Sweden – A visit to the fortress of Vaxholm

On the second day of our visit to Vaxholm we walked through the village to the quay. Here we boarded the small ferry to take us to the small island of Vaxholm fortress (Vaxholm Kastellet), only a few hundred meters away.

The water around the island used to be the main route from the sea to Stockholm. So in 1544 Gustav Vasa built the first buildings of a fortress to defend the city of Stockholm from naval attacks. The island was attacked by the Danes in 1612 and the Russians in 1719.

vaxholm castle

The ferry leaves every 15 minutes between May and September. The waterway is quite small, so all boats have to follow a one way route around the island. This gave us the perfect opportunity to see all sides of the island and the fortress from the water!

swedish castle wall

The Vaxholm Fortress Museum is located in the main buildings around the central area of the island. Outside we saw a lot of canons, all from different periods in time.

vaxholm fortress museum

In one of the buildings of the fortress a B&B is housed: the Kastellet Bed & Breakfast, must be a great place to stay.

Unfortunately the ferry doesn’t run all evening from the village of Vaxholm to the island. But then again, you’ll have to whole island to yourself during the evening, night and early morning. That does sounds nice, right?

padlocked gates

I love how to were creative with this bike and flowers.

bike and flowers with swedish flag

After taking a look around the buildings of the fortress, we decided to walk around the island.

There’s only one path, so that was quite easy. Along the way the views around where amazing, we saw some beautiful boats sailing by!

sailing boats

And we met some young sea gulls. The parents were close by, screaming at us while we passed by. But the young birds didn’t seem impressed. They just sat there, looking cute and fluffy. Thanks for posing for me!

baby bird

And oh, how I love these flowers! They are the perfect summer flowers and of course you see them everywhere around Sweden.

summer flowers

When we decided to go back we had to wait a bit for the ferry at this lovely little house.

waiting house

Nostalgic view from the inside of the waiting house.

windopw with plants

And that concluded our second day in Sweden, the next day we were on our way to Stockholm.

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  1. Marjolein says:

    Thank you Stephen!

    And I sure have more stories & photos to share 🙂

  2. I love visiting ancient fortresses — as well as ancient temples. It’s funny to think that they were built to defend a city from invaders but today they invite people to ‘invade’, in a good way. Really lovely shots you took there!

    1. Marjolein says:


      And yes, it is hard to imagine that such a scenic and tranquil place was built with war in mind…

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