Kayaking on Sweden’s High Coast

Welcome back to our adventure story.

I want to say how grateful I am that you are reading this. So many people feel deprived of freedom right now – we are so limited by this pandemic, that we are reduced to less. Just a reminder – Less is More – focus on what you believe in and nothing else. The feeling of making the best of what you have been given in this life, can be the most humbling of all.

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This is the third installment of our journey along Sweden’s High Coast.

Here we go again! Wednesday, July 15th and on to our last camping destination on the High Coast (Höga Kusten). The north coast of the Baltic Sea is beautiful, and we were lucky to catch glimpses during our drive. I dreamt of our next parking spot, hopefully small and tranquil, and wondered what new and natural wonders we may find.

This is the farthest we have dragged the old camper and she has taken a beating. Bumpy back roads, unwelcome (and unannounced) speed bumps and torrential rains have slowly withered the bindings and holds of this 1980’s treasure. We have gotten almost four years out of her and it has been great to upgrade from a tent. We may have to make a choice next year to upgrade, so that we can continue this adventure.

To get to Snibbens Camping in Rämvik, we drove from the main highway (E4) and the exit is just 2km before the bridge that connects to the northern part of the coast. We decided to travel over it to commemorate our arrival, then we turned back as a sort of ‘been there, done that’ moment. Great idea Andy!

Höga Kusten Brön (High Coast Bridge)

There’s a small pizza restaurant at the entrance with a few free overnight parking spots. Then the road curved around and up into the campground to a locked gate, where the owner greeted us. He seemed a bit stressed. Apparently, the exhausting amount of unprepared travelers showing up in search of a campsite had worn him out.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we were told not to travel outside of Sweden, so of course everyone with a camper or tent decided to take advantage of the summer weather and tried to find a last minute spot. He was very happy to hear about our pre-paid reservation and helped us get situated. The campground is owned and operated by his family, which gives it a personal touch.

Homebase camp

We got a great spot across from the edge of the lake and near the service house, that holds private bathrooms, showers and 2 kitchens. This was one of the best of about 60 parking spots here and our favorite location for the week, hands down. Despite the storm clouds that followed us, we were met with a slow clearing that opened up to blue sky.

Our view of Mörtsjön from our homebase camp.

It felt great to be so close to the water and we couldn’t wait to get in there. We could even walk from homebase to drop in our kayaks.

So here we drop in at Mörtsjön, which means fish lake – a rare, unsavory tasting fish, I am told. The lake was created by runoff from the Baltic Sea. We opened the Android Kayak app and checked the map and found what looked like a creek in the back corner of the lake.

Our camping location + opening to the creek at the left.

The calm water was soothing as we paddled from the shore – straight across to investigate the opposite coast. Huge pine trees grew right to the edge of the water and you could see the exposed roots under the surface.

Andy enjoying the freedom on the lake.

As soon as you get far enough from the shore, there is a sound that replaces the sounds of the campground and the local traffic. It’s hard to explain, but we have witnessed it here on so many lakes in Sweden. It’s the sound of the wilderness sighing.

Paddling with my Naturkompaniet clean-up bag. They gave these out free at the stores last summer – great idea!

The air seemed so fresh and clean and I watched as my paddle tapped the clear water. As we neared towards the corner we could already see the smaller opening in the trees. Surrounded by lily pads and schools of fish, we found a hidden cottage off to the right, where a woman was surprised to see us. We received a friendly wave as we floated by.

Caught in the weeds or the garden of the lake?
A required selfie.

We finally came to rocky, running creek. This part was impassible due to the shallow water, so our hopes for paddling up the creek would end here. But, I was thrilled to set my kayak between two boulders and hop out.

The water was cool and as I climbed along the larger rocks upstream, I caught a brilliant reflection of sun off the water that took my breath away.

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We took our time here, listening to the bubbling pool as if we were relaxing at a spa, knowing we would eventually return to the rest of the world. For now, this was ours. What a fantastic feeling it is to have this experience together. There are no words, just smiles as we observe this humble paradise.

Returning to camp tired, hungry and full of the day’s excitement, we set up to grill fresh meat and veggies and witness the serene sunset. This was my favorite excursion so far and I can’t wait to get back out here on the water. This is living!

Sunset on Mörtsjön.

Thanks for joining us on our journey. Follow us to read our next post as we do some ‘touristing’ in this bountiful vacation destination.

Snibbens Camping – service house.

For more information on Sweden’s High Coast – https://www.hogakusten.com/en

And remember…there is no adventure too small!

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Exploring the High Coast of Sweden Part 2

Have you have read the last post? Don’t miss the first few days of our camping adventure.

Right now, it’s crazy important to plan your dream trips. Just google it – according to National Geographic, just thinking about vacation can boost your mental health. Imagine that!


To spread out our 10-day camping vacation, we booked spots at three different campgrounds. The last one at the highest point (which is the southern part of the High Coast). Next time, we will plan to visit a higher point for some winter-to-spring camping.

