It all started on a dreary cold November day in Stockholm, when Ulrika Larsson sat down in a kayak in the Stockholm archipelago for a day of sea kayaking . Although the odds were against her, the weather being cold and uninspiring, Ulrika absolutely fell for kayaking and wanted to do it again and again!
During her two years of studying Eco-tourism in Dalarna, Sweden, Ulrika got the opportunity to gain some work experience during their internship period. Ulrika got the chance to work as a paddling guide in Hawaii, and then later on in Minnesota. It was in Lake Superior, Minnesota, where Ulrika really got to develop her kayaking skills. After graduation, Ulrika was determined to experience the best kayaking that Sweden had to offer – and of course ended up in Bohuslän, West Sweden.
Ulrika then spent 8 years being one of the leading forces behind the West Sweden company “Upplevelsebolaget”, literally translated as “the experience company”. Where Ulrika got to enjoy a large variety of different adventurous activities, everything from kayaking to climbing. However, kayaking remained Ulrika’s one true passion! After 8 years at Upplevelsebolaget she started her own company Green Adventures, where she focuses on sea kayaking and eco-friendly adventures together with her customers.
Ulrika once put her passion for kayaking to the test and kayaked all of Sweden’s coast during 66 days. Surprisingly, this only fed her desire to kayak even more! I got the chance to sit down with this paddling enthusiast and ask some questions about Bohuslän and kayaking!
When I asked Ulrika what makes Bohuslän such an ideal kayaking destination, she gave me numerous reasons! First of all, no matter the weather Bohuslän can offer kayaking for everyone. There are more protected areas behind cliffs and rocks that call for smooth kayaking, and more exposed areas for a more adventurous experience! Also, all of the granite rock in the water creates a fun labyrinth to kayak around.
What separates Sweden’s west coast from the east is the amount of saltwater. There is 15 times more maritime life on the west coast, which creates quite the experience as you can gaze down into the water while sitting in your kayak! Through the crystal clear water you can see everything from oysters to clams to sea weed.
I was also lucky enough to pick Ulrika’s brain on her absolute favorite spots in Bohuslän, both when it comes to kayaking and in general. The list is as follows:
Fjällbacka is the “deepest” archipelago in the sense that it is the widest in Bohuslän. It’s an ancient cozy fishing village that gives you a truly genuine west coast experience. About 9 miles from the coast of Fjällbacka, a beautiful island group is located, namely Väderöarna. Which calls for a beautiful kayaking excursion not far from land. As Väderöarna are made of granite, they look absolutely stunning in the sunset and you can often find seals resting on them!
Kosteröarna is an island group outside of Strömstad in Bohuslän. Kosteröarna is home to Sweden’s first marine national park that opened in 2009. It is also perfect for kayaking as the water is very shallow around the small islands, and there are no speed boats or sail boats allowed. Ulrika also recommends that you take the chance to visit the actual islands of Kosteröarna. For example Nord- och Sydkoster, literally translated as north and south koster, are both car free and have nice restaurants and charming B&B’s. So kayak over and enjoy!
The West Side of Orust- South Bohuslän
The Island of Orust is Sweden’s third largest island. On the west side of the island you can find an ideal mix of kayaking, with both protected and exposed waters. Gullholmen, located on the far west side of the Bohuslän archipelago, is one of the oldest and most beautiful fishing villages on the west coast. Gullholmen has delicious restaurants and beautiful hiking trails that are definitely worth a visit! From Gullholmen there is a footbridge to Härmanö, which has one of Bohuslän’s largest nature reserves, where a variety of rare plants grow!
For a truly unique adventure visit Ulrika Larsson at Green Adventures and she will be your guide through West Swedish waters!