Kayak and Wild Camp Sweden's Saint Anna Archipelago: Self-Guided
Explore Sweden's most stunning and untouched coastal landscape
4 days off work
Up to 10 people
No previous experience is needed and you decide your pace and how much distance you want to cover.
Paddle around the remote Saint Anna Archipelago - a remote paradise for those looking for an epic self-powered adventure!
Find an island that’s completely your own, set up camp by the water and cook a delicious meal as you watch the sunset
Explore a maze of more than 6,000 islands, most of them uninhabited – from forested ones sheltered near the mainland, to the wild and barren islets out by the open sea
4 nights wild-camping on deserted islands
From the meeting point to the drop-in water spot
Professional kayaking and camping equipment
Some meals as described
Flights to and from the meeting point
Arrive in the morning to meet your host in Norrköping at apporximately 10am. Your host will pick you up in Norrköping, the major hub of the area, either at the train station or any hotel/hostel of your choice. There are a number of practical ways to get here:
- Stockholm Skavsta (Ryanair), 55 min bus transfer to Norrköping
- Stockholm Arlanda (all major airlines), 2 hour direct train to Norrköping
- Linköping City Airport (KLM), 30 min train to Norrköping
- Train to Norrköping
If you take advantage of typically cheaper evening flights and arrive the night before in Norrköping your local host recommends The Lamp Hotel close to the train station or Pronova Hotel in the city centre.
Your host will be in touch after you book to confirm your travel plans and meeting point.
Your host will drop you back off in Norrköping at approx. 17:00 on Day 5.
There are regular flights to the east coast of Sweden from airports across the UK and Europe.
What is the food like?
You will order everything in advance from a comprehensive food list and pay exactly the same price as in the supermarket. Food for a 4 night trip usually adds up to around 50–80 Pounds (EUR 60–80) per person depending on how lavish you wish to be. The larger the group, the smaller the individual cost.
You will also be provided with enough fresh water to last the first half of the trip, and shown a few places en-route where you can fill up. All dietary requirements can be provided for, just order the appropriate food off the list.
What is the accommodation like?
You are free to set up camp on any island you find and make it your home for the night. Top quality Hilleberg tents, Haglöfs sleeping bags, sleeping mats and all your cooking equipment are provided. You’ll also be given information on the rules regarding rubbish disposal, open fires, bird sanctuaries, protected plant and animal species etc. Saint Anna is incredibly clean and untouched — together we'll keep it that way!
Into the maze
Meet your host at the airport or in the town of Norrköping and drive through the Swedish countryside to the jump off point for the beautiful Saint Anna archipelago. Load your supplies into your kayak and review your plan for the weekend, including safety and water navigation - you’ll even be given a phone for daily weather reports. Take to the water and quickly find yourself surrounded by forested islands, narrow passages and barren skerries as far as the eye can see. Find the perfect island for the night and set up camp - the solitude and sense of freedom are hard to put into words and have to be experienced!
Islands all the way to the horizon
Break camp and continue exploring. If you choose, you can paddle to Äspskär - a crescent-shaped islet surrounded by shallow waters that are superb for swimming and snorkelling. Another route takes you through a massive cluster of barren islands out by the open sea. This is the most finely-chiselled archipelago in Sweden and a paradise for wildlife, including Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Arctic Skuas, Ospreys and Grey Seals. Head to one of the most famous spots in Saint Anna – Kupa Klint - an old navigation marker used by seafarers for centuries with a spectacular view over the surrounding islands. Pay a visit to the rustic pub on Missjö where sea dog Mats serves up cold beers and delicious dishes made from fish and coastal birds sustainably hunted nearby. Choose your next island, set up camp and get the fire going.
The village that time forgot
Continue south towards Harstena, a village famous for its historic beauty. Take a stroll to the museum in the old school and treat yourself to a delicious lunch at the waterside restaurant. Be sure to pick up some of the heavenly cinnamon swirls from the nearby bakery and some smoked fish from the local smokehouse. Continue exploring and perhaps stop off at Torrön; a large and wild island surrounded by a mosaic of little islets. It’s a sheltered area with shallow waters, smooth rocks and calm creeks – fantastic for swimming and sunbathing. You'll also find some of the best sunset views in the whole area around here!
A wood-fired sauna on the sea
More dramatic scenery awaits to the west. A narrow strait takes you to Väggö, where steep rock walls crash almost vertically into the water. Round back up to the eastern side of Håskö to visit one of the few traditional homesteads left in the area. They run a small-scale fishing operation and are renowned for their fresh deboned perch and alder smoked salmon.
There is a self-served wood-fired sauna right by the waterfront at a very reasonable price. Firewood is piled behind the sauna and you cut and replenish as much as you used. You can also relax in a wood-fired hot tub, but it takes a while to heat up so make sure you call in advance. Paddle south through the tiny strait by Kråkmarö – a pretty and secluded area with lots of traditional summer houses, aiming for Gubbö. A half-hour trail up the hill on Gubbö takes you to an old navigation mark - it's been used by seafarers for centuries. You’ll get a fantastic view of the surrounding islands, and White-tailed eagles are often seen soaring past!
