Stockholm archipelago consists of some 30 000 islands, islets and skerries, of which around 200 are inhabited.
The Stockholm archipelago offers also unique nature. Many of the islands and parts of the mainland are nature reserves, each with its own character. A nature reserve is created to preserve habitats, flora or fauna, which gives you the opportunity to experience untouched archipelago nature. But it also means that you must be extra cautious when you visit there. Already in Nacka, next to the city of Stockholm, there are 12 nature reserves where you can walk around and swim.
We’ve chosen the eight most interesting.
1. Riddersholm nature preserve
Riddersholm, far out on Rådmansö, is the perfect destination for excursions all year round. The reserve’s 20 kilometers of walking trails make it easy to explore. Many people stay the night in the nature reserve, either camping or at the youth hostel.
The best thing about Riddersholm is that the area is so easily accessible. You can get there by car, bus and boat, bicycle and motorbike. Even though it is located on the mainland, it has the character of the archipelago, with its countryside and closess to the sea.
2. Ängsö National Park
Ängsö became a national park 1909 and is one of the oldest parks in Europe. The island is located in a famous part of the Stockholm Archipelago known as Roslagen. The park was established in order to preserve a beautiful example of a traditional farm landscape with flowering hay meadows and wooded pastures.
In the spring, there is a profusion of brightly-coloured flowers. Ospreys and sea eagles are often seen above the island, which is only accessible by boat.
Ängsö national park contains most elements of Roslagen’s natural and cultural history. There is a network of easily walked, marked trails. During summer, when the ground is hard and dry, the larger trails are accessible to wheelchairs and stroller. At Hemudden, where the ferries dock, there is a small visitors’ centre with an exhibition about the island’s natural and cultural history.
3. Rånö – Ålö Nature Reserve
Woodland on the islands is mostly of the sparse flat-rock pine forest type. On Ålö as well as Rånö there’s some agricultural land, and historically farming has been important here for the food supply. Traces of limestone in the bedrock on Ålö provide the perfect conditions for a rich diversity of flora in both the forests and open landscapes. A relatively large proportion of Ålö’s forests also have a high nature value.
Conditions in the reserve’s marine environments are good enough to support a wide variety of marine life. Both of the islands are important places for lovers of the outdoors. Ålö has a bridge connecting it to Utö while Rånö can be reached by regular boat crossings run by Waxholmsbolaget. For overnight stays there’s a cabin and camping site on Rånö.
4. Norra Malma nature preserve
The nature preserve are filled with oaks, south-east of the lake Erken. In the east part of the nature preserve you will find a graveyard with graves from the first part of the Iron age. The old oaks has a lot of holes and are perfect for birds and bats. Also mushrooms, insects and caterpillars are very fond of the oaks.
To be continued… 🙂
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