Experience the special hidden places amongst the archipelagos of Lake Vänern, by kayak paddling, sailing trips and comfortable accommodation in your own cabin on our two-masted motor yacht M/S Pärla.

We eat and sleep on board and take day trips with kayaks. Lake Vänern has 22,000 islands, numerous archipelagos and an exceptional number of sunshine hours. We get an optimal experience of the most beautiful places by combining kayaking in the scenic shallow archipelagos, with safe and comfortable sailing over the sometimes unprotected waters of the Vänern inland sea.

Vänern Outdoor
Morning on M/S Pärla

One of the best experiences I ever had (Laura Grabowski)

The tours start from Mariestad. The archipelagos around Mariestad have many large nature reserves created to protect the rich natural assets. There are large undisturbed areas of wilderness with centuries-old pine trees where sea eagles and ospreys nest. If you are lucky, you may see a moose or a deer swim between the islands to graze. Brommö island has one of Sweden’s densest moose populations.

Weather permitting, we will kayak one day in the exotic and scenic Djurö National Park located in the middle of Lake Vänern. Here in the heart of the EU’s largest lake lie more than 30 islands and islets. “No archipelago in the country lies in such isolation and its very seclusion endears” County Administrative Board. In addition to the rounded smooth rocks, pebble beaches and the rich bird life, there is a large grassy clearing on the main island Djurö, which is kept open by fallow deer grazing. A nice contrast to the surrounding rugged pine forest.

Lake Vänern is an inland sea and kayaking can vary a lot based on the prevailing weather conditions. With M/S Pärla we can seek out the most protected locations possible and avoid lengthy unprotected crossings with the kayaks.

With 22,000 islands and islets in fresh water, we need never be crowded, think about jellyfish or about rinsing off the salt after swimming. We can often find a beach to ourselves or an island to stop at, and the water is so clean that we can drink it directly from the lake when we get out a bit.

Example of the program: The boat can handle most weather conditions, but the trip may sometimes have to be changed based on prevailing wind and wave conditions to get good paddling conditions. We will sail with the boat when the wind is favorable.

Day 1:
Start at 10:00 in Mariestad harbour.
Boat trip to the popular Brommö nature reserve with its lovely sandy beaches. Paddling in the nature reserve.
Overnight in the nature reserve.

Day 2:
Boat trip to exotic Djurö National Park in the middle of Lake Vänern.
Paddling in the scenic archipelago and scouting for the sea eagles we usually see here. Guided tour with stories about ancient times on Djurö.
Overnight in the national park.

Day 3:
Boat trip to the beautiful Onsö nature reserve with its lovely cliffs and rich bird life.Paddling in the nature reserve.
Boat back to Mariestad.
Arrives at the port in Mariestad around 19:00 to drop off guests who have booked the three-day tour.
Overnight stay near Torsö.

Day 4:
Boat trip to Kalvö nature reserve, where we often get to be completely alone. If the weather is nice, it can be a trip with the kayaks out to Fällholmarna, where there is a well-preserved and well-visited lighthouse keeper’s residence. If the weather is worse, there are excellent hiking trails on the Kalvöarna.
Overnight in the nature reserve.

Day 5:
Kayaking around Kalvöarna or out to Fällholmarna. Maybe a hike on the Kalvöarna.
Boat trip back to Mariestad.
We will be back in Mariestad around 19:00.

Based on the guests’ wishes, it is possible to inflate a SUP to take an evening trip or make a campfire on the beach, where it is allowed. Someone may also want to try sleeping in a wind shelter where it is available.

Things to consider:
The tour is subject to the prevailing weather conditions. It is an advantage if you have kayaked before but not a requirement.  We normally kayak for around 3-5 hours per day at a relaxed pace so you should able to cope if you are generally fit. With tandem kayaks it is possible to have an adult or a child with a little less ability in front, if the person behind can cope with a little more.

If you wish you can take a kayaking course at Vänern Outdoor before you take part in a multi-day trip.

Swimming ability of 200m is required.

Age limit: Suitable age for children is at least about 12 years, depending on their physical strength. Younger children can work in a tandem kayak together with an adult. In groups, we can adapt the kayaking according to the children’s stamina.

Participants: Maximum seven participants in cabins (By arrangement we can accommodate groups of up to 12 people, then we supplement with accommodation in a cabin, tent or another boat. Contact us for booking of Groups)

Included: Accommodation with sheets, fully equipped kayaks, all meals, skipper/guide

Dates 2024:
See dates in our booking system.

Dates may change before bookings have been made to fit with requests for other activities.

For groups of at least four people, we can also try to find other dates.

Price: 8 900 SEK / person regular price in double cabin
SEK 44 500 – Group, the whole boat for yourselves.

An extra night on board: Start or end the journey with an extra night on board. Price 600 SEK / person and night.

Transfer: From Gothenburg, there are direct trains to Mariestad. If possible, we will collect and leave you at no extra cost at the bus or train station.

We help one another with various tasks such as; cooking, washing-up and loading of kayaks.

Sustainable ecotourism
Based in Mariestad, Vänern Outdoor is committed to experience-based ecotourism in and around Lake Vänern. Through our guided tours, we want to offer genuine nature experiences. We believe in the importance of giving many people the opportunity to experience nature up close to better understand its value and in doing so increasing the will to protect and nurture nature for future generations.

Vänern Outdoor has a thorough perspective on sustainability. We are careful not to leave any traces of ourselves in nature and want to ensure that our ecological footprints are as small as possible. All transports on land are undertaken with vehicles that run on biogas. The food is mainly organic with a low carbon footprint.

The tour takes place for the most part within the “Lake Vänern Archipelago and Mount Kinnekulle” Biosphere Reserve. An area designated by UNESCO as a model for sustainable development.

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