Specialists for Nordic Outdoor & Adventure Holidays in the Nordic Countries since 2006


Photo: Adam Burley

Choosing a Canoe Tour

Compare our wide range of self-guided canoe tours in Sweden and Finland

Compare tours at a glance:

See also: When to go canoeing | Canoeing FAQs

Guided or Self-guided Accommodation Season Duration Landscape Min. age
Canoe Getaway in Skåne (Sweden) Self-guided Wild camping (recommended locations) May-Sep 4 days Rural, lakes 6
Canoe Tours in Bergslagen (Sweden) Self-guided Wild camping May-Sep (main Jun-Aug) 5 days Remote, lakes/connecting rivers 10
Canoe Tours on Klarälven (Sweden) Self-guided Wild camping May-Sep (main Jun-Aug) 4 or 7 days Rural, river None
Canoe Tours on Rottnan/Röjdån (Sweden) Self-guided Wild camping May-Sep 4 days Rural (Röjdån), fairly remote (Rottnan), river None
Canoe Tours on Svartälven (Sweden) Self-guided Wild camping May-Sep (main Jun-Aug) 4 or 7 days Remote, river/lakes 10
Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District (Sweden) Self-guided Wild camping (network of designated locations) May-Sep 4-8 days Rural, lakes None
Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari and Kolovesi National Park (Finland) Self-guided Wild camping (network of designated locations) May-Sep 6 or more days (inc. 2 nights in eco studio apartment) Remote, lakes None (swimming ability required)
Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu (Finland) Self-guided Wild camping (network of designated locations) May-Sep 7 days Remote, lakes 12
Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen (Sweden) Self-guided Wild camping (optional network of designated locations) Jun-Sep 4-8 or more days Wilderness, lakes/small connecting lakes 10
Rogen Wilderness Canoe Expedition (Sweden) Self-guided Wild camping (optional network of designated locations) Jun-Sep 8-14 or more days Wilderness, lakes/small connecting lakes 16

Canoeing in Sweden and Finland - a paddler's paradise

Where are they?...

Map of Canoe Tours in Sweden and Finland
  • 1. Canoe Tours on Klarälven
  • 2. Canoe Tours on Svartälven
  • 3. Canoe Tours in Klarälven
  • 4. Canoe Tours on Rottnan/Röjdån
  • 5. Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari and Kolovesi National Park
  • 6. Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District
  • 7. Canoe Getaway in Skåne
  • 8. Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen
  • 9. Wilderness Canoe Expedition in Rogen
  • 10. Hike, Bike and Paddle Stockholm's Lakes and Islands *
  • 11. Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu

* This tour is very different from our other canoe experiences and is not part of our Canoeing category. The tour combines hiking, cycling and canoeing through the Stockholm lakeland region with luggage transfers and comfortable accommodation in small hotels and B&Bs en route. See here for details.

The following article compares our range of self-guided canoe tours in Sweden and Finland.

In Sweden:

  • Skåne in the far south (Canoe Getaway in Skåne).
  • Our range of five self-guided canoe tours in Värmland in western Sweden (Bergslagen, Svartälven, Klarälven, Rottnan and Röjdån).
  • Dalsland in south-west Sweden (Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District).
  • Our wilderness tours in Rogen in north-west Sweden (Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen and Rogen Wilderness Canoe Expedition).

In Finland:

  • Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu is located in the eastern part of the country.
  • Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari and Kolovesi National Park offers paddling in the Saimaa lakeland system.

These tours feature wild camping (sometimes at designated locations depending on the area) all along the route. Many of our log cabin experiences also offer very good opportunities for canoeing day tours from fixed cabin base.

Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen

Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen. Photo: Euan Turner DMh Photo

Why choose Sweden or Finland for a canoe tour?

Sweden and Finland are an ideal destinations for a canoeing holiday. Whether you are planning to travel with a loved one, as a family with children, or with friends and colleagues from work or a local canoe club, their huge systems of waterways offers endless possibilities for paddling holiday adventures.

Do I need previous experience to do a self-guided canoe tour?

Nature Travels offers canoeing holidays in Sweden and Finland to suit both novice canoeists and more experienced paddlers, with tours are available from 4 days to 14 days.

