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Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Wildcamp in the Saint Anna Archipelago - Guided

5 days of true adventure in Sweden's most stunning and untouched coastal landscape.

Location

Sweden

Fly To

Stockholm Skavsta Airport

Perfect for

This trip is ideal for those looking for a true adventure and an awesome communal vibe. There are no tides, swells or currents to worry about in Saint Anna, and it's perfect for beginners and experienced kayakers alike. You will use stable and fast double kayaks, and if you're a skilled paddler you can go in a single. Your guide is a well of knowledge for finding the most exciting routes and beautiful camp spots.

Difficulty

Moderate

The remote Saint Anna Archipelago on the Baltic coast is heaven for kayakers. Nowhere in Europe can you find 6000 islands so closely clustered together - a maze from the forested sheltered islands close to the mainland to the barren islets bordering the open sea. You are free to paddle and wild camp wherever you like!

You'll team up with a crew of like-minded adventurers for this unforgettable exploration. Your tour guides will take you far and wide, teaching paddling technique, flora & fauna along the route. You'll venture far to the outer islands of the archipelago and get close to the amazing birdlife in this unusual habitat, and you may spot Grey seals.

This is a team effort, one of our favorite things about it! Strangers at first, then quickly a well-oiled crew of explorers who are in it together! You’ll cook delicious meals as a team, decide on the route as a team and learn fun skills from your guides and from each other.

What's Included

  • Experienced kayaking guide
  • 4 nights of wild camping on deserted islands
  • 5 days of kayaking and exploring the archipelago
  • Professional quality equipment - e.g. Hilleberg tents, NRS paddle jackets, mylar-lined cooler bags
  • Complimentary comfort upgrade - airbed, pillow, chair and hammock
  • All meals and snacks, menu planned by our wilderness chef
  • Coffee, tea and soft drinks
  • Pre-purchasing service for alcohol
  • Custom-made guide book
  • Start and finish at different spots, no backtracking
  • Transfer Norrköping-Saint Anna-Norrköping

Itinerary

Day 1 - Into the Maze

All the provided gear, food and water are waiting for us at the launch. We'll repack our clothes into dry bags and load the kayaks. Using our top-of-the-line equipment is a real treat! It can be hard to justify purchasing gear of that caliber on your own!

Our launch site is situated in a sheltered bay – soon we round the first islands and see a maze of islands spreading out in all directions. During our paddle northeast towards Aspöja we’ll pass through many clusters of forested islands and islets. A variety of different ducks, as well as swans and Grey herons breed around here, and White-tailed eagles are sighted regularly since they nest in large trees nearby.

We continue paddling through the Uggelholmarna Nature Reserve, a great spot for a break. Three hundred year-old pine and linden trees grow here, and the open forest is perfect for a short stroll. We aim east towards the narrow inlet between Lammskär and Kalvskär - we'll end up surrounded by a beautiful and sheltered atoll formation of islands.

A short distance north we reach the cluster of islets south of Aspöja - one of the most gorgeous settings of the archipelago with spectacular sunset views.

Day 2 - A band of islands against the horizon

Our following day is a fantastic paddle southeast through the outer archipelago and its barren, wind-pined little islets. The blue horizon and the open sea is our backdrop. If we're lucky we may spot seals and there is an amazing variety of coastal birds out here – large colonies of gulls and Arctic terns, Black guillemots, Mergansers, Velvet scoters, Eiders, Shelducks, Oystercatchers and Redshanks. Large birds like White-tailed eagles and Great cormorants are common, and maybe we spot Arctic skuas and Ospreys.

After a quite strenuous day we reach the famous navigation mark Kupa Klint. It’s a lookout with spectacular views of the hundreds of skerries of the Missjö Archipelago spreading out below – the most finely-chiselled archipelago that exists in Sweden.

Inside the outer band of skerries we reach the large island Missjö with its parallel islands. Our guides know all the nooks and crannies and will find a superb sheltered spot for the night.

Day 3 - The village that time forgot

We steer our kayaks south towards the most visited island in the area – Harstena. An idyllic view of the village greets us as we paddle the narrow inlet. Harstena is famous far and wide for its picturesque and historic beauty. We learn more about the history at the museum in the old school, stroll around the village and munch on delicious cinnamon swirls from the bakery.

After a visit to this village seemingly frozen in time, we head southeast aiming for the magical Ytterö island with its smooth rocky beaches and gnarly old pine trees. It’s right on the open sea and we find higher ground for a spectacular view of the archipelago and the horizon. When we fall asleep tonight all we can hear are the waves crashing against the smooth rocks and calls from the many birds that breed on the little islets surrounding the island.

Day 4 - A paddle to the edge of the world

Weather conditions permitting, we’ll try to make it to Häradskär today. The old lighthouse on the island is the last outpost of the archipelago right on the open sea. Few make it to this historic spot at the edge of the world!

We’ll pass Gubbö on the way, and climb the hill for an amazing view of this part of the archipelago. We paddle south through the beautiful clusters of islands at Laxvarp and make an assessment whether we can reach our goal.

After an exposed crossing, the red iron lighthouse finally appears. The only sounds out here are bird calls and the rhythmic crashing of the sea against the flat rocks. We're as far out as we're going to get and it's absolutely beautiful!

