Travel Gudie of Stockholm archipelago, Sweden

The Stockholm archipelago is an archipelago in eastern Central Sweden, located along most of Stockholm County’s coast. It is considered Sweden’s largest archipelago and the second largest in the Baltic Sea, after the Archipelago Sea in southwestern Finland. The area has no formal demarcation. Stockholm’s archipelago has been found between Björkö-Arholma and Öja-Landsort to have just over 24,000 islands, islets and skerries and covers approximately 1,700 km², of which approximately 530 km² is land.

The Stockholm archipelago is a joint valley landscape that has been shaped – and is still being shaped – by post-glacial rebound. It was not until the Viking Age that the archipelago began to assume its present-day contours. Today the archipelago is a popular holiday destination with some 50,000 holiday cottages (owned mainly by Stockholmers). The Stockholm Archipelago Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of the nature and culture of the archipelago, owns some 15% of its total area.

The biggest towns of the archipelago, apart from Stockholm, are Nynäshamn, Vaxholm and Norrtälje. The village of Ytterby, famous among chemists for naming no fewer than four chemical elements (erbium, terbium, ytterbium and yttrium), is situated on Resarö in the Stockholm archipelago. Some of the better-known islands are Dalarö, Finnhamn, Nässlingen, Grinda, Husarö, Ingarö, Ljusterö, Möja, Nämdö, Rödlöga, Tynningö, Utö, Svartsö and Värmdö.

The few islands closest to the Stockholm innter city that have fixed bridge or ferry connections with road ferries such as Vaxholm, Ingarö, Värmdö, Yxlan, Blidö, Ljusterö and Väddöbut also on many of the larger islands further out from the coast, such as Ingmarsö, Möja, Runmarö, Nämdö, Ornö and Utö, which are served by passenger ships with established timetables.

Historically, living conditions in the archipelago have been very difficult. The poorer living conditions economically and the harsh climate, especially during autumn and winter and the strong dependence on the sea in all weather conditions for both supply and transport. A situation that, however, has increasingly been eradicated over the years by the relatively few remaining permanent residents of the archipelago, often combining work out in the archipelago with work in the nearest larger mainland town in order to be able to support themselves. Modern IT solutions have also made it possible to work partially at a distance from their hometown on the islands for those who work in the service sector.

Although the rapprochement between living conditions between city and archipelago has been gradually leveled out, the differences in lifestyles are often maintained by many archipelago residents for centuries holding inherited large areas of land and fishing waters that can only be used by the individual property owner for small-scale forestry, firewood production and net fishing. Many archipelago residents who have inherited and retained their ancestral agricultural properties live city life during the working weeks and to some extent archipelago life in the classical sense in their free time. Arable land is usually leased to the nearest large agricultural farm on the mainland on the larger islands that have fixed connections to the mainland by bridge or road ferry, Möja and Ingmarsö.

Many poets, authors and artists have been influenced and fascinated by the Stockholm archipelago. Among them are August Strindberg, Ture Nerman, Roland Svensson, Ernst Didring and Aleister Crowley. Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson from the group ABBA wrote most of their songs in a cabin located on the archipelago.

Boating is an extremely popular activity with the sailing race Ornö runt (or Around the island of Ornö) being the largest in the archipelago. This annual race, organised by the Tyresö Boat Club, has taken place every year since 1973. It is open to anyone with a sailing boat but requires registration. There are different entry classes, with the family class being the least competitive.

The Stockholm archipelago has been a major tourist destination for both Stockholmers and more long-distance guests since the early 1920s. The number of visitors in the archipelago or in transit with larger passenger ships has in recent years been estimated at around 3 million per year.

During the summer, the archipelago’s islands are popular destinations for leisure boats with a large selection of protected natural harbors in one of the many bays. In the inner parts of the archipelago there is a rich selection of archipelago restaurants, guest harbors and accommodation options. Some archipelagos in the outer part also have prepared guest harbors with access to accommodation, water and communication equipment. However, access to filling stations for boat engines is severely limited and is only found in the inner part of the archipelago on archipelagos with a larger resident population.

Tourism includes everything from day trips or boat trips with archipelago boats, to own or rented leisure boats and summer houses. The number of leisure boats in the Stockholm archipelago with its home port within the Stockholm archipelago and coast has been estimated at around 100,000, and the number of holiday homes at around 50,000.

The original buildings in the archipelago are characterized by the traditional Swedish rural architecture with red-painted wooden houses and buildings adapted for archipelago life, such as farms, boathouses and fishing cottages.