Our second campground was Sörfjärdens Camping, only an hour north of the first. It promised a friendly community, newer amenities and I was sold on the promise of a beautiful beach.

And we have arrived at homebase #2…Sörfjärdens Camping!

Upon arrival, the friendly woman in the office told us to park in any open spot! That was new. Usually you hope for the best available, according to your own requirements. We wanted to be on the beach, but didn’t notice that the campground was 1km inland. Bummer. This was the first camping spot without a water view, so it already had a mark against it.

Most of the campgrounds in Sweden are family-friendly. We prefer the areas where we can meet people, have a drink and listen to great music over a card game or storytelling over a fire. We walked around to check out the spots, when some friendly campers jumped up and invited us to park nearby. so, we picked that one.

We were excited to get set up and get the most of the early afternoon sun that was beaming down on us. It fell into place easily – we had it down after only one practice! I really like setting up the tent and outdoor furniture, while Andy enjoys levelling out the legs and getting the water system set-up. A few more campers – an RV, and some teenagers with a tent showed up to fill in the empty spots around us. Our camper faced away from our neighbors, so we never really got to know them.

We walked up to the front entrance of the campground. There is a row of brand new cabins up the middle. I saw someone cleaning the floors in one and noticed they had bathrooms! You don’t see that a lot. We checked out the Service house – bathrooms, showers and kitchen area. We found out that the showers were separate rooms – only one was available with a toilet and sink. Good to plan out ahead of time. They were somewhat clean, but could have been better. It would be great if they had another section with private bathrooms. Many campgrounds have them and they are really great if you don’t have your own bathroom (on wheels).

We took a walk down to the beach, through the small beach community. There was a cute coffee shop barn with retro cars and other items and a bridge with a perfect view of the riverside dwellers. They were closed, so no coffee for us. 😦

We walked for a while and finally came to a cute restaurant / bar on the edge of the water. This could not be the beach I saw in the photos online. The GPS confirmed that we had walked quite far out of the way to reach this point. We sat and rested for a few, enjoying the quiet lapping waves. Because a beach is a beach to me!

Unfortunately, opportunity was missed and there was no chance of getting a vacation cocktail or snack, since the restaurant was closed! Wasn’t this high season? We could not figure it out. If it were open, it would have been popular!

We finally got back on the dirt road towards the beach, which was much closer to the campground. It was really a sight – we plopped down for some sun-worshipping on the powdery white sand. The water was very cold, but I managed to hold my breath and go for it – it was worth it, to cool off. We listened to some tunes on our amazing waterproof bluetooth blackweb speaker and just relaxed.

We made it back in time for grillin’ and a beautiful sunset between the campers. It was a quiet night and I was getting sick of walking back and forth to the bathrooms across the campground. I felt like I was on a walk of shame. I started to picture what our camper would be like with a working bathroom.

Day 2, was cool and windy. We drove around trying to find a kayak spot to drop in, with no luck. After last year’s whitewater adventure, we were keen to find more running water. Then we found a building that said Granforsbruk – an axe factory and museum! It was built next a rapid-running creek. I was so excited as we parked the car and walked up, only to find it was closed. (What is going on here? Nothing is open.) Really sorry we missed that.

Granforsbruk (Axe Factory & Museum)

We turned around and started to head back when I saw a sign for ‘Tourist Information’. We were bored enough to check it out and I am so glad we did! It turned out to be a larger library and giftshop with handmade items from local artists. The man and woman working there were very interested in our plans and helped us find some possible spots to drop in our kayaks. I was so impressed – they gave us a handful of catalogs, maps and guides that made our trip much more interesting. Thanks again to Turistinformation Upplev Nordanstig for an awesome visit!

We drove to Hudiksvall, one of the possible drop-in locations they recommended. It started to get seriously windy and the clouds were rolling in as we parked. We walked along the harbor lined with red boathouses. This felt like a true village.

The red paint on those houses is called ‘falu rödfarg’ in Swedish. It’s famous characteristic Swedish color is made from the iron mines in Falun, a small mining town up north.

The restaurant was not open for dinner yet, so we checked out the local boutique.

This shop was filled with so many inspiring oddities. The art in frames you see above, was on exhibition in the upstairs gallery. Those are handmade wool sculptures (a type of embroidery). This store gave light to the crafts and trades that are still alive in the tiny towns of sleepy Sweden.

On our way back to the campground, we came across an old replica gas station. This guy had collected every old gas-station-related item he could, just for Swedish authenticity. He had a tire shop in the back – and this got him a lot of attention and business. He was friendly and came out to chat and show us around.

This location wasn’t our favorite. But it gave us a nearby beach and the opportunity use our new resources to plan and enjoy the local history. This was turning out to be more of a fun road-trip than I thought!

We got up early the next morning and I set up an outdoor breakfast before we headed up to our next spot on the High Coast of Sweden.

Fresh bacon and eggs!

Watch for my next post, where things start to brighten up on the adventure horizon with amazing weather and some hidden finds while kayaking.

See you soon! Don’t forget comment or let me know if you have any questions!


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arrow graphic by Gina Hildinger