About Stockholm Archipelago
Whether you are new to the archipelago or a returning guest, it never hurts to be prepared for your holiday! Here you will find plenty of information about Stockholm Archipelago that may help you to plan your trip.
Please click on the following links for more information about the areas where we have properties available for rent:
Värmdö, Tyresö, Rindö, Furusund, Norrtälje. Dalarö-Ornö, Nacka, and Ljusterö.
History and background to the region
The Stockholm Archipelago (in Swedish “Stockholms skärgård”) offers tens of thousands of small islands and skerries (a skerry is a tiny, rocky island that is too small to inhabit) making it a veritable wonderland for water and nature lovers. The history of the archipelago stretches back hundreds of millions of years ago to the time when the first islands started to emerge from the sea. In the time between then and now, the archipelago has undergone a number of changes caused by both climate and human actions to become the unique region that we find today.
The archipelago has been populated for centuries, but thanks to the nature of the terrain, the inhabitants have always been forced to be flexible when it comes to earning a living. The islands do not provide enough land for more than small-scale farming. However, other income sources such as fishing, mining and even shipping and navigation have been popular over the years.
Water, water, everywhere. A lake at Svartsö.
Tourism in the archipelago started towards the end of the 19th century when Stockholm residents started flocking to the area for rest and recreation. This development was welcomed by the local inhabitants, who embraced the opportunity to increase their earnings, selling goods and services to these early tourists. By the beginnings of the 20th century, steamboat moorings were plentiful, as were boarding houses and spa hotels for the wealthy visitors. The typically Swedish summer cottages also started to appear around this time, and have been a fixture in the archipelago ever since. Luckily for both the local residents and the environment, tourism has never been allowed to grow out of hand and is limited to its current small scale to prevent overexploitation of this fascinating area and its delicate ecosystem.
Most of the archipelago’s summer homes are in its geographical centre, often located within cottage resorts, close to beaches and other nature-themed attractions. However, the archipelago offers so much to explore in terms of the various islands and their related scenery and wildlife that you will be sure to want to visit as many of them as possible.
As could be expected, boats are the best means of transportation in the archipelago. Some of the larger islands are connected to the mainland via bridges. Ferry services allow passage to many more. However, many of the smaller islands require either a private boat or use of a boat taxi to reach. You can take ferries where available, or hire your own sailing/motorboat or a canoe to get around. Some of our property owners also offer boat or bike rental to guests. In winter when ferries are constrained by ice, hovercraft or helicopter transportation can be arranged.
Visitors to Stockholm Archipelago can enjoy many outdoor-related activities and sports suitable for all ages, including bathing, fishing, golf, bird watching, sailing and canoeing. Bikes are available to rent on larger islands.
The archipelago is popular among fishermen
For those who love exercising or who whish to improve their fitness during their holiday, there are any number of opportunities. Hiking trails and cycle paths offer easy access to some of the best viewpoints. Many islands offer international standard golf courses as well as indoor pools, yoga studios and spa facilities. If you are a fan of horse riding, various stables arrange excursions or lessons. At Björnö reserve, Torpesand, Ingarö, visitors can try out the unique snorkelling trail that offers a fascinating insight into the archipelago’s watery environment. It is available to all visitors, free of charge. Follow the rope along the seabed, along with signs and pointers set 2-3m under the surface that will guide you along this interesting trail, rich with sights and details. All you need is snorkelling equipment and a diving mask. Another snorkelling trail is available at Nåttarö.
For those who wish to balance an appreciation of nature with their thirst for culture, there are numerous museums, galleries and concerts to keep you occupied.
Restaurants in the archipelago are generally good, offering superb Swedish cuisine and local dishes in beautiful surroundings. Most restaurants offer seating with a view of the water or another similarly gorgeous vista. Many are located on a pier or on the beach, and some may even offer live music to entertain guests.
If you are interested in taking home some of the gastric delicacies, farm shops are a great place to stop. Here you will find various types of local produce, which is often also organic.
Restaurants and cafés offer superb views while you eat
When to visit
Stockholm archipelago is a captivating and welcoming destination in all seasons. Many off-season guests enjoy the calm and silence that remains once our summer holidaymakers have departed. Autumns are usually mild, permitting outdoor activities such as berry and mushroom picking in the forests. Even the winter season has something special to offer, as you will be able to try sledding, skating and cross-country skiing in this sparkling snowy paradise. Additionally, you can experience the traditional Nordic sauna with holes in the ice for swimming. For lovers of spring, the archipelago is a riot of flowers and birdsong in this glorious season.
If you choose to visit in the off-season, we would like to make you aware that some summer activities are not available all year around. Services on the smaller islands and in remote areas may be limited. Please check with the company in question as to their availability. If you need any help in getting in touch or communicating with companies, please let us know and we would be glad to offer assistance.