At this time of the year – late summer and early fall, sea kayaking can turn into an extrordinary, magical experience! A self-glowing plankton called mareld, “sea-fire” emerges in the water along the west coast. If the water is in motion, or if you touch it, the phenomenon is even more visible. And the darker it is, the more the water glows…
Sarah Clyne Sundberg, a Swedish writer who has spent many of her childhood summers at the west coast, has depicted her view of sea kayaking in the west coast archipelago.
Sea kayaking may be the perfect way to experience the West Coast archipelago up close. Gliding silently through the water won’t disturb birds, seals and other wildlife the way a motorboat might. The varied landscape, craggy little islands, rocks and skerries scattered along the coast makes for the perfect marine playground. Depending on your tastes and comfort level you can move through sheltered, lake-like settings close to the mainland, or take outer-archipelago jaunts to the rolling waves on the edge of the wide-open North Sea.
As you paddle from one minor island to another you are likely to come upon small sandy beaches hidden among the rocks; Ideal for a lunch break along with a swim and a long lazy nap in the sun. Explore the islands as you please, the Swedish allemansrätten, or “everyman’s right” allows you to roam nature freely. You can walk or camp on any land, as long as you respect the common-sense rule of leaving the site as you found it.
Kayak rentals proliferate up and down the coast, from marine national park of the Koster islands in the north, to the Gothenburg archipelago in the south and Lysekil and Fjällbacka in between. Many of the facilities in the links below also offer lessons, should you be less than well-versed in kayaking, as well as guided tours by kayak, be they daytrips, or multi-day excursions through the wild and untouched seascapes of Bohuslän.