- One of Sweden's top kayaking areas
- Wild camping, island cabin or guest house accommodation
- Extend any option with extra nights
- Flexible tour for novice or experienced paddlers
- Single or double kayaks
- Some options suitable for families
A sea kayaking holiday in your own way, at your own pace
Discover the beauty of the St Anna and Gryt archipelago on this self-guided sea kayaking holiday on the east coast of Sweden.
There are options suitable for both adults and families and for novice or more experienced paddlers, exploring the island landscape of St Anna and Gryt, deservedly one of Sweden's most famous kayaking areas. Choose a tour based either on wild camping in standard tents/tree tents or using cabin or guesthouse accommodation as a base.
The Gryt archipelago is part of the larger St Anna island network and is one of Sweden's premier kayaking areas, known for the beauty of its natural landscape and ideal for exploring by sea kayak.
Choose camping for all nights of your tour, or choose the island cabin or guest house options and extend with extra nights' wild camping in the archipelago. Photo: C Swanson.
Camp wild, stay in an island cabin or base yourself on the mainland
There are several options to choose from to create your own kayak adventure in the St Anna and Gryt archipelago. Any of the options can be extended with extra night(s) in the same accommodation type. If choosing the cabin or guest house options, you can also add an expedition component to the trip with extra night(s) wild camping.
From your chosen base, you are free to plan your days as you wish, taking to the water to explore as much or as little of the archipelago as your time, energy and level of experience permits.
- Option 1 - Camping in Standard Tents (min. age 15): Starting/ending your tour from the kayak centre on the mainland, this option gives great flexibility to vary route, distance covered and level of challenge depending on your experience, weather conditions and time available. Dome tent, sleeping bag/mat, cooking stove with fuel and camping plates are included for this option.
- Option 2 - Camping in Tree Tents (min. age 15): Also starting/ending at the kayak centre, this is a unique camping experience in your own "tree tent" suspended in mid-air! The tents, which can sleep 2-3 persons, are straightforward to erect. Instructions for using the tent and advice on suitable island/location to pitch your tent for your first overnight will be advised at the start depending on weather/wind conditions. We recommend that you use the tent as a fixed base camp for day tours from same location, but if you wish you are welcome also to move overnight location during the trip. Tree tent, sleeping bag (sleeping mat is not required), cooking stove with fuel and camping plates are included for this option.
- Option 3 - Simple or Upgraded Cabin on the Island of Harstena (min. age 15): For this option, you paddle between the mainland and the island where the cabins are located (min. paddle time around 4 hours). If adding extra night(s) camping, you can choose to break your journey between the mainland and Harstena by camping en route on the outward and/or return legs. This option requires previous kayaking experience and greater confidence on the water.
- Option 4 - Guest House on the Mainland (min. age 7): Ideal for novices, families and/or those who would like a catered element to their stay, located just 15 mins from the kayak centre by bicycle (bicycles are provided) for each day's paddling.
Extra night(s) at the Guest House on the Mainland before/after any of the four options can also be arranged as an optional extra.
Tree tents are an exciting and unusual option for accommodation during your tour! Photo: C Swanson.
The flexibility to offer an adventure for all abilities
Discover Sea Kayaking in St Anna and Gryt offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of level of challenge, distance covered and duration, and is therefore suitable for a wide range of participants:
- Novice or less experienced adult padllers: Options 1, 2 and 4 are an accessible introduction to the activity of sea kayaking, with possibilities to spend as much time on (or off!) the water as you wish. Option 3 (Cabin on the Island of Harstena), requires additional experience - see under "Good to Know" for details.
- More experienced kayakers: Options 1, 2, and 3 offer the opportunity to explore further afield and increase the level of challenge, with the choice to camp on all nights or combine cabin accommodation with extra nights wild camping to add an expedition component. Option 3 (Cabin on the Island of Harstena) is ideal for those with the experience to kayak out to the island and but also appreciate a roof over their heads at night - the ideal combination of adventure and simple comfort (and you can of course spend some extra nights camping too if you wish!).
