July 31, 2013

Visiting the Archipelago (part 2)

The Archipelago Travel Agency!
Click here for part 1. While I am a pretty fabulous concierge and can give you a lot of information about Stockholm, the archipelago is another matter. I know of the main islands, a few hidden gems, guided tours as well as trips out with the Cinderella boats. But the Stockholm Archipelago has over 30,000 islands and it takes a real expert to help you plan a unique trip to the islands... especially if you want to get away from the crowded islands, have special requests, book packages and/or want to stay the night on an island. To get this expert help, contact the good people at Visit Skärgården (skärgården is the Swedish word for archipelago) either by visiting their website or by dropping by their archipelago travel agency... located right on the water on Strandvägen in the downtown area. Here you can also find brochures and other reading material regarding the different islands, lodgings as well as time tables for boats. They are open to 4pm everyday during the summer and you can also contact them at info@visitskargarden.se (EDIT: this company has unfortunately gone bakrupt. While their website works, the travel agency on Strandvägen is currently unmanned. I have heard rumours that another archipelago company is in the process of taking over the space. In the meanwhile, check this website for more info!)
A Waxholmsbolaget boat waiting at Strömkajen to take passengers.
In Part 1, I mentioned the company Waxholmsbolaget. This is the company that run the boats that function as "busses" for the archipelago. I just used them to visit friends at their summer house on the island of Ljusterö so I thought I would add a little more about them. With these boats you can travel to many of the islands in the archipelago... including the ones that aren't visited by hordes of vacationers. These boats are often used by residents of the islands. Be aware that many of the islands have a pier or two where Waxholmsbolaget's boats stop, but the pier may be a long walk away from any civilization (restaurants, hotels, inns, cafés, etc;). So make sure you do your research ahead of time, like talking to the abovementioned Archipelago Travel Agency, before just jumping off a boat at a random island.
Nearing the town of Vaxholm.
Boats depart from Strömkajen, just opposite from the Royal Palace, and most boats go first to the town of Vaxholm. From there you can transfer to other boats which head out in every direction. You buy your ticket onboard (no option to pre-purchase tickets)... and get there a little early to make sure you get a good seat! What you can purchase ahead of time are their 5 day and season cards, which allow you to island hop to your heart's content. One warning: you almost need a PhD in symbology to decipher their time schedules. The time schedules can be found on their website (in Swedish), at their offices on Strömkajen, or at the Visit Skärgård offices (where they can help you decipher them).
Waiting for the boat at the pier on Ljusterö

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.