Theme of the month - Beach

 

Lufthansa travel reports Stockholm

 

Stockholm‘s maritime front yard

An (island) world of its own! Vast forests, rough granite, historical seaports – a magical marinescape unfolds on the doorstep of the Swedish capital: the approximately 24,000 islands forming part of the Stockholm archipelago hold their own countless secrets, continue to enchant visitors again and again, and offer a retreat both for stressed city dwellers and laid-back summer visitors.

 
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Stockholm‘s maritime front yard

Stockholm‘s maritime front yard

Even getting there is a real experience: Some of the white archipelago steamers belonging to the municipal ferry company Waxholmsbolaget are over a hundred years old – and some of them are still powered by steam. They depart right from Stockholm’s city center and serve numerous islands. In fact, their route network is so vast that the ships of the “Stockholm Fleet” are very popular with island hoppers – a 5-day season ticket can be purchased for roughly 420 Swedish crowns (around €50).

Info:
Boats serving the archipelago: www.waxholmsbolaget.se (Swedish)
Stockholm‘s maritime front yard

By yacht, kayak, or canoe: There’s no better way to explore the Stockholm archipelago than with your own boat. The approximately 23,000 ‘skerries,’ as the islands formed after the last Ice Age are called, are normally uninhabited. The smallest only measure a few square meters across, the largest several square kilometers. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, simply pick a particularly nice-looking spot of land with nobody on it, and put your tent up. That’s permitted in Sweden, thanks to the ‘allemansrätten’ (every man’s right) public right of access that exists there.


Stockholm‘s maritime front yard

Why not really spoil yourself for a change? Stockholm’s upper classes discovered the archipelago in the 19th century and those who could afford it built splendid villas or at least treated themselves to luxurious stays at a health resort. The banker and politician Knut Agathon Wallenberg even dreamt of a Swedish Riviera, a Scandinavian equivalent to Monte Carlo. Since it opened in 1893, his Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden has acquired patina, but it is still rated the most famous hotel on the east coast of Stockholm.

Info:
Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden: +46-08-50617000,www.grandsaltsjobaden.se (English, Swedish and other languages)


Stockholm‘s maritime front yard

An important town with a history: The small island town of Vaxholm was founded 500 years ago; its mighty castle is its most famous attraction. At the end of the 19th century, Vaxholm became an elegant spa and holiday resort, and the beautiful, pastel-colored wooden villas built in those days still dominate the town panorama even now. This settlement on the island of Vaxön remains one of the favorite destinations of Stockholm residents needing a break. There’s a direct bus from the Swedish capital.

Info:
Vaxholm: www.vaxholm.se (Swedish)


Stockholm‘s maritime front yard

A scene from a Swedish picture postcard: These days, having a second home on one of the islands is not just the prerogative of the high society. Countless Stockholm families own one of these basic sommarslugor, or summer houses, which are often painted red. Many of them are right on the waterfront and offer at most simple protection from the elements - which is why tourists love them, too. Who needs more civilization than that?


Stockholm‘s maritime front yard

Every island has its own secrets. Moose, reindeer and numerous species of rare birds live on Ornö, the largest island of the archipelago. The island of Utö is known mainly for its medieval ore mine. Astrid Lindgren, August Strindberg and other Swedish literary figures lived on Furusund. As a general rule, the islands close to the mainland are often covered by dense forest, while further out, on the edge of the archipelago, grey granite dominates the landscape.

Info:
For more information on Stockholm’s archipelago go to www.visitsweden.com (English, Swedish, German and other languages)
 

Photos: Jeppe Wikst/Stockholm Town, Bo Lind/Henrik Trygg/Johnny Franzen/Johan Alp/Visit Sweden, mauritius images, PR

 
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