- Families: Option 4 (Guest House on the Mainland) is particularly suitable for families. As this has no commitment to paddle particular distances or cross large areas of open water, this is the ideal choice for active families with children aged 7 or above who enjoy spending time with their children on the water.
Options 1 and 2 - Standard Tents or Tree Tents:
Possible start times 09.00-17.00 by arrangement.
Meet at the kayak centre for information and equipment. You will be advised on a suitable location to paddle to for first overnight depending on wind/weather conditions and time availble. Closest suitable point approx. 30 mins' paddle from the kayak centre. Plan start time accordingly to allow ample time to reach the island in daylight, especially if travelling towards the end of the season when daylight hours are shorter.
Option 3 - Cabin on Harstena:
Possible start times 09.00-17.00 by arrangement.
- Meet at the kayak centre for information/equipment. NB: Note that paddle time to Harstena is minimum around 4 hours non-stop, though we recommend taking additional time to enjoy the landscape. If choosing this option you must therefore allow ample time to reach Harstena in daylight and so should plan your start time accordingly, especially if travelling towards the end of the season when hours of daylight are shorter. Alternatively, if adding extra days camping to your tour, you could choose to take two days to reach Harstena, camping on the way, and have your cabin nights later in your tour. Please specify your cabin dates on booking.
You will begin your experience from the kayak camp. The route to Harstena is around 8km (extensions optional) and takes you through a network of islands with many possibilities to stop. Explore the sandy beach of Sandö and the lovely lagoon of Långholmen before paddling out towards Gubbökupa, a fine spot for lunch 30m above the water and with a 360 degree view of the surrounding archipelago. Continue via Klubben and on to the island of Harstena, where your cabin accommodation is located. On Harstena you will check in to your cabin.
Kayaking to/from Harstena requires crossing some areas of open water and is recommended only if you have previous experience of kayaking and are comfortable paddling independently in a marine environment.
Option 4 - Guest House:
Possible start times 09.00-17.00 by arrangement.
Kayak centre staff will meet you either at the guest house or the kayak centre depending on your preference (please specify on booking). Check-in at the guest house is from 13.00.
Self-guided kayak tours in the surrounding archipelago. A wide choice of options for exploring the beautiful island landscape is available. Distance covered and level of challenge is entirely flexible depending on factors such as your level of experience/fitness and wind/weather conditions. For novices or families, there is accessible paddling close to shore, while more experienced paddlers can choose to explore further afield.
Depending on the tour option chosen, you may be combining cabin or guest house accommodation with additional night(s) camping, giving the flexibility to spend some nights under canvas, camping wild beneath the stars.
- Options 1 and 2 - Standard Tents or Tree Tents: Pack up your tent and paddle back to the kayak centre for departure (distance/time depending on where you have camped the night before).
- Option 3 - Cabin on Harstena: Kayak back to the kayak centre (min. paddle time 4 hours non-stop) for departure. You may of course have chosen to spend extra night(s) camping and be able to break your journey back to the mainland with a camping night.
- Option 4 - Guest House on the Mainland: Please check out of the guest house by 12.00.
Start/end any day by arrangement between 09.00 and 17.00 from mid-May to end September.
Minimum duration 3 days/2 nights, extra days optional.
Note if paddling early/late in the season that you should be prepared for cooler conditions.
Both single (K1) and double kayaks (K2) are available. Please specify your requirements on booking.
NB: Bedding and towels must be added to all Option 3 prices.