At one end of the scale, there are options suitable for families (even those with young children), ideal for your first canoe tour, if introducing your children to the outdoors or just if you'd like to take it easy.

At the other, there are challenging wilderness expeditions for which you will need a high level of fitness and significant outdoor experience.

Despite the remoteness of some of the tours and the possibility of a true get-away-from-it-all canoeing experience, you do not need to be an experienced paddler to go on most of our canoeing holidays. Provided that you are used to camping, enjoy life in the outdoors and are reasonably fit, you will find the great majority of our canoe tours within reach.

See the section "Good to Know > Required" on each tour page for more information on the requirements for a particular tour.

Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu

Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu. Photo: WP

Are all the tours self-guided?

Yes, Nature Travels canoe tours are self-guided experiences, voyages of discovery taken at your own pace (if you would like a guided paddling tour, for example if travelling as a solo traveller, we offer a range of guided sea kayaking tours and also guided packrafting).

The waters may be calm and the surroundings peaceful, but there is a real sense of adventure even on our most accessible routes. You plan your distance each day and choose your own camping spot each night. Thanks to the Right of Public Access in Sweden and Finland, wild camping is possible on all routes, which makes for a true outdoor canoeing experience.

Depending on the duration and length of your tour, you can take time out to go for day hikes in the surrounding forest or explore side-streams and tributaries along the way. Along the way, you are free to let the rhythm of your days unfold in any way you wish, making some days into a challenge or taking time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Where do the canoe tours in Sweden take place?

Nature Travels canoe holidays in Sweden take place in rural Skåne in the far south, in the beautiful province of Värmland in western Sweden, in the extensive lake network of Dalsland and in the challenging wilderness region of Rogen in the north-west.

  • Skåne: Skåne, Sweden's most southerly county, offers an attractive rural landscape ideal for leisurely canoe tours and is very easily accessible from nearby Copenhagen.
  • Värmland: Värmland's terrain is ideally suited to self-guided canoe tours. The waters are calm and slow-flowing, and there is a vast network of lakes and rivers to explore. Värmland offers an excellent combination of accessibility and remote landscapes, and you can choose to go canoeing through picturesque rural landscapes, taking breaks at local stores along the way to pick up supplies or visit cultural attractions, or alternatively you can make your canoeing holiday more of a wilderness experience.
  • Dalsland: Dalsland is one of Sweden's best known areas for canoeing, with a well-organised system of overnight camp spots and a large area to explore, and a combination of rural and more remote landscapes.
  • Rogen: For those with suitable outdoor experience seeking a true wilderness paddle tour, our tours in Rogen in and its sister reserve Femundsmarka on the Norwegian side offer a chance for canoeing adventures in a landscape of low mountains, moorland and ancient forest through a beautiful patchwork of lakes connected by rivers.
Canoe Tours in Bergslagen

Canoe Tours in Bergslagen. Photo: Euan Turner DMh Photo

Where do the canoe tours in Finland take place?

In Finland, we offer tours in the province of Kainuu in the east and in the Linnansaari and Kolovesi National Parks in the east of the country.

The network of windshelters and fireplaces (and in some cases even wilderness cabins) in these areas make these a fantastic choice for flexible and enjoyable canoeing.

  • Kainuu: The location of the famous Tar Route, offering wonderful paddling through an inland archipelago landscape and the flexibility to vary distance and level of challenge.
  • Linnansaari/Kolovesi: Part of the enormous Lake Saimaa network, this area also offers great flexibility and beautiful lakeland archipelago scenery perfect for discovering by canoe.
Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari and Kolovesi National Park

Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari and Kolovesi National Park. Photo: SEO

Can I see wildlife on a canoe tour?

Canoeing in Sweden and Finland gives you the possibility for up-close encounters with the rich and varied wildlife. While Nordic wildlife can be shy and hard to see, you have a good chance of spotting some of the many beaver which inhabit the waterways along some of the routes of our Värmland tours as they cut gracefully through the water with just their heads visible above the surface.

