Stockholm’s rocky, forested archipelago (which reminded us a lot of coastal Maine) is an enchanting escape from the city. We stayed in a cottage on the water in Nacka, only a 20-minute drive to the city but with the whole archipelago at our fingertips. Ferries abound in this part of the country, but you can cover a lot of area with a car thanks to an interconnected system of bridges.
Our cottage was within walking distance of Nyckelvikens Nature Reserve, a serene reserve with beautiful grounds and, to our surprise, a view down to our Airbnb! We grabbed lunch at the hotel on the grounds (Caesar salad, quiche, fruit cake, chocolate cake, chocolate tart) and soaked up the sun.
On our first full day we grabbed a ferry from Nacka Strand to the tiny island of Fjäderholmarna. Fueled by lingonberry candies from one of the island’s shops, we slowly wandered the paths around the island’s edge. Some of the shops around 59.327768, 18.176445 are quite nice, including a working pottery studio/shop. And after watching the artist at the nearby glass shop, we couldn’t leave without a piece! We ate lunch by the water at Fjäderholmarnas Bryggeri (pastrami sandwich, halloumi burger) before heading back to Nacka.
Once back in Nacka, we had some time to kill and no plans, so we made a last-minute decision to drive to Vaxholm. We grabbed ice cream from Glass på Hörnet (Nutella, stracciatella) and hopped on the little ferry for the quick ride to Kastellet. Once back in town, we wandered around Batteriparken and appreciated the views of the idyllic little cove at 59.405313, 18.351804. The nearby streets around Fiskaregatan are lined with cute wooden houses and worth a wander. We grabbed dinner at 450 Gradi (margherita pizza) on the way back to Nacka.
On our second full day we drove to Stavsnäs and took a ferry to the island of Sandhamn. The island was everything we imagined the archipelago would be—sea views, wooden houses, thick forests, and a slow pace of life. We walked around the village and grabbed lunch at Dykarbaren (burger, veggie burger) before setting off clockwise around the whole island, through pine forest and along the coast, stopping at Dansberget and a quiet spot facing the open sea at 59.277178, 18.931744. For most of our walk we felt like we had the island to ourselves, and the weather was ideal—words can’t describe how perfect it felt. We grabbed a little snack from the local bageriet before hopping on the ferry back to the mainland.
On the way back from Sandhamn, we stopped at Stora Sandarna in Klacknaset for a dip in the Baltic, a fitting end to our visit! Our trip to Stockholm and its archipelago was designed to be a low-key trip, and that is what we achieved. What was surprising was how nice it felt to be on a trip like this. Perhaps this is a sign that sometimes we need to take trips to recharge from the fast pace and oftentimes tiring style of our typical travels.