Beutiful spots for kayaking in Sweden

Smultronställen för kajakpaddling i Sverige

Our world-unique coast

Sweden has a very long coast. It stretches several hundred miles from the Norwegian border in the west, rounds Scania and Sweden's most south-eastern corner in Blekinge, and reaches right up to the Torne river at the Finnish border. The route is approximately 250 miles long, not counting all bays and bays. If all capes and coves and more are counted, the distance will be many times greater. The entire stretch is a unique veritable paradise for kayaking tours. The variations and contrasts between different coastal sections are naturally large. The archipelagos in Bohuslän, Blekinge and the Svealand coast with e.g. Stockholm's archipelago is relatively protected from winds. Other sections such as the Halland coast, the Skåne coast and most of the Norrland coast are open to the sea and offer completely different experiences and challenges for the tour paddler.

Bohus coast

Bohuslän's scenic archipelago is characterized by rocky beaches and ditto islands and skerries without much vegetation. The bare rocks are a sign. The entire coastal section is suitable for paddling with the exception of the area closest to Gothenburg. The entrance to the Nordic region's largest harbor is directly dangerous for canoeists to pass through. In addition, during peak holiday season, small boat traffic along the coast, especially along the north-south waterway, is very troublesome. But if you avoid this, paddling here is pleasant and offers pleasant experiences. My own favorite areas are the archipelago around the west coast's largest island Orust and around Marstrand. There are several kayak rental companies in Orust. For example, you can paddle on the west side from Gullholmen down to Käringön in the lee of the winds, visit the genuine old fishing villages and if you want to feel the ocean waves in the strait between the islands out to the open sea. Orust kayak at Stockens Camping near Ellös in Orust ( is one of several kayak rental companies. The Marstrand archipelago is one of the west coast's absolute gems. The well-grouped archipelago around Marstrandsön, Koön and Instön to name a few is well defined with many narrow straits, channels, small islands and islets with bathing rocks. Avoid the open Marstrandsfjord in the north and the fjords south of the Albrektsund Canal. Marstrandskajaker ( rents out kayaks; located on Södra Strandgatan just before the ferry stop for the ferries over to Marsstrandsön.

Blekinge archipelago

The Blekinge Archipelago is the southernmost larger and more integrated archipelago in the Baltic Sea. There are close to a thousand islands and skerries here. My favorite place here is the Hällaryd archipelago just east of Karlshamn. Parts of the archipelago consist of nature reserves set aside for mobile outdoor activities. There are several suitable starting points, including Matvik near Karlshamn and Järnavik. The archipelago is varied and mostly well protected from winds. The passage from Järnavik and Tjärö towards Mjöösund is, however, exposed, especially to southerly winds. Alböleudde is a notorious passage. Haröskärv is an islet just east of Harö which is worth a visit in calm weather. Farthest south as the last outpost towards the open sea is Tärnö. Go ashore on the north side. The beach is on the south side. Kayak rental is available in Järnavik ( ).

City paddling in Kalmar

In the south-eastern corner of Sweden lies Kalmar, once upon a time the country's gateway to the world. Blekinge was Danish and Gothenburg barely established and long disputed. The archipelago just south of the city, Västra Sjön, and especially the whole of central Kalmar, which is made up of islands with canals in between and surrounded by bays, is a suitable area for day trips by kayak. For example, paddle the moat around the magnificent Vasa Castle. If you want to make a longer trip, paddle to Rafshagen's campsite just north of the city. Good loading location in the center is wide Kalmar kayak at Vattentornsparken. You can also rent there kayak and SUP board .

Misterhult's archipelago

On the northern coast of Småland is the Misterhult archipelago, one of the pearls of the east coast for paddling tours. Part of the area is a nature reserve. There are several bird protection and seal protection areas here. The birdlife is rich. The archipelago is quite shallow with lots of islands and islets to rest on. Several old fishing villages, now mostly summer residences, can be visited out on the larger islands. You can start in Blankaholm, at Hornsudde, in Västervik or from Lysingsbadet just outside Västervik. Kayak rental is available, among other things, at Hornsudde. An example of a nice day trip from there is to come out to the archipelago around Krokö and Idö with the former pilot station via the strait at Spårö båk, one of the country's oldest landmarks. An inland paddling with more flavor.

S:t Anna

Östergötland's archipelago is wide and includes several well-known archipelagos. The most famous for paddlers is St. Anna Archipelago, my absolute favorite among Swedish archipelagos. This finely cut archipelago consists of a spawn of islands that, with their mostly low profiles, require you to be careful with navigation. Avoid major waterways and you can enjoy the peace and quiet. You get the best overview from Kupa klint, also called Missjö kupa, on the island of Kupan with a cairn at the top, from where you have a wonderful view of the horizon. Just outside is the open sea. Bird life is very rich. There are plenty of sea eagles here. Start from Tyrislöt's campsite or from S:t Anna archipelago's kayak rental ( at Tyrislöt; located where the road ends at the far end of Norra Finnö.

