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On arrival in Stockholm, make your way to the joining hotel, with check in from 3pm. Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’, Stockholm is unquestionably a unique and beautiful city all year round, not only due to its location on 14 islands with its infinite presence of water, but also because of its combination of nature, colourful architecture and ancient history. You don't need to walk far to appreciate the impressive views stretching across the Baltic sea as it winds past the city walls. Stroll through 13th century Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s charming old town, where you cannot help but feel its medieval atmosphere as you wander through the cobblestone streets past narrow, colourful houses of yesteryear. There is so much to see in Stockholm, appealing to so many different interests, that you are sure to find something special within walking distance of your hotel.
Today begins with a transfer from Stockholm hotel to Stendörren Nature Reserve, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the world. Here you have the rest of the morning to hike across the many islands using their intriguing system of suspension bridges, or swim in the clean, refreshing Baltic waters. When you are ready continue your cycle along country lanes through the varied countryside; evergreen forests, meadows and lakes. You pass the impressive 17th century Nynäs Manor House where you can rest your legs, have some lunch and enjoy an optional guided tour or hike the trails in the manor house grounds. En route, you can also stop at Sandvik beach for a quick swim in the sea before you continue your journey on to the seaside town of Trosa. Trosa is visited by many Stockholmers in the summer months because of its unique location surrounded by both open landscape and another marvellous archipelago.
The next morning you can choose to take a short break in Trosa before continuing your journey onwards. Trosa is a charming 17th century town called 'the World's End' because of its location on the banks of the Baltic Sea, with endless views of the ocean all around. The little square, surrounded by old wooden houses, marks the centre of town and the walkway along the canal as it winds its way to the ocean is not to be missed. When you are ready, you continue your cycle journey stopping first at the royal Tullgarn Palace, an 18th century palace located on the seashore with magnificent views of the Baltic waters. Relax and enjoy your lunch in the beautiful palace gardens. After lunch continue your journey by bike, enjoying the Swedish countryside at its very best; pine forests, sparkling lakes and open green fields. Soon you arrive at the outskirts of Gnesta where you can enjoy the beautiful views from your grand farmhouse accommodation. Dinner is included.
This morning, you cycle from Gnesta to Laxne along the shores of Lake Klämmingen where you have plenty of opportunity to stop and swim in the clear waters. You pass by the small village of Laxne where you can pause for refreshments before the next part of your journey back to Mariefred through pine forests dotted with lakes glistening through the trees. Stop for a swim or stroll through the woods to enjoy the surroundings yet further. You cycle all the way to the charming village of Mariefred, founded in 1605 and famed for its narrow, winding streets and colourful, wooden houses as well as being home to one of the most important and magnificent castles in the region, Gripsholm. *Note re optional canoeing: over 4 lakes, approx 9km/5.5mi and 3.5hrs, in a 2-person, open canoe. The paddling is easy and the scenery is very pretty. You don’t alter the cycling route- just change your mode of transport, then pick up your bikes and cycle to Mariefred. It's a great chance to get on to the lakes themselves. Approx SEK400 per person, payable locally (subject to change), please let us know if you'd like to book this.
Today you have a free day to enjoy the area around Mariefred. Choose to cycle through green fields, forests and along the shores of Lake Mälaren to the isolated Taxinge Manor House. Taxinge is not only a beautiful manor house set in lovely surroundings but it is famous for its cakes. Plenty of time is allowed to marvel at the display. After your tea break, you can take a break from cycling and board the charming steam train from Taxinge, reminiscent of times gone by, and make your way back to the village of Mariefred. Instead, you may choose to put your bikes down and visit the impressive Gripsholm’s Castle and learn about Swedish royal history. Later in the afternoon you leave Mariefred and board the steamboat which takes you back to Stockholm where you spend the night in the heart of the city, within walking distance of all sights, restaurants and the charming old town.
Today we include a self guided bicycle tour through Stockholm’s unique Ecopark - the world’s first National Park to be located within a bustling city. The Ecopark is 27 km2 / 16.7 mi2 and is a green oasis combining cultural heritage and natural features. Here you can cycle through ancient forests, visit palaces and bathe from waterside rocks. Animals such as foxes, badgers, marten, mink and deer roam freely and the greatest number of large oak trees in northern Europe are located right here, in the city centre. Your self guided tour takes you through this peaceful city hideaway and includes the Royal island of Djurgården where many of Stockholm’s best museums are located, the royal residence of Rosendal and its delightful gardens and café plus the picturesque canal running through the island. Not to be missed along the way is the Kaknäs Tower with its 30 floor high observation deck offering fantastic views across Stockholm city. Head north and you come to Haga Park and Palace - home to the crown princess family which lies alongside the beautiful Brunnsviken inlet. Further north and you can reach as far as Ulriksdal’s Palace with its well respected restaurant plus relaxing gardens and delightful views. We also recommend a visit to Stockholm’s open air museum, Skansen, which is famous for its Nordic Zoo and living history exhibition; over the years about 150 historical buildings have been moved here from nearly every part of Sweden. Alongside Skansen is the always impressive Vasa Museum, The Vasa ship sank on its maiden voyage on 1628 and was salvaged from the depths of Stockholm’s harbour in 1961. Despite over 300 years lying at the bottom of the Baltic, the Vasa is extremely well preserved thanks to the Baltic’s brackish waters. Consider perhaps a boat trip to Drottningholm Palace, the official residence of the Royal family which is on UNESCO´s World Heritage list. It is the most well-preserved royal palace built in the 1600’s in Sweden. Alternatively, you may choose to take it easy and explore the trendy clothing and design shops that Stockholm is becoming increasingly renowned for. Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Ask us about extending your stay in Stockholm.