Sea Kayaking in the Koster and Fjallbacka Archipelago

Sea Kayaking in the Koster and Fjallbacka Archipelago

Photos: J.Hermanson

Sea Kayaking in the Koster, Fjällbacka and Weather Islands (Sweden)

Guided sea kayaking in Sweden's sunniest archipelago region

Kayaking holidays in Sweden: Koster/Fjällbacka

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Overview

  • Required: General good health. No previous kayaking experience required for Koster and Fjällbacka tours. Some experience required for Weather Islands and 1-day tours. Minimum age 15 if accompanied by adult, otherwise 18.
  • Duration: 3 days/2 nights
  • Accommodation: Wild camping (Koster and Fjällbacka) or guest house (Weather Islands).
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Koster and Fjällbacka tours

From the first stroke of the paddle, the Fjällbacka and Koster Archipelago regions offer wonderful sea kayaking on the west coast of Sweden, within easy reach of the attractive cultural centre of Gothenburg.

Suitable both for novices and more experienced paddlers alike, these guided sea kayaking tours led by local guide are an excellent introduction to sea kayaking. Less experienced paddlers will receive help and guidance in the best paddling techniques to ensure that they get the most out of the tour, while the more experienced will have a chance to discuss route planning and navigation skills.

The Koster Archipelago has the most hours of sunshine of any location in Sweden. The islands, rocks and skerries that make up the Koster Archipelago offer some of the best sea kayaking in Sweden and have recently been designated Sweden's first Marine National Park.

The Koster Islands and the surrounding archipelago are Sweden's most westerly outpost into the western ocean, with islands made from gneiss rather than granite, sometimes lying so tightly together that even a sea kayak can barely squeeze between them - meaning you will have many of these very special places to yourselves, as larger boats cannot travel here! In relative solitude you glide amongst the islands, watching common seals as they sun themselves on the rocks, backed by the silhouette of the mighty lighthouse at Ursholmen in the distance.

The Fjällbacka Archipelago is one of the most sheltered areas of water in the region of Bohuslän, and offers possibilities for superb sea kayaking in a wide range of conditions. If the weather is calm, you may find yourself paddling out into the more open waters of the outer archipelago looking for seals. In more windy conditions, your route will take you through the lovely islands of the inner archipelago with a chance to learn something of the fascinating history of the area.

The distances covered on the tours and the routes taken will be adapted to suit your needs and wishes, as well of course as the demands of the weather - each tour is a unique adventure, and there are endless possibilities for new variations and new experiences along the way. At the end of each day's paddling adventure, you will choose a suitable spot and camp wild each night, very possibly on your very own island! Fall asleep to the lap of waves against the rocks, the call of the seabirds, and the fading rays of the sun as it dips reluctantly below the horizon at the end of another long summer's day...

Sea kayaking in the Fjällbacka and Koster Archipelagos is a marvellous combination of relaxing paddling, accessibility, and an expedition into one of Sweden's most beautiful marine landscapes, an uplifting experience for both body and spirit!

Weather Islands tour

The Weather Islands are the most westerly islands of the archipelago, home to seals and seabirds but to no permanent human residents. Unlike the Koster and Fjällbacka tours, which are based on wild camping, the Weather Islands tour features accommodation in a welcoming guest house on the island of Storö known for its good food and comfortable beds, providing the perfect base for 3 days of exploration by kayak of some of Sweden's most exotic paddling waters.

As this region has more exposed and open water, you should have some previous experience of sea kayaking if choosing this option.

One-day Variation - "Lucky Dip" Kayak Tours:

1-day guided kayak tours are also available. These tours have a different itinerary and are suitable only for participants who have done at least some kayaking before. See under "Itinerary" for details.

Itinerary - 3-day camping tours

Day 1: Sea Kayaking in Fjällbacka Archipelago

Meet at 09.00 at the kayak centre for transfer to the start point in Heestrand. In calm weather, you may paddle past the island of Hornö and up past Lilla Hamburgö, with imposing granite formations to your right and the wide horizon to the left. If windy, you may take a route on the lee side of Hamburgö. Once past the northern entrance to the sound, you are out in the Fjällbacka archipelago, an island world which is a paddler's paradise, with an almost limitless choice of possible routes. Over the coming days you will paddle through some of the gems of the archipelago - Stensholmen with its fascinating cemetary; Dannholmen with its windswept houses, once the home of Ingrid Bergman; Florön with its old illicit "speakeasy"; Bogen with its steep, imposing cliffs. Each night, you will camp where the mood takes you and where the spot seems right.

Day 1: Sea Kayaking in Koster Archipelago

Meet at 09.00 at the kayak centre for transfer to the start point on the island of Tjärnö. If weather conditions are suitable, you will paddle out across the Koster Fjord, which after just a couple of kilometres brings you out to one of Sweden's finest sea kayaking areas. Parts of the region have recently been designated Sweden's first Marine National Park for their unique natural heritage value.

