With over 3,000 kilometres of coastline, Sweden has plenty of coastal towns; and, although the most beautiful beaches are in the south, the east coast has many gems. The Stockholm Archipelago is a great place to begin if you are in Sweden for the first time. Of course, the islands closest to Stockholm are easy to reach if you don’t have much time. One popular trip is a buffet brunch boat trip to Vaxholm, which is well worth 3 hours of your weekend. However, if you have a few days to spare, you could visit Öregrund at the northernmost tip of the archipelago.
Öregrund: Where the Sun Sets in the East
Interestingly, Öregrund, a small seaside town, is the only place on Sweden’s east coast where the sun sets over the sea. Bear in mind that sunset is well after 10 pm in the summer! Driving into this small fishing port reminded me of Cornwall. If you can imagine a Swedish version of Cornwall, that is. Of course, the houses are typically Swedish: wooden and colourful, but there’s a familiar seaside vibe. Seagulls wheel overhead, seeking scraps of fish from the incoming boats, and families stroll by eating ice-cream. For me, the only thing missing is the salty smell of chips smothered in vinegar.
In summer, Öregrund attracts visitors from all over Sweden, and they have plenty of open-air restaurants to choose from. Like Cornwall, Swedish celebrity chefs such as Melker Andersson run local restaurants. Naturally, seafood features prominently on their menus. There are other dishes for those, like me, who don’t eat fish. I had a delicious burger (with a few glasses of prosecco, of course) and my boyfriend had an elk steak.
Ice-cream, a Lighthouse, and a Seafront Fish Shack
After lunch we walked around town, stopping at Öregrunds Glassbar – a wonderful ice-cream parlour located in a pastel pink building. Offering a wide range of exciting flavours and toppings, it’s no surprise that locals say it’s the best in town. The line outside proved its popularity. With extra COVID restrictions, the line took some time, but the wait was worthwhile. I enjoyed my ice-cream so much that I forgot to take a photo!
Taking a short walk to the other side of the harbour brings you to a small lighthouse. On one side of the harbour lies the open sea and on the other is an excellent view of the town. By the shore is a small fish shack whose patrons sit at tables in the water and swing in beachside hammocks. For such a hot day, it’s the perfect way to cool down.
How to Get to Öregrund
At 150 km from Stockholm, Öregrund is about a 2-hour drive from Stockholm. It’s possible to visit for the day with a car, but I think it would be worth staying for at least one night. Should you want to see another Swedish city, take the train and stop at Uppsala—a lively university town—on your way.
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