Be sure to take a last dip in the sea and have a hearty breakfast before you head out for the day. Paddle across from Gubbö to the large Fångö island and the abandoned copper mine. During the 19th century, this was a prominent site for mining copper and there are many remains from this era still – deep mining shafts, massive piles of waste rock and old house foundations.
Round the island and kayak through the tiny canal that takes you opposite Fyrudden. Cross a small strait westward, and you reach the mainland and the endpoint of your journey. Unload the kayaks at the dock, wander the marina, eat some ice-cream, and start reminiscing. You just completed an impressive kayaking expedition all by yourselves in a truly wild coastal landscape!
All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.
15% Off Outdoor Gear
In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.
- Kayak, paddle, spraydeck and life jacket
- Tent, sleeping mat and sleeping bag
- Compass, maps, guide book and mobile phone
- Dry bags
- Rain and windproof jacket
- Camp stove, cooking utensils and eating utensils
What do I need to bring?
- A small rucksack for exploring the islands
- Several warm layers of clothing (thermal top and bottom, warm jacket or sweater)
- Light-weight, breathable, quick-drying tops and bottoms
- Swimsuit and towel
- Shoes that can get wet (not flip-flops)
- Light hiking shoes for camp and exploring
- Sun protection
- Hat and light gloves for nights at camp
- Personal toiletries and medications
Your host is happy to start this trip on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. So if one of these suits you better than the dates listed, please send an enquiry with your specified date and they will make it work. The season runs from the end of May to the end of September.
No previous experience is needed and you decide your own pace and how much distance you want to cover. Kayaking in this area is quite easy and the boats go surprisingly fast with little effort.
Not really. Wind direction has a lot to say in where you go and your host will advise you on a general plan, but everything else is up to you. There are a few different pick-up points, so when it's time to go home, you just call your host and let them know where and when you'll be.
The itinerary shown here is an example of one route however weather conditions can effect your routing. Some of the locations listed are in the outer archipelago which will be more challenging to get to if its windy. Your route will be significantly easier and more sheltered if you remain in the inner and middle parts of the archipelago. Establishments on Harstena are open June 19–August 23.
Double kayaks are very stable and well suited for both beginners and intermediate level kayakers, while single kayaks require more skill since they can roll over. If you do roll, don't worry - life jackets are provided and you're not attached to the kayak, so just pop to the surface and get back in! Navigation is pretty straightforward, you just have to be attentive and make sure that the landmarks around you match what you see on the map. You'll also be given a cell phone with pre-programmed numbers. The whole area has reception, so if something happens you're only a phone call away from help and can be reached by boat in under 20 minutes.
There are no tides in Saint Anna to speak of and the sea level stays the same, which means no time tables and transporting kayaks and gear from the waterline. Also, there are no big swells since the many islands break up the waves into occasional choppy water.
The islands are close together, completely pristine and unexploited, with no ferries or large boats to disturb you. There are a couple of quaint old villages where you can buy smoked fish and ice-cream and local points of interest that include an old copper mine, a wood-fired sauna, lighthouses, lookouts and more. You will get plenty of solitude and wilderness on your adventure, but it's also great to have a few places to visit along the way. There's plenty to do on each little island, like swimming and sunbathing, fishing from the shore, cooking, hanging out by the campfire, wandering into the forest to pick berries and mushrooms. Your imagination really gets going when you feel so free!
As this is a self-guided trip, there needs to be a minimum of two people in your group. This is to esnure it is safe at all times.
Weather in the archipelago changes often and quickly and a given summer day can bring you 33°C and sunshine, or 17°C and rain. Mostly, however, it stays around 20–28°C. Expect some calm, hot and sunny days, and a couple of overcast, windier ones. Sometimes it rains, but this usually passes pretty quickly. Your host will text you with the weather report every morning and you can check the forecast at smhi.se/en/Weather and search for "Soderkoping." Water temperature depends on the weeks leading up to summer. Typical ranges are 14–19°C in early and late summer, and 19–24°C in mid-summer.
Any excess luggage can be safely left with your local host at the put-in point.
We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.
We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
All of our group adventures are specifically designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want them to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly likeminded.
“I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I’ve ever been on!” Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.
The maximum group size is 10 people for a self-guided trip.
Cancel up to 31 days before departure and we'll transfer your deposit into credit for a future booking.
Free Date Changes
Free date changes up to 31 days before departure.
Here’s why we’re rated the UK’s ‘Best for Experiences’
All our adventures get you out of the city to explore the wilder side of our world
Get places you wouldn’t yourself. Our guides know where to go, what to do and how to stay safe
Route planning? Transport? Accommodation? Equipment? It’s all taken care of
OF GOOD PEOPLE
Join a diverse global community, bound by a shared love of the outdoors