So close, and yet so far away
The Stockholm Archipelago really is a very special place. So easily accessible from the city (Stockholm itself is built on 14 of the larger archipelago islands), yet once you are there, a world away.
Guided Kayak Tours in the Stochkolm Archipelago offers a choice of ways to explore this beautiful landscape:
- One day tours take place between May and September, and are perfect as an add-on activity if you're visiting the city or passing through on your way to one of our other experiences in Sweden.
- Two-day and three-day tours include one or two nights' wild camping and add an extra dimension to your adventure. These multi-day tours are offered during the main summer season, in July and August.
The Stockholm Archipelago contains tens of thousands of islands, from larger islands with permanent habitation to small rocks and skerries, offering a varied and beautiful landscape to explore. Photo: STA.
Whether you choose a day tour or a longer trip, you'll be exploring some of the 30,000 (or 50,000 depending on who's counting!) islands of the Stockholm Archipelago under the leadership of an experienced local guide. One-day tours use double kayaks, which are stable and ideal for all levels. Multi-day tours use predominantly double kayaks and also some single kayaks.
None of the tours requires previous kayaking experience. Both the day and multi-day tours are suitable for complete beginners - they offer an ideal introduction to sea kayaking - while those with some previous experience will find the opportunity to develop their skills and confidence on the water with hints and tips from the guide along the way.
As well as wonderful kayaking, there's also time to enjoy the experience and the beauty of your surroundings. Photo: STA.
The emphasis is on enjoyment and experiencing the archipelago landscape, and all tours will take the time to stop and soak up the atmosphere. One of the great joys of a Swedish summer is "wild swimming" (the Swedes just call it swimming!) and the archipelago has hundreds of beautiful swimming spots where you can take a dip. In May and September, spending more than a few minutes in the water may be only for the brave, but in summertime the water is often a balmy 20 degrees or more.
Day tours include picnic lunch and afternoon "fika" (traditional Swedish coffee break), while multi-day tours include all meals.
A flexible itinerary with convenient transfers
Whichever kayak tour option you choose, your start and end point is conveniently located in the centre of Stockholm. From your meeting point at the kayak centre, you will take a vehicle transfer out to the start point in the archipelago, and have return transfer to the city at the end of your tour.
There is no fixed route. Archipelago kayaking offers great flexibility to vary the route taken and distance covered depending on wind and weather conditions. The exact start and end point, as well as where you will paddle during your tour, varies and will be chosen to offer the best experience depending on conditions. Transfer time from the kayak centre out to the start point/back from the end point is typically 60 minutes or less.
The tours use stable double kayaks for 1-day tours, with some single kayaks also used for 2-day and 3-day tours. Photo: STA.
There is a wealth of wildlife in the archipelago - with luck, you may see one of the true kings of the skies - the mighty White-tailed Sea Eagle, or the majestic Osprey. Seals sometimes make their way in from the outer archipelago islands, following the herring, so look out for a grey head breaking the surface of the water and regarding you curiously! You may see roe deer grazing the lush meadows of the islands, and perhaps even come across a tree gnawed by a beaver (the waters of the Baltic are only slightly salty, so even the freshwater-loving beaver has taken up residence in parts of the archipelago)!
Wild camping is the ultimate way to experience archipelago life
A day tour will give you a real feel for the archipelago and a great insight into its natural heritage, but if you have some extra time, a multi-day tour adds a whole new dimension.
The Swedish Right of Public Access is a rare privilege, and allows for wild camping within certain guidelines. There's no better way to experience an archipelago sunset than from your campsite on a deserted island, skin tingling from your dip in the cool, clear waters of the Baltic and watching the steam rise from the cooking pot as you wait for supper.
All camping equipment, including sleeping bag and sleeping mat, is provided for multi-day tours.
Kayaking is a tranquil, low impact way to explore this unique landscape. Photo: STA.
Whether kayaking is your main reason for visiting, or an extension to other adventures, do not come to Sweden without experiencing a kayak tour in the Stockholm Archipelago. You'll want to be back for more, we're certain of it!
NB: You must arrive at the kayak centre no later than 15 minutes before the start time. The exact locations from which you will start and end your kayak tour vary depending on wind and weather conditions and will be chosen to offer the best experience.
All tours begin at 09.00 from the kayak centre in central Stockholm. From here, you will have a vehicle transfer (normally max. 60 mins) to your start point in the archipelago to begin your tour.
There is no fixed route - the nature of archipelago kayaking means that there is a great deal of flexibility to vary the distance covered and the particular area of the archipelago you explore depending on wind and weather conditions.
