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Swedish Eastern Archipelago


The Eastern Archipelago is one of the most stunning cruising areas in the whole of Sweden, and one of the world’s premier cruising grounds. Less popular than the Stockholm area, but some think even more beautiful, it abounds with idyllic Nature Harbours. Its impossible to do justice to the area, but civilisation we visited include the pretty Figeholm, a much nicer stopover than the nearby Oskarsham. There was the excellent restaurant on the island of Idö, the rather disappointing Västervik and the much nicer Loftahammar. In the north, we saw the missable Fyrudden, the industrial Oxelösund, the rather nicer Arko and also Nyköping with its excellent transport links to the UK. Finally, we reached the picture postcard that is Trosa. The area also contains the (over) popular destination of Harstena.

There is one major north-south route running through the whole of the archipelago. Its a very stange thing to see many sails running off into the distance in a straight line, as though on the M25, when there is nothing but blue water on either side.

Oskarsham
Oskarsham Harbour

The harbour in the center of town (Badholmen) has a few Y-Booms and an awful lot of wall, but can still get busy in season. (There is no electric or water on the wall). The town, set on a hill, is of a reasonable size with all the usual facilities, and a good library. Another marina, Ernemar, near the entrance, has full boatyard facilities, a Volvo dealer and a Watski but is about 15 minutes walk from the town.

Figeholm
Figeholm

A lovely little spot at the end of its own archipelago about 10 miles north of Oskarsham. It is superb for a few days peace. There is one small supermarket and an undistinguished café, but the beauty of the location outweighs its lack of facilities. There are buses to Oskarsham. For preference, moor on the last of the quays (to Port) as this puts you nearer the facilities. The first quay, by the lifeboat, is used by the ‘Sail and Song’ vessel, an extraordinary ‘floating church’ which motors round the archipelago blasting out hymns and folk songs. There is plenty of water and electric.

Västervik
Vastervik

Reached via a narrow gap in the rocks that opens up into a large, sheltered pool, this is a considerable town with 3 marinas. The marina furthest from the entrance (Skeppsbrofjärden) is about 10 minutes walk from the town which has a reasonable range of shops and two large supermarkets. We visited at the time of the nearby motorcycle meet, and the town was absolutely swarming with motorbikes. On the Sunday there was a ‘cavalcade’ of about 2000 bikes – it took 20 minutes to go past!

The first marina, (Västerviks Marina), to port on entry, has limited space but does have boatyard facilities and a chandlery. There is also a good marine electronics dealer nearby. The marina is a similar distance to the town.

Popular with tourists, and the base for many ferries out to the Islands, we found the place a bit overwhelming. The marinas are large, but many of the berths don’t have water or electricity.

Loftahammar
Loftahammar

A much nicer stop than nearby Västervik, although with fewer facilities. Loftahammar is reached at the end of an wide and easy 10 mile long fijord, and then through a tiny gap in the land. There is a large marina with a Volvo dealer and a Watski chandlery. There are buses to Vastervik. The village, basically a single road, is a bit limited but there are a couple of Pizza restaurants, a supermarket and a good Konditori (Bakery) and is within 5 minutes walk or the marina. The marina café does a good lunch. A good sheltered place to leave your boat. There is no cash machine.

Fyrudden
The Archipelago near Fyrudden

Basically a ‘filling station’ not far from Harstena in the center of the Gryts archipelago. Berths are limited to a few Y-booms and alongside the harbour walls. There is considerable traffic from boats arriving, using the supermarket, topping up with water and diesel and then leaving (Which was exactly what we did). The harbour is not very sheltered, but the village is in the middle of the islands anyway. There is a reasonable smoked fish stall, and a rather limited chandlers.

Arkosund

A collection of overnight stops on the way from Fyrudden to Oxelosund, all clustered round the Arko Ferry. There are some moorings right by the Ferry, and a few more just round the corner, but probably the prettiest is in a pool half a mile beyond at Nordanskog. A few Y–Booms on the end of a pontoon give access to the shore, or you can anchor. Technically more of a camping spot than a boating spot, there is a bar.

Oxelösund
Oxelosund

Something of an industrial harbour on the way to Sodertalie. There are two marinas and a dull, sixties, Milton-Keynes type town center, dominated by a supermarket. The first marina to port on entry (Ljungholmen) has an excellent fish café/restaurant with seats outside and views over the harbour. The second marina (Badhusviken) is the formal guest harbour and has a free ‘train’ which runs to the town every 30 minutes. There is a pleasant woodland walk between the two harbours. Best avoided unless you need the supermarket.

Nyköping
Nykoping Harbourside

Nyköping is situated at the head of a rather narrow, buoyed and dredged route of a few miles. The large guest marina is to seaward of the harbour, just past the rowing course. The marina has Y-Booms (but the largest is about 3.8 meters width) or you can lie outside the outer pontoons.

There are a few restaurants along the bustling harbourside, and a good smokery just over the bridge. The town itself is reasonable and has some character with a wide selection of shops and many historical buildings including the famour 'Nyköpings Hus'

The main attraction of Nyköping is its nearness to Skavsta airport (about 10 minutes in a taxi), which is the ‘Stockholm’ (NYO) destination of Ryanair. This makes it an excellent place to change crews, and the marina is often filled with British and German boats awaiting their masters.

Trosa
Juno at Trosa Quay Trosa in the Winter  Copyright Trosa TourismTrosa Marina Kissen at Trosa

A delightful little town, about an hours drive from Stockhom. Trosa is a popular day trip destination for holidaying swedes, and a filling station for local yachties.

More of a village than a town, Trosa's main claim to fame are the 17th Century wooden houses that make up the bulk of its dwellings. With the river running in a cannalised form through the centre, Trosa appears on many picture postcards.

The centre of town is just a couple of roads, with a Library, two supermarkets, and a few shops (including a bookshop). The rest of the activity is centred round the harbour. There is a small market area, with knick-knack stalls and a good smoked fish stall, between the two.

Next to the harbour is a large green, and a couple of times a month the tourist authority pay for dance bands to entertain the public. We watched Starlines, a 3 piece combo, do a 4 hour set of just about every 60s and 70s pop song we'd ever heard, in both Swedish and English. It was surprisingly good, and enthusiastically received by the locals, dancing on the green. Trosa also holds the very popular'Marknad' town fair in June with hundreds of merchants and thousands of visitors.

Trosa has one acclaimed resturarant, Bomans. This has upmarket Swedish food with an emphasis on fish. There are a couple of resturants on the green. One, Fynen, is reasonable and does a roaring trade catering to the day trippers. There are also the inevitable Pizzerias

The Guest Harbour is large, and can become quite popular. The entrance is up a shallow bouyed channel, but there is usually 2 meters of water providing you stay within the bouys. The marina proper is to Starboard on entering, and there are about 70 stern bouys. Only the first dozen or so are suitable for large boats (over 35 ft) as the quay comes out and the bouys end up quite close to the shore. Large boats should moor on the Western side of the main quay, which is the Eastern bank of the river. If desired reasonable sized boats can travel up and moor in the town, but room to turn round is limited.

All usual services are available. Berthing for a 11m boat is 100 SEK, plus 35 SEK for electricity. There is a very good branch of Watski on the rivers Eastern bank, and other services are avilable in the Marina

Useful resources
North Sea Passage Pilot

Landsort Skanor

Excellent nature harbour guide

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