Day 5 - Due west for the mainland

We set up camp site south of Fångö island last night, and it's our very last morning we have in our island wonderland. After a hearty breakfast and a final dip in the sea, we're homeward bound.

We visit the abandoned copper mine on Fångö on our way back, then round the island and paddle through a small canal that takes us opposite Fyrudden. A short paddle west takes us to the mainland and the finish point.

Far from strangers anymore, we're a crew of seasoned explorers who’ve just been through an unforgettable kayaking expedition together!

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Please Note

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.

Accommodation

We are free to set up camp on any island and make it our home for the night. Top quality Hilleberg tents, Haglöfs sleeping bags, sleeping mats and cooking equipment are provided.

“The right of public access” in Sweden means you can camp wherever you want as long as you are respectful to the land, animals and people. Your guide will give information on the rules and practices in regards to rubbish disposal, bird sanctuaries, open fires, protected plant and animal species etc. Saint Anna is incredibly clean and untouched—we'll keep it that way!

Location

Thousands of years ago, the thick ice sheet of the last ice age melted away, revealing a majestic glacier landscape of smooth islands and unusual rock formations in the Baltic sea.

Saint Anna truly is a treasure among treasures. This seventy kilometre remote stretch of the Baltic coast is beautifully untouched with six thousand islands, islets and skerries in a maze. It's been a hidden gem for kayakers for decades. They'll praise Saint Anna as the very best spot for sea paddling - not only is the area absolutely stunning, the islands are closely clustered together offering lots of shelter and an incredibly varied landscape.

This archipelago stretches wide - twenty kilometres from the mainland to the open sea. The inner islands are large and forested, separated by narrow passages or smaller straits. The middle parts are clusters of islands and islets with knotted wind-pined trees. This zone is more exposed to wind, but finding sheltered routes is easy. The outer archipelago is a myriad of barren tiny skerries close to the open sea. No less than thirty-five coastal bird species breed out here and sighting Grey seals is common.

Saint Anna boasts one of Sweden's highest number of sunny days with some of the warmest temperatures in the sea. The sea is fantastic for long swims! The water is brackish and the marine life is completely harmless (no stinging jellyfish or crabs!).

Almost all the islands are uninhabited, but the area also has a rich history of people living their whole lives out here. It’s completely up to the group what you choose to explore – visit cultural points of interest, do all wilderness, or more likely, a blend of both!

Meeting Point

Start Point

Norrköping at 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
  • Norrköping Airport (bmi), 10 min taxi ride to Norrköping
  • Train to Norrköping

Finish Point

Norrköping - 16.30-17.00

Your host will drop you back off in Norrköping, an hour drive from Saint Anna.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately this trip is for adults only.

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to and from Sweden
  • Travel to/from the meeting point
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

This trip will run with a maximum of 8 people.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

You do need to be of moderate fitness for this trip and under 120kg (19st). You must be able to swim and have a taste for adventure. Kayaking beginners are welcome.

Swedish summer is beautiful! Green, lush with lots of daylight!

The weather in the archipelago changes often and quickly. You will be supplied with a cell phone and will receive a daily weather report. In a few days, you are likely to experience some calm and sunny days and some windy and overcast ones. You will be provided with top quality water and wind proof clothing. Temperatures vary, a typical summer day can offer 33°C and sunshine, or 17°C and rain, mostly it stays in the range of 20–28°C.

Food always tastes better in the wild. You’ll cook delicious meals together as a team, using lots of typical Swedish ingredients, and with the menu planned by our wilderness chef."

If you have any special requests, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you. Vegans and vegetarians welcome.

The equipment provided will be high quality and chosen with care.

  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • Spraydeck
  • Life jacket
  • First aid kit
  • Water pump
  • Drybags
  • Rolling compass
  • Maps
  • Guide book
  • Cell phone
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Tent
  • Tarp
  • Spade
  • Folding saw
  • Drinking bottle
  • Water containers
  • Gas stove & fuel
  • Lighters
  • Grill plate
  • Pan for fire
  • Cooler
  • Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Cooking utensils
  • Eating utensils
  • Dishwashing kit
  • Head torches
  • Knife
  • Rope
  • Shorts & t-shirts
  • Trousers & warm sweater
  • Shoes (Although Neoprene socks are good to wear instead of shoes)
  • Swimsuit & towel
  • Sun cap & beanie
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock & toiletries

Other recommendations are:

  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Books
  • Games
  • Luxury items – be it beer, food, a small instrument to entertain the group.
  • Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)

Stockholm Skavsta Nyköping Airport (NYO) is served by regular inexpensive flights. You can get any flight that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. An airport shuttle bus will take you to Norrköping in just 55 minutes.

You can also fly to other airports nearby:

Sweden's main airport Stockholm Arlanda is served by all major airlines. Take a direct train from the airport to Norrköping (2 hours).

Norrköping Airport is served by BMI (transfer in Munich). 10 minute cab ride to the city.

Linköping City Airport is served by KLM (transfer in Amsterdam), 10 minute cab ride to the train station in Linköping then a 25 minute train to Norrköping.

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

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