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Photo: Staffan Widstrand

Canoe Tours on Klarälven (Sweden)

An easy-going rural canoe tour on wide, meandering river ideal for adults or families

  • Self-guided
  • Easy
  • From £/adult, £/child
  • May-Sep, 4 or 7 days
  • Adults, Families, Groups


  • Paddle 50km or 100km over 4 or 7 days
  • Wide, slow-flowing river with no land transports
  • Wild camping on the riverbank
  • Good chances to see beavers
  • Kitchen equipment included
  • Optional camping equipment and provisions

Description »

A relaxed canoeing holiday with wild camping on the riverbank

A family holiday in Sweden with a difference! The Klarälven runs the length of Värmland, from north to south. Its serpentine meanderings make it a major feature of the Värmland landscape. Its waters flow gently and the landscape ranges from steep valleys to flat, cultivated land.

Canoe on Klarälven is a canoe tour suitable for adults seeking a relaxing, less challenging canoe experience and is also the ideal choice for a family holiday with children of all ages - a self-guided canoeing holiday where you paddle on your own, camping wild on the riverbank along the way.

For the 7-day tour, you can also choose if you wish to camp for one night free of charge at one of the "proper" campsites you will pass along the route.

The canoe tour is ideal for families

The Klarälven offers a great canoeing and camping experience for both adults and active families. Photo: Per Eriksson.

The Klarälven is a wide, meandering river which flows at a stately 2km per hour - a wonderful way to experience the beautiful landscape of rural Sweden and watch the world go by as you make your way downstream!

The Klarälven canoeing tour takes you through a lovely rural area of forests, small villages and farmland, giving you the opportunity to stop for provisions and explore the settlements and surrounding woodlands along the route.

Whether you are a couple seeking a peaceful few days together on the water, an active family introducing your children to the thrill of the outdoors and wild camping, or an adult group looking for a relaxing paddle adventure, Canoe on Klarälven may well be the ideal option!

Optional outdoor course helps you prepare for your trip

For participants with limited experience of the outdoors and with tour dates starting Sunday, it is possible to add an introductory course in the morning of your start day covering basic outdoor skills such as fire making and elements to consider when wild camping.

You will be camping wild on the riverbank during your tour

Camp wild along the route on the banks of the river, choosing your own spot each night. Photo: VV.

An area rich in wildlife with good chances to see beavers

The flora and fauna of Värmland is a cross-section of Swedish species, where the north and south of Sweden meet along the plant geographic boundary of Norrland, which is also the northern limit of the oak.

Northern Värmland and the Norwegian borderland offers wonderful possibilities for canoeing and is ideal for lovers of nature and wildlife - you have good chances to spot beaver when canoeing on the Klarälven.

Canoeing for odd-numbered groups

Canoes used are 2-person Canadian canoes but can also accommodate three persons. For odd numbers, there are two possibilities - please specify your chosen option when booking (option chosen does not affect the price):

  • Paddle three persons in one canoe. This reduces the level of challenge but note that this option will limit available space for packing (this option is not recommended if your party is only three persons in total).
  • Extra person uses sit-on-top kayak as alternative to canoe. The majority of packing for this extra person will then be carried in one of the canoes.

Itinerary »

Why not combine your canoe tour with Timber Rafting Taster and try some timber rafting during your trip?


Detailed information you will need for your experience, including a description of the route, is sent out once full payment has been received.

Meet at the canoe centre in Gunnerud. You will receive your equipment and the information about paddling technique and your route. You can also buy a fishing licence for the tour if you wish. You will then load your canoe equipment onto the minibus for transfer upstream to the start point for your canoe tour. Distance covered is approx. 50km for the 4-day tour and 100km for the 7-day tour.

  • High season: Check-in is between 13.00 and 14.00.
  • Low season: Depending on start date, start time is either at 07.30 or by arrangement between 12.00 and 17.00. See "Dates and Prices" for details.

