54 Self-guided Sea Kayaking in the Stockholm Archipelago | Nature Travels

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Photo: KT

Self-guided Sea Kayaking in the Stockholm Archipelago (Sweden)

Archipelago kayaking and wild camping with Standard or Full Service options and point-to-point routes

  • Self-guided (min. 2 adults)
  • Easy-Med
  • From £/person
  • May-Sep, 3-8 or more days
  • Adults, Families (min. age 12), Groups

Highlights:

  • Flexible start days and duration
  • All camping equipment included
  • Start/end at one location or choose a point-to-point route
  • Full Service option includes extra instruction, clothing and equipment components + optional provisions pack
  • No kayaking experience required
  • Suitable for families with children 12 and over

Description »

Maximum flexibility and convenience to discover the beauty of the Stockholm Archipelago

It's hard to imagine a better landscape to explore by sea kayak than the Stockholm Archipelago, with its tens of thousands of islands, rocks and skerries.

Less than an hour's ride by public transport or transfer from Stockholm city brings you to a different world - a world of forested islands rich in wildlife and cultural heritage, small inlets thick with sea grass, smooth rocks perfect for sunbathing, sheltered bays and beaches just made for swimming and relaxing. Further out, the archipelago changes again, with the trees giving way to a landscape of barer islands and wide horizons.

Kayaks for your tour

Choose single or double kayaks depending on your preference and level of experience. Photo: KT.

Beginner or experienced paddler, the Archipelago is waiting for you

Self-guided Sea Kayaking in the Stockholm Archipelago gives you the chance to explore this unique outdoor world for yourself - whether you are a complete novice or an experienced paddler. There is great flexibility to vary the route you will take to maximise your enjoyment based on your level of experience and fitness, and of course on wind and weather conditions at the time.

Novice paddlers will enjoy exploring the more sheltered areas as they gain confidence and experience on the water. The tour is also suitable for families (min. age 12), offering a perfect introduction to sea kayaking for all levels.

Kayaking in the Stockholm Archpielago

The Stockholm Archipelago could almost have been made with kayakers in mind. Photo: KT.

More experienced kayakers may wish to choose longer tours and to venture further into the archipelago. With flexible start days between May and September and durations from 3-8 or more days, this is a tour that can truly be suitable for all!

However you choose to enjoy the adventure, you will be camping wild each night with the high quality equipment provided. Despite its proximity to Stockholm city, the Stockholm Archipelago is a tranquil and very beautiful area, and travelling by sea kayak gives you the chance to explore where few others can. You may well find yourself camping on your own private island!

Wild camping in the Stockholm Archipelago

High-quality and easy-to-pitch dome tents are provided, along with all other camping and cooking equipment. Photo: KT.

Choose Standard or Full Service options to suit you

Whether you opt for the Standard or Full-Service packages, both include:

  • Full kayak equipment: There is a choice of single or double kayaks (for Standard tours, price differs depending on option chosen; for Full-Service tours, double kayaks are used as standard but single kayaks are available on request at no extra charge).
  • Full camping and cooking equipment: Including tents, sleeping bag/sleeping mat, stove and utensils.
  • Choice of start/end point: The flexibility to start and end your tour at the same location or choose a point-to-point itinerary (for Standard tours, a supplement applies for point-to-point itineraries; for Full-Service tours, this option is available at no extra charge).
  • Introductory briefing: To discuss kayak tips, safety and the best route depending on weather/wind conditions, your level of experience and the type of tour you are looking for.
  • Maps and route descriptions: Everything you need to plan and navigate during your tour, including GPS tracks for your smartphone.

In addition, the Full Service option includes:

  • Additional instruction: At the start of your tour, a guide will spend 2-3 hours with you covering kayaking techniques appropriate to your level, as well as safety and navigation, before you begin your self-guided adventure.
  • Kayak clothing package: Kayak jacket, paddle gloves and rainhat (also available to add as optional extra for Standard tours).
  • Extra comfort package: Camping chair, pillow/pillowcase, "outdoor spa kit" with eco-friendly hair/bodywash, conditioner and mosquito repellent (also available to add as optional extra for Standard tours).
  • 24/7 support line: For questions during your trip.
  • Return transfer (for additional charge): The possibility to add transfer between Hotel Downtown Camper in Stockholm city and the start/end point of your tour.
  • Provisions package (for additional charge): The possibility to add a provisions package giving you everything you need (even recipes!) for tours up to 4 days/3 nights. If you are doing a longer tour, you will be given information on where to buy extra provisions in the archipelago during your trip.
Cooking during your kayak tour

If you choose the Full Service option, a provisions package with recipe instructions can be added. Photo: KT.

