Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

When I started researching my city break to Stockholm I knew a day trip on the archipelago would need to feature in the itinerary. Hailed by many as the Venice of the North, its 30,000 islands, reefs and rocks spread out 80 km east into the Baltic Sea from the city.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Only around 200 of these islands are inhabited and around 60 per cent of Swedes own or have access to a summer house. For those living in Stockholm the summer is their chance to escape the city for the remote, calm life of the islands. And we definitely wanted a slice of this action on our city break.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Most of the island villages have limited options for dining. Bringing along provisions is good idea. There are so many islands to choose from when island hopping. Each has its own unique appeal, it proved quite difficult to narrow it down.

Finally after deciphering the Stromma ferry timetable we opted for two, allowing us a couple of hours of exploring on each island. Grinda was the first stop, only an hour away from Stockholm and known as a swimmers paradise. The second was Sandhamn a popular sailor’s haunt. It’s also the island farthest from Stockholm and the last stop before entering the open Baltic Sea. Of course I had to go there!

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Ready for a full day at sea we headed for Strömkajen by the Grand Hotel, close to Kungsträdgården Metro station. All the city boats depart from this jetty. You can buy your tickets online or from the ticket kiosk near the ferry. During peak season I’d definitely recommend advance purchase.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

My girls were bowled over by the fact they were going to be spending a day on boat named Cinderella.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Large, spacious, two sundecks, a small café and a dining room on the second floor with a chef serving locally sourced Swedish cuisine. A very comfortable way to spend a day out on the waters.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Unfortunately for us the weather wasn’t on our side for Grinda. By the time we arrived the clouds rolled in, the temperature dropped and the raindrops fell.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

It put a big full stop to any swimming ideas. People usually come to Grinda to enjoy a swim, jumping in from the cliffs or to take a dip in the child-friendly sandy beaches. Nevertheless, it didn’t deter us from exploring the charming island.

We enjoyed a woodland walk, skimmed stones and took in the quiet beautiful nature reserve. If you have more time on the island there are a range of activities you can enjoy like horse trekking, kayaking and boating, plus there is a boules and volleyball ground.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

We decided to eat at the main restaurant in the only hotel on the island – Grinda Wärdshus. There is also a bistro option, but it was closed on our visit.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

The food is typical Swedish fayre, herring, shrimp salads and meatballs galore. The only vegetarian option on the menu was pesto pasta, which received a groan from me and a hooray from the girls.

Before long it was time to board the boat for an hour’s ride to Sandhamn on the outer edges of the archipelago. The name may ring a bell to avid readers as the island features in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

On arrival into the port and marina you can spot all the cute timber shops and homes which surround the harbour. The idyllic island is a historical sea pilot station, with a pub, hotels, the classic Royal Swedish Yacht Club, restaurants, cafés and a tiny museum.

Leaving the harbour area behind we walked along pine forest walking paths. It was lovely being a part of the tranquil landscape and experience the slow pace of life.

 

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

The island is named after the sand dunes that run across it. We, however, never made it the sandy beaches on the other side. My worry of missing the return boat back to Stockholm reigned supreme. With the overcast weather, it wasn’t like we’d be missing out on any sunbathing. With more time on your hands you can also hire kayaks and bikes which would be a great way to see the island.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

We did however stumble across a playground.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

After a quick hot chocolate in the pub to warm our cockles, we boarded the boat back to Stockholm. The non-stop journey back did not disappoint – Stunning.

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

I completely understand why the Swedes escape to this unspoilt way of life. It was incredible to witness the beauty of the sea, tranquility of the islands and opportunity to fill our lungs with clean air. Pure magic!

Where has been your best island hopping experience? Have you ever been to the Stockholm archipelago? Let me know in the comments box below.

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If you’re planning a trip you can read my How To Spend A City Break In Stockholm for more handy tips!

Disclaimer: The ferry tickets were complimentary via Stromma. However, all views, opinions and photos, unless otherwise stated are my own and remain a trademark of the Curious Pixie. 

 

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Island hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago

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30 Comments

  1. 16th October 2017 / 6:41 am

    I feel like escaping there now!!

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:52 pm

      You’d love it Binny. Get it on your hit list!

  2. 16th October 2017 / 6:47 am

    There are some really lovely photos here. It shows just how much stockholm has to offer!

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Thanks Jon. Stockholm is a fabulous city.

  3. stephanie
    16th October 2017 / 10:39 am

    Some beautiful pictures, really makes me want to visit stockholm. x

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:54 pm

      Ahh thanks Stephanie. I’d definitely recommend Stockholm, it’s a great city.

  4. 16th October 2017 / 1:00 pm

    Ahhh amazing this is a side of Stockholm that I never got to see when we visited all those years back..it really is a whole other experience by the looks of it!

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Oh it’s a beautiful part of Stockholm. You’ll just to have to go again Talya.

  5. 16th October 2017 / 1:55 pm

    I am ashamed to say I have never heard of this before but it looks and sounds stunning. Your photo’s are beautiful!!

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you Kara. Now you know, you’ll have to go!

  6. 16th October 2017 / 3:19 pm

    It was a bit cold when we went to Stockholm to do this but would love to return and try

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:56 pm

      Yeah that can be a problem. We went in summer and it still rained on us.

  7. 16th October 2017 / 3:38 pm

    What a stunning place to visit – have always wanted to visit Stockholm & this would really add to the experience 🙂 x

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Ohh I hope you make it there lovely! It’s well worth a visit.

  8. 16th October 2017 / 4:07 pm

    This looks so stunning. I’ve only been once many years ago. Would love to visit again.

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:58 pm

      Such a gorgeous trip to do. Hope you make it back there again Nadia.

  9. 16th October 2017 / 4:41 pm

    I’d never think of Stockholm as a holiday destination but it looks pretty stunning.

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 8:59 pm

      It’s a fantastic holiday destination, so much to do and see.

  10. 16th October 2017 / 6:50 pm

    Wow Stockholm sounds amazing and I would love to do this! Maybe not with four children in tow….!

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 9:01 pm

      LOL maybe when they’re a little older. It’s actually a fabulous city for kids and so geared up for families. You should read my other post on things to do in Stockholm, loads of kid friendly places included.

  11. 16th October 2017 / 7:19 pm

    What lovely photos, I really want to explore Scandinavia and Stockholm. I love the architecture and the laid back way of life

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Thank you Melissa. I hope you make it there. If you love architecture you’ll absolutely love it.

  12. 17th October 2017 / 7:06 am

    What an amazing day for exploring, both islands look great and that hotel where you guys dined at looks marvellous.

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 9:03 pm

      Well it started with rain but ended well. A great trip to with kids.

  13. 17th October 2017 / 8:29 am

    Never been to Stockholm, looks so pretty! Your photos are amazing ! X

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Thanks Kira x

  14. 17th October 2017 / 3:37 pm

    As usual you’ve taken some really lovely photos!

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      21st October 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Thank you Hannah x

  15. 22nd October 2017 / 3:43 pm

    I want to Island hop in Stockholm. It is super high on my list, it looks like such a gorgeous city. xx

    • Sima Sthanakiya
      23rd October 2017 / 8:22 am

      It’s great. I would have loved to be able to stay on one of the islands for a couple nights. Next time!

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