|Standard Prices (per person)|
|Option 1: Camping in Standard Tents|
|3 days/2 nights||GBP|
|Extra night with kayak and camping equipment||GBP|
|Option 2: Camping in Tree Tents|
|3 days/2 nights||GBP|
|Extra night with kayak and camping equipment||GBP|
|Option 3: Cabin on Harstena (simple or upgraded cabin)|
|Bedding and towels/stay (must be added for all cabin options)||GBP|
|Simple cabin, 3 days/2 nights||GBP|
|Simple cabin extra night with kayak||GBP|
|Upgraded cabin, 3 days/2 nights (if 4 persons)||GBP|
|Upgraded cabin, extra night with kayak (if 4 persons)||GBP|
|Upgraded cabin, 3 days/2 nights (if 2 persons)||GBP|
|Upgraded cabin, extra night with kayak (if 2 persons)||GBP|
|Camping before or after cabin stay/night (inc. kayak and camping equipment)||GBP|
|Option 4: Guest House on the Mainland|
|En-suite room, 3 days/2 nights (based on 2 persons sharing)||GBP|
|En-suite room, extra night with kayak||GBP|
|Room with shared WC/shower, 3 days/2 nights (based on 2 persons sharing)||GBP|
|Room with shared WC/shower, extra night with kayak||GBP|
|Optional Extras (see description below)|
|Transfer from bus on arrival/departure||Pay locally|
Transfer from bus (pay locally):
- If arriving by public transport, local transfers are required between bus stop at Gryt and kayak centre on arrival/departure (approx. 4km). Price one-way per group of up to 4 persons 100 SEK (about £10), payable locally on arrival. For groups larger than 4 persons, please contact us for details and prices. If choosing Option 4 - Guest House on the Mainland, or if staying extra night(s) at the Guest House before your tour, transfer will not normally be required, as you can get off the bus at the Guest House.
What's Included »
- All tours:
- Sea kayak, paddles, buoyancy aids, splash skirt, night cover, safety equipment, bilge pump and waterproof bags.
- Stable two-person (K2) kayaks (recommended for novices and families and also suitable for two adults + child) and single (K1) kayaks are available, in PE plastic or fibreglass. Tahe Marine, Everest and EPIC kayaks are used - some of the kayaks have rudders and skegs while others have Smart Track rudder control system. Please specify when booking whether you would prefer K1 or K2 kayaks.
- Sea map. Information and suggestions on route options will be given at the start of the tour.
- Option 1 (Standard Tents) only: Sleeping bag with foam mat and liner, kitchen equipment (cooker, pans, fuel, plates, mug, washing up liquid). Please bring own cutlery.
- Option 2 (Tree Tents) only: Sleeping bag with liner, kitchen equipment (cooker, pans, fuel, plates, mug, washing up liquid). Please bring own cutlery (sleeping mat is not required in the tree tents).
Bedding and towels are included at the guest house (Option 4) and are a required extra for the cabins on Harstena (Option 3). Guests planning to camp for additional night(s) before or after their cabin stay should bring own towels for camping nights.
Option 1: Standard Tents
Simple, free-standing dome tents suitable for 2-3 persons.
Standard Tent option. Photos: C. Swanson
Option 2: Tree Tents
Tree tents suitable for 2-3 persons. We recommend you use the tree tents as a fixed base for day tours, but it is also possible to move with the tents to different locations if you prefer.
Tree Tent option. Photos: C. Swanson
Option 3: Cabin on the Island of Harstena
Two nights in self-catering cabin accommodation on Harstena.
- Simple Cabin: The cabins vary in size and specifications depending on availability, but are typically simple but cosy and comfortable camping cabins sleeping 2-4 persons (bunk beds) with small kitchen for self-catering. WC/shower in separate building.
Typical cabins for the "Simple Cabin" option.
- Upgraded Cabin: Comfortable cabins approx. 40-45 square metres with lovely views of the sea. Cabins are approx. 150m from the water, where there are bathing rocks and pebble beach. Fully-equipped kitchen for self-catering with cooker, fridge/freezer and dishwasher. 1 x 2-person bedroom with double/twin, one bed + extra bed in open landing area. Bathroom with toilet and shower. Shared outside barbecue area.
Typical cabins for the "Upgraded Cabin" option.
Option 4: Guest House on the Mainland
- 2-person rooms with en-suite or shared WC/shower facilities depending on option chosen. Breakfast is included. Lunch packages and dinner can be arranged locally. Bikes (adult size only) with helmets and locks are provided to cycle the 15 mins between the guest house and the kayak centre for kayaking day tours or for discovering the local area by bike.