With everything provided for you for your kayak tour, you need only bring your personal clothing and, of course, a sense of adventure! The islands of the Stockholm Archipelago are waiting for you - and there is no better way to explore the archipelago than by kayak!

 ...

Itinerary »

Option 1: Standard Self-guided Package

Start/end points: There are two possible start/end points for these tours - Sollenkroka or Stavsnäs (45-60 mins from Stockholm city by public transport). You can choose to start/end at the same location or do a point-to-point tour (a supplement applies for point-to-point itineraries for this option - see under "Prices" for details). Please note the following:

  • Both locations offer wonderful kayaking, whether starting/ending at the same location or choosing a point-to-point route.
  • Sollenkroka will typically offer the most sheltered kayaking in the early part of the tour, so families or guests with minimal experience may wish to choose start/end Sollenkroka.

  • Point-to-point tours require minimum duration 4 days/3 nights and are recommended for guests with at least some previous experience. For point-to-point tours, start Stavsnäs end Sollenkroka is often the most suitable option to due to the prevailing winds.

  • However, any of the combinations are possible and offer flexible kayaking with the possibility to vary your route depending on wind and weather conditions.
  • Please specify your start point and end point on booking.

You will normally need to overnight in Stockholm before your tour (and also after depending on your end time), which is in any a popular option and it is well worth adding a couple of days to your trip to explore the city. However, if you wish to arrive Stockholm on the start day of your kayak tour, this may be possible by arrangement - please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Start Day:

Arrive at the kayak centre by public transport between 09.00 and 12.00.

Later arrival times up to around 15.30 may also be possible on request, but must be advised and confirmed in advance.

Following Days:

See Suggested Itinerary below for information on possible routes and places to visit. You will also discuss the best options depending on wind/weather conditions, your ability and the type of tour you are looking for at the kayak centre at the start of your trip.

End Day:

Your final day of kayaking. Please be back at the kayak centre at your chosen end point by latest 16.00-16.30 to return your equipment before the centre closes at 17.00. If you arrive earlier in the afternoon and there is time before your departure, you are welcome to make use of the showers and sauna at the kayak centre (these facilities are only available when ending your tour at Stavsnäs - there are no shower or sauna facilities at Sollenkroka).

Option 2: Full Service Self-guided Package

NB: You will normally need to overnight in Stockholm before and after your tour, which is in any a popular option and it is well worth adding a couple of days to your trip to explore the city. However, if you wish to arrive/depart Stockholm on the start/end day of your kayak tour, this may be possible by arrangement - please let us know in advance if you would like transfers at other times than those below.

Start/end points: Start point will be Stavsnäs, unless weather conditions are unsuitable in which case tours will start from Sollenkroka. The start point cannot be specified in advance and will be chosen to offer the best possible experience for you depending on wind and weather conditions at the time. You will discuss best options on arrival.

Point-to-point tours: You can also if you wish choose a "point-to-point" tour for this option at no additional charge. Point-to-point tours will start at Stavsnäs (unless weather conditions are unsuitable) and end at Sollenkroka and require minimum duration 4 days/3 nights.

Start Day:

If you have added transfer as an optional extra, pick-up is from fixed location - Hotel Downtown Camper in central Stockholm - for transfer (45-60 mins) to the start point. Transfer normally leaves Stockholm 09.00 on start day, but later transfer times may be possible by arrangement for guests arriving in Stockholm that day. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Alternatively, travel independently to the kayak centre as for Option 1 tours.

On arrival at the kayak centre, you will be met for Swedish "fika" (coffee and snacks) and a thorough introductory meeting for the tour ahead, including help preparing and packing the kayaks. You will have a chance to discuss suggested routes in detail and to ask any questions you may have.

You will have a detailed introduction for your trip, typically taking around 2-3 hours and covering kayak techniques appropriate to your level, safety considerations and navigation.

Following Days:

See Suggested Itinerary below for information on possible routes and places to visit. You will also discuss the best options depending on wind/weather conditions, your ability and the type of tour you are looking for at the kayak centre at the start of your trip.

