Islands of Stockholm: Exploring the Lesser Known Ones
Stockholm, and the islands of Stockholm, Sweden’s capital is full of Nordic charm. It combines an attractive landscape with both old and new architecture and packs everything in a specific Scandinavian atmosphere. In Stockholm, any tourist should enjoy museums, festivals, fairs, and, of course, the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Royal Palace Drottningholm and the Skogskyrkogården, or Woodland Cemetery.
Just 20 minutes away from Stockholm there are 30, 000 islands waiting for you. This is the “secret” part of the city. An amazing archipelago with rocks, sand beaches, wooded islands, wild life, and tranquility. A real escape from the noisy life of big cities is here for you. It is very easy to get to Stockholm archipelago. Regular ferries and buses can get you almost anywhere. Some places are accessible by train or by car, and some can be cross even by bike. Maybe the most pleasant way to get to Stockholm archipelago is by ferry. There are cruises that take you to all major islands. You can come here any time of the year.
In Stockholm archipelago, the landscape is very well-integrated into people’s life. Traditional Sweden is waiting for you here. Red and white house’s spread all over the island, boats, traditional food and festivals, everything looks and feels perfect.
Landsort Island is situated in the extreme South of the archipelago. It is famous for its lighthouse, the oldest in Sweden. The lighthouse was built in 1689 by the Dutch merchant Johan van der Hagenand and has a section added in 1870, but it is still in use. You can get here by car or by bus and then by boat.
During the World War II and the Cold War, Landsort was a military base. Its history is well-preserved in a museum, featuring an underground defense system from the Cold War.
Vaxholm Island hosts the town with the same name. The town was built in the XVIth century by the King Gustav Sava. The most famous landmark is the Vaxholm Castle, a fortress built in 1544 and restored between 1833 and 1863. After centuries of bravely defending the coast, Vaxholm Castle is ending its activity in the form of Swedish National Museum of Coastal Defence.
Vaxholm is well known for being a haunted place. Special tours and events are organized every year. Black stories, murders, executions, all-inclusive. But there are some peaceful places also. Visit shops, bistro, cafés, and enjoy the view.
Möja is a quiet, little place. A traditional atmosphere, small villages, harbors, and a lot of boats are the offer of this island. Perfect for biking and hiking, Möja is far out in the sea. You can get here only by boat. Kayaking is also frequent here. Large parts of the surroundings are nature reserves, so explore as much as you can.
Möja is a place that attracts artists. They rent summer houses and get inspired by the splendid landscape. A bohemian atmosphere, perfect light and little taverns for some fried fish with pickles.
There is some dark side in the history of Möja. In 1773, the island was burned completely by the Russians. People came back and rebuilt it. They are fishermen and farmers, but this small island is their home.
A small island with less than 3, 000 inhabitants, Resarö is known for studies on rare earth metals. The mine near the village Ytterby gave the world yttrium (Y), erbium (Er), terbium (Tb), and ytterbium (Yb). The elements were discovered in the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries and were named after the village. Ytterby holds the record of elements named after it. It was declared a history monument.
Resarö has a surface of just 3 km2, but it can be a very nice holiday place. Renting a wooden cottage and spending time walking and kayaking cannot hurt anyone.
In 1672, the first restaurant and inn were opened on this island. Sandhamns Värdshus started a long touristic life for this place. Sandhamn is home for Royal Yacht Club, and during summer a lot of yachting activities take place here.
Sandhamn is loved for its rocky landscape with white sand beaches. Along with adventure activities (there are many extensive walking paths), here you can just enjoy the beach, relax in SPA centers, and play mini-golf. The island is full of hotels, cafés, and restaurants.
This is just a brief of Stockholm archipelago. There are many other islands to visit and enjoy. Travelling in this part of the world will bring you closer to Scandinavian culture, but also will give you insights on history, science, and arts.
Stockholm archipelago has not only ancient fishing villages and mining activities, but museums and military history. Festivals and fairs are part of people’s life. Outdoor activities can also be part of your holiday schedule. Consider biking, hiking, kayaking, bird watching or sunbathing.
About the Author: This article, the Islands of Stockholm, was written by Monica Radulescu, savvy travel blogger at asabbatical.com , a personal travel blog of Adrian Sameli. To connect with Monica, follow her on Facebook.
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