© Alexander Hall

Explore peaceful wilderness

One of the best way to get to know the lakes, seas and waterways in and around Småland is through paddling. Stay overnight in a tent on the shore, and enjoy meals cooked over a campfire. It doesn't get any closer to nature than this.

Plan your route

Småland's lakes and streams offer excellent waters for canoeing and kayaking, whether you're going to be away for a few days or just a few hours. Some canoe rentals offer open waters in large or small lakes, others let you paddle along streams and rivers, and in some places you will find both. No matter where you choose to go, you will enjoy being as close to nature as you can get.

Easy to rent

Paddling is for everyone, and you don't really need to bring any special equipment. The streams, rivers and lakes in Småland offer paddling for beginners and experts. Rent a canoe and a life jacket, and perhaps even a tent for the ultimate experience. The rental agencies found in Småland are usually very accommodating in helping you out, and you can ask them for maps and tips on routes.

Kayaking or canoeing?

If you would rather propel your way through the water using a double-bladed paddle, Småland also offers great opportunities for kayaking. There are plenty of places where you can rent a kayak and since it's quite easy to learn, you don't need any prior knowledge. Most rental agencies offer introductions to kayaking before you head out on your trip.

Another popular activity is sea kayaking. You find great sea kayaking in the archipelago of Misterhult, for example. Here you also have the possibility of spending the night on your own little island, since there are plenty of islands but very few people. Västervik's archipelago is also popular for sea kayaking, and among islands and skerries you can, with some luck, sight both sea eagles and seals.

Keep in mind

A few short tips to make your experience all the more pleasant:

– Respect signs marking bird protection areas. At certain times during the year you are forbidden to go ashore here.
– Keep your belongings in sealed plastic bags. That way they will stay dry, even if the canoe should flip. Place your packing so that the center of gravity is as low and centered as possible.
– Use a life jacket.
– Bring something to cover your head as well as sunscreen, since a day in the sun on the reflecting water can burn your skin.

5 nice places for your canoe experience:

Remember to ask the rental agency about specific things to keep in mind while paddling in the area, as well as their best routes


Helge å (Helge river) flows into the lake Möckeln in several places. It forms a waterway perfect for canoeing both in the open lakes and calm rivers. There are also 10 or so nice resting spots in the area. If you want to try your luck at fishing you will need a fishing license which is valid for all the waters you pass in this area.

Korrö is a perfect starting point for a day of paddling in Ronnebyån. You can find all the equipment you need there, as well as picnic baskets. Ronnebyån winds from Lake Rottnen in the north, to Ronneby in the south. This route is equally suitable if you want to experience a few days of hiking, or if you want to settle for a few hours.

Nissan River by Gislaved is an 86 km long waterway from north to south, which has been popular among canoeists for years. The river is mostly calm, with some stretches with more currents. It runs through a beautiful landscape dominated by pine forests. Picnic spots and places for overnight stays can be found along the river.

The Emån Canoe Trail starts in the largest tributary, the Solgenån, at Värne and continues in the main channel all the way to the coast. In the area of Vetlanda, the trail passes the villages Skede, Holsbybrunn, Alseda, Ädelfors and Kvillsfors. You will see plenty of forest along this trail.

For beautiful paddling in both Lake Stråken and Tidan River, visit Kyrkekvarn Kanotcenter, a rental agency in the northern part of Småland. This area offers great paddling for both beginners and experienced canoers. There are several prepared camps along the routes. You can choose to start and finish at Kyrkekvarn or be transported by car to any other place along the lake, and then paddle up to the canoe center.

More adventures in or on water