End Day:

Your final day of kayaking. Please be back at the kayak centre by 16.00. The kayak centre staff will take care of your equipment while you take a coffee and snack and organise for departure. If there is time before departure, you are welcome to make use of the showers and sauna at the kayak centre (these facilities are only available when ending your tour at Stavsnäs - there are no shower or sauna facilities at Sollenkroka). If you have added transfer as an optional extra, transfer will normally be back in Stockholm city around 17.00-18.00. Transfer can be to any location in central Stockholm (hotel accommodation, train station, etc) by arrangement.

Suggested Itinerary: For Option 1 or Option 2 tours

The itinerary below is a very general indication of areas you may wish to explore during your trip, based on an 8-day tour. Kayaking in the archipelago is very flexible and your exact route will depend on a number of factors, including your start/end point, wind/weather conditions, your kayaking ability and level of fitness, and the type of trip you are looking for (for example if you have a particular interest in wildlife or cultural elements). You will discuss options with the kayak centre staff in detail before beginning your tour to ensure you have the best possible experience.

Each night of the tour you will be camping wild in the archipelago in accordance with the Swedish Right of Public Access. Detailed information on this, including dealing with toilet waste, etc, will be provided in your booking documentation and in the information meeting at the start of your tour.

Day 2: Bullerö

A beautiful area with a nature reserve rich in birdlife. Ideal for a half-day visit, including time to hike on the island and perhaps visit the old hunting lodge of Bruno Liljefors, with a wonderful collection of Swedish art from the early 1900s. There is also a public sauna on the island here if you wish to soothe your muscles!

Day 3: Möja

With a lovely nature reserve to the east of the main island, Möja is well worth a visit. The village of Berg offers a good place to buy extra groceries and refill your drinking water containers if needed,

The nature reserve is made up of many small islands and is ideal to discover by kayak. There is plenty to see and do here, so you might like to take two days to explore!

Days 4-8:

For longer tours, there is great flexibility to explore as much or as little of the archipelago as you wish. Just make sure you plan time to get to your end point in the time available! Bear in mind that wind and weather conditions can make progress slower or require a change of plan, so you should always have some extra time in your planned itinerary for contingencies.

Some ideas you may wish to include are:

  • Långviksskär nature reserve: hundreds of islands in the eastern archipelago, with beautiful views and wide horizons.
  • In good conditions and with suitable confidence/experience, you may be able to get to the island of Tärnskär, with its beautiful lagoon.
  • Nämdö: A larger island to the south of Runmarö which is very popular with Stockholmers in summer. There is a good restaurant at Solvik as well as cafes. There is a public sauna here at Låvik and good hiking trails if you'd like to take some time to explore off the water.
  • Relaxing and swimming: An outdoor adventure isn't just about travelling and doing things all the time! The archipelago is a wonderful playground for simply enjoying being outdoors - in summer the water is often around 20 degrees C or warmer, perfect for swimming, and there are many smooth rocks and small beaches which offer wonderful spots to simply laze about for a day (or even two!).

Dates & Prices»

Dates 2024

Option 1: Standard Self-guided Package

  • Start/end any day from 1st May to 30th September. NB: Tours cannot start Saturday 22nd June (Swedish Midsummer weekend), but you are welcome to do a tour spanning 22nd June or to end your tour on 22nd June (the kayak centre is open from 13.00 that day).

Option 2: Full Service Self-guided Package

  • Start any day Tuesday-Saturday from 1st May to 30th September. Your tour can end on any day of the week. NB: Tours cannot start Saturday 22nd June (Swedish Midsummer weekend), but you are welcome to do a tour spanning 22nd June or to end your tour on 22nd June (the kayak centre is open from 13.00 that day).