Summer villas
After the 1860s and a bit into the 20th century, a new type of building emerged in Stockholm’s inner archipelago. It was the large summer villas that were built mainly by the affluent bourgeoisie who began to buy or lease land in the inner archipelago (Nacka, Lidingö, Värmdö, Gustavsberg). It was the rule that the wealthy owner took the servants from town out to the summer house, which was one reason why the houses were built large so that the servants would have proper space in the house for a large household and could also be accommodated in separate room in the house. The period at the end of the 19th century coincided in art with the transition from studio painting to nature painting. Among the artists and writers who at the time worked or had studios in the Stockholm archipelago are August Strindberg, Bruno Liljefors and Gustaf Fröding.

Many of the villas were designed by famous architects such as Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander, Charles Emil Löfvenskiöld, Carl Westman and Adolf W. Edelsvärd. The summer villa was usually a lavish wooden building, sometimes in Old Norse, national romantic style like Eva Bonnier’s villa on Dalarö, designed by Ragnar Östberg. But most of the time, the houses were designed in the Swiss styleor a combination of different styles. The Swiss style stood for a healthy life close to nature. The summer villa was usually completely uninsulated, in that it would only serve as a temporary summer home. Important was a large glazed porch with a lake view, which was connected to the room inside. This type of porch was later popularly called a punch porch or grog porch where guests were invited and socialized on summer evenings.

Many of the archipelago’s summer villas have been preserved and through the beach protection, a few new buildings have been added along the beaches. Nowadays, the former summer villas are often winter-sheltered and are used for year-round use. Most of the larger summer villas built around the turn of the century 1900 and the beginning of the 20th century are today owned by companies and institutions.

Holiday cottages
In the 1940s and after the Second World War, a new type of summer house emerged that was significantly smaller than the classic so-called summer villa, usually in the size class 20–50 m². The houses were usually completely uninsulated without withdrawn water and with an outdoor toilet, adapted for the normal income earner. The houses that were often built by the land buyer himself were very simply built, intended only for use during the summer season. You saw a great value in getting out into nature to your own house, the fresh air and the proximity to swimming.

During the same period, many children’s colonies were also built out in the archipelago so that younger children, especially in families with poor financial conditions, would have the opportunity to go out into nature during the summer when the rest of the family worked. Planned larger areas with clean holiday homes also began to emerge during this time, where the simple summer cottages and camping cottages at Årsta havsbad, which were built under the auspices of HSB in the 1930s and 1940s, are a good example of this. Planned holiday home areas were followed up much later, where various construction companies were behind the projects, such as Bergshamra-Enviken’s holiday home area off the coast south of Norrtälje.

In the Stockholm archipelago, there are an estimated twenty local history museums located on the larger, more densely populated islands and on the mainland along the coast.

Nature and wildlife
Stockholm’s archipelago has a special nature, created by the ice sheet, the land uplift and the barren coastal climate. The archipelago nature has also been characterized by human influence through older times’ agriculture and forestry, shipping, Stockholm’s defense and for more than 100 years of summer visitors.

The archipelago’s flora, fauna and landscapes differ between the small weather exposed and sparsely populated inserts and groups of islands in the archipelago and they are usually larger and more mainland-like islands of the inner archipelago. The outer archipelago exhibits many unusual species such as gray seals, barn owls, sea eagles and certain coastal bird species, marine life such as bladder wrack and barnacles and the plants guckusko and majviva. Among the shorebirds, among others, are the common onesseagull, osprey, eider and whooper swan but also the more unusual sea eagles, elves, sandeels, thrushes.

The successful joint that always nest in highly concentrated groups of small islands, where all vegetation inevitable death of eutrophication from bird droppings, is through controlled hunting, and in recent years the gradual reduction of fishing in the Baltic Sea, reduced to a limited population and is nowadays rare. The population of Canada geese has stabilized in number after many years of steady increase in the innermost part of the archipelago.

Nature Reserves
In the archipelago there is a national park, Ängsö, and several nature reserves, including Svenska Högarna and (since 2008) Nåttarö, Rånö and Ålö. In nature reserves, national parks and areas protected for flora and fauna, there are regulations limiting the right of public access. These regulations are adapted in order to protect the natural values that exist within each reserve or protected area and they can restrict the right of public access in various ways, but there are some rules that apply everywhere.

Protected Areas
Throughout the entire archipelago are areas that are protected for birds, seals and fish. Protected areas exist in order to protect these animals and give them the right conditions to successfully mate and reproduce. In nature reserves, national parks and areas protected for flora and fauna, there are regulations that restrict the right of public access. The regulations are adapted to protect the specific natural values that exist within each reserve or protected area.

The Stockholm archipelago is one of the most important mating areas in the Baltic Sea for several species of coastal birds. About thirty different species mate here and another ten or so species are seen here more or less regularly during the nesting season. The number of coastal birds is close to 200 000 pairs. The primary reason for establishing special protected areas for seals and birds is that these animals need to be undisturbed during the mating and nesting season. Most species of bird nest early and, given the cold springs in the archipelago, disturbances can have devastating consequences as the eggs quickly become cold when the bird is scared away from the nest.

