Right now, there’s a lot of tweeting, Facebooking and blogging taking place about Sweden’s west coast on VisitSweden UK social media channels as Ulrika Larsson from Green Adventures kayaking represents the region.
But what was it that made a true southern girl fall in love with the granite rocks of Sweden’s west coast?
“Well, the most obvious reason is the archipelago. Short and simple. In the South of Sweden, we have lovely beaches but no archipelago. Sweden’s west coast, with all of its islands, is a true kayaking heaven if you’re into stunning marine nature experiences. Cruising between the islands in a sailboat is another very much appreciated activity here. And if you like hiking, there are numerous pretty trails that lead walkers through a breathtaking landscape and lovely little fishing villages like Stora Dyrön, Nordkoster and Marstrand. If you prefer biking, you can visit Sydkoster, Tjörn and Orust”, says Ulrika.
The first time Ulrika tried kayaking was when she was studying tourism. It was love at first glide, despite the poor weather conditions – a snowy, cold November day in the archipelago of Stockholm.
Ulrika says: “It’s a slender and small vessel that gives you the feeling of actually sitting in the water. You don’t get closer to the water than this without actually being in the water. After an internship as a kayak guide in Oahu, Hawaii I realized that Sweden’s west coast was the obvious choice in Sweden if you want to work in sea kayaking. There are over 8,000 islands and there’s always something new to explore.”
”Some of my favourite spots include Ryskärsfjorden, south east of Marstrand, only a 40 minute drive from Gothenburg. This is a well kept secret with lots of small islands, sea birds and even if it’s a windy day, this place is perfect for a kayak trip. Fjällbacka is of course another favourite of mine. This is where the archipelago is at its widest, which means that it’s a haven for paddlers because it’s just full of islands everywhere you look. And it’s easy to find a lovely white beach, where you can get out of your kayak, have a break and relax for a while. The Koster islands are not to be forgotten either. This is where Sweden’s first marine national park was founded in 2009. Leaving the mainland behind you, you soon find your self almost getting lost amongst the maze of islets where the water is so shallow, that only kayaks can enter. The landscape is beautiful and looking out to the west, you see an unbroken horizon.”
So, how about peacefully gliding along between the islands of Sweden’s west coast? Enjoy guided and self-guided sea kayak trips there with the following companies:
Kayak companies on the Swedish West Coast
Green Adventures, www.greenadventures.se
Tips to get the best out of a sea kayak trip on Sweden’s west coast:
* Get some information about the area where you’ll be paddling, then you’ll have a greater experience.
* If you go on your own, make sure you have proper weather information and charts before you leave, and plan your trip according to the information you’ve got.
* Make sure you bring sunglasses, rain jacket, cap/hat and mosquito repellant. You never know what the Swedish weather will be like. But in general, the weather is better along the coast, than inland.
* Don’t be afraid to interact with the locals when you’re out paddling, for instance if you need to fill up on fresh water. People are more than happy to help out.
* For the full experience, join a guided paddling trip and you’ll get local knowledge, someone looking after you, paddling friends and a safe and fun day out on the sea.
*And the best time to go is from May – September when the water is warm and the weather likely to be good for paddling.
Did you enjoy Ulrika’s posts from the west coast on the Facebook page Sweden? Here you can continue keeping track of what’s going on in Gothenburg and West Sweden.