July 25, 2014

Kayaking in Stockholm

The hot weather continues! If swimming at a Stockholm beach sounds too daring but you still want to cool off, then I recommend renting a kayak and paddling around the city. It is quite inexpensive and an active and fun way to spend the day and even do a little sightseeing on your own. I did write a blog article about this way back in 2010... time for a repost!
Kayaking in Stockholm
Photo by Yanan Li, Stockholm's Visitors Board.
Stockholm isn't called the Venice of the North for nothing! Central Stockholm alone is built on about 15 islands, so there is water everywhere. One fun activity to do on a sunny afternoon is to rent a kayak and paddle around the islands. Stockholm is at her most beautiful when seen from the water! Kayaking is fun and you don't need to be an Olympian to do it... good as a family outing. There are several places to rent kayaks by the hour/day and it is generally quite inexpensive. Depending on the place, you are looking at about 100 SEK an hour though it is sometimes cheaper if you take the kayak for half or full day.

When choosing a kayak rental place think about where you want to paddle! Stockholm actually strides the borderline between a lake and the ocean with the Old Town being the borderline. Everything to the east is the Baltic Sea and everything to the west is Lake Mälaren. If you want to paddle in the lake then I recommend Kafé Kajak located in Rålambshovs Park on the island of Kungsholmen. Or else you can head across the bridge to the island of Långholmen where you will find Långholmen Kajak. Not too far from the Rival Hotel! Here you will be able to paddle by a lot of parklands and beaches as well as cliffs where Stockholmers enjoy diving and sunbathing.
Kayaking in the archipelago
Photo by Henrik Trygg, Stockholm's Visitors Board
If you want to paddle in the Baltic Sea area, then I recommend Djurgårdens Sjöcafé located near the bridge leading from Östermalm over to the island of Djurgården. Stay close to the island of Djurgården so you don't stray too far out into the shipping lanes! Lots to see here... beuatiful parks as well as great architecture on Strandvägen and the villas on the southside of the island. Another option is to paddle in the lake called Brunnsviken on the northern outskirts of Stockholm. Haga Park surrounds the lake with lots of interesting things to see like Haga Castle and Stockholm University... you also don't have to worry about larger boats! The place to rent kayaks here is Brunnsvikens Kanotcentral.
Stand Up Paddling is starting to become popular as well!
If you are feeling more adventurous then you can do a full day of kayaking out in the beautiful archipelago. Stockholm Adventures offers tours all summer, Thursdays through Sundays. The price is approximately 1,300 SEK (depends on the day) and includes lunch. You leave Stockholm at about 8:50am and head to the town of Stavsnäs where you will be met by the guide. The experience, all in all, lasts about 11 hours. They also have other options like kayaking with camping or kayaking tours in Stockholm. Another company that offers kayaking day trips in the archipelago during the summer months is Green Trails. Some of the above websites, that I've linked, are in Swedish so it is better to contact me directly at the hotel for prices and directions on how to get there as well as other practical information. Have fun!

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