Fishing is prohibited in a total of 25 inlets between Singö in the north and Mörkö in the south. The purpose of the fishing prohibition is to increase the reproduction of fish in the archipelago and improve the conditions for sustainable fishing in the long-term.

Well-known islands

Blidö island
Blidö is an island in Blidö parish, Norrtälje municipality, Stockholm county in the Stockholm archipelago. Due to its location close to the mainland, Blidö has long been one of Roslagen’s popular summer paradises and summer guests have been on the island since the end of the 19th century. The artist Rune Jansson was born here in 1918. Ture Nerman had a summer cottage on Blidö for 50 years. Tove Jansson spent the summers of her childhood on the island.

Blidö church is located in the middle of the island and was built in 1859. The church is part of the film Tjorven och Skrållan (Saltkråkan) from 1965 in which the church Malin and Peter get married. Blidö also has its own cinema, Blidö Bio, which has its premises just south of Stämmarsund in a building from 1918. In addition to films, Blidö Bio also arranges concerts. In connection with Tove Jansson having her summer place on Blidö during her childhood, Blidö also became a model for the Moomin Valley.

Yxlan island
Yxlan is an island in the Stockholm archipelago, located between Furusund and Blidö in Blidö parish in Norrtälje municipality, Stockholm county. Yxlan is a mostly wooded, elongated island. The axis is about 15 kilometers long and just over a kilometer wide. In the northern part of the island, near Köpmanholm, is a school. West of Yxlan is the heavily trafficked Furusundsleden and east of the island stretches Blidösund with Blidöleden.

Ljusterö island
Ljusterö, which is located in Österåker municipality, is the largest island in the Stockholm archipelago that lacks a bridge connection with the mainland. Ljusterö is connected to the mainland via the ferry route Ljusteröleden.

The Archipelago Foundation owns and manages land in two areas that form the Östra Lagnö-Själbottna nature reserve with a total land area of 155 ha. In the nature reserve as well as at Bössarviken’s northern shore on northern Ljusterö and in many other places there is a unique flora. Most terrestrial larger mammals found on the mainland side of Roslagen are also represented on the island such as hare, fox, badger, deer and elk. Sea eagle nests are found on or near Ljusterö. Wolves have also been observed.

Ljusterö has two centers, Ljusterö square in the middle of Ljusterö about three kilometers from the ferry terminal with grocery store, post office, banking service, hairdresser, various types of shops, small service companies and a restaurant. The other center is located at Linanäs on southern Ljusterö with several restaurants, grocery store, bakery and a large concrete bridge for the regular archipelago traffic to Ljusterö and a petrol station for boats. A larger sawmill that also for a limited range with other building materials is located in the middle of the island at Mjölnarström.

The octagonal white-painted wooden church was originally built in 1751–1955 as a replacement for the chapel built at the end of the 16th century, which had a free-standing belfry. The new chapel was built with horizontal timber with a red-colored panel and wooden roof. Chapel, belfry and rectory are indicated on Johan Nessner’s maps from 1726 and 1733. The church got its current appearance during a rebuilding in 1894, when the church tower was added which replaced the previously independent belfry. Directly east of the church is a yellow-painted rectory that was built in 1870. The former rectory has been converted into a parish home.

Ingmarsö island
Ingmarsö is an island in Österåker municipality, Stockholm’s archipelago. Ingmarsö is a lake-rich island with Storträsk, Lillträsk, Bergmar and Maren. The westernmost part of Ingmarsö consists of the peninsula Brottö.

In the 19th century, swede farming was used to get larger cultivation areas and to be able to supply more. In 1910, there were 223 people registered on the island. As early as 1867, schooling began for the island’s children and in 1901 the schoolhouse was inaugurated. It has been rebuilt and rebuilt and now the preschool is there. The building now also houses a library. The island’s store is almost as old. It opened in 1887 and the business has been running ever since. In 1998, the deal took over responsibility for the island’s post office. In the 1930s, summer guests began to arrive. They rented rooms from the residents, lived in the old boarding house or built their own houses.

Today, Ingmarsö has about 150 permanent residents and about thirty companies, including boatyards, a plastic factory, a tavern, a shop with pharmacy, system and postal agents, home bakeries, carpenters and other contractors. The island is served by Waxholmsbolaget, Cinderellabåtarna and boat taxis to two regular piers: Ingmarsö Södra and Ingmarsö Norra.

Möja island
Möja is an island in the outer part of central Stockholm’s archipelago. It is the main island for a group of islands called the Möja Archipelago. Long ago, Möjabor practiced extensive fishing out at the Nassa and Björkskär archipelagos. Möja has had a permanent archipelago population for hundreds of years. The residents subsisted on fishing, small-scale agriculture and various handicrafts.

