Discover the beauty of the St Anna and Gryt archipelago on this self-guided sea kayaking holiday in Sweden suitable for both adults and families and for novice or more experienced paddlers.
The Gryt archipelago is part of the larger St Anna island network and is one of Sweden's premier kayaking areas, known for the beauty of its natural landscape and ideal for exploring by sea kayak. From your base at a simple cabin on the island of Harstena, you will set out to create your own paddle adventure in the surrounding archipelago.
From your meeting point at the kayak centre, you can choose either to begin your kayaking adventure either by paddling out to your cabin or travelling by optional boat transfer (recommended for novices and families). Once at the cabins, you are free to plan your days as you wish, taking to the water to explore as much or as little of the archipelago as your time, energy and level of experience permits.
Extra days in addition to the standard two nights in cabin accommodation can be added. These can be either in cabin, or alternatively you can turn your trip into a mini-expedition by adding some days wild camping, perhaps returning to the cabins for a night or two before departure.
Discover Sea Kayaking in St Anna and Gryt offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of level of challenge, distance covered and duration, and is therefore suitable for a very wide range of particpants:
You meet at the kayak centre for introduction to the tour. If paddling to Harstena (Option 1 below) you will begin your tour from here. If taking boat transfer (Option 2 below), you will collect your buoyancy aids at the kayak centre and receive the rest of your equipment on arrival at the island.
If you choose to kayak out to the cabins, you will begin your experience from the kayak camp. The route to Harstena is around 8km (extensions optional) and takes you through a network of islands with many possibilities to stop. Explore the sandy beach of Sandö and the lovely lagoon of Långholmen before paddling out towards Gubbökupa, a fine spot for lunch 30m above the water and with a 360 degree view of the surrounding archipelago. Continue via Klubben and on to the island of Harstena, where your cabin accommodation is located. If you wish, sauna on the island can be arranged in advance (please see "Optional extras"). On Harstena you will check in to your cabin.
Minimum paddle time is around 4 hours non-stop, though we recommend taking additional time to enjoy the landscape. If you have chosen to camp for some of the nights of your tour (see "Optional Extras"), you can choose to take two days to make the trip out to Harstena, adding optional extensions to the distance covered and camping for a night along the way (note of course that this must be specified in advance when booking).
This option requires crossing some areas of open water and is recommended only if you have previous experience of kayaking and are comfortable paddling independently in a marine environment. For novice paddlers and families, we recommend travelling by boat transfer.
For less confident paddlers or families with children, we recommend travelling out to Harstena by boat transfer (see "Optional extras"). On Harstena, you will collect your kayak equipment and check in to your cabin accommodation.
Self-guided kayak tours in the surrounding archipelago. A wide choice of options for exploring the beautiful island landscape is available. Distance covered and level of challenge is entirely flexible depending on factors such as your level of experience/fitness and wind/weather conditions. For novices or families, there is accessible paddling close to shore, while more experienced paddlers can choose to explore further afield. At the end of the day's paddle adventure, return to your cabin to enjoy the evening.
If you have chosen to take a tent then you also have the flexibility to spend some nights under canvas, camping wild beneath the stars.
Return to the kayak centre by kayak or by boat transfer, where you end your experience with a session in a floating sauna - the perfect way to round off your trip before departure.
Start/end any day by arrangement between 09.00 and 17.00 from 13th May to 3rd September 2013 (latest start day 3rd September).
Prices are in British Pounds. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment by bank transfer in Euros or Swedish Kronor. If this would be of interest, please let us know and we will be happy to provide prices.
Images below show example cabin accommodation:
For participants who do not have the experience/confidence to paddle between the kayak centre and Harstena or who would prefer a reduced level of challenge, boat transfer is available for both arrival and/or departure, price £108/party of up to 4 persons/one-way.
To extend your trip, accommodation for extra nights can be either in cabin or wild camping in tent, or in a combination of the two. Dates for cabin stay must be specified when booking.
Use of sauna at the kayak camp on end day is included as standard for your tour, but there is also a sauna on Harstena, where your cabin accommodation is located, which can be booked and paid locally, price 500 SEK/use (about £50, note that for this sauna you will be provided with wood to heat the sauna yourself).
For special occasions (e.g. honeymoon) a private chef can be arranged to prepare al fresco dinner evening while on Harstena. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
No previous experience of sea kayaking is required, though we recommend that participants with limited kayaking experience or with families travel to/from Harstena by boat transfer. If paddling to/from Harstena at the start/end of your tour, you should have some previous kayaking experience and be comfortable travelling independently in a marine environment. For day tours from Harstena, distance covered and level of challenge is flexible depending on experience/ability.
We recommend that novices and families choose double kayaks, which are the most stable option. This experience is suitable for children aged 7 and over if sharing kayak with an adult, or 13 years and over (with some previous kayak experience) to use single kayak.
Swimming ability required for all adult and child participants. You should be in good health, have a normal level of fitness and enjoy the outdoors. Minimum 2 adults (18+) required.
While strong winds are rare, weather conditions can of course vary and you should be comfortable on the water in different conditions and bear in mind that this a is self-guided tour. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding your suitability for the experience. There are no currents/tides in the archipelago.
Note: Ticks occur in grassy areas, whereas during your kayak tour you will be mostly on rocky ground.
As in the UK, there are ticks in the forests in Sweden which can carry diseases such as Borrelia. You should check for ticks at the end of a day in the outdoors. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible by pulling the tick out straight, carefully and slowly, with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Ensure that you do not leave any of the insect's mouth parts attached to your skin. Wash the bite area with soap and water. In the unlikely event that you feel unwell or notice anything unusual around the area of the bite in the coming days/couple of weeks, consult your doctor.
In some small localised areas of Sweden (including the eastern archipelago), the ticks are known to carry a disease called TBE, or Tick-borne encephalitis, and locals spending extended periods in affected areas do vaccinate themselves. For a map of TBE distribution in Europe and latest updates, please see Tick Alert.
For current advice on TBE and inoculations, please consult your doctor or see NaTHNaC.
A detailed recommended equipment list will be sent with your booking confirmation.
NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing.
Minimum 2 adults required. This experience is also suitable for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
The island of Harstena, where your cabin accommodation is located, lies in the northern part of the Gryt archipelago and is a lovely area with well-preserved archipelago natural and cultural heritage. Harstena is an ideal base for exploring this region.
This provider has a written environmental policy.
Detailed information on travel options will be sent with your booking documentation. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
Fly to Stockholm. Travel by coach or train + bus to Valdemarsvik (approx. 2.5-3 hours) for local bus to Gryt (20 mins). Transfer between Gryt and the kayak centre (2km) is included.
Ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg (Denmark) for onward train + bus connections to Valdemarsvik.
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