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As a close-to-nature experience, sea kayaking is hard to beat. With the gentle slap of the water and the cries of seabirds to keep you company, the archipelago stretches out before you, a hypnotic landscape of remote granite and gneiss islands floating on a blue sea. Life's possibilities seem as limitless as the wide skies above.
This experience offers the ideal combination of the freedom of a self-guided tour and the convenience and confidence of an organised tour. You will be provided with a map of the area and recommended route, including suggestions for the places to pitch camp for the night and even small restaurants and local stores along the coast if you would like to stop off for refreshments and supplies.
Your tour begins from the kayak centre just outside Uddevalla, heading west/southwest depending on route chosen to paddle outside the islands of Orust and Tjörn, a sheltered area with varied scenery. When your sea kayaking adventure ends, you will be met at the designated end point for return transfer.
Accommodation along the way is wild camping, and there is no shortage of islands to choose from, many of which are completely uninhabited. Camping on your own private island is a unique experience!
Your self-guided sea kayaking tour takes place in the Bohuslän archipelago, a lovely area with a picturesque coastline dotted with small fishing villages. The archipelago is made up of thousands of islands and forms part of the Gothenburg archipelago, Sweden's second largest archipelago. Sweden's west coast is a world-class location for sea kayaking, attracting paddlers from far and wide with its dramatic rock formations of gneiss and Bohuslän granite.
Self-guided sea kayaking is suitable for a wide range of ages and levels of ability. If you are an inexperienced or novice kayaker and would like to brush up on your technique and get a feel for life on the water before you set off, there is an option to add a 1-day sea kayaking course before your self-guided kayaking tour begins. More experienced kayakers can choose to extend the route and explore further into the network of islands, rocks and skerries.
This is an experience to be taken at your own pace and enjoyed in your own way. Self-guided sea kayaking allows to you create your very own voyage of discovery!
The experience begins at the kayak centre at 09.00.
NB: Please note that it is not possible to start this experience later than 09.00. You will need to arrive in Sweden the day before to overnight locally before your tour.
Self-guided kayak tour in the Bohuslän archipelago with wild camping. Depending on weather and wind conditions and your own energy levels/ability, route and distance covered is flexible. Please plan your itinerary to ensure you reach the designated pick-up point in time for transfer on the end day.
Standard 3-4 day route has minimum distance to cover approx. 50km, standard 5-7 day route has minimum distance to cover approx. 80km. There is great flexibility to extend the minimum distance depending on time available, level of experience/fitness and wind/weather conditions.
Pick-up at the designated end point (depending on the duration of your tour and chosen options) at 15.00 for return transfer (approx. 1 hour) to the kayak centre. Please be ready to load equipment at 15.00. Please clean and return your equipment before departure.
Pick-up for tour durations 3-4 days is at Hälleviksstrand on the island of Orust. Pick-up for tour durations 5-7 days is at Rönnäng on the island of Tjörn.
NB: It is not possible to offer pick-up earlier than the standard time of 15.00. If travelling by public transport and wishing to return to Gothenburg that evening, you would then be back in central Gothenburg typically by around 20.00 at the earliest. We recommend that you plan to overnight in Gothenburg or Uddevalla after your tour.
- Not Included
Start/end any day by arrangement between 01.05 and 30.09.17 NB: No starts/ends 22.06 or 23.06.18, though tours are possible spanning these dates.
Tour duration flexible between 3 days/2 nights and 7 days/6 nights.
The experience begins at 09.00 on the start day and ends with pick-up at the designated end point at 15.00 on the end day.
