If you’re anything like us, then you’ll love the freedom of paddle boarding on waterways all over the world. The European country of Sweden may not be your first paddle boarding destination choice, but there are some rivers, lakes, and stretches of coast that’ll definitely make you change your mind.
Whether you’re a Swedish local, or a tourist visiting from overseas, you’ve probably stumbled over this article as you’re wondering where to paddle board in Sweden, and luckily for you, we’ve uncovered 7 of the best Swedish waterways that are ready and waiting to be explored by SUP.
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The first Swedish paddle boarding destination we want to rave about is Åre. Åre just so happens to be one of the leading Scandinavian ski resorts, and with that, there are stunning hikes, bike trails, and waters suitable for rafting, paddling, and fishing.
Once spring finally comes around, the ice begins to melt, and the waters on Lake Åresjön, as well as a few other surrounding lakes and small rivers, become the perfect place for a relaxing day out SUPing. The waters are so calm, in fact, that you could even practice SUP yoga if you have balance and coordination, that is. We’ve covered 10 Easy To Do SUP Yoga Moves if you’re ready to branch out in your SUP skills.
As Åre is a popular ski resort, you can head out on a guided tour, rent SUP boards, and get a local's perspective of the waters and the surrounding areas from numerous rental shops in the resort. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a beaver or two!
Bohuslän in west Sweden is one of the most popular places to paddle board in the country and for good reason. The smooth granite shoreline, the open horizon, and the mixture of water conditions are what entice paddlers to Bohuslän all year round.
There are a few mentionable kayaking points in Bohuslän, with the first being the Kosterhavet National Park. Kosterhavet is Sweden’s first-ever marine national park, and you can choose to paddle it independently or on guided tours. You’ll be able to witness over 12,000 species of animals, both below and above the water, and you’ll also get to explore rocky islands and beautiful bays with calm waters that are perfect for paddling.
When you’re done paddling the national park, head over to the Fjällbacka archipelago and experience the crystal clear waters just waiting to be paddled and snorkelled in!
Dalsland borders Bohuslän to the west, so we highly recommend checking out both if you’re in the area. Many people will agree that Dalsland has some of the best waters for paddle boarding due to the countless lakes that are large, narrow, and flat, all with crystal-clear waters that you can even make your coffee from.
Along with incredible paddling conditions, the surrounding nature at Dalsland is something that you won’t want to miss, as the lakes are encompassed by vast stretches of forest and countless animal species that you can explore from the comfort of your SUP board.
Lake Vänern, Sweden’s largest lake, is also situated in the Dalsland province, and with over 5,000 square kilometers of water to explore, you could spend an entire week paddling around the lake’s islands, investigating historical remains, and recreational fishing all while never even leaving your stand up paddle board.
Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and because of its west coast location, you can paddle board along the city’s coastline and into the ocean, or in the waters that wind their way through the city center.
The waters in both the city and on the coast are fairly calm and manageable by even beginner paddlers, so if you’re visiting Malmö, be sure to rent a SUP and experience the city from the water, you won’t be disappointed.
The Saint Anna Archipelago is another hotspot for paddlers in Sweden as the area is a giant maze of 6,000 islands, islets, and reefs. Of course, these islands are best explored from the water, and if you want a bird’s eye view of what’s below you, then a paddle board should be your watercraft of choice.
The area of Saint Anna was developed during the last ice age when a massive ice sheet carved its way through the bedrock, shaping it into what we can see today. In total, there is over 70 kilometers of the Baltic coast that is untouched and a haven for all types of paddlers. You can even make a weekend trip of your time at Saint Anna and pitch a tent on one of the many islands. For more information on SUP weekend trips, including what to pack in waterproof bags and things to consider while SUP camping, check out Preparing for a SUP Camping Weekend: Checklist and Guide.
If you’re visiting Sweden, then you’ll more than likely be making your way to Stockholm at some point in your trip. And, even though the country’s capital is spectacular on foot, it is also an incredible place to paddle board.
Cities may not seem like the ideal place for a SUP adventure, but Stockholm encompasses 40 islands and has more than 50 bridges that you can paddle under while taking in the views of the cobblestone streets, the vibrant buildings, and the 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral.
Varberg is a west coastal town in Sweden that is very well known for its sandy beaches and rocky terrain that continues north into Bohuslän. You’ll find calm waters to launch your paddle board along the coast, and once your board is in the water, you can paddle over to the Varberg Fortress, which was originally built as a castle in 1280.
Sweden is home to many incredible paddle boarding locations, with the most popular being the following:
Yes! If you have your own paddle board, then you can totally take it along with you on your trip to Sweden. We highly recommend taking an inflatable paddle board as they’re far easier to transport and won’t acquire any oversized baggage fees. If you’d like more information on traveling with an inflatable SUP, head over to The Ultimate Guide to Traveling With an Inflatable Paddle Board.
Sweden, as with all other countries in Europe, sees warm summers and cold winters, and if you plan on paddling at any time of the year, then you need to ensure you’re wearing the correct type of clothing.
During the summer months, you can more often than not get away with wearing a swimming suit, a PFD, a sunhat, sunglasses, and of course, sunscreen. You may also want to wear a UV protective rash guard and leggings, depending on how long you’ll be out on the water.
In the winter months, you’ll definitely need to layer up with a wetsuit or dry suit, a hat, a jacket, a PFD, boots, and gloves.
We’ve gone into more detail about clothing for watersports in An Ultimate Guide on What to Wear On Your Next Kayaking Adventure and on The Best Gear and Clothes for Cold Weather Paddling.
If you’re visiting Sweden, then you’ll be happy to know that you can rent paddle boards, take SUP courses, or head out on a paddle tour at rental shops all over the country. Sweden has many rental shops that are fully equipped with everything you’ll need to head out on a paddle trip so you can explore the magical world of SUPing.
A quick Google search of the area you’re staying in will highlight all the SUP rentals close to you.
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