Days 2-3

The weather, wind and your own heart will dictate how far you paddle and where you end up at the day's end as you discover the myriad attractions of this lovely region, from dramatic rock formations to a diverse flora and fauna - you are out to enjoy yourself! When you come ashore, everyone will help to make dinner and you will have plenty of time to make the most of the long evenings, before turning in to recharge your batteries for the coming day's paddling.

The tours end around 17.00 at the kayak centre in Uddevalla.

Itinerary - 3-day Weather Islands tour

Days 1-2

Meet at the kayak centre at 09.00 for transfer to the start point. Your experience begins with a tour in the Fjällbacka area. From the outer islands you are met for boat transfer over the fjord to your guest house accommodation on Storö.

The guest house will be your base for two days of paddling among some of the two hundred islands which make up the Weather Islands, ending each days on the water with sauna and dinner back at the guest house.

Day 3

You will be back at the kayak centre in Uddevalla around 17.00.

Dates & Prices

Dates

3-day tours:

  • Sea Kayaking in Fjällbacka Archipelago: 04.07-06.07.14
  • Sea Kayaking in Koster Archipelago: 01.08-03.08.14
  • Sea Kayaking in the Weather Islands: 29.08-31.08.14

Groups of minimum 4 persons can also book private tours on dates by arrangement.

The Price

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.

  • 3-day camping tours (Koster/Fjällbacka): £390/person
  • 3-day guest house tour (Weather Islands): £590/person

What The Price Includes

Equipment/Accommodation

  • All necessary kayaking equipment: kayak, paddle, splash guard and life vest. K1 (single) kayaks are used as standard. Novice paddlers may wish to choose a K2 (2-person) kayak. Please let us know in advance if you would like to choose this option.
  • Fjällbacka and Koster tours: Camping stove and cooking equipment, shared tented accommodation in Vaude 2-person tents, sleeping mattress/camping seat.
  • Weather Islands tour: Accommodation in 2-person room in comfortable guest house including use of sauna.

Meals

All meals during the tour: lunch and dinner day 1, breakfast lunch and dinner day 2, breakfast and lunch day 3. If you have particular dietary requirements, please let us know in advance. Lunch will generally be a picnic lunch of sandwiches and fruit.

For Weather Islands tour, food includes two course dinner for nights at the guest house, picnic lunch while paddling.

Guide

Services of experienced and knowledgeable guide during the tour.

Transfers

If you are travelling to this experience by public transport, the guides will arrange a vehicle and transport you to/from Uddevalla and the start/end point for the tour. Please let us know in advance if transfer is required.

What The Price Does Not Include

Alcoholic drinks and additional snacks during the tour - you may wish to have some chocolate or other high-energy foods with you to maintain energy levels when paddling.

Optional Extras

Koster/Fjällbacka tours:

  • Sleeping bag: £25/person
  • Accommodation in 2-person tents is included in the price. If you would particularly like a private tent, this can be hired as an optional extra at a cost of £73/tent, or alternatively you are welcome to bring your own.

Practical Info

Health requirements/experience

The emphasis is on enjoying the kayaking experience. Distances covered and speed can to a certain extent be adjusted to fit the needs and wishes of the group. However, you should be in general good health and be used to outdoor life. Participants must be able to swim at least 200m. A life vest must be used at all times (included in the price). Minimum age 15 if accompanied by adult, otherwise 18.

For the Koster and Fjällbacka tours, it is not necessary to have any previous experience of kayaking. The tour itself is an excellent introduction to kayaking, and you will learn a number of skills and techniques which will be useful for future paddling expeditions. You will be instructed in and have opportunity to practise basic paddling techniques, be taken through use of all the equipment, receive guidance on how to enter and exit a kayak, look at paddling and rescue techniques and have the chance to discuss route planning and navigation.

For Weather Islands tours, you should have done at least some kayaking before - these tours do not include an introduction to equipment/paddle technique, though of course these tours offer an excellent opportunity to improve your skills.

Equipment/clothes needed

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.

Groups

Minimum total 4 participants required for tour to be confirmed to run. You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.

Maximum group size 8 persons.

This experience can also be booked by private groups of minimum 4 persons on custom dates by arrangement.

Additional Notes

This provider has received a prestigious Swedish Ecotourism quality mark for its commitment to high standards to cultural and environmental sensitivity.

Location

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.

By Air

Fly to Gothenburg for train to Uddevalla (approx. 1 hour). It is also possible to fly to Oslo Rygge (RYG) airport for connections to Uddevalla, travel time approx. 3 hours.

Without Flying

Ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg (Denmark) for onward train connections to Uddevalla.

Map of Sweden

Map of Sweden

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