Prices 2024

Please specify when booking which of the following options you would like:

  • For Option 1 tours:
    • Start/end point option: For these tours, you can start and end at the same location or choose a point-to-point tour. See under "Itinerary" for details. Point-to-point tour supplement applies when starting/ending at different locations. Supplement applies per kayak for single or double kayaks, regardless of tour duration.
      1. Stavsnäs-Stavsnäs (the most common option).
      2. Sollenkroka-Sollenkroka (a good choice if you wish to kayak in the most sheltered areas.)
      3. Stavnsäs-Sollenkroka (for point-to-point tours, this is the recommended direction due to the prevailing winds).
    • Single/double kayaks: Option 1 tours have a choice of single or double kayaks. If booking single kayak(s), please specify on booking whether you would like:
      1. Standard kayaks (expedition kayaks, particularly suitable for paddlers with some previous experience).
      2. Long kayaks (as Standard but additional leg room, for guests >185cm).
      3. Beginner kayaks (wider and more stable, offering both additional stability and a little extra room), or a combination of these.
  • For Option 2 tours:
    • Single/double kayaks: As standard, double kayaks are used for this tour. If you would prefer single kayaks, please specify (Standard/Long/Beginner as per Option 1 above) on booking. This does not affect the price.
    • Provisions package: Available as optional extra (see below for details).
    • Return transfer from Stockholm: Available as optional extra (see below for details).
Standard Prices  
Option 1: Standard Self-guided Package  
   
Using Single Kayak   
3 days/2 nights (per person)GBP
4 days/3 nights (per person)GBP
Longer durations - each additional night (per person)GBP
   
Using Double Kayak  
3 days/2 nights (per kayak)GBP
Each additional night up to 7 days/6 nights (per kayak)GBP
   
   
Option 2: Full Service Self-guided Package  
3 days/2 nights (per person)*GBP
Each additional night up to 8 days/7 nights (per person)GBP

*As standard, double kayaks are used for Option 2 tours. If you prefer single kayaks, please specify (Standard/Long/Beginner) on booking. This does not affect the price for Option 2 tours.

Optional Extras (see description below) 
For Option 1 tours only (these components are included when booking Option 2 tours): 
Kayak clothing package (per person)GBP
Extra comfort package (per person)GBP
Point-to-point tour supplement (per kayak)GBP
   
For Option 2 tours only (not available when booking Option 1): 
Provisions package 3 days/2 nights (per person)GBP
Provisions package 4 days/3 nights (per person)GBP
Return transfer from Stockholm (per person)GBP
  • Kayak clothing package: Kayak jacket (wind and waterproof), neoprene gloves and rainhat.
  • Extra comfort package: Camping chair, pillow/pillowcase, "outdoor spa kit" (eco-friendly hair/bodywash, conditioner and mosquito repellent, provided one set per two persons).
  • Point-to-point tour supplement: If wishing to have an A-B tour (start Stavsnäs end Sollenkroka). Requires minimum duration 4 days/3 nights. Please see under "Itinerary" for details.
  • Provisions: Provisions packages include everything needed for breakfast, lunch and dinner + additional snacks/drinks, including recipe information to prepare meals from the ingredients. The 3-day package, for example, will include: snack on arrival at the kayak centre; lunch and dinner for Day 1; breakfast, lunch and dinner for Day 2; breakfast and lunch for Day 3; additional snacks for between meals. There is a focus on Swedish/local foods wherever possible, for example meatballs/vegetarian meatballs with mashed potato and lingonberries. For tours longer than 4 days/3 nights, you will purchase additional provisions from archipelago stores during your tour (information will be provided on where to shop). Standard or Vegetarian options can be chosen. Other dietary needs (e.g. gluten free or dairy free) may be possible on request (additional charge may apply for special diets which require higher-priced ingredients). Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
  • Return transfer from Stockholm: This experience is straightforward to travel to by public transport, but for additional convenience, transfer can be added as optional extra. Transfers leave from Hotel Downtown Camper in central Stockholm at 09.00 to the start point of your tour (45-60 mins). At the end of your tour, you will be back in Stockholm around 17.00-18.00. Drop-off can be at any location in central Stockholm (hotel accommodation, train station, etc).

What's Included »

Included

Option 1 and Option 2 tours:

Kayak equipment:

  • Sea kayak:
    • Option 1 tours: please specify single (Standard/Long/Beginner) or double kayaks on booking (see under "Prices" for details and options).
    • Option 2 tours: double kayaks are used as standard, single kayaks are available on request at no additional charge.
    • Single kayaks are normally Seabird Expedition LV (Standard/Long) or Seabird Discovery (Beginner). Double kayaks are normally Prijon.
  • Paddle, buoyancy aid, spray skirt, bilge pump, spongle and cloth for cleaning and removing water.
  • Water-resistant case for smartphone.
  • Navigation and safety equipment: Map of the area and route suggestions (including GPS tracks for smartphone), kayak compass, torch, First Aid Kit.

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.

