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, Skåne is a popular destination for kayakers. Paddle in the north for a serene, magical experience of remote wilderness, or go urban in the canals of Malmö, Skåne’s biggest city. 

Many of the lakes contain islands where you can spend the night. The coastlines offer dramatic cliffs and long, wide sand beaches. There’s a wide range of accommodation which is easily accessible and within reach of just an hour’s drive or two.

Canoeing at Ivösjön overview
© Planet Visible

Lake Immeln 

Immeln, the third biggest lake in Skåne, is a canoers’ dream. Follow Skåne’s most popular canoe trail to different lakes. 

There are over 200 small islands where you can camp and cook that bass or bream you caught earlier during the day. Immeln has diverse flora and fauna, and many of the islands are Special Protection Areas (SPA) for birds. Bring your binoculars and spot a few rarities, such as fish hawk and throated diver. 

Immeln is a safe and accessible paddling area where you escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life without being disconnected – you can use your mobile phone in most of the area. Rent everything from canoes and military tents to portable stoves and barbecues at the Canoe Centre.

Lake Ivösjön 

Canoeing in lake Ivösjön in north eastern Skåne starts and ends in the same place, the Wetlandi Canoe Center in Axeltorp, where you can rent your boat and your gear. 

Rent a full camping package and spend the night Robinson Crusoe style in one of the 40 plus islands in this freshwater archipelago, many of which are uninhabited. 

There are plenty of peaceful places to set up camp all around the lake and the islands. You’ll have no problem finding a private bay where you can swim, barbecue and spend the night in serene seclusion. 

Combine nature experiences with culture and set course for the beautiful Bäckaskog Castle. Before paddling, pre-book your canoe transport back to the centre while you spend the night at the castle and join the ghost safari in the castle grounds.

Friends canoeing at Ivösjön
© Mickael Tannus
Canoes in the sunset at the campsite
Men taking a swim at Lake Ivösjön
© Mickael Tannus
Campsite at Lake Ivösjön
Paddling Ivösjön
Barbecue and small talk at the open fire.
Man canoeing at Lake Ivösjön
© Mickael Tannus

River Rönne å, through open meadows and jungle-like greenery

The meandering Rönne Å river is a popular canoeing destination sporting calm waters and rapids. Surroundings vary from open agricultural landscapes to dense, lush greenery. You paddle downstream and easily get back to where you started by bus or taxi. 

Rent your gear at Kanotcentralen and they will arrange transport. It’s impossible to get lost here, making it a safe and family-friendly paddling destination. The canoe trail is divided into different sections depending on whether you want your trip to last for one or several days. 

Söderåsen’s hostel is a beautiful place to spend the night. Or rent a cabin, camp or sleep in one of the fixed shelters along the river. Don’t forget to book your canoe in advance.

Family gliding through the lush Rönne Å
© Mickael Tannus
Family paddling close to a tree at Rönne Å
© Mickael Tannus
Picnic vid Rönne å
Paddling Rönne å
Cows at Rönne Å
© Mickael Tannus
Family paddling through greens at Rönne Å
© Mickael Tannus

Helge å – a Unesco Bisphere reserve                    

Kristianstad Vattenrike Wetlands are in north-eastern Skåne around the city of Kristianstad. This is a large area containing several nature reserves, 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 Helge å river is a great way to explore the vast variety of species and landscapes. Naturum Visitor Centre on the banks of Helge å in central Kristianstad is a great place to start. There are several paddling trails and around 20 different and interesting visitor sites in the reserve including the hidden birdwatching tower at the Karpalund ponds, the Stork Center and the Sånnarna Outdoor museum where you experience a living cultural landscape. 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 Kullaberg nature reserve in north-western Skåne offers unforgettable nature experiences. Follow the rocky coastline and admire the dramatic cliffs as they plunge into the sea. Keep your eyes peeled for sea seals, porpoises and bird species. Rent single and double boats and book guided tours of different skill levels at Kullakajak. The popular guided night tours offer an exciting way to experience the magical coastline.

Sea kayaking at Kullaberg
© Planetvisible
Follow the rocky coastline and admire the dramatic cliffs of Kullaberg.
Sunset by Kullaberg´s lighthouse
© Mickael Tannus
Admire magic sunsets and golden lights at Kullaberg.
View over a man canoeing at Kullaberg
© Planet Visible

Paddling in and around the city of Malmö

Rent a canoe in Malmö, Skåne’s biggest city and enjoy rural adventures on the water. Follow the canals around town to explore the city and experience the contrasts of the changing cityscape with its beautiful parks, bustling centre and calm residential areas. 

Bring a picnic basket or stop for an ice cream along the way. 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.

Kayaking in Malmö Canal
© Werner Nystrand
Kayaking in Malmö Canal.

With its combination of lakes, streams, rivers and coastal landscapes, Skåne is exceptionally well suited for paddling. You can combine different types of paddling in one vacation; getting around and renting gear is well developed. So start packing, and don’t forget your life jacket.

Paddling and The Right of Public Access

When you move about in the Swedish nature, 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.

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 cannot do here.

 

Map of Skåne

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