Accommodation for Guest House on the Mainland option.
- 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.
- Options 1 and 2 (Standard Tents and Tree Tents): Please purchase all provisions before beginning your tour. Depending on the dates of your tour, there may be small stores open to purchase provisions in the area, but these should not be relied upon.
- Option 3 (Cabin on Harstena): There is a small restaurant and bakery on Harstena open during high season (normally from Midsummer to mid-August). Note that, especially if travelling outside high season, there may be no facilities open on Harstena for provisions and we recommend purchasing all essential provisions for your tour before leaving the mainland.
- Option 4 (Guest House): Breakfast is included and lunch packages and dinner can be arranged locally.
- End cleaning: For Option 3 (Cabin on Harstena), please clean your cabin accommodation before departure.
- Local transfers: If travelling by public transport for Options 1, 2 and 3 and not adding extra night(s) at the Guest House before your tour, transfer will be required for the short distance (approx. 4km) from the bus stop to the kayak centre). See under "Prices > Optional extras" for details.
Good To Know »
The level of challenge and experience required for this tour will depend on the tour option chosen. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding your suitability for the experience.
- All tour options:
- Minimum 2 adults (18+) required.
- Swimming ability required for all adult and child participants. You should be in good health, have a normal level of fitness and enjoy the outdoors.
- We recommend that novices and families choose double kayaks, which are the most stable option.
- 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 a self-guided tour. There are no currents/tides in the archipelago.
- Note that water can be very cold if paddling early/late in the season and we recommend you have additional experience for tours at this time.
- Options 1, 2 and 4: Previous experience of sea kayaking is not essential for these options. Distance covered and level of challenge is flexible depending on experience/ability. For Option 4 (Guest House on the Mainland), the level of challenge can be very accessible if needed, keeping close to land, etc. Options 1 and 2 have min. age 15. Option 4 has min. age 7 if sharing kayak with an adult or 13 (with previous kayak experience) to use single kayak.
- Option 3 (Cabin on Harstena): Min. age 15. Requires paddle time of min. 4 hours non-stop between the mainland and Harstena. You should have some previous kayaking experience and be comfortable travelling independently in a marine environment and crossing areas of open water to choose this option. We recommend if possible that you plan extra night(s) camping to allow you to break the journey from the mainland to Harstena into two days, at least on the outward journey.
What makes this "Easy-Medium"?
The different options available allow for a varied level of challenge. Option 4 (Guest House on the Mainland) has no requirement to cover a minimum distance and the level of challenge can be very accessible if desired. For Options 1 and 2 (camping), level of challenge will depend on the route chosen and distance taken. For Option 3 (Cabin on Harstena), challenge level is higher as you must paddle at minimum between the mainland and the island, crossing large stretches of open water.
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.
Combine This With
This experience makes a good combination with the following:
- Hike and Bike in the Stockholm Archipelago (4 days, start/end Stockholm)
- Hike, Bike and Paddle Stockholm's Lakes and Islands (4 or 5 days, start/end Stockholm)
- Island Hopping and Hiking in the Stockholm Archipelago (6 days, start/end Stockholm)
This experience is also suitable for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
This provider has a written environmental policy.
The island of Harstena, where cabin accommodation for Option 3 is located, lies in the northern part of the Gryt archipelago and is a lovely area with well-preserved archipelago natural and cultural heritage. Harstena is an ideal base for exploring this region.
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. Travel by coach or train + bus to Valdemarsvik (approx. 2.5-3 hours) for local bus to Gryt (20 mins). Transfer between Gryt and the kayak centre (4km) is available as an optional extra.
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train + bus connections to Valdemarsvik.
Gallery & Reviews »
"Service before departure was super! [The best part was a] wedding proposal on a random island!" Maxine, August 2019
"Pre-departure service was really smooth and Nature Travels were very friendly and helpful. The nature and seclusion was definitely the highlight for us." Emily, August 2019
"The service was amazing! [The best part was] sleeping in the tree tent with a beautiful sunset on a new island every night." Anouk, August 2018