The Russian ravages of 1719 hit the island hard when all buildings except the church were burned down. In the 1950s after the Second World War, as in other parts of the Stockholm archipelago, the resident population began to cut off smaller plots of land from their tribal properties that were sold for holiday homes, a development that continues to this day.

Möja was also known for its strawberry plantations. Large quantities of strawberries were delivered to the capital since the end of the 19th century during the summer. The peak was reached in the 1940s, but today the commercial strawberry cultivation has almost ceased. However, several smaller private farms remain on the surrounding islands. The variety that gave the good strawberries is called Senga Sengana.

The population is mainly distributed in the villages of Långvik, Ramsmora, Norrsundshage, Lokka, Berg and Hamn. The main harbor with fuel station, restaurants and grocery stores is located in the village of Berg in the far south of Great Möja, where several archipelago boats in regular traffic dock, including boats from Waxholmsbolaget and Cinderellabåtarna. There is no regular car ferry, but local motor traffic occurs on the roads on the island, but mainly in the form of off-road quad bikes and flatbed mopeds.

The artist Roland Svensson spent a lot of time on Stora Tornö, just outside Långvik. There he had his summer stay and studio. Many of his motifs depict the copper archipelago’s copper and cut during all seasons of the year. In 2014, a museum was built and opened in memory of the artist in Ramsmora on Möja.

Vindö island
Vindö is a larger, fairly densely built-up island in Stockholm’s central archipelago, between Värmdö and Kanholmsfjärden. The island is divided by several deep bays and is connected to the south with Djurö and to the east with Skarpö through narrow headlands. Between Vindö-Djurö and Värmdölandet, a fairway runs through Vindöström and Simpströmmen.

On northern Vindö is Lake Vämlingen, which is connected to the Baltic Sea by the Oscar Canal, named after King Oscar II. The king liked to fish perch in the lake at the time the Royal Swedish Sailing Society (KSSS) had its operations in Sollenkrokafladen (before they moved to Sandhamn). Carl Anton has sung the island in his song Överbyvals, in which the island’s beauty is praised during the summer.

Värmdö island
Värmdö or Värmdön is an island located in Stockholm’s inner archipelago, in the province of Uppland. Värmdö is Sweden’s sixth largest island (after Gotland, Öland, Södertörn-Nacka, Orust and Hisingen). Its area is 180 km². Most of the island, and all smaller islands east of it, are located within Värmdö municipality. The westernmost part of Värmdön is located in Nacka municipality.

In Nacka municipality, most of the buildings are located in the former urban area of Boo, now part of the urban area of Stockholm, while in Värmdö municipality, the urban area of Gustavsberg is the largest. It now also includes Hemmesta. On Värmdö south of Gustavsberg is the art gallery Artipelag.

Ingarö island
Ingarö is an island in Värmdö municipality in the province of Uppland in Stockholm County. The island forms the main part of Ingarö parish. The island is just over 62 km², which makes it Sweden’s 18th largest. Ingarö has had a resident population since the Bronze Age; on the island there are rock carvings. Today, there has more and more holiday homes have been converted into villas and more permanent homes have been built.

In Ingarö cemetery, Sweden’s first pilot Carl Cederström is buried, also called “Calle pilot” by the locals. “Calle pilots” also has two roads in Brunn named after him (Calle pilots’ road and Baron Cederström’s road). On the island there is a golf course (36 holes) and a sports club, Ingarö IF, which in the 70s was a serial in the TV program Sveriges magasin where it was named Sweden’s worst hockey team. By Återvallssjön is Sweden’s first nudist pool.

Parts of the film Sune’s summer from 1993 were shot on Ingarö, including scenes from the campsite and the tennis court. Parts of the film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from 2011, with Daniel Craig in the lead role, were shot at Björkvik on Ingarö. Every year in June, the Paradise Race takes place on Ingarö. A track of 10 kilometers around Ingarö. The race was founded by Axel “Acke” Sundebrandt who came up with the name during a running round with one of his customers from Spain.

Runmarö island
With around 1,500 hectares, Runmarö in Djurö parish and Värmdö municipality is one of the larger islands in the Stockholm archipelago, located south of Kanholmsfjärden, between east Sandön and west Stavsnäs on the easternmost part of Värmdön. The island is 14 km², about 3 × 5 kilometers large and with a maximum height above sea level of about 35 meters. Regular boat lines from Stavsnäs go to Runmarö’s piers in Styrsvik, Gatan and Långvik.

The presence of lime in the island’s bedrock provides conditions for a very rich flora, especially of various orchids. Of the country’s more than 40 orchids, more than half have been found on Runmarö, including guckusko, Adam and Eva and sword work. No other place in the country can in such a limited area show so many species, Öland and Gotland included. The island is also one of the archipelago’s most flowery. Here are nine lakes, flowering pastures, herb-rich pine forests and limestone cliffs. At Silverträsk there are no less than six different exotic carnivorous plant species, each with its own special catching technique. One of the carnivorous plants is the fly trumpet. One of the island’s rarities is the Apollo butterfly.

