Considered the hidden gem of Stockholm, Sweden, the Archipelago is an area which is comprised of more than 30,000 islands. The closest island is just 20 minutes away from Stockholm city center and many tourists and locals travel there to escape the busy urban areas. Here we explore some of the best activities and sights to discover.
A great option for those who love nature and outdoor activities; kayaking in the Archipelago is a unique way to enjoy the area. The day long tours are open to all abilities, even if you’ve never kayaked before. The views are different from every island, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore the numerous coves and secret passages dotted throughout. An unforgettable way to experience some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe.
Opening hours: tours run Thurs-Sunday from June-September.
The Artipelag Värmdö opening in 2012 and stands impressively surrounded by 22 acres of natural scenery. The gallery plays host to a wide range of activities, including art demonstrations, cultural activities, architectural exhibitions, for guests to indulge themselves into an artistic ambience. The gardens of the building have a strong Scandinavian vibe and are well worth exploring via the various nature trails.
The Archipelago scenery is ideal for hikers and offers hiking trails suitable for both beginners and experts. The remote location of the islands means that going on foot is often the best form of transportation, and there are many different routes to choose from. Opt for a one-day trip and enjoy a picnic on one of the smaller hills, or combine climbing with a boat trip and visit several of the islands.
Vikings are a significant part of Scandinavian history and Arkeologievent provide a range of introductory tours to their way of life. The island of Vaxholm on Bodesun was home to the Vikings 1000 years ago, and features burial grounds and rune stones. Learn about the gothic Bogesunds castle, named after two of the most powerful people of the region’s past, Count Per Branheand and Baron Nils von Höpken.
It’s hard to imagine that the clear waters and green spaces of the Archipelago were once an industrial zone. The island of Gustavsberg plays an important role in Sweden’s porcelain industry and many factories built in the 1800s are still in operation now. Gustavsbergs Porslinsmuseum takes you through Sweden’s industrial past and the history of porcelain making in the area. There are plenty of interactive experiences and you can even paint and decorate porcelain yourself.
Scandinavian farm producers take the lead in eco and organic farming, and Säby Gård is an ideal place to learn about the farming experience. Established in 1952, the farm is a family business and is currently in its third generation. They primarily produce cereals and potatoes, with the recent addition of self-manufactured rapeseed oil, which is available to purchase on site.
Established in 1909, Ängsö National Park is one of Sweden’s first national parks. Known for its sophisticated landscaping and garden art, exploring the park gives you an taste of old Sweden. Spring and early summer are particularly good times to visit, when the floral displays are at their peak.
Sweden has a unique ‘right to public access’, meaning you are allowed to set your tent virtually anywhere. The Stockholm Archipelago provides many locations for camping, and allows you to experience the tranquillity of the islands. Set your camp next to the water, and allow the Nordic sun to gently wake you up the next day.
Vaxholm Citadel (Vaxholm Fortress)
Situated on the island of Vaxholm, Vaxholm Citadel is an historical monument of Swedish military history. Originally a fortress built in defence from attack from the north by King Gustav Vasa in 1863, it ceased operation for military purposes in 1944 and is now open to locals and tourists. The site can be easily reached by boats from the quayside, and is a fascinating demonstration of Sweden’s coastal defence system in the past centuries.
Cycling is truly the most Scandinavia way to experience the area and is a popular option among locals. There are plenty of routes for a range of skills, from smooth trails to challenging mountain biking tracks. Hire a bike or bring your own and make use of the boats available for transporting you and your bike from one island to another.