Glide through picturesque agricultural landscapes, camp Robinson Crusoe style on uninhabited islands and paddle meandering rivers to explore deep virgin forests.
Don’t forget your life vest!
A paradise for kayakers and canoers
Lined by coasts on three sides and scattered with lakes and meandering streams, it is no wonder Skåne is a popular destination among kayakers and canoers. Go paddling in the north for a serene and magical experience of remote wilderness, or do it the urban way, paddling in the canals of Malmö, the biggest city in Skåne. Many of the lakes contains plenty of islands where you can bring your tent and spend the night, and the coastlines offer dramatic cliffs as well as long wide sand beaches that just go on and on. All over Skåne you can find a wide range of accommodation and being compact in size, Skåne is a landscape where everything is easily accessible and within reach of just an hour drive or two.
Immeln - a lake with over 200 small islands
Immeln, the third biggest lake in Skåne, is a dream for canoers. Starting here you can follow Skånes most popular canoe trail that will take you to a number of different lakes in the area. In Immeln there are well over 200 small islands where you can set up camp and cook that bass or bream you caught earlier during the day. Immeln is known for its rich and diverse flora and fauna and many of the islands are Special Protection Areas (SPA) for birds. Bring your binoculars and you might spot a few rarities, such as fish hawk and throated diver. Gliding through the waters along the forest clad lake shores you will also have a chance of spotting the very rare Red Waterlily. Reminiscent of the asian lotus flower, it lends an extra air of zen and serenity to the landscape. Immeln is a very safe and accessible paddling area where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life without being entirely disconnected, since despite the feeling of secluded wilderness, you can still use your cellphone in most of the area. You can rent everything from canoes and military tents to portable stoves and barbecues at the Canoe Center - just remember to bring cash since they do not accept credit cards.
Ivösjön - a fresh water archipelago
Canoeing in the lake of Ivösjön in north eastern Skåne is a convenient adventure, since the trail both starts and ends in the same place, at the Wetlandi Canoe Center in Axeltorp, where you can rent your boat as well your gear. Why not rent a full camping package and spend the night Robinson Crusoe style in one of the well over 40 islands in the lake, of which many are uninhabited. All around the lake and on the islands there are plenty of peaceful places to set camp and you will have no problem finding a private little bay of your own where you can swim, barbecue and spend the night in serene seclusion. If you are looking to combine the nature experiences with some cultural ones you could set course for the beautiful Bäckaskog Castle, a once monastery with a history dating as far back as the 11th century. Before paddling here you can prebook a transport for your canoe back to the center, while you spend the night at the castle and perhaps, if you dare, join the ghost safari that is regularly arranged at the castle grounds.
Rönne å River - through meadows and greenery
The meandering river of Rönne Å is a popular canoeing destination offering a combination of calm waters and more lively parts. The surroundings vary a lot, from open agricultural landscapes to dense, lush greenery almost reminiscent of mangrove-swamps and the Amazon rainforest. The trail is one-way, in the sense that you can only paddle it downstream, but by bus or taxi you can easily get back to your point of departure. When you rent your gear at www.kanotcentralen.se they will arrange for the transportation back. Since all you have to do is to follow the river, it is impossible to get lost here, which makes for a safe and family friendly paddling excursion. The canoe trail is divided into different sections, depending on if you want your trip to last for just one or for several days. Söderåsens hostel is a beautiful place to spend the night, or you can choose to rent a cabin, go camping or sleep in one of the fix shelters that are available along the river. Be sure to book your canoe in advance and remember to bring cash since they do not accept credit cards.
Watch this movie to get inspiration to paddle on Rönne å.
Helge å - a Unesco Bisphere reserve
Located in north-eastern Skåne around the city of Kristianstad, you will find Kristianstad Vattenrike Wetlands. This is a large area containing several nature reserves, and it has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. Biosphere Reserves are areas designed to promote and demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature. Paddling on the river of Helge å is a great way to explore the vast variety of species and landscapes here, and the Naturum Visitor Centre, on the banks of Helge å in central Kristianstad is a great place to start when you plan your trip. There are several trails to follow when you paddle. Within the reserve you will find around 20 different and interesting visitor sites, including the hidden birdwatching tower at the Karpalund ponds, the Stork Center where you can look for the majestic white stork and the Sånnarna Outdoor museum where you can experience a living cultural landscape, with recreations of how the land was once cultivated here using traditional means such as crop rotation. Few places present a nature experience as rich and varied as Kristianstad Vattenrike and Helge å.
Kullaberg - a coastline of dramatic cliffs
Paddling in the nature reserve of Kullaberg in north western Skåne offers plenty of opportunities for unforgettable nature experiences. Follow the rocky coastline and admire the dramatic cliffs as the plunge into the sea, keeping your eyes peeled for everything from sea seals and porpoises to a multitude of bird species. At Kullakajak you can rent both single and double boats and book guided tours of different skill levels. The popular guided night tours offer an exciting and unique way of experiencing the magical coastline.
Paddling in and around the city of Malmö
Why not rent a canoe in Malmö, the biggest city of Skåne, for some rural adventures on water? Follow the canals around town to explore the city from a unique perspective, and experience the contrasts of the changing cityscape with its beautiful parks, its bustling center and calm residential areas. Bring a picnic basket or stop for an ice cream along the way. If you are bringing your own boat, the coasts around Malmö offer splendid paddling opportunities as well. Paddling at sunset on a tranquil summer evening, accompanied by white swans and with Turning Torso and the Öresund Bridge as your backdrop, is one of the more memorable ways you can experience Malmö.
All in all, Skåne is exceptionally well suited for paddling. With its combination of lakes, streams, rivers and coastal landscapes, you can paddle for years in a row without having to repeat the same route. Being compact in size, Skåne offers the opportunity to combine many types of paddling experiences in one vacation, and the infrastructure both for moving around and for renting gear is very well developed. So start packing, and don’t forget you lifevest!
Paddling and The Right of Public Access
When you move about in the Swedish nature, generally The right of Public Access (Allemansrätten in Swedish) applies. This law is unique to Sweden and protects every person’s right to move freely and enjoy nature. It allows you to walk on privately owned land, swim in privately owned waters and pick wild flowers, mushrooms and berries. This makes Sweden a very attractive paddling destination. Nevertheless, there are some rules to be aware of and to follow; you are not allowed to harm land or property, you are not allowed to pick protected flowers and plants and you are not always allowed to light a fire or let your dog run free. For more detailed information on what you can and can not do, visit this webpage: http://www.swedishepa.se/Enjoying-nature/The-Right-of-Public-Access/Thi…