The Whole High Coast from South to North is open for you
For the experienced Sea Kayaker
Self-guided kayaking northwards (the prevailing wind direction), along the dramatic coastline of the High Coast
Start from us (near the High Coast Bridge) to or towards Örnsköldsvik, as far as you have time for
No need to turn and paddle back again
We pick you up at a suitable spot, that we agree on when you approach the end of your kayaking week or days
The character of the High Coast, with some quite weather exposed passages, makes it less wise to have an exact route carved in stone - better be ready to adapt your route to wind, waves and water temperature
Our experience is that those who have enough experience to enjoy a self-guided multi-day or week-tour along the High Coast, they usually have their own kayak and outdoor gear. But if you come from Tasmania.. or other far-away place, you may not have brought your own kayak.. THEN you belong to our favourite group of customers!
For a description of the High Coast from a kayaker's point-of-view, see further below
What do we offer, and what not?
- Pick-up from Härnösand or Kramfors railway/bus stations (free of charge if you arrive by train, and have rented a kayak)
- If needed, parking space for car and stuff while you are out
- If needed, place for overnight tent (night before or after paddling)
- Fresh water
- Good starting place from our own bridge
- Kayak. Included in price is buoyancy aid, paddle, spray deck and map. Minimum rental two days.
- Advice on favourite sights and route choices, potentially difficult passages, possible landing places on the way, including for tent
- For booked customers, we are also available on phone/sms while you are out
Your own responsibilities:
- Care for the kayak like it was your own
- Safety gear (some things we rent, see "Booking")
- Tent, out-door gear and clothes (some things we can rent)
- Compass (can be rented)
- Ensure accessibility for contact to plan pick-up (phone, sms, mail)
- The final responsibility for when and where to paddle, and when not to
We have not/do not do:
- No rental of kayaks for less than two days (there are other actors doing per day or hour rental)
- No "drop-in" activities (again we refer to other actors) - all booking with us starts with e-mail contact
For those with limited sea kayaking experience, who want to kayak at the High Coast:
- There are other actors who rent kayaks for shorter terms (so you can have reasonable control over weather prognosis)
- Possible to book on one of our guided tours (2-hours, half days, one or two days) in co-arrangement with Hotel High Coast and Björkudden Hotel; but then you have to be a night guest there
- Possible to see the High Coast "a bit from the side" by instead booking our "River Route", down the majestic Ångermanälven River - much more protected and thus safer, but still grand
Overview of the High Coast from a kayaker's point-of-view, with some highlights
The High Coast is great kayaking, but it can at times be a bit tough, as it is quite exposed to weather. As opposed to e. g. the Stockholm archipelago, where you can easily plan a week-long tour still protected by miles and miles of wind-and-wave-breaking islands of all sizes, here at the High Coast there is often only one, or no islands to the East - next stop is Finland. Since the dominating wind direction in summer is from the South, and the coastline is roughly SW to NE, that means also the wind can build up some waves, if strong, or even if medium but steady for some time. If it is calm, or wind from the West or North, waters are easy, but if you are out for many days, and planning many weeks ahead, you need to prepare for changing weather. You may have to break over a day to wait for a calm morning to get past Rotsidan, a stretch of 4 km with gorgeous, flat rock plateaus - and since they continue flat out under the surface, the waves (if any) have a tendency to rise, which can make it a tricky passage. A bit to the North there is also Rävsön, where it's usually hard to make landfall for a few km. Take a break before passing, is a good advice.
A few favourites, from south to north, are: Storön(meaning "Great Island"), is something of a "hidden gem", used to be military, and still is uninhabited, and if you are lucky, with some waves from the South, you may find yourself sitting in a "wave elevator" going up and down some metres, almost touching the dripping, red and black vertical cliff of the Southern tip, gleaming in the evening sunshine, and at the bottom the bright green algeae when a wave draws back.. Magic! Because here it is quite deep, the waves do not raise or break (quite the opposite to Rotsidan), so you can sit just a meter from the vertical wall going up and down.. ; Häggvik way into bay Gaviksfjärden, where you can also visit the unparallelled "Mannaminne" in towards Nordingrå; Rotsidan, kilometers of low flat cliffs, nice to see but often hard to land at from the sea; the light-house island Högbonden , the unmistakable silhouette of which have guided you for a few hours. Often, but not always, you can find one side of the island to land on to go up to the light-house; the charming fishing village Bönhamn; ditto Norrfällsviken - good fish restaurant here! in the protected harbour in the bay of red rocks, with its excellent fish restaurant; if weather and kayaking skills permit, then Ulvö Islands have a lot to offer, but beware of the long crossing if the water is cold; Swedens highest island Mjältön offers a magnificent view from the top; a bit further north you see the steep cliffs of Skrubbanto direct you, and right behind it there is "The Most Beautiful Island of Sweden", Trysunda, with its pefectly oval-shaped fishing harbour; and then on North on whichever sides of the row of islands to the NE, but try taking the Eastern side of the last one, Vågön, not to miss the narrow passage through Moomin-valley-like fishing village Grisslan, as a fine finish before landing in Örnsköldsvik or on the big peninsula east of Domsjö; if not weather and schedule permits a last crescendo in the form of Skags udde, the "Northern Cape" of the High Coast, that we usually consider it's end; but it can often be a bit dramatic, with it's position exposed to the Sea from three sides. If conditions are right for passing "the Cape", it is possible to make the final landing also just north of Skags udde, in Skagshamn.
Places to land for the night and for meals are usually not that hard to find "in the wild", for smaller companies - if you are more than two-three small tents you may need to plan with more alternatives, and also review the odd prepared camping spots. Far from all islands and coast stretches are possible to land at - the High Coast is really sometimes HIGH, all the way down to the water, so sometimes you need to start reconnoitre a couple of hours before you really have to break. Leeward and windward sides of islands, usually important for sea kayakers, are here sometimes absolutely decisive for where you can land and put up your tent. That means it is hard to plan weeks in advance "where you are going to put up your tent on night four" - a high degree of flexibility with time, and a few alternatives for landing/tenting is recommended, for different weathers/winds.
On a positive note - there is no need to worry about TIDE in the Baltic Sea, at least not here up in the North Bothnia - the tide simply does not have time to make it twice a day through Öresund, between Denmark and Sweden.
The wind; often but not always from the South (data from Lungön, 2005 - 1010).
Don't forget that many small islands are bird protection areas in the summer, meaning no access and do not go close (we'll tell you more when you get here) and most importantly: remember that the great gift of "Every mans Right of access to Nature" that we have, in Swedish called Allemansrätten (click and read the previous link!) also goes with OBLIGATIONS, not only rights. No one should be able to see where you have had your break, or your nightly quarter. Special rules apply in Nature protected areas - see information from the Regional Government Authority Länsstyrelsen Västernorrland, which gives you rules, but also a lot of valuable and exciting information, in the detailed brochure "38 Natural Reserves and one National Park”.
More detailed descriptions and more tips on the High Coast can be found in the sources mentioned here below (the first one unfortunately only so far in Swedish, but pictures and maps..):
- ”Höga Kusten – vandring, paddling och sevärdheter i världsarvet, skärgården och Skuleskogens nationalparkt”. Excellent book by Steven Ekholm, second edition 2019. Only in Swedish.