Available in English, Stockholm Archipelago: the 50 best harbours is a must have guide for those planning to explore Sweden's islands and skerries

Stockholm Archipelago: the 50 best harbours
Anders Hellberg, Kerstin Benckert, Gustaf Hannar
Brixham Books, 399kr (approx. £32.50)

This recently published guide to the 50 best harbours in the Stockholm archipelago is the only one available in English.

Two of its authors – Anders Hellberg and Kerstin Benckert – are the joint skippers of the Brixham trawler Tibnor which provides the logo for their publishing house.

They are specialist publishers of pilot books and travel guides, but this is their first volume to be translated into English.

It looks likely to become indispensable, at least to the less experienced visitor.

The Stockholm Archipelago is the second largest in the Baltic and contains approximately 30,000 islands, rocks and skerries.

The authors admit that their selection of 50 ‘best’ harbours is necessarily subjective.

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They include well-established guest harbours such as Wasahamnen in central Stockholm, sheltered natural harbours and areas such as the Storra Nassa island group where you are advised to pick your own cove.

Sweden is a country with a universal right of access though there are some areas with special protection for wildlife.

Leafing through the guide I was intrigued by the number of islands with a military past, such as Siarofortet where massive cannons defend the approach to Stockholm and which the authors describe as ‘a museum of short-sighted defence planning in a dark era’.

There are ‘hotspot’ islands crowded with summer holiday activities and calm magical places in the outer archipelago ‘where there is not much to do beyond admitting the beauty of the islands’.

The authors offer a clear introduction to the Nordic style of shore mooring as well as indicating where conventional anchoring would be a better choice.

The cruising ground is divided into six areas: Inner and Central Archipelago, Farusund Fairway, Outer Archipelago (North), Outer Archipelago (South), Southern Archipelago (Inner), Southern Archipelago (Outer).

The layout is very clear with extremely good shelter diagrams in every entry as well as pictorial assessments of child-friendliness and swimming opportunities.

Chartlets, distances, plus and minus factors as well as availability of basic harbour services are included for every entry as well as photographs which may inspire the reader to set sail at once.

A thoroughly useful, well-presented book.

Stockholm Archipelago: the 50 best harbours is available at Swedish on line book store Bokus – bokus.com – and Stockholm book store Kartbutiken – kartbutiken.se – for delivery to most European countries.

For further questions concerning purchase, please email Brixham Books at info@brixham.se

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