Stockholm had an unusually dry and hot summer this year. Temperatures exceeded 30 degree Celsius for many days. There was barely any rainfall. This led to disastrous forest fires, lack of fodder for cattle and even a shortage of table fans throughout the city for a few weeks in the summer.
High temperatures and vacation time in Sweden during the summer also gave us an opportunity to explore the archipelago a bit more. We made a plan every weekend (preferably Saturdays) to visit one of the islands in the archipelago and return by late evening on the same day.
On one of the days, we decided to visit Landsort. Landsort is the southernmost outpost in the archipelago. We saw quite a few good reviews about the island and especially the lighthouse (Landsorts fyr) built about 350 years ago.
To reach Landsort: We took the commuter train (Pendeltåg) to Nynäshamn which is also a beautiful sightseeing spot and got down at Nynäsgård. Couple of minutes walk from the train stations lies the bus stop Sandtorp. Buss 852 directly takes us to the Ankarudden brygga which is the end of the road before we shifted to a boat run by Waxholmsbolaget. A return journey for an adult costs about 160 SEK.
There were already about 50 – 70 people on the boat. The journey takes about half hour. The total length of the island was 5 km. The lighthouse was at the southernmost tip where the boat arrived while there were a few interesting attractions in the north. So, the best option was to rent a bicycle. Right at the arrival point, there were a few cycles for rent and a number we could call and Swish the amount of approx. 80 SEK for the whole day.
Our first stop was the lighthouse, which was pretty close to the harbour. The views of the Baltic Sea from the lighthouse was amazing. As it was way out in the sea, it was very windy. It was possible to walk from the lighthouse to the edge of the island via barren rocky area. There were benches near the lighthouse where we had our pre packed lunch. There were also restaurants near the harbour offering food, snacks and drinks etc. although most of them seemed to close quite early.
After a brief halt, we decided to traverse the length of the island – all the way up to the north. There was a narrow gravel and sand path to follow. Easy to cycle along as there was barely any traffic apart from other fellow cyclers.
Along the way, we were lucky to find an abandoned battery unit. It is a 4 story building constructed within a rock to protect Sweden during the cold war. Outside, the machine gun is painted dull brown to match with the surrounding area. But, standing near the gun, it provided an uninterrupted view of the sea all around. Even though it seemed so innocuous from the outside, there was a whole world built underneath as shown in the map outside. We weren’t aware that you could pre book a guided tour of the facility (at 100 SEK/person). Instead, we walked outside the battery and then made our way north.
Our little exploration ended at a set of red wooden cottages along a rocky shoreline. Cool breeze blowing and Scandinavian sun shining on us, we lay down on a rock at the edge. It was the best moment of the whole trip. After a brief stop filled with drinks and snacks, we made our way back to the harbour in time to catch the evening ferry back to the mainland and slowly made our way home.
Check out the timings of the train and bus here: Link
Check out the boat timings here: Link