- Flexible routes and distances
- Wild island camping in the Archipelago
- Single or double kayaks
- Camping equipment available to hire
- Optional instruction course
- Just one hour from Stockholm
More than 300 islands within easy reach on this accessible kayaking adventure with wild camping
Stockholm Archipelago Self-guided Kayak Explorer gives you the chance to discover this beautiful region at your own pace. Easy to reach in less than an hour from central Stockholm, from the start point there are more than 300 islands to explore within a 10km radius, and the city feels a million miles away!
Stretching from the northern part of the island of Ljusterö up to Dalarö, the Middle Archipelago ("Mellersta Skärgård" in Swedish) is a beautiful area of the Stockholm Archipelago and ideal for exploring by kayak.
The landscape of the Middle Archipelago is one of forested islands, reed-covered bays, small beaches and smooth granite rock outcrops, with almost endless possibilities for good swimming, lunch and overnight camping spots.
The combination of self-guided kayaking and wild camping gives you great freedom to create your own adventure! Photo: HK.
Vary the route, distance and duration of your trip to suit you
With start days flexible between May and September and any duration from 3 days/2 nights up to a week or even longer if you wish, Stockholm Archipelago Self-guided Kayak Explorer is ideal for couples, groups of friends or families. Both single and double kayaks are available.
With no tides in the archipelago and a wide choice of route options to choose from, trips can be easily adapted for the most sheltered conditions on the leeward sides of the islands, making self-guided tours an accessible possibility for a wide range of guests (novice kayakers are recommended to take an introductory day course available as an optional extra).
Less experienced paddlers will be advised on the most sheltered routes, while those with greater experience can explore the more open waters of the outer islands.
The route is flexible to paddle in more sheltered or open areas depending on weather and your level of experience. Photo: HK.
Watch the skies for sea eagles
The area is also rich in wildlife, with white-tailed sea eagles and ospreys regularly seen, while mammals include hares and roe deer. You may even find the occasional seal greeting you on your trip (seals are most commonly found further out in the archipelago but do occasionally travel further in).
Why not take a day or so either side of your tour to discover the beautiful city of Stockholm - the "Venice of the North" in combination with your tour?
If possible, you should plan to overnight in Stockholm before your tour and arrive at the kayak centre between 10-11.30 (unless choosing introductory course, in which case please confirm start time for your course). For guests who wish to travel to Sweden the same day, later start times (up to 17.00) may be possible by arrangement.
You will explore the Middle Archipelago region at your own pace, route taken, distance covered and level of challenge dependent on your own experience/abilities and weather conditions. Wild camping each night.
Example areas to explore include the following. Note that if you are travelling outside the main summer season, some archipelago facilities such as stores, etc, may not be open. You will have the opportunity to discuss the most suitable route options depending on the current wind/weather conditions when you begin your tour.
Kayak to the Sauna!
Located 15km from the start point lies the island of Träskö Storö. Paddle through a network of archipelago islands to reach the island, varying your route as much as you wish, and enjoy a wonderful relaxing sauna at the end! There is a small fee, payable locally in cash, for use of the sauna. No camp fires are permitted on this island.
"The Horse's Neck"
Another wonderful island to explore, "Hastnäcken" (The Horse's Neck) is located at least a 10km paddle (which can be extended as much as you wish depending on the route you plan to get there!) from the kayak centre and the majority of the island is now a Nature Reserve. As a protected area, no fires are permitted on the island.
"Big Sandy Island"
Located close to the start point, "Stora Sandön" (Big Sandy Island) offers wonderful beaches and a good choice of suitable places to camp, ideal for an easily accessible short paddle on your start day!
Please return to the kayak centre with your equipment prepared and cleaned by latest 17.30. You are welcome to return earlier in the day if you wish.
Start any day* between 1st May and 28th September (latest end date 30th September).
Minimum duration 3 days/2 nights, extra days optional.
*No starts/ends on 19th/20th June 2020 or 25th/26th June 2021, though tours are possible spanning these dates.
Note if paddling early/late in the season that you should be prepared for cooler conditions.
Prices are in British Pounds and Euros. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment in Swedish Kronor (SEK) - please contact us for details.
NB: Minimum period 3 days/2 nights. Each group requires at minimum 1 x map and compass set. Weekly price applies for rental periods from 5 days/4 nights up to 7 days/6 nights.
|Single Kayak/kayak/day||GBP 42||EUR 47|
|Single Kayak/kayak/week (up to 7 days/6 nights)||GBP 166||EUR 185|
|Double Kayak/kayak/day||GBP 60||EUR 67|
|Double Kayak/kayak/week (up to 7 days/6 nights)||GBP 277||EUR 308|
|Map case, map and compass/set||GBP 5||EUR 6|
Equipment prices below are for any tour duration up to 7 days/6 nights. For longer durations, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
|Optional Extras (see description below)|
|Bilge Pump and Paddle Float||1.00||100.00||GBP 10||EUR 11|
|Tent (2-3 persons)||1.00||650.00||GBP 60||EUR 67|
|Sleeping mat/person||1.00||200.00||GBP 19||EUR 21|
|Camping stove with gas/set||1.00||350.00||GBP 33||EUR 36|
|Private lesson (2 hours, total for 2 persons)||1.00||2000.00||GBP 185||EUR 206|
|Private lesson (2 hours, total for 3 persons)||1.00||2400.00||GBP 222||EUR 247|
|Private lesson (2 hours, total for 4 persons)||1.00||3000.00||GBP 277||EUR 308|
|Day's coaching or guiding (6 hours, total for 2 persons)||1.00||6500.00||GBP 600||EUR 667|
|Day's coaching or guiding (6 hours, total for 3 persons)||1.00||8500.00||GBP 784||EUR 872|
|Day's coaching or guiding (6 hours, total for 4 persons)||1.00||8500.00||GBP 784||EUR 872|
|Wetsuit for kayak tour||1.00||300.00||GBP 28||EUR 31|
- Bilge pump and paddle float: We recommend this for participants familiar with rescue/self-rescue techniques, at least one set per group.
