How do I get there? Pictures Description

The Skeppsvik archipelago, with its mix of headlands, small islands and reefs, is perhaps best experienced when the first ice of winter arrives - getting here on ice skates, skis or a kicksled is much easier than trying to navigate the treacherous shallow waters. Otherwise it is in summer that this archipelago burgeons with life: boaters, summer visitors and birds everywhere. The peaceful Ostnäs peninsula is a stark contrast to the Skeppsvik archipelago. Walk through its forests completely undisturbed and enjoy the cackle of the red-throated diver (Gavia stellata) over the small ponds.


Skeppsvik archipelago and Ostnäs peninsula

Sweden's most impressive drumlin archipelago can be found at Skeppsvik. Drumlins are elongated, low moraine ridges formed by the most recent ice age. They can be seen outside the hamlet of Skeppsvik in a clear north-south pattern - in the same direction as the ice movement - and they are surrounded by the shallow sea. Sometimes small end moraines (also called De Geer moraines), the moraine type so common in the archipelago north of Björkö, stretch across the drumlins. This fascinating geology of the coast of Skeppsvik can be most clearly viewed from the air. The shallow, rocky waters of the Skeppsvik archipelago are otherwise best experienced in a kayak or on a pair of ice skates. The ice always arrives early here. If you miss the short skating season, skis are also a good way to view the archipelago. Start your excursion at Skeppsvik manor house or at the end of the road a few kilometres to the south, where a path leads a few hundred metres south to the farthest tip of the Skeppsvik peninsula. From here there's a fantastic overview of the southern end of the archipelago.

Bjuren is an isolated island farthest out in the archipelago. Its ancient coniferous forest is almost untouched by man. Lovely rock rubble fields and flat rock forests dominate the east side of the island. A few kilometres south of Bjuren, Tavastudden sits exposed to sea and wind. Getting there during the ice-free portion of the year requires a five-kilometre hike on unmarked boulder-strewn beaches. Your hike will be rewarded once out at the very tip, where the sea meets heaven and heath. Its inaccessibility is no disadvantage; usually you are undisturbed at Tavastudden, which is more easily accessible in winter over the ice.

To the northeast of the Skeppsvik archipelago is Ostnäshalvön, a forest-covered peninsula which was only recently declared a nature reserve in the late 1990s. The reserve has many small bogs and ponds where the shy red-throated diver usually breeds. The red-throated diver population in Västerbotten is most dense right here in the southern coastal area, where they often breed in small, fishless ponds no more than a few kilometres from the sea. The nest often sits on a small, isolated islet in middle of the pond and the adult birds feed their young fish from the sea.

Other bird species that you have a good chance of seeing in the Skeppsvik archipelago are the osprey (Pandion haliaetus), white-tailed eagle (Haliaetus albicilla), little gull (Larus minutus), redshank (Tringa totanus), turnstone (Arenaria interpeak) and oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus).

The Skeppsvik archipelago has many interesting plants:

Alpine currant (Ribes alpinum) Ostögrundet One of Sweden's northernmost occurrences
Lesser burdock (Arctium minus) Hästskäret Northern Sweden's only remaining site
Hairy greenwind (Genista pilosa) Vitögern Only known site in Northern Sweden
Nodding thistle (Carduus nutans) Skeppsvik dock area
Tall yellow sweetclover (Melilotus altissimus) Skeppsviks dock area
Zigzag clover (Trifolium medium) Channel at Skeppsvik
Red Bartsia (Odontites litoralis) The point of the island by Skallvikögern The biggest stand in the county
Common marestail (Hippuris tetraphylla) Sladan bay Probably gone now
Curled snow lichen (Cetraria cucullata) Bjuren Usually found in the mountains and on Öland's bare limestone soil.

Like Bjuren and parts of the Ostnäs peninsula, the western portions of the Skeppsvik archipelago are protected as a nature reserve.

Photo: Jörgen Wiklund/N
Photo: Jörgen Wiklund/N
Photo: Jörgen Wiklund/N
Rocky coastal uplift
Pine forest in the Ostnäs nature reserve
Small bog lakes provide hiding places for the red-throated diver (Gavia stellata)
Photo: Jörgen Wiklund/N
Photo: Svante Öhman
Photo: Henrik Sporrong
Swamp between ponds and sea
Skeppsvik archipelago drumlins
Tavastudden - the southern tip of Täfte peninsula outside Diktesgrundet, where the sea meets heaven and heath
Photo: Anders Enetjärn
Photo: Ann Salomonsson
The lower Sävarån: popular river for canoeing, perhaps at its best when spring brings high water
Small reef

How do I get there

From the E4 highway, turn in Sävar towards Skeppsvik and follow the small country road to the village. Park at the manor house or at the end of the road at the farthest point where a trail begins.


There's a dock in Skeppsvik for visiting boats with two slips right by the manor house. Minimum depth in the channel: 1.5 metres.


The closest shop is in Sävar, 12 kilometres north of Skeppsvik.


  • The lower Sävarån is a large wetland area between Sävar and Skeppsvik. Sävarån, which peacefully runs through this area, is a popular river for canoeing. Canoes can be rented at Preem in Sävar, (090) 503 91.


Texts: Anders Enetjärn, Lise-Lotte Molander.
Translation: Accent Språkservice AB.
Layout & illustrations: Päivi Anttila.
Webbdesign: Fredrik Smeds, Freddi Com Oy Ab.
for maintenance & updates contact: [email protected].