It is not uncommon to encounter beaver at very close range during one of our canoeing holidays - perhaps just a few metres from your canoe.

There is also a host of wildlife inhabiting the dense forests past which you will be paddling. As you round a bend in the river, you may spot an elk and her calf drinking by the river bank, or even strking out powerfully in the water as they head for the opposite bank (elk are excellent swimmers!), while the skies above you are home to eagles and buzzards.

Canoe Tours on Svartalven

Canoe Tours on Svartälven. Photo: Staffan Widstrand

Can I do a self-guided canoe tour as a solo traveller?

No. For safety reasons, a minimum of 2 adults are normally required for all our canoe tours, though some of the more accessible tours can also be suitable for solo adult with child(ren).

The tours are also ideal for small or large groups, and for larger groups (such as scouts, school groups or Armed Forces Adventurous Training), a group discount is often possible.

Can I do a self-guided canoe tour as a solo adult with child(ren)?

Yes, many (but not all) of our canoe tours can be done as a solo adult travelling with one or more children.

Options will depend on the ages of your children and in some cases the previous outdoor experience you have as a family. Please Contact Us with any questions and we'll happy to advise.

In all cases, your child(ren) would need to able to cope with a situation in which you were incapacitated. For example, if you were to fall and hit your head, you should be confident that your child(ren) would know how to call emergency services, etc.

What equipment is provided?

What is included will vary depending on the tour chosen, but always included in the price of your canoeing holiday is all equipment necessary for your trip, including 2-3 person Canadian canoes, paddles and buoyancy aids as well as local transfers to/from start/end points as required.

Cooking equipment and/or camping equipment may also be included as standard or available to hire as an optional extra depending on the tour, and in some cases a food package is also available as an extra or included - please see the tour information for your chosen experience under "What's included" for more information.

For some canoe tours requiring land transports, a canoe trolley is included to assist with these (except for tours in Rogen where the terrain is unsuitable and canoes must be carried).

Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District

Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District. Photo: Göran Assner.

How do I choose the best canoe tour for me?

Canoeing is a marvellous way to experience the Nordic countries' truly wild places. Whatever your level of experience, age, or the composition and size of your group, Sweden and Finland offer wonderful opportunities for true nature experiences by canoe.

We have divided the tours into "Rural", "Remote" and "Wilderness", which indicates not only the landscape to expect but also the level of challenge - the most remote tours will also be the most challenging!

All tours are based on wild camping and fishing is possible for all the routes, with fishing licence(s) purchased locally.

There are many options, and it can be difficult to choose! We're always happy to help you decide, so please Contact Us with any questions. Many of ours guests return to try different canoe tours each time!

Compare Rural Canoe Tours

Of our canoeing holidays running in scenic rural locations, Canoe on Klarälven and Canoe on Röjdån (in Värmland in the west of Sweden) and Canoe Getaway in Skåne (in the south) are suitable for all ages and levels of experience (including for solo adults travelling with children - please contact us for details).

Even if you have never been canoeing before or have limited experience of the outdoors, these tours are accessible to anyone who enjoys outdoor life with a reasonable level of fitness and give you an opportunity to experience the tranquility and adventure of a paddling holiday in Sweden! Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District is also a very accessible tour, but with the paddling taking place more in a lakeland landscape, where windy conditions can add to the level of challenge.

Canoe Getaway in Skane

Canoe Getaway in Skåne. Photo: Euan Turner DMh Photo

Canoe Getaway in Skåne

A 4-day tour with flexible start days and a long season, being possible from the beginning of May even into October. Beginning with a river section opening into the Lake Ivo archipelago, the tour also offers great flexibility in terms of distance and level of challenge - you can explore as much or as little of the lake system as you wish in the time available.

The minimum distance is just 12km, but the lake system offers the possibility to paddle much further if you wish. This area is also very good for fishing and is ideal for both families and adults looking for a short canoe break.

Canoe on Röjdån

A 4-day tour which runs in a cultural landscape and is the only one of our tours which is a "there and back" route. The tour starts from the small town of Torsby and after canoeing to lake Kläggen you return to Torsby again - 45km of relaxing canoeing and two short land transports in each direction.

