Finnhamn Stockholm archipelago

Kayak round Finnhamn in the Stockholm archipelago

As I’ve noted elsewhere, taking a kayak to the Stockholm archipelago is one of the more wonderful ways to see the area. However doing a full kayak trip for several days is not always everyone’s cup to tea, so sometimes it’s just nice to take a quick tour for a couple of hours. You can easily do that in central Stockholm like this in example but sometimes it’s nice to get right out of town into the outer Stockholm archipelago, take a short kayak trip, but also have a decent bed for the night.

Finnhamn Stockholm archipelago

see views like this as you kayak round Finnhamn

One of my favourite places to do this is Finnhamn. It’s quite a long way out from central Stockholm, in that it takes almost 2 hours to get there even on the faster Cinderella boats, but it’s well worth the wait, and in truth, there’s not much better than a 2 hour boat trip through the Stockholm archipelago anyway! Once you’re in Finnhamn there’s not a huge amount to do if you like the city party scene, but if you like tranquility and the sea, then you’re in the right place. You can just about make it for a day trip if you don’t mind the travelling, but many people will stay in the youth hostel there or camp in the camp ground.

I’d recommend the youth hostel myself, as it’s a lovely old traditional building, in a superb position looking out over the water from one of the higher points on the island. They have the usual high quality STF facilities there, which includes some small cabins in the grounds of the hostel, which is where I stayed last time I was there.

In the daytime opening hours you can pop into the main building and hire variety of equipment, including sea kayaks or small motor boats as well. The fees were very reasonable and the kayaks were of good quality. They’re not huge sea going ones that you’d go away on a long trip with, but then they don’t need to be. They’re better suited for a quick tour round Finnhamn itself or the local islands. Saying that it was quite choppy on the day I went out last and the kayak was quite happy in such conditions. It took me about 90 minutes for gentle paddle right round the entire island (it’s that small) and you find the usual lovely beaches along the way, just like the one in the picture here.

If you don’t fancy arranging your own trips manually when you get there, you can book a kayak tour in Stockholm directly here through our partner site.

stockholm archipelago kayak

Stockholm archipelago kayak tour to Ängsö

stockholm archipelago kayak

25km kayak through the archipelago later, dinner is welcome whilst watching the sunset

One of my favourite experiences of my time in Stockholm was an archipelago kayak tour to Ängsö and back which I did with Kayak och Uteliv. These guys are a great school / organisation to travel with if you want to do a guided tour, but they’re also really good (or they were when I was there) if you want to just hire some equipment and set out on your own.

I did a number of courses with them over the years, including some excellent kayak safety courses where myself and Sarah practiced various emergency recovery techniques and the like. These were really valuable in our overall development, but our favourite trip had to be the 2 day tour to Ängsö starting out from the home base of Kajak och Uteliv.

We did the classic Stockholm archipelago kayak trip, which I sometimes struggle to find so accessible in the UK. We rocked up to the organisers, packed some camping stuff, filled up our water bottles and packed lunches, and set off for the the islands!

We paddled about 25km each day and we saw many amazing sights. I still remember a group of seals surfacing next to us, and on the other extreme we had to watch out for the massive Stockholm party ferry boats which ply their trade up the main shipping channel near Ängsö as well.

You can’t camp on Ängsö itself, so we set up the tents on an island a couple of kilometres to the east, which in itself is an amazing reflection of the Stockholm kayak experience. You can just rock up to any old island and pitch your tents and not be breaking any laws or trespassing, itäs how the outdoor life ought to be. (You just need to watch out for the ticks which are pretty common in the summer around there – I had to pull a few out of awkward places!)

As you can see from the photo, we had a lovely camp site looking west towards the sunset and there were also good swimming opportunities for those brave enough to sample the early June water temperatures (that’ll be me). There’s a few more cool photos in this flickr set

If you don’t fancy arranging your own trips manually when you get there, you can book a kayak tour in Stockholm directly here through our partner site.

edsviken kayak

Kayak from Brunnsviken to Edsviken

edsviken kayak

Graham kayaking on Edsviken near Tegelhagen

When I lived in Tegelhagen I was always thrilled by the fact that 15 minutes walk through the woods from my house was the amazing lake of Edsviken. Just beyond Edsviken if I took the bus or cycled a little further was the connected lake of Brunnsviken, and one of the things I loved to do was hire a kayak at Brunnsviken kayak club and kayak from Brunnsviken to Edsviken, stopping at a beach for lunch.

