Island Hopping Adventure - summer
Day 1: Arrive Stockholm
Walking 'Söder' island and Djurgården in Stockholm
Today you arrive to Stockholm and are free to explore this picturesque city. Often referred to as the 'Venice of the North', Stockholm is unquestionably a unique and beautiful city all year round, not only due to its location on 14 islands with its infinite presence of water, but also because of its combination of nature, colourful architecture and ancient history. And you need never walk far to appreciate the impressive views stretching across the Baltic water as it winds past the city walls. Furthermore, stroll through 13th century Gamla Stan, Stockholm's charming old town, where you cannot help but feel its medieval atmosphere as you wander through the cobblestone streets past narrow, colourful houses of yesteryear.
You may also choose to follow our self-guided walk that takes you on a historic and picturesque tour of Stockholm's southern island, Södermalm. Explore the district's narrow cobblestone alleys, timber cottages dating back to the 1600s, and grand churches. Not to mention stunning views across lake Mälaren towards the old town, city hall and Djurgården. Feel free to take a break during your walk for a spot of shopping or why not pop into one of the museums you pass en route.
You can also extend your walk to Stockholm's unique city park - the world's first National Park to be located within a bustling city. The city park is 27 km2 and is a green oasis combining cultural heritage and natural features. Here you can hike through ancient forests, visit palaces and bathe from waterside rocks.
Accommodation: Stockholm, hotel
Meals: No meals included
Hiking: optional & flexible distance (4-14 km)
Day 2: Stockholm → Vaxholm
Walking Bogesund on Vaxholm
Today you catch the mid-morning boat from central Stockholm to the idyllic village of Vaxholm, passing charming summer houses and a unique landscape of pine-covered islands as you weave your way through this archipelago of 30,000 islands.
Vaxholm is often referred to as the gateway to the Stockholm archipelago due to its location right on the edge of this sprawling multitude of islands. A visit to the fortress with its defence museum is not to be missed. Used to defend Stockholm for 400 years, it still today stands guard over the surrounding waters.
For those of you keen to put on your walking shoes, head to Bogesund nature reserve, a large peninsular connected by bridge to Vaxön, where there are beaches and walking trails through its rich natural and cultural environment.
Accommodation: Vaxholm, hotel
Hiking: 9.5 km (optional)
Boat: Stockholm-Vaxholm 1 hr
Day 3: Vaxholm → Svartsö
Walking Vaxön loop
Today you walk around Vaxön island, a 10 km loop that takes you along coastal paths and winding village streets, with opportunities to swim along the way.
Then it's back to the busy harbour and time to say farewell to Vaxholm as you take the afternoon boat and set off into the heart of the archipelago to explore this island metropolis by foot, exactly the way it should be.
The Stockholm archipelago is a seemingly endless archipelago of 30,000 glorious islands, islets and skerries lying right on Stockholm's doorstep. Stretching some 80 km east of Stockholm deep into the Baltic waters, it formed during the last Ice Age and is today considered to be one of the world's natural wonders.
Svartsö is your first stop. Its landscape is typical of the central archipelago, with forests of pine trees and oaks, open meadows and well-preserved villages. Two inland lakes are also accessible and beavers have been known to enjoy their peace and tranquility. The island boasts a local school for 20 children up to the age of 16 years. Kids come from nearby islands by school boat in the summer and school hovercraft in the winter! Everyday life with a twist!
Accommodation: Svartsö, hotel
Hiking Distance: 10-15 km
Boat: Vaxholm-Svartsö 1 hr 15 mins
Day 4: Svartsö → Ingmarsö → Finnhamm → Svartsö
Walking the 'island-hopping' trail
Today you have an exciting day on foot as you island hop from island to island using archipelago boats and rowboats. Start with a walk to the eastern end of Svartsö where the archipelago boat collects you and just some minutes later leaves you at your next stop, Brottö. A couple of kilometres later and you are on Ingmarsö, a more lively island with a bustling harbour and village life. Follow the 'båtluffaleden' (island-hopping trail) all the way across the island passing the local bakery and Femsund swimming area. A bridge takes you over to Kålgårdsön and then it is a short walk on to the end of the island where you prepare yourself for a short island hop over to Finnhamn, this time by rowboat.
Once on Finnhamn you pick up the 'båtluffaleden' again which takes you past beaches and open countryside to the jetty. A chance to reminisce over your day as you wait on the cliffs for the archipelago boat to take you safely back to Svartsö.Accommodation: Svartsö, hotel
Meals: Breakfast & lunch
Hiking Distance: 12-15 km
Boat: Svartsö-Ingmarsö 15 mins; Finnhamn-Svartsö 30 mins
Day 5: Svartsö → Gällnö → Sandhamn
Walking Gällnö & Karklö
After a morning walk on Svartsö to visit perhaps its tranquil inland lake, you continue to the small jetty at Skälvik where you catch the boat to Gällnö enjoying a journey through the cluster of small islands that make up the central archipelago. Time seems to stand still on Gällnö and its well-preserved historic buildings bring back memories of times gone by.
The little lively village of Gällnö, with café and country store is well worth a visit before you head to the far end of the island passing a mix of pastureland, woods, cliffs and beaches. One of the farms is still a working farm and animals graze freely in the lush meadows. It's hard to believe that we are just on the edge of bustling Stockholm city!
Time permitting you can row the short distance over to Karklö and enjoy a 2 km loop around this peaceful idyll on Gällnö's doorstep. Then its back again to Gällnö jetty detouring to a delightful beach for a refreshing swim before hopping on the next boat to the chic island of Sandhamn, so very different from the local charm of Gällnö, but just as beautiful.
Accommodation: Sandhamn, hotel
Hiking Distance: 8-14 km
Boat: Svartsö-Gällnö 40 min; Gällnö-Sandhamn 45 mins
Day 6: Sandhamn → Stockholm
Walking Sandhamn loop
There's no denying that Sandhamn is the playground of the rich and famous. A charming waterside village with narrow winding alleys and 17th century houses, it has everything you need despite its remote location on the distant edge of the archipelago.
Leave behind the summer buzz in the village and stretch your legs as you walk a circular loop around the whole of this sandy island passing beaches and windswept pines. You pass by Fläskberget beach and viewpoint, the island cemetery where the worn gravestones still bear the names of sailors from around the world, and Trouville beach, on the far side of the island. Trouville is what attracts Stockholmers in the summer months and with its long stretch of white sand it'll do its best to tempt you into the refreshing Baltic waters.
Once back at the village, visit the much talked about Sandhamn bakery and indulge in a delicious homemade cinnamon bun!
Then its back on the late afternoon boat, destination Stockholm.
Accommodation: Stockholm, hotel
Hiking Distance: 8 km
Boat: Sandhamn-Stockholm 2 hrs 15 min
Day 7: Depart Stockholm
See day 1 for full details
Hiking: optional & flexible distances (4-14 km)