Sörmland or Södermanland is situated south of Stockholm and is well known for its castles and manors. Sörmland is a perfect Stockholm Country Break. If you’re travelling to Skavsta (100 km from Stockholm) with one of the low cost carriers, you’re actually landing at only 7 km of Nyköping, the capital of Sörmland. Did you know Sörmland also has an archipelago with 2800 islands?
Castles and manors
One of the best known castles in Sörmland is Gripsholms Slott in Mariefred. Sörmland has 10 castles and over 400 manors. This region, south of Stockholm was a popular spot for the nobilty to have a (summer) residence.
Nyköping is the capital of Sörmland. This historical city is close to Skavsta airport. The famous Sörmlandsleden starts at the airport. This 900 km long hiking trail also crosses Stendorren, a nature park.
The archipelago of Nyköping consists of 2800 islands. Trosa is one of them. It’s the place where the royal family has a summer house. Did you know ‘trosa’ is Swedish for underpants?
Hiking enthusiasts will love Sörmland. Sörmlandsleden or Sörmland trail has no less than 1000 km hiking trails through Swedish nature and past historic sites. The trail starts in Björkhagen (Stockholm) and passes through Nynäshamn, Södertälje, Trosa, Nyköping, Katrineholm and Malmköping. Branches go to Flen, Eskilstuna, Gnesta and Mariefred, among others. It is one of the longest trails in Sweden.
You can recognize Sörmlandsleden – Sörmland trail by the orange rings around the trees or the signs with the letter ‘S’ on an orange background. You can choose between different types of surface and difficulty levels. There is something for everyone. The different routes vary between 3 and 20 km.
You pass a lot of nature reserves. There are plenty of rest areas, shelters, campsites and log cabins along the trails of Sörmlandsleden. Wild camping is often also possible. You can fill your drinking bottle at the sources you encounter along the way. Water from the rivers must be boiled or use a water filter. You can buy food in the shops along the route. It is best to check before departure which facilities you may find on your path.
I walked a part of Sörmlandsleden in Stendörren and liked it a lot. Looking forward to, one day, discover more of the trail.
Stendörren Nature Reserve is an hour’s drive from Stockholm. Stendörren is located in Sörmland, along the coast between Nyköping and Trosa. Via a suspension bridge you enter the archipelago where you can fully enjoy nature. The Stendörren area is also a popular destination for sailing boats and pleasure yachts.
There are several signposted routes in the nature reserve that you can follow, including Sörmlandsleden. A dip in the fresh water is highly recommended during the summer months. Be careful that you can get out of the water easily. I was very excited to jump into the water, but due to the slippery stones, needed some help to get back out of it.
Stendörren consists of 2 areas. You can visit the first part without a boat via the suspension bridges. The second part, around the fishing port Aspnäset is only accessible by boat. The entire area is just under 1000 hectares, of which more than 70% is water.
Those who want to learn more about life in the Baltic Sea can visit the museum at Aspnäset. Through various exhibitions you can learn everything about the environment, the fauna & flora and cultural history.
In the nature reserve you will find waste bins, toilets and special fire pits where you can barbecue. You will find a wheelchair-friendly place at Lerviksudden. A grill place is provided here as well.
Staying the night?
You can’t just put your tent in the nature reserve of Stendörren. But you can go to one of the cottages in the reserve. Camping is only allowed on the parts that are not accessible on foot (but possibly to do so with a canoe).
If you come by car, follow the E4 to Vagnhärad or Tystberga and continue on route 219 to Studsvik / Stendörren. If you opt for public transport, take bus 554 from the station of Nyköping or Trosa. The bus has a “Stendörren” stop. From there it is still about 4 km.
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Sparreholms Slott is one of the most bizarre domains I already visited in Sweden. In addition to an idyllic castle, you’ll find the largest collection of jukeboxes in Europe, an extremely refined private collection of vintage cars, a bicycle museum, a nostalgic café and a horse center. If you find this a somewhat strange combination, then I can tell you that this applies to the collections as well. Something for everyone!
I visited Sparreholms Slott – Sparreholm Castle in July 2016, along with some other travel bloggers, as part of a press trip to Sörmland. Sparreholm Castle is one of those gems that I might not have visited otherwise. And although vintage cars and bicycles usually don’t appeal to me, I did enjoy this place. Let me introduce you to Sparreholm Castle.
The history of the castle
Sörmland is just south of Stockholm and is known as Stockholm’s Country Side. It is a region with 400 castles and country houses. Over the years there have been several country houses and castles on the Sparreholm domain. Sparreholm was originally called Hyltingenäs. Around 1580, the domain came into the hands of the Sparre family. In 1643 they changed the name of the domain to Sparreholm. In 1757 the family left the domain. The castle came into the hands of Baron Antoine De Geer’s widow. The castle would change owners several times until the current owner Anna Karinen bought it together with her family in 1996. They completely renovated the castle and now offer a diverse range of activities on the property.
Above the summer bar you’ll find the jukebox museum. They boast that they have Europe’s largest jukebox collection. The collection ranges from phonographs to gramophones to modern jukeboxes. The collection is simply magic when the lights in the museum are turned off and the space is transformed into a disco.
Near the jukebox museum is also a unique bicycle museum with dozens of old bicycles. The owners of Sparreholm Castle are clearly collectors. Collectors of just about everything.
In the car museum you will find vintage cars from 1800 to contemporary cars. It is one of the most exclusive private collections in Europe. They have around 60 classic cars, including a 1936 Mercedes 540K that was once owned by Prince Gustaf Adolf, the father of the current Swedish king. In addition, they also have the Cadillac V8 from King Gustav V who gave the name to Kungens Kurva (= the shopping center near Stockholm where you find one of the largest Ikeas in the world).
The Horse Center
The horse center is active throughout the year. They also offer weekend trips with riding lessons. This way you can go for classic dressage with their lusitano horses and modern riding techniques.
Sparreholm Castle can only be visited by appointment. Only during the Swedish summer holidays (from midsummer to mid-August) can you visit the domain spontaneously.
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