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Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...

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Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...

Hi. I'm planning a 7-10 day trip to Sweden in early August (3 nights in Stockholm, the rest on the archipelago) and would really appreciate a bit of guidance regarding the archipelago islands.

There will be two adults and two kids (5 & 3) - we won't be driving and (sadly!) don't have our own boat so need to stick to scheduled ferries etc. We're looking for a bit of peace and quiet with child friendly shorelines, possibly bike rental for picnics/exploring but as confirmed city dwellers on our first 'nature' holiday, we'd like to be within striking distance of a shop/cafe. In terms of accomodation we're looking at cottages, hotels, hostels - whatever! Thanks to all the great advice on here and exploring other websites I've got the timetables etc ect but can't make up my mind how to approach this second leg of our trip - there are too many islands to choose from!

The main islands we are looking at are Grinda, Ljustero, Finnhamn, Sandhamn (wondering if 'rich kids' might have vacated by the beginning of August?) and Vaxholm. Do these sound about right for what we are looking for? Would we be better island hopping (staying a night or two on a few of them) or biting the bullet and renting a cottage on one of them and 'day-tripping' some others from there? Finally, I know there are bike rentals on some of the islands - would anyone know whether it is possible to rent small children's bikes or a trailer also?

Any advice would be much, much appreciated. I visited Sweden twenty years ago as a teenager and have bored my family with stories about how lovely this area is so I really want to make it a special holiday for them!

Destination Expert
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1. Re: Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...

My personal favourite is Utö.

It is one of the more remote islands and large parts are untouched. It has everything you need - hotel, restaurants, cafés, a hostel, cottages for rent, bike rental and kidsfriendly beaches. You need a permit to ship a car to Utö so most transport is done by 3-wheel mopeds and bikes.

This is the website of the island's tourist agency:


I dont know much about Ljusterö, Grinda and Finnhamn.

Vaxholm is charming but it is a hybrid of a suburb and archepelago. A lot of people live there all year long and commute to Stockholm so it doesnt have the feeling of nature and remoteness that you might be looking for.

The rich kids will probably have left Sandhamn by the time you get to Sweden. One idea could be to make a day trip to Sandhamn one sunny day and then go to Utö för 2-3 days at the end of your stay.

Island hopping might also be fun, depends on your energy level and if the kids are old enough to carry their own stuff.

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2. Re: Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...

Thanks so much for your ideas Christian. I'm really glad you've given Uto an endorsement as I was looking at info on it last night and it looked absolutely perfect. The only thing that worried me a bit was the firing range!

We've booked our flights now and we're going to be staying in Sweden for eleven nights (hooray!!!) so in the light of that I thought we would start the trip in Uto (maybe three/four nights there) then come back into Stockholm for another four nights, then head back out to the central archipelago for the last few days. Given the longer stay I was tempted to strike out and maybe spend some days in Gotland but on the other hand it might be nice just to stay in the Stockholm area and get to know it at a more leisurely pace!

Thanks again for your help.

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3. Re: Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...

Sorry - meant to say, if any one has any suggestions on places to stay (cottages, hostels, hotels) they would be very much appreciated.

Skutskar, Sweden
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4. Re: Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...


I have missed thread but its some time left until August.

It looks as you have done a bit of studying on this but i will post some links for you just in case.

I´m an yachtsman myself, but from a bit north of Stockholm.

First the transportation, and has som islandhopping suggestions


Another company is



I´d personally go for the most remote islands. The ones closer to the city is so similar in nature to the mainland you dont get the real arcipelago feeling. My personal favourite would be Rödlöga.

An important site for the arcipelago is


Its an authority that works to keep the arcipelago alive

Another thing you must remember whilst beeing in this area is the problem with ticks. (hope its the right word.)

A bloodsucking parasite who is also a carrier of not so pleasant deseases. I Have only found one site in english


Dont let this put you off and welcom to the arcipelago

Edinburgh, Scotland
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5. Re: Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...

I would be interested in any replies you might receive regarding accommodation suggestions. We are also spending our summer holiday in Sweden. 5 days in central Sweden, 2 in the Archipelago and 4 in Stockholm. We are looking for ideas of where to stay in the Archipelago - our kids are older (17 &13) and are city dwellers too. They could cope with nature for a couple of days but only if the accommodation was a high standard. We thought Sandhamn might appeal but the Sandhamn Hotel is fully booked the dates we want (6/7 July).

Skutskar, Sweden
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6. Re: Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...


Lets see...

As you saw earlier i have my own accomodation when staying in the Arcipelago but here are some places i have seen.

And a bit upmarket too...

This one is nice and you dont need a boattrip to go there (pro or con)


click "in English"

And anoter one i Dalarö:


This one looks cosy, but maybe not so posh. Also reachable by public transport.


Nothing in Scot I´m afraid.

Found another hotel in Sandhamn


And Utö värdshus.

Have stayed in their hotelcabins, good enough for me.

Very nice food as i remember (quite long time ago)

Boattrip needed

check more places on


new york
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7. Re: Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...

Hi, i just returned from Sweden, where we stayed for two nights on Finnham. We had been to stockholm once before and thought we would check out the islands. I can report that in late may, most of these islands are pretty deserted, which can be nice. I'm not sure how it'll be in August - whether everyone will be out and about or already returning home.

We visited Vaxholm - it felt a bit like a suburb - mostly houses with a small shopping street, and a museum. The swimming beach is tiny and wouldn't really qualify as a beach in the US. However, apparently it gets super crowded in the high season. Without going swimming, we didn't find too much entertainment here.

We spent two nights in Finnham. Originally we planned to do some island hoping from here, but it proved rather hard to do with the boat schedules (we could go, but not necessarily return, in the same day to some of the islands). If you want to do island hoping, I'd recommend staying in Vaxholm because it is the central point and thus has a lot of boat traffic in and out. If you use the boats a lot, the hiker card may be worthwile, as it costs 300k (+25k for access to the faster Cinderalla boats) for 5 days of travel. Back and forth to Finnhamn was 240, i believe, so even going to a couple of places can make it worthwile.

Finnhamn has boats available for rent, and supposedly bikes, though when we asked at our hostel they said no, the island was too small. There are walking trails, though in some parts the trails are made of mossy rocks, and the trail is more of a suggestion than a clear idea, and may not be approriate for small kids. There are a lot of cottages to rent, all over the island, and a couple of beaches.

For us (city dwellers in love with the idea of nature), 2 days in the archipelago was plenty, and I would suggest maybe spending more time in Stockholm. There are plenty of day trips to the island that you can do from there, but that gives you the option to explore city or islands.

Enjoy your trip!

8. Re: Advice needed from an archipelago expert, please...

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