Kayaking year-round in Bohuslän archipelago
Who doesn’t love kayaking the waters of Bohuslän in summertime? But what about the other seasons of the year? Paddling here in the winter and spring, outside the peak seasons, takes you closer to the real Bohuslän and lets you enjoy its true nature.
Experienced kayakers often come here in the winter and spring to enjoy the peace and tranquillity and to have the waters around the islands almost to themselves. Being at one with nature takes on a new meaning as you glide past the barren and smooth granite isles, leaving your everyday cares and concerns behind you. In these seasons you have to be more aware of the wind, waves and the weather conditions, but with the right preparations and gear, it is a blast.
Photographer: Roger Borgelid
Winter paddling gives you unrivalled access to the Bohuslän archipelago and its wildlife. Harbour seals now venture in to the inner archipelago. Little auks, guillemots and black guillemots enjoy the open waters here before heading to the Arctic in springtime and as the big freeze covers the lakes of Dalsland, goldeneye and goosander also gather here.
Paddling conditions come wintertime can be hard and sometimes the going gets tough. But the rewards are perfect peace and tranquillity in one of the world’s most beautiful wilderness areas – and a dip in a hot-tub at the day’s end. Afterwards you can enjoy a meal of local delicacies.
Tips and advice:
January – The archipelago is mostly covered in ice and the days are short with just 4 hours’ of daylight. Kayaking conditions are extreme and the water is very cold at -1 C to +2 C.
February – There is still a lot of ice around and there is only 5 hours’ of daylight. Kayaking conditions are extreme and water is very cold at -1 C to +2 C.
March – The ice is beginning to break up but shallow bays are still frozen over. The light returns but the east wind makes retreat difficult and you should always have a reserve plan. The water is very cold, at +2 C to +5 C. An exciting month for kayaking.
April – Almost no ice and the weather stabilises with warmer days and cold nights. The first recreational boats appear in the archipelago and flora and fauna come to life. The water is still very cold at +5 C to +8 C. A great month for kayaking.
May – The ice has gone and the days are warm, while the nights are cool. Nature is in full bloom and you should navigate the waters carefully as recreational boats are out on weekends. The water is cold at +10 C to +14 C. A fantastic month for kayaking.
June – Weather conditions are stable and the wind picks up in the morning (around 6 m/s). The days and nights are warm and there are more recreational boats in the archipelago at weekends. The water is cool at +15 C to +18 C. A great month for kayaking.
July – The weather becomes unstable and there is a strong sea breeze in west-north direction, usually between 10.00 and 14.00 with winds of up to 12 m/s. There are many recreational boats in the archipelago. The water temperature is between +18 C and +21 C.
August – The weather is more stable, but with a sea breeze. There are fewer recreational boats in the archipelago towards the end of the month and the water temperature is +21 C. A fantastic month for paddling.
September – The weather is stable and there are very few recreational boats around. The days are cooler, as are the nights. The blazing colours of autumn come to the archipelago and the water cools to +15 C to +17 C. A fantastic month for paddling.
October – The weather becomes unstable, characterised by low pressure weather systems and strong winds. The lobster fishing season is in full swing and there are many recreational boats around. The days get shorter with just 6 hours’ of daylight and the water is colder at +10 C to +14 C.
November – The weather is more stable and the snow arrives. There are very few recreational boats around and the days are short (around 5 hours’ of daylight). The wildlife in the archipelago prepares for winter and the water is cold at +8 C to +12 C. An exciting month for kayaking.
December – Fine white winter days give way to snow storms and December sees the shortest day of the year with just 4 hours’ of daylight. Peace and quiet fill the archipelago and the water is very cold at +3 C to +6 C. A fine month for paddling.