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daytrips Stockholm

Day trip from Stockholm: Blå Lagunen in Ekerö

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Den blå lagunen - Ekerö

A beach called ‘the blue lagoon’ on an island just outside Stockholm, it triggers my imagination. When I stayed in Stockholm for a few weeks during the summer, I wanted to discover this spot. A bus ride and a short walk later I reached the domain. It took some searching (tip, go to the right if you want to go to the beach) but a little later I could settle in and enjoy the aqua blue water.

Den blå lagunen

The place is actually called Husbygropen and is an artificial lake. It is located on the island of Ekerö, more precisely at Munsö, near Lake Mälaren. If you walk around the lagoon, you can even see Lake Mälaren. Husbygropen would also be popular among local divers (maximum depth 21 meters). There are both fish and freshwater crayfish in the lake.

Quarry with aqua blue water

Blå Lagunen is actually an old quarry that is completely flooded with water. The white lime base and the clear water provide the azure blue color. There is a small beach. Those traveling by car can park fairly close by. People also parked their car and beach chair around the rest of the lagoon. There it was generally more difficult to get into the water.

Druk bij Den blå lagunen

It is advisable to come to Den Blå Lagunen early because it can get very busy. By noon it was already packed on the small beach. In the early afternoon, when a group of young people arrived and started playing loud music, I decided it was time to go. On calm days, Blå Lagunen on Ekerö is highly recommended, thanks to the view of the blue water.

The lagoon starts shallow near the beach but quickly gets a lot deeper. So watch out! Do not go swimming alone here and keep in mind that the water at depth can be very cold. Also to take into account: it is not a fine sandy beach. So it’s best to bring a thick towel or picnic blanket to sit / lie on.

Practical

There were no eateries in the area so make sure you are prepared and bring your picnic + drinks. When I was there, there were no toilets either, but according to information I found online, those (genre Dixi-shacks) normally are in place.

How to reach Blå Lagunen?

From the center, first take the metro to Brommaplan. Here you can take bus 311 or bus 312 to the Vibohär stop. Look to find arrows to Husbygropen. It then takes about 10-15 minutes to walk.

De weg naar Den blå lagunen

Admittedly, without a car it is a challenge to get here. By car, take Ekerövägen until you see signs to the old quarry. Parking is about 5 euros. You can only pay in cash or via swish.

Near Ekerö

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Den blå lagunen - daguitstap vanuit Stockholm
24 April 2021
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Landsort, the southernmost part of the Stockholm archipelago

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Landsort

Off the coast of Stockholm lies an archipelago with thousands of islands. The most southern island of that archipelago is Landsort. When I spent a few days on the island in July 2016, Landsort quickly captured my heart. Anyone who takes a look at my Facebook page and wonders where the cover photo was taken… Landsort, from the pilot tower!

The island of Öja

Landsort is a town in the south of the 4 km long and barely 560 meters wide island of Öja and is located about 65 km south of Stockholm. Barely a handful of people live there (there used to be 190 people, now only 27). There are mainly summer houses. When we were there, a completely to be renovated house was for sale for a very affordable price (150,000 SEK or about 15,000 euros). The renovation costs would probably soar as everything had to be transported to the island by boat. Yes, I have considered the purchase (and now I’m sorry I didn’t)!

From Nynäshamn we took the ferry to Landsort. Due to the difficult conditions for mooring with the vessel, there are two inlets on both the eastern and western sides of the island that are used as ports. Depending on the weather, one or the other “port” is chosen.

Landsort comes from Landzoort which stands for “the end of the country” in Old Dutch. It was the Dutch businessman Johan van der Hagen who in 1669 was given the right to provide a lighthouse at this location.

Landsort lighthouse

The lighthouse on the island is the oldest Swedish lighthouse still in use. The current tower was built in 1689. First the signaling was done with a real fire. Only later they worked with lenses to amplify the signal. In 1870, another extension was added to the lighthouse, reaching a height of 25 meters. The light from the tower can be seen for over 40 km. Nowadays a lighthouse is no longer useful because of the modern equipment, but no one dares to turn it off. Lighthouses have great cultural value.

You can also visit the iconic lighthouse on request. When we were there, the owner of Lotstornet had a key. To get to the top of the lighthouse you have to climb 87 stairs. From the top of the tower you have a fantastic view of the island. For a good view of the lighthouse and the island, you have to be in Lotstornet, the pilot tower.

There have been “pilots” on the island since 1535. Because of the difficulties to navigate the environment with a lot of shallow parts, those pilots were not an exaggerated luxury. The Swedes left by sea to “go to war” but were often stranded on their return at Landsort.

The secret side of the island

Landsort is also home to one of the most advanced military bunkers, Batteri Landsort. It was mainly placed there during the Cold War as a deterrent. The anti-aircraft guns could shoot up to 25 km. The guide Jaak told us about the strategic location of Landsort. During the Second World War, between 400 and 1700 soldiers were stationed here. During the war, only Swedish civilians were allowed to enter the island. Batteri Landsort is built to survive for a longer period of time. Drinking water is collected at a depth of 100 meters. A fellow traveler wrote this about it.

Spend the night at Landsort

We spent the night in Lotstornet of Åke Svedtilja. A few years ago, this former Swedish top chef chose to stop his popular restaurant in Stockholm, to renovate the pilot tower and to run an accommodation on Landsort. In the meantime he also has a restaurant on the island. You can read more about our wonderful stay at Svedtiljas in a separate article.

