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Kayaking and canoeing in West Sweden

West Sweden is made for paddling

If the western archipelago, off the Bohuslän coast, isn’t one the best spots in the world for sea kayaking, we don’t what is. And if you prefer canoeing how about Dalsland? The region has thousands of lakes to choose from and they are so clean you can drink from them. Want an urban paddling adventure? Go for Gothenburg, where you can canoe in its lakes.

All in West Sweden.

  • Kayaking in West Sweden
  • Kayaking outside Fjällbacka, West Sweden
  • Kayaking in West Sweden
  • Canoeing in Dalsland, West Sweden
  • Kayaking at the Weather islands, West Sweden

Kayaking in West Sweden

Paddling paradise


CNN Traveler includes the Bohuslän coast on its list of ‘10 of the worlds last great wilderness areas’.  And we have to say we agree. What’s to argue with? A coastline dotted with drop dead gorgeous fishing villages and towns, for example, Fjällbacka, Grebbestad and Smögen. Restaurants that serve up famous West Coast lobster, oysters and langoustine like Bryggan Fjällbacka and Everts Sjöbod. And…

…anyway, back to sea kayaking
The western archipelago, as it is known, is 8,000 islands, islets and rocks strong. The seascape environment is as spectacular as it is accessible and what you get is calm, sheltered waters for paddlers of all skill levels - no strong currents or tides. There are also plenty of canoeing and kayaking specialst along the coast that offer guided trips, equipment etc.

Some of the best kayaking destinations you should look out for include the Koster Islands, part of the Kosterhavet Marine National Park, which enjoys more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in Sweden, as well as the wonderfully named Weather Islands with its seal colonies. Coming back towards land you can paddle the sheltered isles of the Fjällbacka archipelago or head for picturesque Orust and Tjörn islands.

Adventure specialist, Nautopp offers sea kayaking trips along the West Coast, combining kayaking with comfortable seaside hotels.

Your own private island


Everyone in Sweden enjoys its unique right of public access law. It means that you can kayak anywhere you want to, moor your kayak at an island, many of which have BBQ stations and basic facilities, and pitch your tent in perfect peace and quiet. With 8,000 to choose from, it shouldn’t be a problem.

So what are you waiting for? There are many packages to choose from; self-guided or expert-led guided kayak trip each featuring top-notch accommodation, fantastic west coast cuisine and spa options. Or if you truly want to get away from it all, bring all your supplies with you and pitch your tent after a perfect days kayaking.

You want lakes?


Yes, you do and the region of Dalsland with its glittering rivers and thousands of lakes that dot its deep forest was made for paddlers. If you’re holidaying here try your hand at canoeing for a day, or even stay the night in a tipi or lakeside cottage. For the more adventurous there’s always Sweden’s biggest canoeing competition, the Dalsland Canoe Marathon on 10th August. Join the 1,000 or more people who complete the 55 km course for all skill levels. Celebrate completing the course by partying ‘crayfish style’ at the crayfish party that brings this great event to a close.

If you are new to the paddling scene why not join a training weekend with expert kayakers Christian Dietz and Oscar Ahlgren. The 2-day training courses are for all abilities and you’ll get professional advice on technique, nutrition and equipment. 

Canoeing in Gothenburg


Yes, you can. Go Canadian and rent yourself a Canadian canoe at Delsjön in the east of the city. Paddle till your heart’s content, stop off for picnics, explore the surrounding forest and discover both lakes; Stora and Lilla Delsjön. Or how about navigating Gothenburg’s canals all the way out to the city’s southern archipelago? Read more about paddling in the city and for some arm-powered archipelago adventure go here.

For an insider's guide to events and experiences in West Sweden, follow the latest blogs at http://www.explorewestsweden.com/.

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Paddling packages and our dedicated paddling website

For a mini-guide to kayaking off the Bohuslän coast, as well as maps and discounted accommodation offers go here

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