Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Wild Camp Sweden's Saint Anna Archipelago: Self-Guided

Explore Sweden's most stunning and untouched coastal landscape

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Trip Ref #10151

Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Wild Camp Sweden's Saint Anna Archipelago: Self-Guided

Explore Sweden's most stunning and untouched coastal landscape

DURATION

4 nights

LOCATION

Sweden

ANNUAL LEAVE

4 days off work

SEASON

May-Sept

GROUP SIZE

Up to 10 people

MEETING POINT

Norrköping

ACCOMMODATION

Wild camping

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

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

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Cathy, July 2022

    Great trip with good equipment. Would do this again.

    Rachel, June 2022

    Amazing trip! I was apprehensive about wild camping in the Baltic region but the equipment provided was high quality & I never felt cold at night. I was also worried about the wild toilet situation but with literally no-one else around I ended up embracing this & felt funny when returning to civilisation! The kit list was very comprehensive & meal planning guides very helpful. Being self-guided, you can do as much or as little paddling as you want. We mostly had sunshine for our trip which certainly helped us to enjoy the experience but with the equipment we had, we were prepared for anything. The host team were very knowledgeable, helpful & accommodating. I would highly recommend a trip with them

    Gary, June 2022

    Great experience

    Louis, August 2019

    Very well organised.

    Siobhan, August 2019

    Location, people, equipment and the weather were great!

    Joe, August 2019

    What a trip!! Everything was excellent. The most well-organised trip, everything was so efficient! Staff was friendly and very knowledgable. Highly recommend this trip!

    Chris, July 2019

    Hosts were fantastic, the country was beautiful. Could visit 20 times and not see everything.

    Phil, July 2019

    The equipment was great, good communications, great location.

    Andy, June 2019

    The freedom and beautiful scenery were great.

    Andrew, May 2019

    I just enjoyed a 3-day self-guided kayaking holiday around the St Anna archipelago. This was an excellent experience all round. The scenery and location were wonderful. The advice and assistance provided by Rob, Ted, Thomas and Helena was first class. The equipment provided was the highest quality. I would thoroughly recommend them for anyone looking for a brilliant adventure holiday.

    Included

    Accommodation

    4 nights wild-camping on deserted islands

    Transfers

    From the meeting point to the drop-in water spot

    Equipment

    Professional kayaking and camping equipment

    Not Included

    Some meals as described

    Personal expenses

    Travel insurance

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Norrköping

    10:00

    Ends

    Norrköping

    17:00

    Transfers

    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.

    Travel options

    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?

    The islands

    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!

    Day 1

    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!

    Day 2

    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.

    Day 3

    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!

    Day 4

    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!

    Day 5

    Land Ahoy

    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!

    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 and Runner's Need.

    What's included?

    • 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

    No optional extras are available for this trip.

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 51kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    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.

    For current advice about travelling in Sweden, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

    The maximum group size is 10 people for a self-guided trip.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, 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 specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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