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Nautiska Forlaget Swedish Series


Its taken some years to get a good, modern guide to the Swedish coast. In 2001, Nautiska Forlaget published the first of their full-colour nature harbour and marina guides, Arholma-Landsort which covers the Stockholm Archipelago. This was so successful that it was followed in 2003 by Landsort - Skanör covering the south and east coast. Finally, 2005 has seen the publication of the last in the trio, Skanör - Strömstad, covering the west coast. It remains to be seen whether they eventually add the last piece, north of Stockholm. The books are reguarly updated and 2007 has seen the first one published in English.

The guides are indispensible if you wish to get into Nature Harbours, as the three books together cover 470 of them, as well as over 250 marinas. The highly detailed chartlets are supplied by Lars Granath, the man behind the chart company Hydrographica. The charts are derived from a satellite mapping technique and we can testament to their accuracy - on one of our early trips we believed the Batsportkort over the chartlet, and hit a rock!

Each book is compiled by a different expert on the local area. The guides are written in Swedish, (although Arholma-Landsort is now available in English) as they are obviously appealing to a local audience, but the chartlets alone are worth the money, and with a little practice, the text is also useful.

As described above, each book deals with a section of the Swedish coast, running anti-clockwise. The books are organized to coincide with Swedish nautical charts (which are the same numbers as used in the Batsportkorts). Each chapter starts with a copy of the master chart, with coloured dots showing the locations of the nature harbours and all marinas. The chapter then describes each location in detail.

Most marinas have a little section to themselves, with an aerial photo, and a description of facilities (but usually no chart). The photos are clear enough to work out where best to tie up. Each nature harbour will have a chartlet, a brief description, and often an aerial photo too. The chartlet will show depths, routes and which parts of the shore you can get close enough to tie up to (marked as a red shoreline).

For towns, there is some text describing facilities, places of interest and local also listing local shops and restaurants.

In the book covering the Stockholm Archipelago, Krogs (waterside restaurants) are listed as well and their location shown. The books also have overall maps showing distances, and the locations of gas stations (Sjömackar) and supermarkets (Livsmedel).

The books are not perfect, and there are reports of small errors (not that we've found any). There are additional nature harbours in some of the other books, and not all the rocks you can get up to are marked, but as an overall, accessible set of guides these are hard to beat. One major benefit is that, unlike some of the other guides, they are pretty up to date.

They are available from all good bookshops in Sweden usually for around 395 SEK (about £30). Nautiska Forlaget have a shop in Stockholm but do not do mail order abroad.

Images are copyright Nautiska Förlaget AB

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