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.
|3 days/2 nights per person||GBP 210||EUR 237|
|4 days/3 nights per person||GBP 239||EUR 269|
|5 days/4 nights per person||GBP 258||EUR 291|
|6 days/5 nights per person||GBP 277||EUR 312|
|7 days/6 nights per person||GBP 296||EUR 334|
Standard 3-4 day route has minimum distance to cover approx. 50km. Standard 5-7 day route has minimum distance to cover approx. 80km. The tour is not intended to be demanding in terms of distance covered, and the nature of the archipelago landscape means that taking detours to explore particular islands or sections of the coast is an integral part of the experience. These minimum distances are therefore not an indication of actual distance paddled, which can be extended almost indefinitely, but are simply a guide to help you choose the most suitable option.
|Optional Extras (see description below)|
|Camping package/person 3-day tour||GBP 67||EUR 76|
|Camping package/person 4-day tour||GBP 77||EUR 87|
|Camping package/person 5-day tour||GBP 86||EUR 97|
|Camping package/person 6-day tour||GBP 96||EUR 108|
|Camping package/person 7-day tour||GBP 105||EUR 119|
|Sleeping bag package/person 3-day tour||GBP 29||EUR 33|
|Sleeping bag package/person 4-day tour||GBP 34||EUR 38|
|Sleeping bag package/person 5-day tour||GBP 39||EUR 44|
|Sleeping bag package/person 6-day tour||GBP 43||EUR 49|
|Sleeping bag package/person 7-day tour||GBP 48||EUR 54|
|1-day kayak course/person||GBP 115||EUR 130|
|2-hour private lesson/person (max. 2 persons)||GBP 96||EUR 108|
|Wetsuit or kayak jacket/person 3-day tour||GBP 29||EUR 33|
|Wetsuit or kayak jacket/person 4-day tour||GBP 34||EUR 38|
|Wetsuit or kayak jacket/person 5-day tour||GBP 39||EUR 44|
|Wetsuit or kayak jacket/person 6-day tour||GBP 43||EUR 49|
|Wetsuit or kayak jacket/person 7-day tour||GBP 48||EUR 54|
|Equipment cleaning at end of tour (per kayak)||GBP 29||EUR 33|
- Camping package: Price is per person and must be chosen by min. 2 persons in a group. Includes high quality 2/3 person Vaude tent, sleeping mattress (Thermarest inflatable), camping chair adaptor for Thermarest, cooking stove (Trangia-style gas stove), camping gas, meal kit (Light My Fire), toilet spade. Note that package is priced per person (must be chosen by min. 2 persons in a group). Tents and stoves are supplied one per two persons. If required, components of the camping package may be able to be hired separately. Please contact us for details and prices. NB: Please note that sleeping bag is not included.
- Sleeping bag package: Sleeping bag is not included in the standard camping package but can be hired separately. Sleeping sheet/liner is included.
- 1-day course or 2-hour private lesson: It is possible to arrange 1-day or 2-hour introductory courses before your tour and this is strongly recommended, especially
for novice or inexperienced paddlers. Courses include all necessary kayak equipment. A wetsuit will normally be required for the courses (depending on water temperature) and can be hired on site for around 100 SEK (about £10)/person. If you are doing a course the day before your normal start day, you are welcome to keep the kayak equipment after the course,
allowing you set off early for your tour if you wish and effectively adding an additional night to your tour free of
charge. If you have hired the camping package as an optional extra, you can also use the equipment for the night following
your course at no additional charge. Camping in the immediate area of the kayak centre is not permitted, but you can
kayak a short distance to camp for the night. If you require accommodation for the night before your course or would
like accommodation for the night following the course, there is a comfortable hostel adjacent to the kayak centre.
- 1-day course: Full day (tuition component 4-5 hours), please bring food for lunch. Public courses are offered on specific dates - please contact us for details. For groups of minimum 4 persons, day courses at standard prices can also be arranged on other dates. The course begins at the kayak centre at 09.00 with instruction until around 13.00. Participants then have the opportunity to practise the techniques taught until around 17.00. Course is ideal for novice paddlers and corresponds to European Paddle Pass Level 1 (Yellow).
- 2-hour private lesson: Offered subject to availability. Price per person for up to 2 persons. Normally takes place in the morning of your start day. NB: If choosing a private lesson, we recommend minimum total tour duration of 4 days/3 nights, as the lesson will take up some of the time on the first day and therefore reduce available paddling time to reach the end point.
- Wetsuit or kayak jacket: You may wish to use a wetsuit or kayaking jacket during your tour, especially if paddling during the cooler parts of the season. Please provide sizes in advance (S-M-L-XL-XXL) and specify on booking whether you require wetsuit or kayak jacket.
