It is two weeks now since my long Swedish summer vacation ended. In many ways, this summer has been different due to the ongoing pandemic. Longer holiday trips have not been possible, but by boat in the Stockholm archipelago, the holiday has really been wonderful. We visited Gällnö, an island in Stockholm’s central archipelago. Gällnö has been inhabited since the days of King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. The island was ravaged by Danes in the 17th century, and during the Russian ravages of 1719.
Despite the proximity to Stockholm, a visit to Gällnö is as far from the stress of the big city as you can get. The well-preserved old archipelago buildings remind you of another time. Agriculture is still practiced and in the lush meadows the animals graze freely. The pastures are mixed with forest, cliffs and beaches. For those who want to explore the island properly, there are nice walking and cycling paths.
In the summer, Gällnö is in full swing. Guests come to the hostel from all corners of the world and the bay is filled with leisure boats. Stockholmers come out to their summer houses and the otherwise quiet village is transformed into a small metropolis with a bar, shop and café.
You can sit down to eat a piece of food or just have a glass of wine under the apple trees at the bar and the café offers home-baked bread and freshly roasted coffee. The shop ensures that you can get to Gällnö without having to drag the food from the mainland.
We anchored at Gällnönäs near a friend from Paris but who has lived on the island during the summer and regularly has led outdoor Friskis&Svettis exercise. If you know Swedish, there is a lot of information about Gällnö on the association’s “Gällnö Natur och Kulturstig” website: gallnostigen.se