The island’s oldest villages are probably Södersunda and Norrsunda, which are protected by the strait between Runmarö and Storön. These villages, which did not have to be relocated due to the land uplift, have been settlements for generations of pilots. Here is a preserved boatman’s croft, and has also kept a garden for the monks of the Franciscan Order. In Södersunda by Jerkersudden there is a public swimming beach and next to it is the football field Södersundavallen, where the annual football tournament Runmarö Cup is played.

In Uppeby there is a homestead with an active homestead association. This homestead is also used as a café and cinema in the summer. Every year, Runmarödagen is arranged by the local community association with a flea market, café and sale of local crafts. It usually takes place in late July or early August. In 2017, the sixth edition of Runmaröspelet, a musical comedy with the island’s own history as the theme, was performed, this time about the Franciscan monks (the Gray Brothers) and their lime mill, which started on Runmarö as early as 1288.

Nämdö island
Nämdö is a 10.46 km² large island and thus one of the larger in the Stockholm archipelago. Large areas on northern Nämdö are part of the Nämdö nature reserve, which also includes the southern part of Uvön, Rögrund and Stora Husarn, as well as large sea areas in Nämdöfjärden. On Nämdö there are two lakes, Västerbyträsket in the south and Storträsket in the northwest.

Nämdö is a car-free island with walking and cycling paths. Good gravel road (länsväg AB 690) runs from Östanviks in the northeast to Bunkvik in the southeast, about five kilometers, with exit roads to Solvik, Sand and Västerby. In Solvik is a grocery store, restaurant and gas station. In Sand is Hembygdsgården where Nämdö hembygdsförening is housed and the Old School with archipelago museum. Organic farming is conducted at Östanvik’s farm. Regular boats from Stavsnäs and Saltsjöbaden dock at several piers on Nämdö and the surrounding islands.

Ornö island
Ornö is the largest island in Stockholm’s southern archipelago and is part of Ornö parish in Haninge municipality. It is about 15 km long and 3-4 km wide. During the ice age, geological sights have been created in the rock slabs on northern Ornö by Ornöhuvud in the form of banded rocks. There are also remnants from the mining industry from the time feldspar was exported. In the 19th century, there were mines with feldspar in the Stockholm archipelago, which is mentioned in the novel Hemsöborna. Kolnäsviken on the west side of Ornö is a popular night port for leisure boats.

In the southern part of the island there are more lakes. Some are part of the Sundby nature reserve. Among these is Stockholm County’s deepest lake, Stunnträsk, which is 40 meters deep. Moose and deer are common. Sea eagles, ospreys and buzzards nest in several of Ornö’s forest areas. Mink and loons also occur in some lakes.

Ornö has a school, library, general store, cafés, restaurant, system company representatives, boatyard, guest harbor, local history museum and a number of bed & breakfasts. The island also has bicycle, kayak and sailboat rentals. Waxholmsbolaget operates several piers on the island, including Hässelmara, Kyrkviken and Brunnsviken. Ornö Sjötrafik operates the Dalarö – Hässelmara section on northwestern Ornö by car ferry, a crossing that takes about 30 minutes.

Muskö island
Muskö is an island in Stockholm’s southern archipelago belonging to Haninge municipality in Stockholm County. There are two urban areas on the island: Muskö and Norra Muskö The island is characterized by an ancient archipelago area where agriculture and fishing have long been the main industries. The island was long dominated by the manors Ludvigsberg and Arbottna with subordinate farms and crofts. The owner and builder of the farms’ main buildings was Adolf Ludvig Levin, a merchant from Stockholm, who in the 1770s also owned most of Muskö.

One of the island’s two urban areas is Muskö, the old church village, which is a well-defined settlement in the middle of the main island east and north of Muskö church. In addition to the church, there is also the rectory, Muskö school with schoolhouse from 1925 (later added) and Muskö homestead. The urban area of Muskö has 264 resident individuals and Hoppet has 223 (refers to 31 December 2016). At Musköbasen, there is a climate-controlled building belonging to the Maritime History Museum, where M / S Estonia’s bow visor has been kept since 2005.

Since 1964, Muskö can also be reached by car. Then the 2,895 meter long Muskö tunnel was inaugurated. Muskö offers a stroll-friendly and beautiful cultural landscape with extensive pastures and sea shores. Grytholmen’s open-air museum is located on the Grytholmen peninsula near Arbottna. The museum has been run since 1982 by Muskö Hembygdsförening. Torpet Grytholmen’s buildings have been supplemented with houses that have been moved here from elsewhere on the island. The museum wants to give the visitor the opportunity to experience a genuine historical environment that was once the home and workplace of an archipelago farmer’s family. In one of the cottages is also the local history archive.

