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A canoe with two people on a calm lake surrounded by forest, with the sun setting between the trees.
Canoeing in Dalsland
In Dalsland canoeists have the opportunity to experience nature close-up - wild and genuine.
Photo credit: Roger Borgelid/

Enjoy autumn and winter kayaking on the scenic waterways of Sweden

The multitude of archipelagos, lakes, rivers and waterways make Sweden ideal for kayaking in the autumn and winter. With a little planning and the right gear, paddling can be enjoyed all year round on the east and west coast. Here are some top picks.

Three persons are each standing on a paddleboard, holding their paddles. The surrounding trees have leaves shifting from green to yellow and orange, giving hints of autumn. The sun is shining through the leafy branches.
Stand up paddleboard, Fylleån
Stand up paddleboard Fylleån
Photo: Johan Adermalm

West coast: Stand up paddling on Fylleån

The calm river Fylleån in the Halland region on the west coast of Sweden is great for stand-up paddling (SUP) enthusiasts year-round. Your adventure begins in Snöstorp east of Halmstad where the river gently meanders to the sea. If you love kayaking and canoeing, SUP is an experience for you to try. Paddling off-season has the added advantage of less traffic on the river.

Point of view of sitting inside a cayak, with the evening sun setting in the calm waters by the Gräsö archipelago.
Kayaking in Gräsö archipelago
Kayaking in Gräsö archipelago.
Photo: Kerstin Söderberg

East coast: Gräsö is a paddlers’ paradise

The island of Gräsö in the Roslagen archipelago enjoys vibrant nature and wildlife such as dwarf mountain pines and sea eagles. Here on the east coast, quaint fishing villages and lighthouses at the islands of Örskär and Djursten add to the magnificent scenery. For canoe, kayak or SUP lovers these are fantastic waters to explore in the autumn and early winter months. 

Two persons are paddling across silvery-blue, open waters.
Sweden's waterways are open to everyone
Sweden has almost 100 000 lakes, meaning it has more inland water than most other countries. Sweden has also got two coasts with many beautiful archipelagos. You can explore Swedish waters on your own as Allemansrätten allows everyone to roam freely in Swedish nature.
Photo: Lindsten & Nilsson/

East coast: Kayak fishing at Rävsten

There are plenty of kayaking options in the spectacular Roslagen archipelago on the east coast. Courses for beginners, equipment rentals and guided adventure tours await bold fun-seekers. A good starting point is the tranquil island of Rävsten featuring sea kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and fishing kayaks, where you sit on top (SOT). These stable kayaks are fun and easy to use.

A canoe with two people on a calm lake surrounded by forest, with the sun setting between the trees.
Canoeing in Dalsland
In Dalsland canoeists have the opportunity to experience nature close-up - wild and genuine.
Photo: Roger Borgelid/

West coast: A unique lake system ideal for kayaking

The Dalsland region on the west coast boasts one of Europe’s most beautiful lake systems. The Dalsland-Nordmarken area offers kayaking on paddling friendly lakes linked by 250 kilometres of canals. These narrow waterways were once used for moving timber and ore. With 100 fully equipped campsites it makes them a kayaking paradise. The fresh water is so clean you can drink it. 

Winter kayaking
Winter kayaking
Winter kayaking in the sunset in Bohuslän, West Sweden.
Photo: Roger Borgelid/

West coast: The winter wonderland of Bohuslän

Paddling in the archipelago of Bohuslän on the west coast in the winter months allows you to become one with nature. Your only company will most likely be harbour seals and a variety of sea birds. The imposing landscape entices you to pause on one of the barren granite cliffs to enjoy a warming beverage. 

Two kayakers passing an island with wooden houses in yellow and red.
Väderöarna in West Sweden
Far out at sea off Fjällbacka in Bohuslän is where you will find Väderöarna - the Weather Islands. These beautiful rugged islands are the home of Väderöarnas Guesthouse & Conference, a fascinating place where you live in the old pilot families’ carefully renovated houses. You can recuperate here, go walking, catch lobster and enjoy good food all year round.
Photo: Roger Borgelid/

West coast: Seafood safari around Väderöarna

Kayaking around Sweden’s westerly “Weather Islands” in the Bohuslän archipelago makes for a perfect day close to nature, in early autumn (or spring/summer). Return to a renovated guest house once occupied by the harbour pilots. Learn more about this bygone era, hike or go fishing for lobster and crayfish. Afterwards, enjoy a meal at Värdshuset Väderöarna accredited by “A Taste of West Sweden”. 

West coast sunset
West coast sunset
The west coast of Sweden is a popular destination for active tourism such as kayaking, diving, sailing, and hiking. Old fishing communities are transformed summertime into popular tourist destinations.
Photo: Asaf Kliger/

West coast: Quaint fishing villages in Grundsund

A winter adventure in Grundsund on the west coast involves kayaking in a vivid landscape of raw beauty. In the picturesque fishing village of Edshultshall on the island of Orust you can stay overnight at Lådfabriken, an old factory for wooden boats now converted into a charming B&B. Here you can relax with a hearty and delicious dinner after an exciting day at sea. 

Several wooden fishermen's huts along the sea and boats anchored by them.
Grebbestad’s classic red fishermen’s huts
Grebbestad’s classic red fishermen’s huts.
Photo: Anna Hållams

West coast: Meet Grebbestad off season

Take the opportunity to enjoy the popular summer village of Grebbestad at a calmer pace. With less people and fewer boats, you get closer to the wildlife of the west coast. Grebbestad is home to the European Belona oyster. On a paddling tour, learn more about and taste these native oysters that some claim to be the best in the world.