The route will be chosen to offer you the best experience. The emphasis is on enjoying the atmosphere and landscape of the archipelago and its flora and fauna.
One-day tour includes lunch and afternoon "fika" (traditional Swedish coffee break) and opportunities to take a dip in the Baltic, which is only slightly brackish and wonderful for swimming.
Your kayak tour ends in the archipelago. From the end point, you will have a vehicle transfer (normally max. 60 mins) back to the kayak centre in central Stockholm. For 1-day, 2-day and 3-day tours, you will normally be back at the kayak centre around 16.00 (sometimes a little later depending on weather conditions, traffic, etc).
Dates & Prices»
- Every Friday and Sunday from 17th May to 8th September (on Midsummer weekend, there is no tour Friday 21st or Sunday 23rd June; these tours are replaced by extra tour on Thursday 20th June).
- Also every Wednesday from 3rd July to 21st August.
- July: 1st-2nd (Monday-Tuesday), 20th-21st (Saturday-Sunday)
- August: 5th-6th (Monday-Tuesday), 19th-20th (Monday-Tuesday)
- July: 8th-10th (Monday-Wednesday), 29th-31st (Monday-Wednesday)
- August: 26th-28th (Monday-Wednesday)
|Standard Prices (per person)|
|Own tent for solo traveller* (2 and 3-day tours, optional)||Price on request|
*Accommodation is in shared 2-person tents. As standard, solo travellers or odd-numbered person in a booking will share tent with other same gender participant in the group. Solo/odd-numbered guests who wish to guarantee solo tent occupancy are welcome to choose this option.
What's Included »
- Sea kayaks (normally Prijon), paddles, spray deck and buoyancy aid (ratings up to 95+kg).
- 1-day tours use double kayaks as standard. Single kayaks may also be offered for extra person in odd-numbered group where appropriate.
- For 2-day and 3-day tours, a mix of single and double kayaks are normally used and guests may change during the tour as necessary and at the discretion of the guide.
NB: Please be careful with the kayak and the rest of your equipment! If some part of the equipment should break as a result of misuse or carelessness, you may be charged for the damage caused.
Camping equipment (2-day and 3-day tours only):
- Sleeping bag, sleeping mat and liner.
- Tents (shared one per two persons - solo travellers or odd-numbered persons on a booking will share tent with other same gender participant in the group unless solo occupancy has been requested as optoinal extra).
NB: Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.
- 1-day tours include lunch and afternoon "fika" (traditional Swedish coffee break).
- 2-day and 3-day tours include all meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on end day. Participants may wish to bring additional snacks for extra energy when kayaking, etc.
Guiding and instruction:
- Services of local guide throughout the tour.
- Instruction briefing at the start of the tour and tips/instruction on improving paddling technique during the tour.
Transfers between the meeting point in central Stockholm and the start/end point of the tour as per itinerary.
- 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.
- Alcoholic drinks.
Good To Know »
All participants must be able to swim at least 200m. Min. age 16 years for public tours. For private tours, younger participants are possible by arrangement.
Minimum height 1.5m, maximum weight 130kg.
No kayaking experience is required. All participants on 1-day tours use stable double kayaks as standard (single kayaks may be offered for extra person in odd-numbered group where appropriate). 2-day and 3-day tours will normally use a mix of single and double kayaks (note that single/double kayaks cannot be requested in advance).
What makes this "Easy-Medium"?
The tours are intended both for novice participants with no previous kayak experience and for those looking to improve their skills. As a guided tour, you will have initial instruction/briefing from the guide and additional tips on improving your technique, etc, during the tour.
The emphasis is on enjoying the archipelago and experiencing the natural environment. There is no set distance to cover and the route will be chosen to offer the best experience based on wind and weather conditions at the time.
Double kayaks are the main equipment used and are very stable. The archipelago has no tides or currents, though of course the water can be choppy in windy conditions.
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 Zecken. For current advice on TBE and inoculations for the area you are visiting, please consult your doctor or see Travel Health Pro.
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.
Tours require total minimum 2 persons to be confirmed to run. You are welcome to book as a solo traveller.
Combine This With
This experience makes a good combination with any of our summer experiences in Sweden which involve travelling via Stockholm.
Max. group size 8 persons.
In addition to public tours, private tours for groups can be offered by arrangement. Please contact us for details and prices.
This provider has a written ecotourism policy.
Getting There »
See below for a summary of travel options. To learn more about how to travel to this experience, please get in touch!
Detailed information on travel 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.
NB: 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.
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Stockholm.