Utö island
Utö is one of the largest islands in Stockholm’s southern archipelago. Due to its strategic location along Mysingen and at the entrance to the archipelago’s most important waterway, Utö has since the 17th century functioned as a support point for pilots, lighthouse keepers, customs officials and the military. On the southern part of the island is Utö shooting range, which began to be used in the 1940s. The northern part of the island, with Utö mines, is part of the Utö nature reserve.

Gruvbyn is located on the northern part of the island next to Gruvbryggan, which is the archipelago’s mooring place. The oldest parts of the village’s buildings date from the 18th century. Among other things, there is an older warehouse building from the 18th century here. Barlastholmen and Stora Persholmen outside the harbor are largely built up of the ballast that the arriving ore schooners brought with them and then tipped into the harbor before some loaded on ore. The mill office from 1803 has housed Utö’s inn since the 1890s.

The mining village is located in the middle of the reserve next to the island’s old mining area and around the old quarries you can still see scattered warp piles. Utö is considered to house Sweden’s oldest iron ore mines because slag finds have shown that mining took place there as early as the 12th century. The mines were closed in 1878. The shafts are now filled with water and the deepest is a full 215 meters deep.

In modern times, the island’s main industry consists of tourism. On Utö there are several restaurants, hostels, bakery, shop, kiosks and a guest harbor. In Utö church from 1850 there is a unique organ from 1745. The island has about 400,000 visitors annually, most come during the summer and to the traditional Christmas market. The island’s piers Näsudden, Spränga and Gruvbryggan are operated by archipelago boats departing from Årsta pier in Årsta havsbad all year round and in summer from Strömkajen in Stockholm.

Nåttarö island
Nåttarö is an island in Stockholm’s southern archipelago, about a half hour boat ride from Nynäshamn. Nåttarö consists mainly of sand with coniferous forest mixed with bogs and rocks. There are many fine sandy beaches, of which Stora Sand and Skarsand are the largest and most famous. Nåttarös Frälsegård is first mentioned in 1601. Torpet Östmar has also existed on the island since the 17th century. Frälsegården was burned by the Russians in 1719. Nåttarö belonged to the Reuterskiöld family during the latter part of the 18th century.

Between the cottage village and Stora Sand is the Queen’s Cave, which got its name after Queen Maria Eleonora, according to local legend, sought refuge here before she left Sweden, after her husband Gustav II Adolf had died. The mountain Bötsudden in the far north is Nåttarö’s highest point (38 m above sea level) and offers a view of large parts of Stockholm’s southern archipelago. A cairn stands in the place where there was previously a care case. Around Bötsudden there are Russian ovens from 1719. Nåttarö, Ålö and Rånö became nature reserves in 2008.

Torö island
Torö is an island in the Stockholm archipelago, Nynäshamn municipality and in Torö parish. Torö is connected to the mainland via road 528. The whole of Torö is covered by national interests for highly exploited coastal / mobile outdoor life and a military consultation area. The south-eastern part of Torö is also covered by national interest in nature conservation. The port at Ankarudden is of national interest for transport communication.

The buildings mainly consist of villas and holiday homes. Simon Spie’s futuristic Villa Spies at Älghammar was completed in 1969. Approximately in the middle of Torö, in the small town of Gabrielstorp next to road 528, there is Torö Lanthandel & Bageri with a petrol station that is open all year round except on Mondays during low season but also Torö Varv at Sågsten which is an old archipelago shipyard. Among culturally and historically valuable buildings are Torö Church from the 17th century and Herrhamra farm with roots from the Middle Ages. At Herrhamra farm, small-scale agriculture and forestry and accommodation of horses are conducted.

There are a few small craft and service industries on the island. At the southern tip of Torö is Herrhamra pilot cemetery, which is still used today. Torö has two nature reserves: Reveluddens nature reserve and Ören nature reserve with forest and a large glacial river deposit with seawalls and pebble beaches. “Torö pebble beach” in Ören nature reserve is very popular for wind and wave surfing. Kitesurfing also occurs to a large extent. SM competitions in wave surfing have been arranged here on several occasions.

By far the most common types of leisure boats that generally apply along the Swedish coast and also in the Stockholm archipelago, can be divided into two main categories, which largely depend on the possession of coastal permanent or holiday homes:

For those who do not own a coastal permanent residence or holiday home, the most common type of boat is the 6-8 meter long covered displacement motorboat with inboard or outboard engine or on the sailboat side the 6-9 meter long sailboat equipped with inboard or outboard engine with accommodation and possibility of dining. in the boat. The boat is used in this case mainly during the holiday weeks and weekends during the period June-August where you visit different parts of the archipelago within a relatively large area but concentrated in areas around the established major waterways in the middle archipelago and places with access to guest harbors where water and fuel – and food storage can be replenished. The boat type corresponds to the country road motorhome which provides great mobility in outdoor life without the requirement for nearby housing services where you choose to camp for a shorter or longer period of time.

