Photos: 1:Lena P; 2,7:Ingemar Aourell; 3,5,6:T.Bergenfeldt; 4:Jean Robert
The Stockholm Archipelago is a network of over 24,000 islands, rocks and skerries, many of which are completely uninhabited, extending 60km to the east of the capital Stockholm, "Venice of the North". The archipelago is easily accessible from Stockholm, which is itself built on some of the larger islands near to the mainland, yet is one of Sweden's most stunning natural areas, home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna including majestic aerial predators such as the White-tailed Sea Eagle and Osprey.
The calm, sheltered waters, whispering pine trees, smooth rocky islands and colourful orchid meadows make the Stockholm Archipelago ideal for sea kayaking and wild camping - and with thousands of islands to choose from, finding your own private island is rarely a problem!
Over three or five days you will discover some of the very best of what the Stockholm Archipelago has to offer. Your start point is the island of Runmarö, one of the top paddling areas in the archipelago offering excellent access to the wilder scenery of the outer archipelago.
Sea kayaking is an ideal way to experience the rich natural heritage of the archipelago, allowing you to travel through shallow, narrow passages between the islands where oystercatchers and seagulls can reach the bottom but larger boats cannot pass. Kayaking is a tranquil, low-impact form of transport allowing you to enjoy the scenery and wildlife of the area without disturbance.
Led by an experienced local guide with intimate knowledge of the natural and cultural heritage of the region, Sea Kayaking in the Stockholm Archipelago is suitable for both novices and more experienced paddlers alike. Distance covered and the pace of the tour can be flexible depending on weather conditions and the needs and wishes of the participants - but wherever your paddle takes you, the most important thing is to relax and enjoy the unique beauty of the archipelago landscape, all the more precious and remarkable for being so easily accessible from one of Europe's loveliest cities.
Sea Kayaking in the Stockholm Archipelago the perfect option for a guided kayak tour for individuals, couples, families with older children or small groups of friends. For larger groups and corporate clients, private tours are possible on custom dates by arrangement with a choice of guest house accommodation as alternative to camping.
If time is limited or you would like to discover the pleasure of sea kayaking in the archipelago without the commitment of a longer tour, one-day tours are also available.
You assemble by the coast in Stavsnäs, less than one hour by local bus from the centre of Stockholm, in the afternoon around 13.00 (details of local travel arrangements will be provided after booking). Your experience begins with a transfer by taxi boat using a family-run firm to the island of Runmarö, where your kayak guide will be waiting to welcome you. You will then have a short instruction meeting where you are taken through how to use your equipment and important safety procedures before taking to the water to begin your exploration of some of the Stockholm Archipelago's 24,000 islands, rocks and skerries.
The distance covered on this first day is quite short to allow you to settle into your technique and relax into the surroundings. When you come to your first island camping spot for the night, you will pitch camp before preparing dinner together in the twilight.
A quick dip in the refreshing archipelago waters is the perfect start to the day. After breakfast you will once more take to the water for a day of leisurely paddling. If weather conditions are suitable, you will head out towards the island of Bullerö out towards the open sea. Bullerö is well-known in Sweden as the inspiration for Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors, who used the landscapes of Bullerö as the basis for his nature paintings. There is a small museum and picturesque village on the island, and you take a break here for a short visit before paddling on to your next wild camping spot for the night.
If you have some remaining energy after your day on the water, an evening stroll along the rocks to enjoy the sunset and tranquility before dinner is an ideal way to round off your second day in the archipelago.
If the early sunrise of a Swedish summer wakes you early, you can take to the water for a morning swim or dawn paddle. After a hearty breakfast, you will load up the kayaks to spend the morning exploring new inlets, islets and skerries. Your guide is knowledgeable in the rich natural heritage of the area and you have an opportunity to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the Stockholm Archipelago. Notable bird species in the archipelago include the White-tailed Sea Eagle and Osprey, and with luck you may catch sight of these majestic predators in the wide skies above.
