The Loaded Trunk was founded by Jonna Robison, an interior designer with a deep curiosity and passion for traveling the world, connecting with artisans in different cultures and sourcing unique and beautiful objets d’art. Published seasonally, the magazine features a curated collection of travel, lifestyle, nature, art and design inspiration for a life well lived.
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When the seemingly eternal snow begins to melt and the sun comes out to play for almost a full 24 hours, the cluster of islands surrounding Sweden’s capital comes to life with a flurry of boats and eager sunbathers.
The Stockholm Archipelago, known locally as skärgården, is home to some 30,000 islands is only reachable by boat and well worth the journey. The Archipelago has been inhabited, going all the way back to the 6th century, when the islands served as land and a hub mainly to fish and farm. Now, although there is still a small region of the islands dedicated to farming, the archipelago serves as a magical getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Taking advantage of the sun’s presence is something that the Swedes absolutely do not mess around with. It’s serious business. As a result, the archipelago is the ultimate destination for those who desire to escape the mainland to one of the 150 inhabited islands for an endless summer in which to solbada (sunbathe).
With so many places to choose from, I decided on the island of Utö for a short getaway with my daughters. We rented a cottage through Airbnb and purchased our ferry tickets at the Waxholmsbolaget ferry office in Stockholm the day before we planned to depart.
On the day of our journey, we arrived at the ferry departure point at Strömkajen in the center of Stockholm (in front of the Grand Hôtel). This ferry takes passengers to Utö only during the summer. As we ferried off we saw the city grow smaller as we passed through the waterways and enjoyed see the many waterside homes along the way. Then we ferried into the open waters of the Baltic Sea and spent a couple of hours drifting past numerous little islands, some forested and others with rocky granite shorelines. We made quite a few stops to drop off and pick up passengers along the route. which was enjoyable because we were able to observe many of these islands up close. I loved seeing the charming cottages (most of which are painted red with white trim) dotting the islands and imagined what it must be like to spend summers in these quiet holiday getaways.
In Utö, we enjoyed the laidback vibe of the island, where time seemed to slow down immensely. We rode bicycles to the port for the freshly baked renowned Utö bread at Utö Bakgård, relaxed and sunbathed at quiet little beaches and explored the natural beauty of everything in sight.
Waxholmsbolaget ferry company serves approximately 300 destinations in the archipelago, spanning 150 kilometers of Sweden’s coastline. Utö has a ticket and information office at Strömkajen in the center of Stockholm (in front of the Grand Hôtel), which takes passengers to Utö only during the summer.
We returned from Utö to Årsta brygga and took the bus to Västerhaninge station and train back to central Stockholm.
To see the full Summer 2020 – Sweden issue of The Loaded Trunk subscribe here (and gain access to the entire library).
June 30, 2021
The Loaded Trunk is a travel and lifestyle magazine founded by Jonna Robison, an interior designer with a deep curiosity and passion for traveling the world, connecting with artisans in different cultures and sourcing unique and beautiful objets d’art. Published seasonally, the magazine features a curated collection of travel, lifestyle, nature, art and design inspiration for a life well lived.