Equipment on the kayak tour

Comprehensive equipment is included to make sure you have everything you need. Photo: KT.

Information meeting:

  • At the start of your tour, you will have an introductory sesson where you will discuss a suitable route based on weather/wind conditions, your experience and the type of trip you are looking for. You will also cover safety, basic kayaking technique, the Swedish Right of Public Access and how to protect the environment during your tour.

Camping equipment:

  • Tent: Tents are provided one per two persons (odd-numbered adults in a group will have own tent), but additional tents (e.g. one tent per person for three persons) can also be requested at no extra charge, subject to availability. Tents used are normally 2-person dome tents from Urberg of Scandinavia.
  • Sleeping bag, mat and liner: There are three types of sleeping bag available, to be suitable for the full range of temperatures during the season and also some bags for taller guests. You will be provided with the most appropriate equipment based on conditions at the time of your tour and the size information provided. One foam and one inflatable sleeping mat is provided per person.
  • Cooking stove with gas: Provided one per 2-3 persons. Fuel will be provided sufficient to cover the duration of your tour.
  • Cooking/eating items: Cutting board, knife, spatula, salt, pepper, oil and matches; camping set with plate, mug and cutlery; washing-up liquid, sponge and cloth.
  • Water containers: 5-litre water containers for drinking water. You are welcome to take as many as you wish.
  • Dry bags: For personal items. You are welcome to take as many as you wish.
  • Waste kit: Rubbish bag, toilet spade and toilet paper.

Option 2 tours only:

  • Kayak clothing:
    • Kayak jacket (wind and waterproof).
    • Neoprene gloves.
    • Waterproof hat.
  • Instruction session with guide before your tour begins: In addition to tour planning and general information for your trip, a guide will spend 2-3 hours with you covering kayaking techniques appropriate to your level, as well as safety and navigation, before you begin your self-guided adventure.
  • Provisions package available as optional extra (see under "Prices > Optional extras" for details).
  • 24/7 phone support line.
  • Camping chairs and pillows.
  • An "outdoor spa kit" with eco-friendly hair/bodywash, conditioner and mosquito repellent (provided one set per two persons).

Not Included

  • 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.
  • Provisions (can be added as Optional Extra for Full Service tours).

Good To Know »

Required

Health requirements/experience:

All participants must be able to swim at least 200m. Max. weight 120kg. No previous kayak experience is required - see under "Itinerary" for information on which tour option may suit you best depending your previous experience.

Participants with limited kayaking experience may wish to choose "Option 2: Full Service", which includes additional instruction.

Min. age 12 years (sharing double kayak with adult and provided children have suitable size and strength to use the paddle). Min. age 15 years to paddle single kayak (provided children have suitable size and strength to paddle effectively in a headwind).

You should be generally used to and enjoy the outdoors and camping.

What makes this "Easy-Medium"?

The tours are very flexible both in terms of duration and route taken. If you choose to start/end your tour at the same location, there is no requirement to cover a minimum distance (for point-to-point tours, min. tour duration 4 days/3 nights is required).

The itinerary can be varied to increase or decrease level of challenge depending on level of experience and fitness and you will discuss the most suitable options in detail at the start of your tour.

Double kayaks are available for both tour options, which are very stable and ideal for beginners. Single kayaks can also be chosen for more confident paddles (particularly stable single kayaks are also available for beginners).

There are no tides or currents in the archipelago, and during the summer the water is typically warm (around 20 degrees C or so). In windy conditions, the water can be choppy. You should always be prepared to adapt your itinerary accordingly to paddle in the most sheltered areas where appropriate, and should avoid crossing large bodies of open water, particularly in strong winds.

You will be wild camping on all nights. High quality camping equipoment is provided. For Option 2 tours, a 24/7 helpline in case of questions or difficulties is also included.

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.

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 localised areas of the Nordic countries, 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 current advice on TBE and inoculations for the area you are visiting, please consult your doctor or see Travel Health Pro.

Equipment/clothes needed:

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:

Groups

This experience is ideal for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Eco Info

This provider has a written ecotourism policy.

Getting There »

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.

Travel Summary:

By Air:

Fly to Stockholm. For Option 1 tours, start/end points are 45-60 minutes by public transport from Stockholm city. For Option 2 tours, return transfer between Stockholm city and the start/end point is available to add as an optional extra.

Without Flying:

Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Stockholm.

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