The archipelago extends from Stockholm roughly 60 kilometres to the east. In a north-south direction, it mainly follows the coastline of the provinces Södermanland and Uppland, reaching roughly from Öja island, south of Nynäshamn to Väddö north of Norrtälje. It is separated from Åland by a stretch of water named South Kvarken. A separate group of islands lies further north, near the town of Öregrund. There are approximately 30,000 islands and islets. Some of its more well-known islands are Dalarö, Finnhamn, Grinda, Husarö, Ingarö, Isö, Ljusterö, Möja, Nämdö, Rödlöga, Tynningö, Utö, Svartsö and Värmdö. The largest towns of the archipelago, apart from Stockholm, are Nynäshamn, Waxholm and Norrtälje. The village of Ytterby, famous among chemists for naming no fewer than four chemical elements (erbium, terbium, ytterbium and yttrium), is situated on Resarö in the Stockholm Archipelago. The shipping routes from the Baltic to Stockholm pass through the archipelago. There are three main entrances suitable for deep-draught craft, namely, those near Landsort, Sandhamn, and Söderarm. Cruising between the small islands through the Stockholm Archipelago to either Åland or Helsinki in Finland is an experience. Weather allowing, the experience can be enhanced by enjoying a spectacular sunset from the deck that during summer months lasts until 10:30 – 11:00 o’clock at night.
Anyone can roam free in the marvellous Swedish nature. Just respect a few simple laws and enjoy yourself. This is especially nice for sailors who want to explore the appx. 28,000 islands around Stockholm.
The landscape has been shaped – and is still being shaped – by land elevation. It wasn’t until the Viking Age that the archipelago began to assume its present-day contours. The islands rise by about three millimetres each year. In 1719 the archipelago had an estimated population of 2,900, consisting mostly of fishermen. Today the archipelago is a popular holiday destination with some 50,000-holiday cottages (owned mainly by Stockholmers). The Stockholm Archipelago Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of the nature and culture of the archipelago, owns some 15% of its total area. The inhabitants in the archipelago from around mid 1400 up to the time when the second world war ended, were combined farmers and fishermen. The fishing in the outer archipelago was quite intensive during springtime and autumn during 1450 until mid 1800, and a lot of fishermen lived for long periods in the outer islands because of the long distance to their permanent houses in the inner archipelago. The combined farming and fishing culture lasted until around 1950-1955 when the younger generation, born during and directly after the war started to leave the archipelago and look for jobs in the cities on the mainland. Today most of the small farms on the islands are closed and the fish industry has almost disappeared.
Many poets, authors and artists have been influenced and fascinated by the Stockholm Archipelago. Among them are August Strindberg, Ture Nerman, Roland Svensson, Ernst Didring and Aleister Crowley. Boating is an extremely popular activity with the sailing race Ornö runt (or Around the island of Ornö) being the largest in the archipelago. This annual race has taken place 35 years in a row beginning in 1973. It is open to anyone with a sailing boat but requires registration. There are different entry classes, with the family class being the least competitive. Tyresö boat club arranges this event. In the winter skaters make excursions over the ice.
Visiting the larger islands in the archipelago is easy all year round, but during winter period the routes depending on the ice conditions. Several companies have regular routes. The largest ship owner company is Waxholmsbolaget owned by the Stockholm County government. Taxi boats are also available. In the summertime, the archipelago is bristling with private boats filled with people who often take advantage of Allemansrätt (or “everyman’s right”), a law which gives anyone the right to go ashore or anchor on any ground, not in the direct vicinity of buildings.
Theres no bad weather there’s only bad clothing. We have 12 rugged full sailing outfits that will keep you high and dry in any weather and we can also close the bimini to shield you from the elements.
And about those blueberries… An incredible gift from nature and abundant in the Swedish forest during the late summer. A little antioxidant anyone?