BKK is a great club as it’s easily accessible by public transport or road and has great equipment for hire at good prices if you’re not a member. If you’re a beginner or short of time you can just hire for an hour and paddle gently round Brunnsviken itself. There’s a couple of cafes and beaches and some lovely spots and views.

If however you’re feeling a little more adventurous, then you can head under the bridge which is actually the E18 road and you’re in open water. If you turn right you’ll come down to the main harbours for the large international ferries, and you can effectively paddle right out to sea from there (watch out for the ferries though!).

However if you turn left, you turn north into Edsviken, which is closed water and you can paddle up to one of the many lovely beaches along the way, or you could even stop at Ulriksdals Slott, where there are wonderful gardens and a castle, and a couple of great cafes as well.

Here’s a map showing where BKK is where you can pick up the kayak, and you can see that the exit from the lake is on the eastern side under the E18.


View Larger Map

Just watch out as you go under the bridge as there are boat traffic lights there, and it’s a very narrow channel. Watch out for bigger boats coming the other way! Depending on your paddling speed you can easily get well up into Edsviken in about an hour. I’d recommend one of the beaches on the west side, at either Ulriksdals Slott or a bit further north, but basically you’re free to pull in wherever and that’s the joy of kayaking in Sweden. Just remember to take a packed lunch!

If you don’t fancy arranging your own trips manually when you get there, you can book a kayak tour in Stockholm directly here through our partner site.

kayak trip to Västra Vidskär in stockholm archipelago

Kayak trip to the Stockholm Archipelago

If you want to see the true magic of the outer islands of Stockholm, then there’s no better way than taking a kayak trip to the Stockholm archipelago. Depending on your experience you may need to take a guided trip, of which there are many English speaking providers, or if you’re more experienced a confident, you can just hire a kayak and equipment from one of the same providers, or alternatively from one of the kayak clubs or hire shops who don’t provide guides.

It’s not uncommon for you to see paddlers cruising round the centre of town in amongst the main shipping lanes, which is certainly a great way to see central Stockholm from a different angle, but my personal opinion is that you need to get out into the real outer archipelago to experience the best that the area has to offer.

kayak trip to Västra Vidskär in stockholm archipelago

a lovely camping spot for the evening

This photo is taken from Västra Vidskär on a trip I went on one summer. We picked up our kayaks in Runmarö and then paddled across the sea, hopping from island and island to make the open water stretches short, before stopping off here for the evening and setting up camp. It was a truly magical experience. We’d been chased by thunder storms on the way out but they were so small and localised that we managed to avoid them. As the sun set over Stockholm in the evening, we watched them pass by our little island, which is what the above flickr link shows.

The good thing about kayaking in this area, is that even if you’re a beginner, if you’ve got a guide with you, the open water stretches are short and you can get right out into the true archipelago without feeling at risk.

Typical companies which run this type of trip would be:

www.stockholmadventures.com

or maybe

http://www.kajak-uteliv.com

I’ve travelled and hired kit from both of them. Stockholm adventures caters more to the short term visitor tourist trade and runs from the centre of town and will arrange packages, whereas kajak uteliv are based up in the northern archipelago and have more Swedish guests (although they do of course speak English). I did a couple of safety courses with them as well as few years back. When I was last there they were also good for just hiring kayaks and camping gear as well.

If you don’t fancy arranging your own trips manually when you get there, you can book a kayak tour in Stockholm directly here through our partner site.

if you fancy just having a quick go around town or in the suburbs, then you can hire kayaks for just a couple of hours from many places, 1 of which is

Brunnsviken Kayak Club

I was a member here. These guys are very close to the Stockholm university and are based on the edge of Brunnsviken which is a nice quiet lake to practice on, however it has access to open water if you want to go further afield. Their website isn’t targetted at tourists, but their prices are some of the best on town, especially if you fancy just practising for an hour or 2. As I mentioned in this other post you can even paddle up Edsviken easily from here for an hour or 2 and come to some great beaches and swimming places.