If you are at all like me, you will long for a boat when visiting the coast around Stockholm.
The archipelago that sprawls out from the coast here is studded with rocky islands topped by green trees and a few red (or yellow) cottages.
It’s enticing, but getting there can be a challenge unless you’ve come to Sweden on your own yacht or know someone who did . . . or visit Stendörren Nature Reserve, where foot bridges make it possible to explore a bit of the archipelago without a boat.
Exploring the archipelago at Stendörren Nature Reserve
Stendörren consists of mainland shore, islands, inlets, and bays that are accessible via a series of bridges and wooded trails.
Those bridges and paths provide beautiful views of the water and access to hidden beaches, making this a perfect summer escape for those of us without a boat of our own!
There are marked trails on all of the islands, but the entire area is laced with informal trails through the mossy woods – make sure you know where you are meeting your friends since they will not be able to map a trail along these interwoven paths!
(There are wonderful glimpses of the water from the wooded paths.)
Of course, like most things in life, Stendörren Nature Reserve is even better if you do have a boat, since it will allow you to reach the most secluded beaches.
With or without a boat, you’ll see a few of those classic red Swedish cottages too.
Stendörren Nature Reserve is located near Nyköping, about an hour south of Stockholm. There is a visitor center and a series of trails and bridges on several islands. Hiking trails are marked, but there are informal trails everywhere. This is a popular location for picnics and the beaches and picnic sites will be crowded on beautiful summer days. The visitor center is only open seasonally, but the nature reserve itself is free and open year-round.