There’s no better way to explore Stockholm’s archipelago than by kayak. There are so many islands – somewhere around 24,000 – that you can easily hope from one to the next. And thanks to Allemansrätten, you are also free to stop and picnic or camp.
One of my favorite trips was a few years ago with our friends Annelie, Jaakko, Durk and Naomi. The six of us rented kayaks on Utö, then paddled our way out to an island about an hour south. Robert and I intended to camp and had our gear packed into the kayak with us. And our friends were just going to spend the day paddling with us. But soon they were having such a great time that they all wanted to spend the night too. So the four of them paddled back to Utö and spontaneously bought tents, sleeping bags and some other gear so as to stay with us.
Meanwhile, Robert and I scouted out a deserted island to camp out on. After we located a spot of our own with a gorgeous beach, we text messaged our GPS coordinates to our friends. They then joined us there and we had a fantastic evening, everyone pitching in to cook dinner, share drinks and make a fire. Conversations by the fire covered every topic and went in every direction: I was the only American, Robert the only Aussie and there was one Finn and three South Africans.
The night was gorgeous and special. As it was early July, the sunset lasted for hours. And the next day we swam and hung out on our own private beach, then moved on to the next island. It was a magical experience.