After a refreshing night’s sleep, we took an even more refreshing dip in the cold waters of the Baltic Sea. It is here that my love for open water swimming rekindled. Whatever the season, if I have the opportunity to dive in a lake or in the sea, I will certainly not let it go.

How do you reach Landsort?

To travel to Landsort, from Stockholm, you first take the train to Nynäshamn. This will take just over an hour. From here you can take a (taxi) boat to Landsort or you can travel further by bus 852 to Ankarudden where you can take ferry 29 to Landsort for 75 SEK (about 8 euros – prices from 2018). In summer, the ferry sails 5 times a day. In winter you can travel to Landsort 3 times a day. Then sometimes an icebreaker is needed to reach your destination. Total travel time Stockholm-Landsort is approximately 2.5 hours.

And to conclude, a few more pictures to dream away:

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Landsort is a small island in the very south of the Stockholm archipelago. You can spend the night in the 'pilot tower'.
20 April 2021
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Daytrips from Stockholm

Posted in Stockholm E by
Daytrips Stockholm

There is so much to experience in and around Stockholm that you should book at least 4 to 5 days for your first city trip to the Swedish capital. Even if you have been there before, the list of ‘things to do’ is inexhaustible. I also try to make one or more day trips each time I visit Stockholm.

Day trips in Stockholm

A number of attractions in Stockholm have so much to offer that you can easily stay there for at least half a day.

Skansen

SkansenSkansen is one of Stockholm’s most popular attractions and the place to visit to learn more about how the Swedes lived, learn about Swedish history, about Swedish traditions and to get acquainted with animals from the north. Those who would like to attend a recording of Allsång på Skansen should plan their visit during the summer holidays on a Tuesday. There is also a lot to do in Skansen around midsummer, christmas,…

Millesgården

This is planned in April.

Gröna Lund

You can see the amusement park of Stockholm, Gröna Lund, from all over the city. In summer, performances by popular artists are an extra reason to come.

Viking town Birka

Birka Birka was the first city in Sweden. The city originated somewhere around 750 and is located on the current island Björkö. The island was an important trading center during the time of the Vikings. Björkö is an island in Lake Mälaren, about 30 kilometers from Stockholm. Since 1993 it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Visit a castle or manor

Drottningholm Slott

Drottningholm SlottIn the center of Stockholm, on Gamla Stan – the old city, you can visit the Royal Palace. However, this is no longer the place where the royal couple lives. They mainly use Kungliga Slottet for official occasions. But you can also visit their home, Drottningholm Slott. This castle is located just outside the city, on the island of Lovön in Lake Mälaren, and can be reached both by land and by boat. Prince Carl-Philip and his Sofia also live here with their children.

Skoklosters Slott

 Skoklosters Slott is the largest private castle ever built in Sweden and overlooks Lake Mälaren. It is a 17th century castle with rich decorations and is exceptionally well preserved, even though it has barely been inhabited for a long time.

Julita Manor

 Julita is a bit further away from Stockholm. The largest open-air museum in Sweden can be found on the edge of the Öljaren lake, in the heart of Sörmland, close to Katrineholm and Eskilstuna. Julita gård is part of Nordiska Museet in Stockholm. In the Middle Ages it was a monastery, later it was a country house where Swedish nobility lived and now it is an open-air museum.

The Stockholm archipelago

There are about 30,000 islands off the coast of Stockholm. Some are no bigger than a rock, other islands have a few hundred inhabitants. You can visit most of these islands as a day trip. Below you will find some islands I already visited. I am aware that this list is far from complete. Reason enough to go to Stockholm again and again; -)

Landsort

LandsortThe southernmost island of that archipelago is Landsort . I stayed 2 days but it is also fine to do as a day trip. Only a handful of people live there. Most homes are summer houses. A visit to the lighthouse over here is a must. Further on, you can bathe and mainly enjoy the quietness. Good food is available at Svedtiljas.

Fjäderholmarna

FjäderholmarnaThe island group Fjäderholmarna is the closest to Stockholm. You can even see it from Djurgården. It is barely 20 minutes sailing. Fjäderholmarna is part of National City Parks. The archipelago is a popular destination for both Stockholmers and tourists. A large part of the visitors comes to the island especially for a visit to Fjäderholmarnas Krog .

Skogskyrkogården

 Skogskyrkogården can literally be translated as a ‘forest cemetery’. That is actually what it is: a graveyard in a forest. Or rather: forest and cemetery are seamlessly merged. A unique place in a suburb of Stockholm!

Hellasgården

Hellasgarden skating Hellasgården is a popular place in the Nacka nature reserve, just outside of Stockholm where all year round around a lot can be experienced. I went to Hellasgården in the winter, to go ice skating and have a sauna. After the sauna I jumped into a hole in the ice to cool down. You can also go cross-country skiing.
If there is no snow or ice, you come here to enjoy nature, take long walks and perhaps even a swim in the lake.

Blå Lagunen in Ekerö

 Blå Lagunen

A beach with the name ‘the blue lagoon’ on an island just outside Stockholm, it makes one dreamy. The place is actually called Husbygropen and is an artificial lake. It is located on the island of Ekerö, more specifically at Munsö, near Lake Mälaren. If you walk around the lagoon, you will also see Lake Mälaren. The quarry is popular with local divers. For fans of Måns Zelmerlöw, it is here that his video clip for ‘Glorious’ was recorded.

What is your favorite day trip from Stockholm?

7 March 2019
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