The hissing of summer lawns: Best beaches in Stockholm 2

Cycling in Saltsjöbaden in summer.

We've been in London for the last week and I'm glad to be back in Stockholm to recover from the pace. So while I'm processing my thoughts about London I'll tell you about two beautiful beaches that we'll be visiting again this week to escape the summer heat and can be easily reached by public transport and which, while popular, are really not that crowded during the peak summer season.

The view on the walk to Erstaviks beach.

Erstaviks beach. Pretty cool I reckon. You don't get big expanses of sea in Stockholm which I miss but here it's a more expansive bay as it gets closer to the Baltic Sea. There's sea breezes. And salty air. Though not that salty. But it's a deeply relaxing spot to be. Very grounding.

Erstaviksbadet seemed like a popular place for windsurfers. You can hire boards there if you feel like having your arms wrenched out of their sockets in the wind.

Erstavik is a pristine beach 30-35 minutes from Slussen by train that you reach after walking a couple of kilometres (30mins) from the Erstaviksbadets station. Not as hard as it sounds as the track is easy and it's a simply stunning walk through beautiful forest with magnificent views of the water with the occasional windsurfer sailing by. There's a fairly wide area of sandy beach (though it's still rough to my feet) and a large area of grass to sunbake to your hearts content. Lots of people sunbake on the larger rocks because they're so smooth. The water's beautiful and clean and there's no poisonous jellyfish or crabs to step on and give yourself a heart attack.

Baby seagulls in Saltsjöbaden.

The interesting thing that I didn't know about the swedes and northerners in general is that they love a suntan. You could even tell them apart in London. I think maybe it's the long winters people have to put up with up here but as soon as the sun warms up they're stripping off. In Australia there's still some die hard sunbakers but you get burnt to a crisp in Oz (if you're white that is) if you're out longer than half an hour without 30plus slapped on your skin. I'm happy to remain lilywhite for the meantime.

The other beach is at Saltsjöbaden which I've mentioned in another blog during winter and it's hard to believe it's the same place without the snow. There's a family oriented secluded public bathing area in front of the Grand Hotel that you have to pay a low entrance fee for but it's worth it so that you can  have your coffees and food at tables if you want. You can even smoke! There's separate male/female areas for nude sunbaking if you wish too. There's not a lot of sand but there's some and it's quite soft. It's a good fun vibe. It's a great place to do some birdwatching too. Saltsjöbaden's the last station on the line from Slussen.

Saltsjöbaden public baths
Just a beautiful place. And of course everything is super organised.
There are heaps of boats of every kind everywhere. Most people seem to have access to a boat. Lucky them. And the swedish flag is often prominently displayed. In Australia there is often a bit of contention about the display of the national flag. Not so here it seems.


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