As always, weather and wind conditions will dictate the best route to follow, but the day is planned with paddling stretches of reasonable distance and a stop for lunch, with the level of challenge adapted to suit the needs and wishes of the group. Eventually it will be time to head home towards Runmarö. Here you will unpack the kayaks and see to the equipment before catching the taxi boat back to Stavnäs with final views of the archipelago landscape behind and the beginnings of Stockholm, "Venice of the North" to the east.
You will be back in Stockholm around 17.00-18.00.
Choosing a 5-day tour gives you an additional two full days and nights in which to explore the myriad islands, rocks and skerries of the Stockholm Archipelago. Wind and weather conditions and the wishes of the group will dictate which parts of the archipelago you explore and the distance covered. You will be back in Stockholm around 17.00-18.00 or a little earlier.
For 1-day tours, you will travel from central Stockholm by local bus in the morning then to the kayak centre by taxi boat to begin your tour. You will spend the day kayaking in the archipelago and be back in Stockholm in the evening around 18.00-19.00. Price includes taxi-boat transfer to/from the kayak centre, kayak equipment, outdoor lunch and services of local guide.
Your experience begins from central Stockholm, where you take the public boat (not included in the price) around midday for a 3-hour cruise through the beautiful islands of the Stockholm Archipelago out to the island of Möja*. Once on Möja, you will be met by your guide, check in to your accommodation and change clothes for the first part of your kayak adventure, an afternoon tour in some of the inlets of the Möja Nature Reserve. You will be given an introduction to your equipment and paddle technique before taking to the water. Dinner will be at one of the local restaurants on the island (or optional self-catering) before retiring to your accommodation for your first good night's sleep in the outer archipelago (note that dinner is not included in the price).
*During certain periods in the summer, this journey is by a combination of boat and local bus.
After breakfast, you will enjoy a full day's kayaking in the Möja Nature Reserve, stopping for lunch on one of the many uninhabited islands in the area, returning to Möja for dinner (note that dinner is not included in the price, self-catering option available) and a chance to enjoy the lovely long evenings of a Swedish summer.
If the early sunshine beckons, you can choose to go for a dawn paddle tour before enjoying breakfast, after which you will continue your exploration of the islands and skerries of the Möja Nature Reserve. The area is rich in wildlife and your guides have a detailed knowledge of the flora and fauna. In the afternoon, you return to Möja to take the afternoon boat back to Stockholm, with time to enjoy dinner on board and the view. You will be back in Stockholm around 18.00-19.30 depending on timetables.
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.
Swimming ability required. You should be in good health, have a normal level of fitness and enjoy the outdoors.
Minimum age 16 years for scheduled 3-day and 5-day tours, 12 years for scheduled 1-day tours. Younger participants are welcome on private tours. Recommended minimum age to paddle own kayak 12-13 years.
The tour is suitable for both novice and more experienced paddlers. No previous kayaking experience is required.
Weather conditions can of course vary, but strong winds are rare. There are generally hardly any waves as you are paddling in the protected waters between the islands of the archipelago. 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 (mostly in the Stockholm 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 total 2 participants required for tour to be confirmed to run (min. 6 for comfort tours). You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.
Maximum group size 10 persons.
This experience can also be booked by private or corporate groups on custom dates by arrangement between June and September (April to November for groups with previous kayaking experience).
The Stockholm Archipelago offers a perfect combination of remoteness and accessibility. It is made up of around 24,000 (or 30,000 by some estimates!) islands, islets and skerries, only about 150 of which are inhabited year-round.
The character of the landscape varies from the thickly wooded islands of the inner archipelago to the bare, flat, rocky landscape of the central and outer areas. If the weather is cloudy in the capital, there is a good chance that you will find sunshine out in the archipelago.
This provider has received a prestigious Swedish Ecotourism quality mark for its commitment to high standards to cultural and environmental sensitivity.
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 public bus from central Stockholm to Stavsnäs (approx. 50 mins) from where boat transfer to the kayak centre is included.
Ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg (Denmark) for onward train connections to Stockholm.
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