No summer in Stockholm is complete without at least one visit to the archipelago – whether you live in Stockholm or are visiting as a tourist. Depending on how much time you have, we’ve listed 6 fantastic excursions – visits to Stockholm’s nearest archipelago island, an exclusive boat cruise with three island stops, a unique guided canal tour, an overnight stay with an extraordinary dining experience, an art excursion, and a mini-break on the archipelago island that offers “everything”. Make it a summer you’ll never forget by trying all our suggestions for summer activities. At the end of this post, you’ll find a map showing you the exact location of our tips.
This is a trip that you simply must take at least once in your life. Many guests come back year after year and that’s the best testimonial you can get! You’ll spend one whole day in the archipelago, as this excursion takes eleven hours. The day is composed of the perfect mix of guided tours, rest and reflection, food and refreshments. Simply sit back and enjoy a full day of excellent service in every way.
During the day, the beautiful M/S Waxholm III, built in 1903, stops on three archipelago islands for a guided walk: Strindberg’s Kymmendö, the outer archipelago’s Bullerö and the sailor’s paradise of Sandhamn. You decide whether you want to join the guided island walks (something we highly recommend) and you still get some free time to explore on your own or take a quick dip. In the ship’s kitchen, restaurateur Jesper Taube and his team prepare the day’s meals. In addition to lunch and dinner, you’ll also be served morning and afternoon coffee with home-baked cakes and buns.
Price: SEK 1,675/person – this includes morning coffee, lunch, afternoon coffee, and a two-course dinner with aperitif, as well as all-day guide commentary aboard the boat, plus guided tours of three different islands
Book: Prebook for a guaranteed place on board the Thousand Islands Cruice
Come here for a genuine archipelago experience just a short distance from the city centre – eat delicious food at the archipelago restaurants, enjoy a coffee with home-baked cake, cool yourself with real ice cream, shop in small shops, stroll around the island’s artisan village, sunbathe on rocks and enjoy the beautiful views!
Fjäderholmarna is only 30 minutes away by boat from Strandvägen, which is why the island is often called “Stockholm’s closest archipelago island”. It’s a picturesque and vibrant little archipelago island with restaurants, cafés and ice cream kiosks. You mustn’t miss the artisan village, where you can see the blacksmith at work in the forge and the glassblowers making their glass creations. And you’re most welcome to buy something as a souvenir. You’ll also find textile art, as well as clothes and gifts, in the island’s delightful little shops. Lots of people just come here to sunbathe on the cliffs, while enjoying the fantastic views. While there’s teeny-tiny sandy beach suitable for children, this island is not suitable for sea bathing. Please remember that swimming from the cliffs is dangerous, as the vessels passing by create huge swells.
Price: SEK 165/person – this includes the round-trip boat journey
Book: Prebook for a guaranteed place on board boat to Fjäderholmarna
Sandhamn may well be the most popular island in the Stockholm archipelago. And that’s hardly surprising. There’s something for everyone here – bars, patisseries, restaurants, shops, hotels, unspoilt coniferous forests, long sandy beaches, and lots of paths and small roads that crisscross the island. Sandhamn is situated in the outer archipelago and it’s a car-free island. So you must get here by boat. The most spectacular boat trip take you via Strömma Canal, which is an old shipping lane between Värmdölandet and Fågelbrolandet. The canal is mainly used by leisure boats, as it’s both narrow (approx. 7 metres) and very shallow (approx. 2 metres). The canal meanders through the countryside and the views are simply magical. Stromma’s guided boat tour to Sandhamn is on the M/S Strömma Canal, which is one of the few passenger vessels capable of navigating the shallow canal. During the voyage, your on-board guide tells you about the archipelago and the sights you pass along the way. There’s a restaurant, café, bar and a large sun deck on board. Once you arrive in Sandhamn, you can join a guided tour of the island and then explore the island for yourself.
You can also book this tour as a one-way trip if you want to stay on the island: we suggest the Sandhamn Seglarhotell, which is a classic archipelago hotel within walking distance of the island’s nightlife and beach life! You can book your return trip either with the M/S Strömma Kanal or with one of the faster Cinderella boats that take you directly into Stockholm.
Price: SEK 415/person – this includes a guided round-trip boat journey
SEK 560/person – this includes a guided round-trip boat journey and lunch aboard the boat
Book: Prebook for a guaranteed place on board Strömma Canal Tour to Sandhamn or the Cinderella boats
Enjoy a mini-break at Ornö Skärgårdshotell! Ornö is the largest island in Stockholm’s southern archipelago. You can get here by car ferry from Dalarö or by boat from the city centre. There are about 300 permanent residents here, with many more in the summer. Many people will tell you that this is a “genuine” archipelago island, in the sense that it’s relatively undeveloped for tourism.
Ornö Skärgårdshotell opened in 2017 – the atmosphere and service are warm and friendly. The hotel is a literal stone’s throw from the sea and is surrounded by beautiful nature. During the summer, you can enjoy fantastic culinary creations in the hotel restaurant – food to delight your eyes just as much as your taste buds. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, a visit to this restaurant is well worth the trip! The restaurant is open every day in the summer between 11.30 am and 10.30 pm.
Price: from SEK 1,550/room – this includes a double room for two people and breakfast during peak season
Book: Prebook a room and seat in the restaurant for a guaranteed place at Ornö
The Gålö Nature Reserve attracts many hiking enthusiasts and holidaymakers all year round – but summer is understandably one of the most popular times to visit the island. Its many attractions include one of Stockholm County’s longest sandy beaches. You can hike among cliffs, forests, beaches, and agricultural and cultural landscapes on seven hiking trails. You can also find locally produced groceries in small farm shops, some of which also serve food. In addition to all the outdoor experiences, other activities include saunas, crazy golf, pony riding and your own little train. Not to mention the archipelago restaurants and bars.
If you’d like to stay overnight, you’ll find a hostel, campsite and spaces for caravans and motorhomes. You’ll find more information about Gålö and how to get there on the skärgårdsstiftelsen website!
Join the Grand Canal Tour to Artipelag for the ultimate archipelago, art and boat excursion experience. This guided tour on the M/S Gustafsberg VII passes through Skurusundet and Baggenstäket’s narrow passage through beautiful scenery out to Hålludden on Värmdö, where the Artipelag art gallery is situated. Here you can enjoy the “Sculpture in Nature” outdoor exhibition. Along a path that takes you through woods, across meadows, and along beaches, as well as beside the entrance hall, you’ll see the fantastic interplay of sculptures and nature. This year’s indoor exhibition is “Retroactive” by Swedish painter Rolf Hansson. This exhibition showcases Rolf’s brightly coloured works from four different decades.
Hungry or craving coffee and cake? You can enjoy refreshments on board the boat, with delicious pastries, filling sandwiches, snacks and drinks to buy. You can also eat delicious food, or enjoy coffee and cake, or a drink in the restaurant at Artipelag. On a sunny day, of course, you’ll sit on Artipelag’s outdoor dining terrace.
Price: SEK 325/person – this includes a guided round-trip boat journey
Book: Prebook for a guaranteed place on board the Grand Canal Tour to Artipelag