- Equipment cleaning at end of tour: Please note that equipment must be returned in the same condition as rented. At the end of the tour, the equipment should be cleaned and rinsed with fresh water at the kayak centre. If you are not able to do this (e.g. because you have a return flight on the evening of your last day and time is short), it is possible to arrange for your equipment to be cleaned and returned for you.
- All necessary kayaking equipment: single rotomoulded sea kayak with paddle, buoyancy aid, spray skirt, bilge pump and paddle leash, bag for drinking water (one 6l bag per person). Double kayaks can also be arranged if required (especially suitable for novices as double kayaks are the most stable option).
- Map package with recommended route, possible camp sites, restaurants and small stores to purchase supplies.
- Pick-up at designated end point of tour (Hällevikstrand, Orust Island for 3-day tour; Rönnäng, Tjörn Island for 6-day tour) at 15.00 for transfer back to the kayak centre.
Please note that equipment must be returned in the same condition as rented. At the end of the tour, the equipment should be cleaned and rinsed with fresh water at the kayak centre. If you have a return flight on the evening of your last day, it is possible to arrange for your equipment to be cleaned and returned for you (see Optional Extras).
You will be given a 30-minute introduction before launching at 09.00 on your start day. For novice and less experienced paddlers, a 1-day kayaking course before your self-guided tour begins can be added as an optional extra.
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.
- 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 "Good to Know > Getting There" for general travel information.
- Meals: Self-catering. Camping stove can be hired as optional extra. We recommend that you bring essential supplies for your tour with you from the start. Uddevalla has a wide range of food stores. There are also small stores along the route to purchase additional supplies, though we do not recommend that you rely on these for essentials as you may arrive outside opening hours.
- Camping equipment (can be hired as optional extra).
- Dry bags (can be purchased on arrival if required).
- Getting There
- Combine This With
- Eco Info
Minimum 2 adults (18+) required for safety reasons. Recommended minimum age 15 years. For younger participants, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Previous experience of kayaking is recommended. Novice or inexperienced paddlers without knowledge of rescue and safety techniques are strongly advised to add the optional kayaking tuition before your tour begins. Novices may also prefer to request double kayaks, which are the most stable option.
You should be used to and enjoy the outdoor life and be able to swim. The experience is completely self-guided and it is important that you are comfortable on the water in different weather conditions. There are no strong tides or currents in the West Coast archipelago, though in windy conditions the water can be choppy.
Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding your suitability for the tour.
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. The water can be very cold if paddling early/late in the season. Depending on the distance covered and duration of the tour, the level of challenge can easily be varied from moderate 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 "Dates and Prices > 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.
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 Gothenburg for train to Uddevalla (approx. 1 hour). It is also possible to fly to Oslo Rygge (RYG) airport for connections to Uddevalla, travel time approx. 3 hours.
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Uddevalla.
Combine This With
This experience makes a good combination with the following:
- Canoeing in Dalsland's Lake District (4 or 7 days, 1.5 hours by bus)
This experience is suitable for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
This provider has received a prestigious Swedish Ecotourism quality mark for its commitment to high standards to cultural and environmental sensitivity.
Bohuslän is an area noted for its rocky coast and with a long history as a centre for herring fishing offers some of Sweden's best sea kayaking.
The archipelago consists of about 3,000 islands and 5,000 islets or skerries in total, and makes up the northern section of the Gothenburg archipelago. The largest of the islands are Tjörn and Orust.
In the past, the many reefs and submerged rocks along the coast were known as a considerable hazard to shipping, and there were a number of wrecks in the area.
"It was just well organized - in terms of booking, preps, info. Navigating, getting lost and found in the narrow passages through the islands. Raspberries, blueberries, geese, swans,...and peace & tranquility." Rok, July 2018
"[The highlights were] feeling completely free and enjoying being alone on islands and wild camping! Truly letting go of everyday life. Challenging ourselves with navigating the winds. Probably one of the best and most relaxing holidays we've had. Thank you!" Danni, August 2017
"The kayaking was a pleasant way of traveling. We had a lovely evening by the campfire. Even the rain couldn't bring us down we just took a lovely swim." Lucas, September 2017