Island Hopping Adventure - summer 9 days
Day 1: In Stockholm
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. 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. There is so much to see in Stockholm, appealing to so many different interests, that you are sure to find something special to enjoy.
Today your hike starts on your doorstep. It takes you on a historical 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.
Accommodation: Stockholm, hotel
Hiking distance: 4-10 km (flexible)
Day 2: Stockholm → Vaxholm
Today you head by boat to the charming village of Vaxholm, often referred to as the gateway to the Stockholm archipelago due to its location right on the edge of this sprawling multitude of islands. You take the early boat from Stockholm and have plenty of time to enjoy this idyllic archipelago village with its busy harbour, colourful wooden villas and imposing fortress.
A visit to the fortress with its defence museum is not to be missed. Used to defend stockholm for 400 years, it still today towers impressively above the surrounding waters.
For those of you keen to put on your
walking shoes there is a walking loop around the island of Vaxön which takes you
along coastal paths and winding village streets.
Accommodation: Vaxholm, hotel
Hiking distance: 10 km (flexible)
Day 3: Vaxholm → Gällnö → Sandhamn
Today you take to the water onboard one of the many archipelago boats. Set off into the heart of the archipelago to explore this island metropolis by foot, exactly the way it should be. Gällnö is your first stop. Its landscape is typical of the central archipelago, with forests of pine trees and oaks, open meadows and well-preserved settlements. There is a working farm so don't be surprised to pass by grazing cows, and the local bar serves food which is more than often taken from the island's own produce. A chance to swim is never far away as you enjoy island life at its best. You can also island hop from Gällnö over the narrow sound to Karklö thanks to the intriguing rowboat system and walk around the small neighbouring farming island. Fresh sea air and beautiful scenery ensure a wonderful day's walking.
After your trip to Gällnö its back on board the
archipelago boats and on to Sandhamn, located far out in the outer reaches of
Accommodation: Sandhamn, hotel
Hiking Distance: ca. 6-12 km (flexible)
Day 4: Sandhamn → Dalarö
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 and destination Dalarö.Accommodation: Dalarö, hostel
Hiking Distance: 8 km (flexible)
Day 5: Dalarö → Huvudskär/Fjärdlång → Dalarö
This morning you have a chance to explore the picturesque village of Dalarö, with its narrow streets of colourful wooden houses, before taking the boat out to Huvudskär, an island collection boasting a stunning location in the outer reaches of the archipelago. It is the southern archipelago's final outpost. Next stop Finland!
You follow the coast around the main island along its smooth bare rocks enjoying the barren landscape and sense of remoteness as you gaze across the open horizon in the magical light that has captivated so many artists and photographers over the years. Cottongrass and heather grow in the crevices between the bare rocks and if you're lucky you might catch a seal soaking in the sunshine on the bare rocks.
is limited on Huvudskär but it is an experience in itself to access these remote islands. If you are keen to further stretch your legs then you can island hop
on the way back to Dalarö onto Fjärdlång, where you can hike around the island up
to its highest point, Tysta Klint, for wonderful views over the islands.
Hiking Distance: 2-8.5 km (flexible)
Day 6: Dalarö → Gålö → Dalarö → Ornö
Today a taxi transfers you to Skälåker on the Gålö pensinsula where there is a spectacular walking loop passing through a changing scenery of woodland and coast with views at every turn. Your hike ends at a beautiful sandy beach, the perfect place to rest your weary feet. Enjoy the scenery and water until the taxi collects you and takes you back to Dalarö.
Some more time spent in the archipelago village of Dalarö to enjoy a self-guided walking tour of village visiting the impressive Lotsberget viewpoint.
Then take the early evening boat on to Ornö, one of the largest islands in the southern archipelago.
Accommodation: Ornö, hotel
Meals: Breakfast & dinner
Hiking Distance: 4.5-11 km (flexible)
Day 7: Ornö → Utö
Ornö is the largest island in the southern archipelago and has traditionally been less exploited for tourism than some of its neighbouring islands and remains today an island with a living community yet to be discovered by large-scale tourism. Your hike today starts directly from your hotel and takes you through the Mane Äng nature reserve, passing forest, open landscape and coastal scenery.
You can also take advantage of the island's pod taxi
to take you to the start of the short walk up to Ornö's viewpoint on
Telegrafberget, the southern archipelago's highest point. You then take the
boat from Ornö Kyrka, Ornö's small village with its picturesque church and
waterside cafe, where you take the evening boat on to the holiday island of
Accommodation: Utö, hotel
Hiking Distance: 10 km (flexible)
Day 8: Utö → Fjärdlång → Stockholm
This morning you walk the loop in the nature reserve around the northern end of Utö, stopping to enjoy for the last time the smooth waterside rocks, sandy beaches and breathe the fresh, pure archipelago air.
The small village of Gruvbyn also has something to offer with its mine, museum and windmill high up on the hilltop. Shops and restaurants give it a friendly atmosphere.
You then say farewell to the islands and catch your late afternoon boat back to mainland. Watch as the archipelago changes from the remote islands of the outer stretches to the more inhabited regions as you near town, with the homes of the rich and famous lining the waterfront. The boat takes you right to the centre of Stockholm, from where you are transferred the short distance to your hotel.
Option to island hop on your way back to Stockholm at Fjärdlång, if you didn't visit on Day 5, and hike to the viewpoint at its highest point at Tysta Klint to say farewell to the magnificent Stockholm archipelago.Accommodation: Stockholm, hotel
Hiking Distance: 6-10 km (flexible)
Day 9: In Stockholm
Depending on your time of departure you could enjoy a walk down Stockholm's fanciest boulevard, Strandvägen, passing extravagant apartments and boats galore. This leads to Djurgården, an island of parkland crisscrossed with walking trails, plus many of Stockholm's top museums including the Vasa Museum.
Hiking Distance: optional