There are limited places to shop on this tour, so we recommend you bring all your food with you. Canoe on Röjdån is suitable for the whole family and is ideal for younger children. The tour is possible on standard dates all the way from May to September, making it a good choice if just two persons in the early or later parts of the season.

Canoe on Klarälven

Also an ideal canoeing holiday for families and available in 4-day (50km) or 7-day (100km) variations. This tour takes you through an attractive rural landscape along the wide, slow-flowing waters of the Klarälven river. The Klarälven area is also the location for our popular timber rafting experiences. Along the way there are small villages and cultural attractions and opportunities to stop and shop.

As for all our canoe tours, the tour is based on wild camping, or for the Klarälven tour you may choose to spend a night or two at "proper" campsites along the river bank (additional charge payable locally). As you canoe downstream (the Klarälven flows gently at around 2kph) for the whole of the tour, this is the most accessible of all our canoe tours in terms of level of challenge, but is nevertheless a popular choice for a wide range of participants, from families to adult groups.

Canoe Tours on Klaralven

Canoe Tours on Klarälven. Photo: Staffan Widstrand

Canoe on Rottnan

A 4-day tour taking you through a lovely area of forests and lakes, a fairly remote landscape yet a very accessible tour for a wide range of participants, including families. Opportunities to shop along the route are limited and it is recommended that you bring all your food with you.

No land transports are required, making Canoe on Rottnan an ideal canoeing holiday for those who want to experience the beauty and silence of a more remote tour but with reduced level of challenge. Total distance covered is around 35km and is easily paddled in the time available.

Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District

A is flexible tour of duration 4-8 days through a beautiful system of lakes in West Sweden. This is the most challenging of the rural tours listed here, and is suitable for both adults and active families. Many of the lakes are connected by locks and you will pass some small villages along the route with stores where you can top up provisions, etc, if required.

Some land transports are also required (a canoe trolley is included). The Dalsland lake area also offers wonderful opportunities for more remote paddling, and the flexible nature of this tour means that you can choose to vary and extend the planned route to increase the level of challenge and distance covered if you wish. Unlike our other canoe tours, camping is at designated overnight spots, where fireplaces/wood and dry outdoor toilets are provided.

There is a network of such spots in the Dalsland lake system, any of which can be used depending on how you plan your tour. The Dalsland tour is possible on flexible start dates throughout the season.

Compare Remote Canoe Tours

The tours listed below occupy the "middle ground" in terms of remoteness, and are a very popular choice for paddlers wanting a wilder landscape compared to a rural tour but a little more accessible than those in our "wilderness" category. These tours can also offer a real wilderness feeling during parts of the route.

Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu

Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu. Photo: WP

The Swedish tours in this category are in the county of Värmland in the west of Sweden, while Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu and Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari National Park are located in eastern Finland.

Canoeing on the Tar Route in Kainuu

A 7-day tour and is in some ways comparable to our Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District (Sweden), offering a beautiful lakeland network to paddle through and explore at your own pace. Camping is at a choice of designated camp spots, where firewood is provided, and the area offers great flexibility to vary the distance covered and level of challenge depending on your wishes.

All camping equipment is provided as standard. As much of the tour takes place in a protected area, the landscape offers a lovely remote atmosphere during many parts of the tour, with only a few settlements/houses along the route. This tour is ideal for adults or active families (recommended min. age 12).

Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari National Park

A flexible experience combining 2 nights in eco studio apartment at the start/end of the tour with 4 or more days' paddling in the stunning lakeland archipelago landscpae in and around Linnansaari National Park. Additional days can be added to make the tour as long as you wish. Choose between 2-person Canadian canoes, double kayaks or single kayaks. There is a network of designated camping spots within the National Park where fireplaces and outdoor toilets are provided. Outside the park boundaries there is greater freedom for choice of overnight campspot following the guidelines of the Finnish Right of Public Access. This tour is suitable for adults and families provided all children are able to swim.

