I have spent the weekend on the island Sandhamn in Stockholm’s outer archipelago. Stockholm´s archipelago consists of about 24 000 islands and islets, of which 10 000 are inhabited, and is divided into the inner archipelago and the outer archipelago. Sandhamn is the last island of the outer ones; the next stop is Finland.
Only a few days before our trip it started to snow heavily in Stockholm, so heavily it was on the news in our neighbouring countries. We are used to snow in Scandinavia, but not that early, and not that amount. All buses, trains, boats etc. were suspended, and we were not sure if we should make it to Sandhamn. But on Saturday morning all of us woke up early to check the weather, it was not snowing and the sun was rising! Total happiness.
The small Municipality Sandhamn
My travel companions were nine of my girl friends, and we were celebrating one’s birthday. We arrived with the first boat in the morning, shortly after 10 a.m. We checked in at the classical hotel Seglarhotellet (sailor´s hotel), and went for a walk in the small municipality. Most of the shops, restaurants and cafés had closed for the season, including Sandhamnsbageriet, known for its famous Seglarbulle (sailor´s bun).
The walk was fantastic; I love the picturesque red houses and the old times’ atmosphere, but after a while we got cold. Luckily the restaurant Värdshuset was open, and we headed there for some classical Baltic herring for lunch.
The SPA at Seglarhotellet
Seglarhotellet has a quite nice spa. After lunch the ten of us relaxed in the SPA, enjoying a glass of champagne. After a while we decided it was time to prove that we are true Scandinavian vikings, so we went to the outdoor hot tub. As the name says, the water inside the tub was hot, what was really cold was going out of the tub facing the freezing cold air.
Luckily the hotel has two floating saunas nearby, and we ran over there. The sun was starting to go down, which we could watch from the enormous windows in the sauna. We started talking to some other sauna guests who were planning a dip in the five degrees’ Celsius water. They asked if we wanted to join them, but we politely turned their offer down.
Dinner at Seglarrestaurangen
We had dinner at Seglarrestaurangen, the main restaurant of our hotel. Even if it was November, the restaurant was full. We had a two-course menu, and the birthday girl got some extra treatments from the staff.
A Walk to the Beach Trouville
After breakfast the next day, some of us went for a walk to the beach Trouville, located on the opposite side of the island from the harbour. The sun was shining, the place was so nice and we were all so happy. On our way back to the municipality, we had to walk through a small forest, and all of a sudden Mija shouted loud “this is sooooo nice!” in the all silent forest. We all agreed and shouted “yeeeeeees” back.
Nice to Know:
- How to get there: During the off season period the only way to get to Sandhamn is bus 433/434 from Slussen to Stavsnäs. From Stavsnäs you go by boat to Sandhamn. The bus ride takes 45 minutes, and you can use your metro card. The boat takes about one hour. Search here to find your itinerary. During the summertime there are direct boats from central Stockholm to Sandhamn, taking about two hours. Search here to find your itinerary.
- Where to stay: The classical place to stay is Seglarhotellet. If you are searching for a less pricy option; check out Missionshuset, owned by the restaurant Värdshuset, or AirBnB. Sands hotel is a recently opened hotel, which I have not tried out yet.
- Where to eat and drink: Don´t worry, you will find the places. All of them. Sandhamn is a small island. The best known restaurants are Seglarrestaurangen, Värdshuset, Sands hotel and Dykarbaren.
- Sandhamn is widely known as a a popular summer destination, attracting lots of boat owners as well as others. The bars and restaurants are packed with happy people during the entire summer.
- Many of the houses on the island are summer houses only, less than 100 people are permanently situated on the island.
- Want to see more of Sandhamn? Watch the TV series Sandhamn Murders.