Öregrund is a popular seaside resort along the shores of Roslagen, a region within the historical province of Uppland. This locality has gone from being a small seaside settlement to becoming an important town with a harbor used for shipping the region’s iron production. At times, it has experienced the dark ages all over again with three devastating fires. After more than a century of hardship, but still Öregrund rose from the ashes and became one of the most popular seaside resorts for the gentry.
Visitors today are, like the ones over a hundred years ago, mostly attracted by the sea. The sea has been at the center of the town for centuries. In the same way, the marina is the center of the town today.
A Short History of Öregrund
Öregrund is believed to have received its first town privileges in 1491. It had earlier mostly been controlled from the nearby town of Östhammar. Östhammar had, however, started to get difficulties in its harbor due to the continuous tectonic uplift. The capacity in the harbor was declining and Öregrund got its opportunity as a possible complement and replacement for the town people of Östhammar.
During its long history, it has seen the effects of the many wars that Sweden has taken part in. During the uprising of Gustav Vasa against the Danish rule in the 1520s, the town was an important harbor for Gustav Vasa and his import of weapons. Unfortunate events in 1521 eventually led to the town being burned down by the Danes.
The town was re-established in 1555. During the following centuries, the town’s harbor played an important role in the transport of the region’s iron. The iron was shipped from Öregrund to Stockholm, before being exported. For a long time, most men of the town worked onboard the ships, leaving the town to the women and children.
The plague arrived in Öregrund in 1710 and only 9 years later, in 1719, the town was burned down again. This time it was the Russian fleet that arrived at its shores and left little more than ashes. The town had not properly recovered before a regular fire burned it down yet another time in 1829.
An new era för Öregrund came in the 1870s. This was when it became a resort town with a bathhouse and a gentry house. The many guests meant a new boom for Öregrund but another consequence was that the town experienced what today would be called the Airbnb effect, much of the town’s residential buildings became holiday homes.
Things to Do and See
From the wooden houses in the center to the many boats in the marina during the summer, there are many things attracting visitors to Öregrund. The main reason to visit seems to be the social life and the closeness to the sea.
At the center of Öregrund is the marina. During the summer the boats are lined up along the wharf. Walking along the narrow footbridges, watching the boats and the baltic sea is a pleasure in itself. It is also around the marina that many of the town’s restaurants are located. This is in many ways the center of the social life of Öregrund.
The white stone church in Öregrund has a long history and has like the rest of the town seen many devastating fires.
Its clock tower was first built in 1690 but was burned down in 1719. Its decorations currently mark the year 1736, a possible time of its reconstruction. It stands on a hill a few hundred meters away from the church.
Öregrunds Hembygdsgård houses the Folk Museum & Maritime Museum of the town. The museum tells the history of the town and its seafarer past. If it happens to be closed, there are still several artifacts in its garden to be viewed across the fence.
The Gentry House, or Socitetshuset in Swedish, was built in 1893 with the purpose of house gatherings. The gentry has today been replaced by locals as the house is now housing the local heritage organization.
Öregrund Ferry Slip with Ferry to Gräsö
The ferry slip has regular ferries across the strait to the island of Gräsö. Gräsö is a large island just a few hundred meters away from Öregrund. It is 30 kilometers long and about 6 kilometers wide at its most extreme points. With the baltic sea never far away and nature around the corner, the island is a popular summer destination.
Tallparken is a seaside park a short distance from the center of Öregrund. This is where nature is within easy access. The pine forest meets the cliffs of the Baltic Sea. The park has a promenade along the shore as well as a playground and a beach.
Fyrskeppet Västra Banken
Fyrskeppet Västra Banken is a lighthouse ship located at the cliffs at the eastern parts of the inlet to the marina. The lighthouse is shaped like a ship that you can enter.
How to Get to Öregrund
- Flights: The closest major airport is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 113 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
- Car: Öregrund is at the end of a side road of Road 76, between Forsmark and Östhammar.
- Bus: Local and regional UL buses connect Öregrund with the surrounding region.
- Train: There is no nearby train station. One of the closer ones can be found in Örbyhus, 64 kilometers away.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 151 kilometers (1 h 49 min) Gothenburg – 538 kilometers (6 h 28 min) Malmö – 759 kilometers (8 h 9 min) Linköping – 346 kilometers (3 h 48 min) Kiruna – 1176 kilometers (13 h 41 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden