We all love our Stockholm city, but every onece in a while it’s good to leave its streets for a change of air, especially now when the days are longer and warmer and we want to spend more time outdoors. Many Stockholmers turn to the nearby archipelago as a great option for a little getaway that gives the holiday/coastal feeling without spending a fortune. But the truth is, many of us don’t really know where to go. Well this weekend I took myself to Sandhamn in search of the archipelago experience but with a twist.
This little pearl in the middle of Stockholm’s archipelago offers conveniences that many of its other 30,000+ islands do not, such as shopping, night life, good dining, lovely patisseries and coffee shops, hotels, a spa, a sailing centre and a kids’ playground. But most of all not to forget a charming little town, beautiful forest walks and a sandy beach… Basically Sandhamn has it all!
There are many ways to get there, you can travel by boat directly from the heart of Stockholm. The Cinderella boats depart from Strandvägen, the trip takes 2 hours 15 minutes and costs 170 kr.
There are also tours with Waxholmsbolaget departing from the Stavsnäs harbour and you can drive there or go by bus 433/434 from Slussen to Stavsnäs, some busses run according to the boat schedules.
Boat schedules don’t match yours? Don’t worry book a taxi boat to Sandhamn, there are 3 companies you can check out, Sandhamns Båttaxi, Stavsnäs Båttaxi and Roslagens Sjötrafik. Of course you can also sail to Sandhamn on your own boat. Or if you don’t have one, but would like to try this experience, you can book a sailing tour with Out Seglingsevenemang.
Once in Sandhamn you can choose to stay at Sandhamn Seglarhotell, Sands Hotell or Sandhamns Värdshus B&B. Sandhamn Seglarhotell has a huge restaurant that offers typical Swedish food, a veranda to sit outside for a drink or food and a Spa which is included in your stay. Sands Hotell is a very quiet and newer accommodation and Sandhamns Värsdshus has an outdoor restaurant also offering fish and Swedish delicacies.
After you have settled in your room, you might want to go across the other side of the island for a visit to the Trouville beach. It’s about a 1 1/5 km forest walk from the town, but you can also take yourself there by bike which you can rent. Sandhamn is popular for its sandy beach, normally well protected from the wind with its calm and shallow waters. So it offers the perfect playground for kids and grown-up visitors can also enjoy a day of swimming, playing along the shore, working on the tan, barbequeing, having a picnic, playing volleyball or just chilling out.
Back in the town you can have a stroll around it’s shops as the kids have fun in the playground area. You can also sit and enjoy a drink as the sun sets in one of the numerous outdoor bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Pick a restaurant to have dinner at and if you still feel hot for some more action, you’ll be glad to know that Sandhamns Seglarhotell has outdoors live music every weekend and its club/bar is open until late.
If you opted for a quiet night and wake up fresh you can head for a yoga session but if the night was rough you can still find that body and soul harmony by visiting the spa adjacent to Sandhamns Seglarhotell, choose between having a massage or just jump into their indoors or outdoors swimming pools and hot tubs.
Watch our video below and get a feel for Sandhamn:
Sandhamn has a patisserie that offers freshly baked bread and it’s famous for their cinnamon rolls, which you can enjoy with a coffee out in the garden. Stretch your legs right after and walk the narrow ground paths inside the town to discover postcard-perfect gardens and houses. Then leave the town and hike around the thick pine woods.
Another interesting thing to know about Sandhamn is that it has its own radio station called Skärgårdsradion (The radio of the archipelago), broadcasting from the island world wide all year long. You can also hear it at the 90.2 FM band of your radio.
Sandhamn is a dog-friendly island, so no matter who’s in your party, everybody is welcome. Even if the island finds its peak of major activity during the summer, it is also up and running as an ideal get away/holiday spot all year long.
So if this year’s budget wasn’t enough for flying the whole family to the Mediterranean or beyond, sail yourself to Sandhamn and honestly you won’t miss a thing from the foreign coasts.