Following Days

You journey down the wide, meandering river Klaräven, stopping as the mood takes you at small villages and places of interest along the way (suggestions will be included in your route description documentation). You may even wish to plan a half day or day to go hiking in the beautiful forests of the area. The time you spend on the water and the distance to cover each day to complete your voyage downstream is up to you. Each night you will camp wild on the riverbank at a suitable spot - if you wish, you will also pass occasional "proper" campsites, where you are welcome to spend the night if you wish. An additional charge payable locally applies for these sites, except when doing the 7-day tour, where the option to camp free of charge at one of the sites is included.


You paddle downstream to finish your canoe tour at the canoe centre. Please return to the canoe centre by latest 14.00. The end time for your canoe tour is flexible and depends on the distance you have chosen to leave to cover on the final day.


Dates 2021

High Season:

  • 20.06-22.08.21. Start days Sundays and Thursdays, check-in between 13.00 and 14.00 (last standard start day 22nd August).

Low Season:

  • Special "shoulder season" start dates 3rd, 7th, 8th, 10th, 14th, 15th and 17th June 2021 (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays): Check in latest 21.00 the day before your tour for transfer at 08.00 on your start day.
  • 01.05-02.06.21 and 23.08-30.09.21 (latest end date 30th September). Start any day (except Sundays) by arrangement between 12.00 and 17.00 for a minimum total price of cost for 4 adults due to custom transfer logistics required for tours at this time. Examples: 2 or 3 persons charged at 4 x adult rate; family of 2 adults + 2 children under 16 charged at 4 x adult rate, family of 2 adults + 3 children under 16 charged at 4 x adult rate + 1 x child rate.


Prices 2021

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.

Prices include full kitchen equipment.

High Season/Low Season tours: During High Season, standard per person prices and start days apply. For tours during Low Season, there is a minimum charge of the cost for 4 adults due to custom transfers required. See under "Dates" for more information.

Standard Prices  
4-day tour/adultGBP EUR
4-day tour/child under 16GBP EUR
4-day tour/person group size 14+GBP EUR
7-day tour/adultGBP EUR
7-day tour/child under 16GBP EUR
7-day tour/person group size 14+GBP EUR

Groups: Price per person regardless of age. Group rates apply for group size min. 14 persons. NB: For group rate bookings, special conditions apply for deposit payment and cancellation - please contact us for details.

Optional Extras (see description below)  
4-day tour  
Sleeping bag package/personGBP EUR
Provisions package/adultGBP EUR
Provisions package/child under 16GBP EUR
Provisions package/person group size 14+GBP EUR
Tent (per 3-4 persons)GBP EUR
Basic Outdoor Skills course/adult (Sunday starts only)GBP EUR
Basic Outdoor Skills course/child under 16 (Sunday starts only)GBP EUR
7-day tour  
Sleeping bag package/personGBP EUR
Provisions package/adultGBP EUR
Provisions package/child under 16GBP EUR
Provisions package/person group size 14+GBP EUR
Tent (per 3-4 persons)GBP EUR
Basic Outdoor Skills course/adult (Sunday starts only)GBP EUR
Basic Outdoor Skills course/child under 16 (Sunday starts only)GBP EUR
  • Sleeping bag package: Includes sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner and foam sleeping mat.
  • Provisions package: See image below. You can choose to add a food package for up to 7 days. The food provided is that eaten by a typical Swedish family. At the start of the tour you will be given a provisions box with the food for the trip (if you have specific dietary requirements, please let us know so that arrangements can be made). The exact contents of the package may change depending on the season and availability. The food is purchased from small, local countryside shops. Typical contents include: bread, butter, cheese, juice, milk, yoghurt, muesli, coffee, tea, salami, jam, meatballs, fishballs, Swedish beef stew, ham, sausages, pork loin, mashed potatoes, onions, carrots, vegetables, beetroot, apples, biscuits, tomatoes, cucumber, rice, macaroni, asparagus soup, cauliflower soup, salt and pepper. NB: If choosing provisions, please note that for organisational reasons all persons travelling together must choose food packages (i.e. it is not possible to split packages or to purchase for only some members of a group). You are also welcome to bring your own provisions for your tour if you wish.
  • Tent: See image below. High quality 3/4-person Hilleberg tents. Please note that, like all tents rated 4 persons, the tents are most comfortable for 3 adults.
  • Basic Outdoor Skills course: Available for tours starting Sundays between 20th June and 22nd August 2021 only. The course takes place in the morning of your start day, between 09.30 and 12.30, and you will begin the tour directly after. To participate in the course, you will need arrive at the canoe centre the day before and camp free of charge that night. Kitchen equipment and any hired camping equipment can be used for this extra night free of charge. The course is suitable for persons with limited outdoor/camping experience and will cover elements including the following:
    • How to make a fire.
    • Considerations when camping overnight (tent, outdoor toiletry and the Swedish Right of Public Access).
    • What to think about to stay warm, dry and well-fed during an outdoor tour.
    • Practice with paddling canoe.
    • Using cooking equipment when camping.
  • Fishing: Very simple fishing equipment and also fishing licences can be purchased at the canoe centre on arrival (NB: fishing equipment is available for purchase only, not for hire).
Hilleberg Nallo 4

