Just a few minutes away from the city of Stockholm, the archipelago begins. With nearly 30,000 islands, islets and rocks – from Öregrund in the north to Landsort in the south – each with its own character. Rugged nature blends with wooded islands, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. Enjoy tranquil coves or the open sea where waves can go high. Explore uninhabited islets as well as islands with new communities and ancient villages, where large houses and small cottages stand side by side.
The water has a pH value of 7.0 (neutral) or slightly lower, to be compared with approximately 8.0 for seawater. Together with humic substances this sometimes causes a bit brownish water colour, especially in the inner parts. The salinity varies between freshwater and brackish water with poor salinity. In the outer parts of the archipelago, the salinity reaches around 0.6–0.7 per cent by weight, to be compared with at least 1.5 for beginning to taste salty and around 3.0 or more for proper oceanic water. Sea ice is regularly formed in the inner parts every winter.
The Stockholm archipelago is a joint valley landscape that has been shaped – and is still being shaped – by post-glacial rebound. It was not until the Viking Age that the archipelago began to assume its present-day contours. The islands rise by about three millimeters each year. In 1719 the archipelago had an estimated population of 2,900, consisting mostly of fishermen.
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