At the bottom of the Stockholm Archipelago is Landsort, a picturesque village on the 4 km-long Öja Island 65 km south of Stockholm. Complete with two harbors on each side of the island, a seven-story “hotel” tower and a lighthouse, it’s no wonder this is where many Swedes spend their summer (and winter) holidays.
To get to Landsort, take the commuter train line 35 to Nynäshamn (66 minutes), and then take any of several boat tours down to Landsort. Or from Nynäshamn, take the 852 bus to Ankarudden, and then the ferry ferry line 29 to Landsort. The ferry is 75 SEK, and the trains and buses are all part of your SL travel card (get the 1- or 3-day pass).
Note: The currency conversion box is located to the right on laptops, and below the post on mobile devices.
Once you get to the island, make sure to find Ökå at the Svedtiljas’ Lotstornet Restaurant, where you’ll also find the best food on the island. Ökå runs both the restaurant and the 6-room unique hotel in the old pilot lookout tower. That’s an experience in itself. Each of the rooms have two twin beds, and each floor has two rooms and a shared bathroom. Currently, floors 4-6 have rooms. From anywhere in the hotel, the view is beyond compare. The seventh floor is a dining room, where you can get a meal with panoramic views of the island and sea. Rooms are 995 SEK a night, including breakfast and linen.
Whether you are planning to stay overnight in the tower, or just visit the island for the day, make sure to eat at the restaurant. Ökå provides the best meals on the island. Okay, maybe it’s the only restaurant other than the pub, but in my opinion the food has the quality of a five-star hotel. Hotel guests get the full Swedish breakfast. It comes with bread, meats and cheeses, cereals, soft-boiled eggs, yogurt, juices, tea, coffee and more. Otherwise, the restaurant opens at lunch. The menu depends on what’s in stock, but each meal is a work of art. For lunch, we had a fish stew made with cod, potatoes, cauliflower, sourdough bread croutons and aioli.
Dinner, the crème de la crème, was a three course masterpiece. It started with a potato pancake topped with roe, chives, onions and aioli. The main course was a perfectly cooked cod fillet served with roasted cauliflower. For dessert, we got a crumble with blueberries, strawberries and raspberry sorbet. Oh, and a California vintage white wine to complement the feast. The vegetarians in our group had their own fare which was comparable. I should probably also mention that we had the dinner in the tower, and our view included a full, double rainbow along with the lighthouse.
Originally built in 1651, the Landsort lighthouse is the icon of the island. It has gone through several renovations and upgrades over the years, and currently is fully automated. Ökå is the one person on the island who has the key, and you can get a tour with him for 90 SEK. It’s only 20 meters high, so not a hard climb. The views from the top are what you would expect from a Swedish vacation island. Magnificent and spectacular.
On the northern portion of the island is an old defense bunker, now a museum. To date, it was considered the most advanced artillery post in the world. The battlement, completed in 1977, housed a 120-mm gun with a range of 27 km, capable of firing 25 times a minute. The bunker stored 800 shells, and was manned by 25 crew and 2 officers. Completely underground (except for the cannon), it could resist a 1/2 megaton nuke, and the men could survive for a month without aid. Jaak runs the museum and delivers two tours a day for up to 10 people at a time. The price is 100 SEK.
Other than that, there are all kinds of wonderful little spots to explore around the island. There’s a bird ringer (tagging birds in migration), harbors to swim in, trails to climb and art sculptures to see everywhere. There are only 27 (TWENTY SEVEN) people living on the island, but many more come for weeks or months at a time on holiday. Oh, and if you want to buy your own little house here, it’ll cost you around 150,000 SEK. Just to be clear, that’s about €15,000. Anyone wanna sponsor me?
My own visit to the island was organized with TBEX (Travel Blogger EXchange Convention) and Visit Stockholm. Our team included Ajay, Heidi, Maria, Soham, Pratik, Mandy, Inma and Ryan, all wonderful bloggers and travelers. We had a full 24 hours on the island, including all the above excursions, and a bit of cheeky ice cream! It just couldn’t have been better, except that it was. On the way back, instead of taking the ferry, we had a high-speed RIB tour to Nynäshamn with 59° North Adventure. Nearly half an hour at 40 knots, getting drenched in the sea spray and passing wonderful views. If you’re not a budget traveler, look them up and have the time of your life!