- Tent (2-3 persons): Tents normally used are freestanding MXR Elixir 3.
- Sleeping mat : Foam Thermarest.
- Camping stove with gas: 1 x gas canister supplied, additional canisters can be purchased locally. Includes pans for cooking and scrubbing sponge/washing up liquid, spatula and knife. Suitable for 2-3 persons. NB: Please bring own camping plates/cutlery, etc
- Private lesson (2 hours): Offered at times by arrangement (normally on the morning of your start day), subject to availability. Prices given are for 2-4 persons. For larger groups, please contact us to discuss your requirements. If required, wetsuit for the lesson can be hired locally, price 150 SEK/person (approx. £13).
- Day's coaching or guiding: Prices given are for 2-4 persons. For larger groups, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
- Wetsuit: You may wish to use a wetsuit for your tour, especially if paddling early/late in the season when the water is cold. However, in general wetsuits are not normally considered necessary for kayak tours in the archipelago.
What's Included »
- Sea kayak and all necessary equipment including paddles, buoyancy aid and splash skirt, map case with map and compass. Necky kayaks are used, normally Looksha 17 and Eliza for single kayaks and Looksha T for double kayaks.
- Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
- Accommodation: Camping equipment is available to hire as an optional extra. Accommodation is wild camping and there are no "proper" toilet facilities during the tour (there are some stores/restaurants in the archipelago area open during high season). You will be given information on how to deal with your toilet waste, etc.
- Food: You should purchase provisions for your tour in Stockholm. We recommend that you bring essential provisions for your tour with you from the start. There are some stores in the area open during high season to complement your supplies (though in general we do not recommend that you rely on this for essential provisions as you may arrive outside opening hours).
- Dry bags (can be purchased on arrival if required).
Good To Know »
Suitable for novice and experienced paddlers (route chosen can be varied depending on experience). All participants must be able to swim and be used to the outdoors.
No kayak instruction is included. Novice kayakers and participants without knowledge of safety and rescue techniques are strongly advised to choose introductory tuition on the start day (see under "Optional extras"). Novices may also prefer to request double kayaks, which are the most stable option.
Min. 2 adults (18+) required. Minimum age 7 if using double kayak together with adult. Minimum age to paddle single kayak 16 years (except if suitable previous kayaking experience).
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 is self-guided tour in a marine environment. Depending on the route taken, it is necessary to cross some areas of open water where boat traffic operates. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding your suitability for the tour.
There are generally few waves when you are paddling in the protected waters between the islands of the archipelago. There are no currents/tides in the archipelago.
What makes this "Medium"?
The tour is a self-guided experience in a marine environment with wild camping each night. In windy conditions the water can be choppy and the water can be very cold if paddling early/late in the season. As there is no fixed distance to cover, the level of challenge can easily be varied from accessible to hard depending on weather conditions and level of experience/fitness.
NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.
Ticks and TBE:
Note: Ticks occur mostly in grassy areas.
As in the UK and other areas, there are ticks in the Nordic forests 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, consult your doctor.
As in large areas of mainland Europe, in some small, localised areas of the Nordic countries (mostly in the Stockholm Archipelago), the ticks are known to carry TBE, or Tick-borne encephalitis, and locals spending extended periods in affected areas often choose to vaccinate themselves. For more information and latest updates, please see Tick Alert. For current advice on TBE and inoculations for the area you are visiting, please consult your doctor or see Travel Health Pro. You can also see a map showing areas where cases were reported in 2016.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".
A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.
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. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.
Preparing for your trip:
For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.
Combine This With
This experience makes a good combination with the following:
- Hike, Bike and Paddle Stockholm's Lakes and Islands (4 or 5 days, start/end Stockholm)
- Hike and Bike in the Stockholm Archipelago (4 days, start/end Stockholm)
- Island Hopping and Hiking in the Stockholm Archipelago (6 days, start/end Stockholm)
- Sailing in the Stockholm Archipelago (3 or more days, one hour from Stockholm)
This experience is ideal for groups.
This provider has a written environmental policy.
Getting There »
Detailed information on travel options to this experience will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.
Fly to Stockholm. Travel by public bus from central Stockholm to Sunds Gård (approx. 40-60 mins) from where it is just over 2km on foot to the kayak centre (taxi is also possible as an alternative).
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Stockholm.
Gallery & Reviews »
"Really simple process and everyone was very helpful, both at Nature Travels and then in Stockholm as well. [The best part was] the half day of sun in amongst the wind and cold!!" Pippa, July 2019
"We have just returned from a lovely kayaking trip. It all went really well - a perfect way for my son to decompress after finishing his exams. The weather couldn't have been better and the scenery just wonderful. Thank you so much for making this magical experience happen." Suzy, June 2019
"The information you gave us was top notch and you were very responsive to our questions, so we were very impressed! The most exciting part of our trip was seeing two seals pop their heads up really close to our island! I have travelled with Nature Travels before and was very impressed by the quality of service for an affordable price. Thank you for a wonderful holiday!" Lelia, September 2018