Canoe Tours on Svartalven

Canoe Tours on Svartälven. Photo: Tom Hosking

Canoe Tours on Svartälven

An excellent choice for a remote canoeing holiday which is nevertheless accessible to a wide range of participants and is a popular option for couples, adults with older children, and groups. This tour is a combination of river paddling (on flat water) with the last section of the route leading through a series of lakes.

The canoe tour involves 10 land crossings and 1 lift, the longest crossing being 2km. Though not as demanding a canoeing holiday as the Bergslagen tour, Canoe on Svartälven can be challenging for children under 10 years of age. There are limited places to shop while on this tour, although provisions are available at a small village approximately two-thirds of the way along the 7-day route. Total distance covered is around 35-40km (4 days) or 75km (7 days), though this can easily be extended if you wish by planning extensions to the basic route into side lake and river systems.

Canoe Tours in Bergslagen

Canoe Tours in Bergslagen. Photo: Euan Turner DMh Photo.

Canoe Tours in Bergslagen

A remote tour with some areas which offer a real wilderness feeling, taking you through a network of lakes. There are a number of land transports along the route, the longest of which is around 4km. Canoe in Bergslagen is an ideal tour for those with a general good level of physical fitness and seeking a moderately challenging remote canoeing experience, covering a distance of around 52km.

The tour is most suitable for adults but can also be an option for families with older children. There are no shops in the area and it is necessary to bring all the food you will need with you.

Compare Wilderness Canoe Tours

These tours have the most remote landscapes and also typically the highest level of physical challenge of the tours we offer. You should be prepared for challenging (in some cases very challenging) portages and be comfortable travelling independently in a remote area.

Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen and Rogen Wilderness Canoe Expedition

Located in the mountain area of north-west Sweden, the largely pathless wilderness of Rogen Nature Reserve and its partner on the Norwegian side, Femundsmarka National Park, is an exciting and beautiful area ideal for challenging wilderness canoeing. These tours run in a remote wilderness region with no infrastructure and limited access, so if you are considering one of our tours in this area it is important that you are able to handle yourself confidently in the outdoors and have a good level of fitness.

There are a number of land transports required, and unlike for tours in regions where a canoe trolley can be used, in Rogen the canoes and all equipment must carried, often over rocky and uneven terrain - this can be challenging.

Rogen Wilderness Canoe Expedition

Rogen Wilderness Canoe Expedition. Photo: Linus Behrmann

Tours in Rogen are wild camping, but as a protected area, camp fires are only permitted at designated spots. When canoeing in Rogen, it is more helpful to think in terms of time than distance, as weather conditions, number of land transports, etc, will significantly affect the distance paddled on a particular day. Rogen is also wonderful for hiking, so why not plan a few extra days into your itinerary to do some day hikes from a base camp?

There are two main options available - Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen and Rogen Wilderness Canoe Expedition. In both cases you are canoeing in the Rogen reserve - both tours start in the same part of the reserve. For the Expedition, you are committed to covering a particular distance in the time available to reach the end point, and will of course travel deeper into the reserve and right across to the other side to end in Norway.

The Discover tour gives you the flexibility to explore as much of the reserve as you wish in the time available, but without the very challenging stretch of land transports along Röa river required for the Expedition and with possibilities for shorter tours.

Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen is the more accessible of the two, suitable for adults or active families with older children who are confident in the outdoors. This wilderness canoe tour offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of the level of challenge and distance covered, requiring min. 5 days but also suitable for much longer tours.

Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen

Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen. Photo: Elia Sigg

The number and length of land transports required will vary depending on what areas of the reserve you choose to explore. Recommended duration is 5-8 days, but you are welcome to add any number of additional days if you would like to extend your paddle tour. The reserve offers excellent fishing and the flexibility of the tour gives you considerable freedom to plan your own route and create your own adventure.

Rogen Wilderness Canoe Expedition is the more challenging option and is suitable only for those with extensive outdoor experience and previous experience of canoe tours. Over 8-14 days the tour takes you from Rogen across into Femundsmarka on the Norwegian side to end at Lake Feragen.

This is a real wilderness challenge and a great adventure. A number of extended portages are required over rough terrain, but the stunning scenery, marvellous fishing and unique experience of canoeing in a very remote area will be ample reward for your efforts!

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