Saint Anna's
Retreat

/ routes / Northern Europe / Sweden

route overview

distance:

17.8Mi / 28.65Km

solitude rating:

4/5

portages:

0

loop or 1-way:

1-Way

days:

4

difficulty:

2/10

rapids class rating:

0

type:

Ocean
Contributed by
Clare Knight

With nearly 6,000 potential camp sites to choose from and thousands of ways to link them together, knitting together a viable kayakpacking route in Sweden's St Anna Archipelago is a kayakpacker's dream. This particular 3-4 day track is an island hop through a remote and beautiful Baltic Sea landscape that will leave you wishing you had taken more time off for the journey.

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Thanks to Sweden's very liberal wild camping laws known as Allemansrätten or 'everyman's right' gives you the right to roam and wander as you please. The dilema you'll face is that each island in the St Anna's chain is more beautiful than the next.  Our best advice is to choose a suitable location from which to watch the magnificent sunsets afforded by the +58. latitudes.

If you are looking to maximize your solitude rating make this adventure in early to mid-September and you'll likely not see another living soul for days.  The trade-off will come in the form of cooler water and overnight air temperatures that'll likely push below the 120 degree rule (see Nota Bene tab below).  That being said paddling the St Anna's is more akin to paddling a large lake rather than the open seas.  

Despite its coastal location, tide and current are a non-issue when it comes to planning and the shear number of islands serve as a natural break to any higher winds and waves that would otherwise have to be accounted for.  If swimming and water play are your thing then plan a mid-summer put-in as sea and air temps maximize in July.

If its a wild Baltic Sea adventure that you are looking for then you've come to the right Archipelago.  Most of the islands are uninhabited and the route allows for countless side trips and discovery of nature including private alcoves, till covered hillsides, skerry, and granite balds.

September Archipelago Weather notes

In mid to late September the weather in Sweden can change quickly, which is even more so true in the coastal waters of Sweden and her Black Sea Archipelagos. We had a beautiful sunset one evening and braved a storm through out the night in our tent, then the next morning, back to sunshine.
~Clare

  • Wildlife: If you go far enough out in the chain you can visit a resident seal colony. Some islands have animals that graze on them like sheep and goats, so you might wake up to them.
  • There was some open water that we had to battle through but mostly it was easy paddling
  • Paddling by the small towns on the water edge was a nice Scandinavian experience, in summer there will be more going on, more people to see, more restaurants and cafes open.
  • The Mid-September start date maximized the solitude rating plus the overnight temperatures were high enough not to require any extreme gear measures.
  • With thousands of potential sites and liberal wild camping privileges you'll more likely have a decision making problem rather than finding a suitable location in which to hang your hammock or pitch your tent.  Islands and skerries abound on this route.
  • Follow 'Leave No Trace' policies out of respect for the local laws and to preserve the raw beauty of this magnificent resource.
  • If you choose to stay close to the mainland or route past some of the larger islands during the hight of the summer you'll have no problem resupplying.
  • If you adventure during the early spring or autumn or choose a more offshore route then local resources will be difficult to come by.
  • The water is mildly brackish at best and very brackish the further you venture from shore so filtering is not an option.  You'll have to provision accordingly.
  • 120 Degree Rule - This slips it just under our 49c/120f rule at 28c/114f: when the combined Water and Air temperature falls below 49c/120f then consider wet or dry suites as appropriate for the conditions.
  • Water and Air Temperatures - This journey was made in mid-September.  Sea/Air temperatures were around the 12c(53f)/16c(61f) respectively.
  • We used Do The North Outfitters for this journey and we highly recommend them if you are in need of such service.  The can be reached at https://dothenorth.com/

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE

Saint Anna's Retreat is a human curated kayakpacking adventure. Download the guide and you'll have everything you need to repeat this fantastic 4 night kayakpacking trip in Sweden's St Anna Archipelago.

GPS locations for your put-in, take out and campsites are included - Free.

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Clare Knight

Clare Knight hasn't always been the adventurous type but the more she explored the globe, the more it became all part of the fun. New experiences and new places are what calls to her and she takes an approach of "let's see what happens!".

A creator at heart, she started documenting her adventures on YouTube and Instagram Big Trippy.

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Terms of Use: All water sports are inherently risky.  Always wear a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) while in a water craft of any kind. Kayakpacking should be considered dangerous and participating in this or any water sport can cause serious injury or death. As with each kayakpacking route guide published on KayakPACKING.co, should you choose to paddle this route, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check on this or any adventure consult current local weather, water conditions, local laws and restrictions. While paddling, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety, personal floatation, and navigational equipment. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this route, associated maps and all route guidelines were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author/contributor is not guaranteed. kayakpacking.co LLC, its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, loss of life or any other such situation that might happen to individual paddlers kayaking or following this route.