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.

A top view of canoes docked on small island
© 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 on a lake with green trees in the background
© Mickael Tannus
Two canoes float on lake Ivösjön at dusk
Three friends take an evening dip in Ivösjön
© Mickael Tannus
A campsite with a campfire and canoe by Lake Ivösjön
A group of friends grill hot dogs at dusk next to Lake Ivösjön
Barbecue and small talk at the open fire.
A man paddles a canoe on lake Ivösjö next to a forest
© 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. The stage Klippan-Ängelholm is possible to paddle in both directions. Or you can easily get back to where you started by bus or taxi. 

Don’t forget to book your canoe in advance. Rental is possible at differens locations, for example at Kanotcentralen or Stisses. Both also 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. 

Rent a cabin, camp or sleep in one of the fixed shelters along the river. 

A family canoeing through a stream surrounded by lush greenery at Rönne Å
© Mickael Tannus
Family canoeing through nature by the Rönne river
© Mickael Tannus
Family enjoy a picnic by the riverbank at Rönne å
Paddling Rönne å
Canoers going through marshland looking at cows grazing
© Mickael Tannus
Family paddling through nature surrounding 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.

View from above of a canoe docking in archipelago at Kullaberg
© Planetvisible
Follow the rocky coastline and admire the dramatic cliffs of Kullaberg.
A Lighthouse on the cliffs by the sea at sunset in Kullaberg
© Mickael Tannus
Admire magic sunsets and golden lights at Kullaberg.
View of a man canoeing from above
© 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.

A person kayaks in the Malmö canal, with Malmö Live in the background.
© 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.


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