Stendörren in Sörmland

The Sörmland archipelago is almost as extensive as Östergötland but has a slightly different character with larger islands and open bays in between. However, some smaller archipelagos stand out with a completely different character; above Stendörren in Nyköping's northern archipelago. Stendörren archipelago nature reserve is unique in its kind. In a small area, the archipelago's various landscape types are represented, from the inner archipelago to the outer archipelago. A Naturum located next to one of the east coast's most famous waterways enhances your own experiences with easily accessible information. The beautiful landscape where sea and land meet provides an intense nature experience. You can combine the paddling tour with a hike within the reserve. On the islands connected to the mainland there are a large number of barbecue areas and rest areas. Place the kayak at Stendörren's floating jetty for canoes next to the far parking lot.

Stockholm archipelago

Stockholm's vast archipelago stretches from Landsort in the south to Örskär in the north. Here there is both an inner archipelago and a middle and outer archipelago. The inner archipelago and large parts of the middle archipelago are unfortunately exploited and thus not so accessible to the public, although there are many exceptions. The Ytterskärgården, on the other hand, are virgin paddling areas but at the same time more demanding due to the exposure to winds. Small boat traffic is also occasionally very dense, mainly in the waterways. The Archipelago Foundation in Stockholm County ( however owns and manages 12% of all land in the archipelago and manages 40 nature reserves that are for the public's outdoor life. The foundation's head office is located on Skeppsholmen in Stockholm and every year publishes a free publication, an area guide, with descriptions of all its areas. These are excellent targets for touring kayaking. My favorites in the southern archipelago are Järflotta south of Nynäshamn and the archipelago around Långviksskär off Nämndö. The reserve Björnö on Ingarö can be reached by car and bus. There you can also rent a kayak ( In the northern archipelago, the Möjaskärgården reserve is a vast and exciting paddling area. Outside Norrtälje, the archipelago around Arholma, Lidö and Fejan is an interesting alternative. Regular boat traffic goes here and kayak rentals ( are available at Fejan.

Norrland coast

From the outlet of the Dalälven in the Gulf of Gävle in the south, the long Norrland coast stretches along the Bothnian Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia all the way to the Torne River in the north. This coast is largely open to the sea with no protective islands close to the coast. On some stretches of coast, however, there are very interesting and exciting areas to paddle through. My own favorites are the High Coast in Ångermanland and the archipelago in the northern Gulf of Bothnia, mainly the Luleå archipelago.

High Coast

The Höga kusten area stretches from the mouth of the Ångermanälven just north of Härnösand up to Skag's headland outside Örnsköldsvik. The entire area is classified as World Heritage by UNESCO and constitutes a very unique environment. The area is quite limited but contains a lot of drama. The coast drops steeply into the sea. Deep bays and bays cut far inland. Paddling here can be a real challenge as it is far between the islands, at least in the southern part. The southern part, up to Bönhamn, is very exposed in windy weather and it can be difficult to go ashore in many places. Recoil waves near the shores can become a problem. The coast is inaccessible but magnificent in its wildness. But the coastline also offers several very interesting destinations. The fishing location Bönhamn, Högbonden's lighthouse, Ulvöarna with red granite and surströmming, Trysunda with sandy beaches and hostels are good examples of places to visit for a paddler. Just experiencing the light is amazing! The lingering evening light that lingers for a long time in summer effectively highlights the drama of the landscape and the rolling evening swells of the Bothnian Sea. You can rent a kayak in e.g. Bönhamn (

Luleå archipelago

The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia houses our northernmost archipelago. The islands are relatively sparse with large open bays in between. Several of the islands are actually large sandbars that have reached above sea level due to land uplift. There is no congestion here. You will easily find long sandy beaches where you can rest or spend the night in solitary majesty. Some favorites are Junkön's northern tip with guest harbour, Storbrändön's south side and Hindersön. The latter houses the restaurant Jopikgården where local delicacies are offered to hungry kayakers. South of the Luleå archipelago, about halfway to Piteå, is my favorite Nord-Mörön, where a magnificent sandbar unites the island with the adjacent Möröskäret. Another very interesting target is Haparanda Sandskär, which forms its own national park. It is located far out to sea and requires stable calm weather to paddle to.

From Bonden's lighthouse, you have this view to the south over the dramatic landscape of the High Coast.

The uplift of the land at the High Coast has left this old boat landing far from the beach. Along this entire coastal section, you can clearly see the effects of land uplift in many places.