges. These small Scandinavian paradises covered with immense green forests and endowed with small fishing villages are very appreciated in summer period for their sweetness of life. The archipelago is a popular vacation spot for Stockholm residents! Small colorful wooden cabins, charming hotels, boats, wooden pontoons that stretch out towards the sea, sandy beaches, deserted coves, calm crystal clear water... a postcard decor, as photogenic as you want, representative of Swedish idyll! As you will have understood, the Stockholm archipelago is an integral part of the must-see places to soak up the bucolic charm and Swedish art of living in all its splendor.
To discover the archipelago, the main ferries are managed by the companies Strömma and Waxholmsbolaget from Stockholm city center, Nybrokajen and Strömkajen with varied offers.
For a more exclusive experience and at your own pace, it is possible to rent a private boat or a yacht with captain (information at the tourist office).
To fully savor the “dolce vita” of the archipelago, you can extend your experience by booking accommodation to stay on site: youth hostels, hotels, guesthouses and campsites welcome visitors all year round. Be careful, however, to book well in advance in high season because the islands are coveted by the local population as well as by Swedish and foreign tourists! In Sweden, wild camping is allowed everywhere as long as it respects the environment. So you can pitch your tent wherever you want and enjoy nature.
Please note that there is no bank or distributor in the whole archipelago! Plan ahead.
Romantic, unusual, fascinating… a boat cruise is a great way to explore the Stockholm archipelago from a different perspective. As a family, as a couple or with friends, sailing in the archipelago rocked by the lapping of the water remains an unforgettable moment as much in summer under a blue sky as in winter when it is covered with ice.
Most of the islands are served by regular boat services by the company Waxholmsbolage t in charge of public maritime transport in the archipelago and in the port of Stockholm. In front of the Grand Hotel, go to the Blasieholmskajen quay where the information desk and the pier for boats to the main islands are located. If you want to explore a particular island for a day, find out about the return shuttle schedules. A surprising feature, tickets are bought on board the boats so no need to try to buy them in advance! If you have a few days to visit several of these islands, prefer the Baltkortet, a card valid for 5 days which will allow you to optimize your stay and move as you wish from island to island on the company's boats.
Excursion departures are made either from the Stromkajen quay or from the Nybrokajen quays where the boats are moored
The platform number will be communicated to you when purchasing tickets
Information kiosks for shipping companies
To enjoy a global view of all the islands with a predefined itinerary, the Strömma shipping company offers trips lasting a few hours or for the day. From the Strandvägen embarkation docks located in the small cove of Nybroviken in the city center, it's up to you to choose the cruise that suits you.
On board these real small comfortable cruise ships, you have several options between a sightseeing excursion that lasts about 3 hours or the day package with lunch included. Prices naturally vary depending on your choice. The advantage of these cruises is to be able to admire the expanse of the archipelago and discover the landscapes of the islands of Grinda, Svartsö, Ingmarsö, Finnham, Sandhamm and Möja without getting off the boat. On board, an English-speaking guide shares with you his knowledge of the history and secrets of the archipelago. A visit that is both pleasant and informative!
The islands of Stockholm. These simple words are enough to set off on an adventure on these tongues of land surrounded by an immensity of water. Departing from the port of Stockholm, the archipelago reveals its very first islands after an hour of navigation. Most of them are private and have only one residence nestled in lush greenery, between majestic fir trees and dense vegetation. Here, nature reigns supreme, the landscapes are magnificent. Among the islands where it is possible to dock for a more in-depth discovery, here is our favorite selection!
Gateway to the Stockholm archipelago , the island of Vaxholm stretches over 3km in length. Long prospered thanks to herring fishing, it is positioned as the capital of the archipelago due to its geographical proximity to Stockholm and its ease of access. Only 1 hour by boat but also linked to Stockholm by a bridge, it is a popular tourist destination for vacationers who can get there by car or bus (45 minutes). To enjoy the beauty of the archipelago, board a boat departing from Blasieholmen Wharf next to the National Museet in town. A pleasant journey, lasting between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes, complete with commentaries in English and Swedish awaits you (this tour is included in the Stockholm Pass).
Upon disembarking on the island, a beautiful stroll is required to discover its fortress, its picturesque alleys with colorful houses, its bourgeois residences and its beaches. In the center of the ancient town of Vaxholm in the east of the island, shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants contribute to the friendly atmosphere that reigns in this small fishing port. Get off the beaten track by following the marked paths to venture all around the island. Do not hesitate to make a detour to the tourist office (turistbyra) located in the town hall to get a map of the island to explore its every nook and cranny!
Among the sights not to be missed during your visit to Vaxholmn, we can mention the port, the Cronhamnsgata street which runs along the coast to the sumptuous Norrhamn cove, the Andreas Kyrkan church which dates from the Viking era and the small bay of Västerhamn. Accessible from the port by an electric cable ferry, the famous Kastellet Fortress is home to the Vaxholms Fästnings Museum. To explore the island by kayak, the Skärgårdens Kanotcenter activity center offers a wide range of guided excursions!
Located a stone's throw from Stockholm, around 1 hour by speedboat, Grinda is a nature reserve that offers lush surroundings and beautiful beaches to relax. Visitors can indulge in various sporting activities like hiking, kayaking or even pony rides. Year-round, only two families live in Grinda, or 9 people in total. One of them owns the Grinda Gård farm, which raises chickens, cows and sheep in the wilderness. In the farm store, which is open on certain days during the summer, you can buy eggs, vegetables, meat and sheepskins. Grinda also has a reception port, the pier restaurant "Framfickan", the Grinda Wärdshus hostel, a grocery store and a cafe. If you want to spend the night or stay a few days in peace, there are a few options of hotels, inns and cottages in this natural sanctuary.
Located at the eastern end of Stockholm, the island of Sandhamn, or Sandön , takes its name from the vast sand dune that crosses it. This is a trendy island popular with artists, celebrities and writers. Benefiting from an exceptional natural setting and a backdrop dotted with rounded rocks, the island is renowned for its long white sand beaches bordered by pine trees, in particular the magnificent Trouville beach located a 20-minute walk from the port. . The latter is animated by cafes, restaurants, shops full of charm and also includes a hotel and the famous restaurant Sandhamns Värdshus, opened in 1672. An institution to delight your taste buds! Sandhamn Island can be explored on foot through a network of hiking trails but also by kayak, surrounded by a multitude of small islets. A destination that appeals to nature lovers who come to recharge their batteries.
Welcome to a small wild paradise located 2h30 from the capital by boat. You will be conquered by this piece of land covered with forests which seems to have escaped the effects of time. The island is full of magnificent coves accessible by winding through tree-lined paths on foot or by bike. On site, you will find a café, a family grocery store that sells its fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, a youth hostel, a few bungalows for rent… and that's it! Change of scenery guaranteed!
South of the capital, the Gålö peninsula is nicknamed "Stockholm's paradise" because the vast majority of its territory is classified as a nature reserve. Accessible by car or bus from Haninge train station, it amazes visitors with its lush nature and more than 30 km of forest paths (including the footpath known as Fornstigen) suitable for hikes through woods, meadows blooming wild orchids, coves and sandy beaches. Gålö is a delight for families who go there in all seasons, renowned for its abundance of wild berries (blueberries and strawberries) and mushroom picking in autumn. The island is also a refuge for wild animals, birds and fish. It offers spectacular panoramas on the archipelago. Plan your picnic to fully enjoy this haven of peace!
A little trip on the 5th largest island in Sweden promises of great experiences and relax in nature. This island is accessible by road 222 to Gustavsberg or by boat in 1.5 hours from Nacka Strand. Like Vaxholm, the island has been shaped over the centuries. Värmdö inherits a strong military heritage and traditions. The island is dominated by the Fredriksborg Fortress, erected between 1720 and 1730, one of the most modern fortifications in Europe at the time to protect the Swedish capital from Russian expansionism. Today classified as a national historic monument, the fortress can be visited and offers superb panoramic views of the archipelago from its circular summit.
The Artipelag is a must-see attraction in Värmdö: a private art museum located in the heart of a pine forest with breathtaking views of the bay. Imagined by architect Johan Nyrén, the building with contemporary design and vertical lines, built in glass and pine, is discovered along a forest path crossed by a larch wood footbridge. Embellished with a tea room and a restaurant, this art foundation appeals to all generations both with its ephemeral exhibitions and its vast exteriors where statues, unusual works and surprising artistic installations mingle.
The island of Värmdö is an ideal excursion for a walk with family, couple or friends, to relax in the abundant nature and practice a variety of activities such as cycling, stand-up-paddle, kayaking or hiking !