Tent (3-4 persons)

Provisions package

Typical food package contents (for 4 persons)

What's Included »


  • Canoe equipment: 2-person Canadian canoe, paddles, buoyancy aids, one waterproof pack barrel per canoe (approx. 60 litres), water can (5 litres), canoe rope, topographical map, toilet spade (toilet paper is not included), cleaning sponge and rubbish bags.
  • Kitchen equipment contents: Hurricane stove* with fuel, cups, plates, cutlery, carving-knife, cutting board, spatula, cheese slicer, whip, butter knife, can/bottle opener, potato peeler, bowl, dish brush, washing-up liquid, kitchen roll, matches and storage box.
  • Instructor: Services of experienced and knowledgeable instructor before your tour starts.
  • Transfers: Transport by bus for participants and equipment from the meeting point to the start point of the tour (tour route returns to meeting point).
Canoe equipment

*Exact contents may differ from example shown

Please be careful with the canoe 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.

Not Included

Please see "Optional Extras" below.

  • 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.
  • Food: A provisions package is available as an optional extra. There are opportunities to shop in small stores along the way.
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag

Good To Know »


Health requirements/experience:

Swimming ability required by adults. All participation at own risk. Minimum 2 adults*. You should be in good health and have a reasonable level of fitness and strength.

The canoe tour is on calm flowing water. The Klarälven tour involves fairly light paddling with no lifting and you will be travelling downstream for the whole tour.

*This tour can also be suitable for solo adult + child(ren), depending on ages of children and previous outdoor experience. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

What makes this "Easy"?

You will be paddling downstream on a wide, slow-flowing river for the duration of the tour and in a rural area. The tour is based on wild camping but you there are also 1-2 "proper" campsites en-route where you can overnight if desired. No land transports are required.

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.

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:


Canoe on Klarälven is ideal for groups. We reserve the right to assign groups to certain camp sites to minimise impact on the natural environment.

Eco Info

This provider has received a prestigious Swedish Ecotourism award for its commitment to high standards to cultural and environmental sensitivity.

The Beaver:

Canoeing or rafting the Klarälven gives you a very good chance of seeing beavers. But this has not always been the case. The beaver became extinct in Sweden in the late 19th century and was only reintroduced in 1922. Since then they have flourished in this area and Värmland now has an estimated population of several thousand. See our Wildlife Guide for more information on beavers in Sweden.

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.

By Air:

You can choose to fly to Stockholm, Gothenburg or Oslo airports. From here, you travel by public transport to Karlstad (around 2.5-5.5 hours depending on options chosen). From Karlstad, you travel by local bus to Gunnerud (around 1.5 hours). You can also choose to travel by hire car.

Without Flying:

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

Gallery & Reviews »

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