For those who have access to coastal permanent accommodation or holiday homes in the inner part of the archipelago, by far the most common type of boat is the 4.5-5.5 meter planing boat with outboard motor with or without the control panel, which is often used daily for transport, shopping, fishing and for excursions to nearby archipelagos within a radius of about 10-15 distance minutes. The resident archipelago population often has the same type of boat but is equipped with a smaller aft cabin to be able to use the boat in bad weather and throughout the ice-free period of the year.

These differences in boat ownership, which can of course vary, are most evident in a comparison between the boat stock on the large marinas on the mainland side and the many smaller jetties further out in the archipelago. To quickly get to the more sparsely trafficked areas in the archipelago and save both time and fuel on clean transport routes in the inner archipelago, many rent a combined jetty and parking space further out in the archipelago on the islands that have road connections to the mainland.

The outer parts of the archipelago outside the marked waterways, with vast water areas, low islands, limited vegetation and thousands of grains require very good navigation skills where, for example, the Stora Nassa archipelago is considered by many to be particularly difficult to navigate. Rapid weather changes and sudden fog banks appearing in the middle of the day, even in otherwise beautiful weather, are also some factors that place extra high demands on good sea habits. The introduction of GPS and digital charts has meant greatly simplified navigation and increased safety on unknown waters, especially in bad weather, even if the basic compass and charts at least on a scale of 1:50 000 over the current area belong to the basic equipment for all navigation in the archipelago.

So called”Båtluffarpass” and guided tours with larger passenger boats are some alternatives to the own or rented leisure boat which has increased sharply where for example Nåttarö, Utö, Ornö, Möja, Grinda and Finnhamn belong to some of the more popular excursion destinations that also offer accommodation in various forms and nice bathing places with genuine archipelago nature. Group kayaking for people over a certain age, with or without a guide is also an option that has increased in scope each year, which provides greater opportunities than with other boat types to explore the most inaccessible areas but which requires a good experience of handling the rank boat type in different situations in the archipelago’s open water areas and large bays with occasionally often high seas and strong winds.

Boat traffic
Waxholmsbolaget, a transport company owned by the county council, operates approximately 270 jetties with about 40 vessels during the summer. During the winter, several archipelago piers are used, but with fewer ships. Waxholmsbolaget’s routes depart from Strömkajen in Stockholm, Hotellkajen in Vaxholm and Stavsnäs winter harbor.

In addition, the shipping company Cinderellabåtarna operates with three ships, five destinations in the archipelago for day trips and dinner cruises. The outer parts of the archipelago are generally not served by regular archipelago traffic but require transport in the form of a boat taxi or private boat.

Several shipping companies operate charter traffic in the archipelago.

Road ferries
The Swedish Transport Administration has ferry traffic to several of the large islands in the archipelago: Between Vaxholm and Rindö; Across Oxdjupet between Rindö and Stenslätten on Värmdö; Between Östanå and Ljusterö; Between Furusund and Köpmanholm on Yxlan; Across Blidösund between Yxlan and Blidö.

Bus traffic
Greater Stockholm’s local traffic, SL, has bus traffic to several piers, both on the mainland and on the large islands that have a bridge connection or road ferry. Important junctions between bus and ship traffic are, for example, Dalarö, Årsta havsbad, Stavsnäs and Vaxholm.

In addition to leisure boats and boat-borne public transport, the Stockholm archipelago is served by extensive through traffic of larger passenger ships, some combined also for cars and lorries, with regular trips to Mariehamn, Turku and Tallinn via Furusundsleden, Riga and Helsinki via Sandhamnsleden, and Visby. and Gdańsk via Danziger gatt. In addition, there are other cargo ships and about 260 calls per year by larger cruise ships to and from Stockholm Ports’ facilities in Stockholm, Nynäshamn and Kapellskär. The traffic with larger vessels along the Furusund Trail has been criticized for many years for creating large waves and undercurrents that destroy the beaches. Extensive rebuilding of the hull shape of all passenger ships, which was made possible by the removal of so-called bow gates caused by the Estonian disaster, and better compliance with the speed limits within the archipelago, has led to significant reductions in surges and undercurrents in the relevant waterways.

Larger tonnage is today referred to the Sandhamn, Furusund and Landsortsledarna, as well as Oxdjupet because it is too crowded and shallow for larger vessels to go through Kodjupet and Vaxholm. Blasting of certain smaller rock heels on the seabed to enable a shorter and safer access route to Stockholm’s central ports for large vessels has been proposed by the Swedish Maritime Administration. The trail, which has been called the Horssten Trail, which via Horsstensfjärden goes north of Eknö (north of Sandhamn) into Kanholmsfjärden, has been strongly criticized by some Stockholm politicians and by the Archipelago Environmental Association.

