Concierge.com's insider take:
The archipelago makes up an area of extraordinary natural beauty: thousands of smooth granite islands, some crowned with fir trees, rising from the Baltic Sea. The inhabited ones, dotted with little red or mustard-yellow houses, look straight out of a fairy tale. Larger islands, such as Sandhamn, have restaurants and inns, while others, including Finnhamn, have youth hostels or campsites. Most Stockholmers dream of being wealthy enough to afford a house in the archipelago, but until then they make do with day trips. Boat services run regularly through the summer, with a much-reduced winter timetable. To really get into the heart of the archipelago, allow at least two hours' sailing time.