Following a brief introduction to our Bloggers Undercover mission of exploring Utö and the Stockholm Archipelago, which was only the beginning of our awesome trip, we continued our journey. As we departed from the shore of Utö, our next stop was for a fika break, not your typical walking into a coffee shop and ordering your cup of coffee, nah that’s boring. Our fika break was on an islet called Huvudskär, fancy right?
We got out of our RIB boat to explore the magnificent views from this tiny islet which was a popular fishing destination during the Middle Ages. To this day Huvudskär attracts sea travellers and tourists. As our guides Andy and Hanna explained, on a good day you can catch a glimpse of seals resting on the tiny islets. So what’s a definition of a good day in the Stockholm Archipelago, well I guess when its sunny and warm, so the sea creatures can soak in some sun’s rays.
Riding the waves on the way to Sandhamn was an experience of its own, holding on tight with both hands, to avoid flying out every time we approached a crashing wave. It might sound very dramatic, yet it was perfectly safe and has been one of the most exhilarating experiences. I loved it! Oh, and we made a discovery too, did you know that penguins can fly? My fellow travel bloggers and I, witnessed this discovery onboard, and although we are all equipped with the latest photography gear, sadly no proof of the flying penguins exists.
Sandhamn is a picturesque harbor located in the northern part of Sandön, the Island of sand. The first mentions of the island were found in writing dating to the end of the 13th century, and until the 17th century it was used as pasture land. Nowadays it is a popular all year round destination.
Being one of the oldest seaside resorts in Sweden and only about at hour away from Stockholm, Sandhamn is a permanent home to 90 residents. During the summer months another 3,000 residents reside on the island in their summer homes. On a daily basis, 8-10 ferry boats come into Sandhamn, brining approximately 5,000 guests.
Sandham is a colourful treasure box, where on every corner you will come across fishing sheds and summerhouses dating back to the last century.
The three sides of Sandhamn are surrounded by water and the fourth side by the sea.
Sandhamn is also rich in natural beauty as the inner part of the island is covered by pine forest with many small paths leading across the island.
Sandön holds a unique place in the history of Stockholm archipelago as great sand deposits were formed on the island during the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. In the 1900s sand and stone was sold as ballast for ships. Pine was planted in order to prevent the sand from drifting.
Walking further inside the village we passed the little chapel and the old graveyard, which was founded during the time when in 1834 Sandhamn was struck by the cholera epidemic.
Sandhamns – höjden
Sandhamns – höjden is a new residential area which has been developed during the period from 2010-2015. We walked around admiring and photographing the colourful houses and the pretty gardens.
Things to Do in Sandhamn
At Sandhamn there is a plethora of restaurants, bars and cafes which offer everything from à la carte dining to picnic baskets. There is also three beaches on the island, the most famous one is Trouville which is situated on the southerneast part of the island. What we learned is that tennis is quite popular on the island and the summer residents hold a number of tournaments during the summer months. The islanders are quite crazy about training and staying fit. Fishing is one of the favoured activities in Sandhamn. There are plenty of happenings on the island at any time of year, not just during the summer months.
Where to stay in Sandhamn
We spent the night at the Sandhamn Yacht Hotel, a four star property that operates all year round. The hotel has a unique location overlooking the harbour of Sandhamn. In 1897 the hotel’s restaurant was inaugurated as a clubhouse for the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS).
The accommodation ranges from double rooms, to suites and apartments. There is also a dedicated spa area with a gym, pool, jacuzzi and sauna. Unfortunately I did not use their spa facilities as we came in time for dinner and were departing the next morning.
Dinner at the Seglar restaurant
This historical restaurant was inaugurated by King Oscar II in 1897 and has been serving classic Swedish cuisine for more than a century. Our host Susanne Lundström, the Sales Manager for the property had selected a fine menu for us to savor.
The restaurant’s dining room is light and spacious, opening up to the captivating views of the harbour.
We had white and green asparagus with pine nuts as a starter, followed by salmon served with asparagus, baby potatoes in a creamy sauce and the most delicious crème brûlée topped with chocolate flakes. The meal was paired with a fine selection of South African white wines.
Breakfast for the champions
In the morning it was time to depart from this wonderful island, but of course before we left we savoured the delicious breakfast which was served at the Seglar restaurant’s dining room where we had dinner, a few hours before.
There was a selection of cold cuts, vegetables, pate, cheeses, freshly baked breads, cereals, juices, eggs and bacon. You name it. I tried to go as light as possible as we were still full from dinner.
After breakfast we were ready to head back to Stockholm! Thanks to everyone who made this trip memorable.
Planning to visit Sandhamn, here is their official website: http://www.destinationsandhamn.se
To get there, contact our friends at Öppet Hav AB
Our trip was part of the TBEX Conference, organized by Visit Stockholm.