Leisure routes for recreational boats
The busiest fairway in a north-south direction in the Stockholm archipelago, intended primarily for recreational boats, starts in the north from Arholma in the Norrtälje archipelago and ends in the Nynäshamn archipelago at Landsort in the south. The trail can be said to be the longest stretch in a north-south direction that you can travel through the archipelago. Its main route runs from Arholma down to Furusund, through Blidösund between Yxlan and Blidö, via Husaröleden down to Kanholmsfjärden where it connects to Landsortsleden. The Arholma-Landsort section is approximately 148 kilometers (80 nautical miles).

For the benefit of shipping, there have long been a large number of lighthouses, beacons and other beacons, managed by the Swedish Maritime Administration. Among the better known are the lighthouses Almagrundet, Landsort and Svenska Högarna, and among the many beacons is, for example, Arholma båk.

Outdoor activities

Scuba diving
The archipelago’s many shipwrecks are popular destinations for scuba diving, which has, however, meant the need to protect culturally valuable wrecks due to the risk of looting the wrecks that have not been documented by marine archaeologists, or for economic reasons can not be salvaged but best preserved in the environment where the wreck is located on the seabed.

The archipelago as a conference venue
Archipelago also used increasingly for conference events in hotel establishments and chartered ships, from fast RIB to older steamers and less fast 1920s boats such Kreuger – yachts M / Y Loris and swallow. During the 2000s, a new type of charter business has been developed where companies and larger companies can rent a number of large sailboats including experienced crew, which offers group sailing, from day sailing to multi-day sailing the outer archipelago including accommodation and conferences.

Cross-country skating
In winter, when the ice has settled properly, long-distance skating is a popular activity, which, however, requires hard ice without, or with little snow. The thickness of the archipelago ice floes can vary greatly due to changes in water levels, currents and waves, which increases the risks compared to riding on sweet ice. Therefore, organized skating trips are often arranged in the archipelago by a skating club where skiing takes place in groups. This is usually led by experienced sea skaters who are responsible for maintaining a high level of safety.

Boat racing
A large number of major races are arranged during the spring and summer season, starting from the Stockholm archipelago. Some of these major events are:

Lidingö Around which is sailed counterclockwise around Lidingö, is held every year on the second Saturday in May, starting outside Foresta and finishing at the height of Torsvik’s lighthouse on the north side of the Lidingö bridge. The race, which by many marks the start of the sailing season, includes a large number of different classes. The race has the character of pure pleasure race sailing with elements of a few participating extreme boats in the class Super Maxi 100 and trimarans in the 60 foot class and usually attracts about 400-450 participants who mostly have their home port in the Stockholm area.

Around Lidingö, which is sailed clockwise around Lidingö, is held every year in early September, starting north of the Lidingö bridge and finishing at Gåshaga bridge after rounding Fjäderholmarna. The race, which has a requirement of at least 50% women in the crew, usually attracts around 100 boats.

Gotland Runt with start cheese around Sandhamn near Revengegrundet is the largest and most prestigious ocean race on the Swedish east coast. The race, which usually attracts about 300 participants from many different nations, includes 8 classes and is held for two days in early July. The boats around Gotland must be equipped with a number of safety devices that do not usually occur on ordinary leisure sailboats. The crowds and crowds at the jetties in Sandhamn with multiple routes of large and advanced sailboats from different nations is a spectacle in itself that usually attracts many visitors out of competition.

Ornö Runt. The race, which has the character of a pre-season competition similar to Lidingö Runt with a large number of family boats, usually attracts about 200 participants.

The Tall Ships’ Races is an international ocean-going sailing for mainly large sailing vessels of the older type that are held annually on European waters but not every year in the Baltic Sea area. The Tall Ships’ Races with a stop in Stockholm were last held in 2007. In 2011, Halmstad will host the finish events.

Watski 2 Star Baltic Race (formerly called “Östersjömaran”) is a two-stage ocean race sailing with start and finish in the Oxelösund archipelago but with a rounding buoy within the Stockholm archipelago’s water area at Landsort. The race will be held at the end of May. The course, which measures approximately 300 M, has the following section: Start at Oxelösund, lighthouse Gustav Dalén, Landsort, Visby (stop), Öland’s northern base, Borgholm (stop), lighthouse Gustav Dalén and finish in Oxelösund. In addition to these major races and public boat days in the Stockholm archipelago as Archipelago Boat Day inside Stockholm and out at Vaxholm, many races are arranged during the spring and summer season by local sailing clubs for mainly club members.