Väner, Göta Kanal and Vättern

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Experience nature, culture, local artisan food and other activities, with comfortable accommodation in your own cabin on our two-masted motor yacht M/S Pärla. We combine boat and sailing trips with kayaking, cycling, hiking and SUP (Stand up paddle boarding) during the tour which extends over Lake Vänern, the Göta Canal and Lake Vättern, and includes visits to two scenic national parks.

The tours start from or ends in 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.

The Göta Canal has been named “The Swedish Construction of the Millennium”. Between 1810 and 1832 the canal was created connecting Gothenburg with the Baltic Sea. 87 kilometres were excavated by hand by 58,000 Swedish soldiers. We glide along at 5 knots. At the locks there is the opportunity to walk on the old towpath along the canal. If you wish you may also cycle along stretches or paddle through the naturally beautiful sections without locks. In the evening there are two SUPs available for use.

You can choose yourself which activities you want to take part in. All activities are included in the tour at no extra cost. There are kayaks enough for everyone. We favour stable tandem kayaks for reasons of space on the boat, but single kayaks may also be available. However, we can normally take no more than four bicycles and two SUPs. It may therefore be necessary to take turns using them.

Programme 2017:
Start 31st July Mariestad – Tiveden
Start 6th August Tiveden – Mariestad, return trip – starts on day 6.

Day 1
10.00 we start with a boat tour to the exotic Djurö Island National Park in the middle of Lake Vänern. After lunch we go out on a kayaking trip in the scenic archipelago and look for the sea eagles that we usually spot here. Spending the night in the National Park.

Day 2
Guided tour with stories of bygone days on Djurö. Afterwards we sail to Sjötorp where the Göta Canal begins. Here you will find a good hiking trail or time to soak up the atmosphere before dinner at Kajutan Restaurant.
Day 3
The day begins with the locks of the Göta Canal. Adjacent to the locks you can walk the old towpath along by the canal. Lunch at Norrqvarn which has the quality certification “Västsvensk Mersmaks Restaurang” and uses locally produced raw ingredients. In the afternoon having passed the locks there are good stretches for kayaking or cycling. The night is spent at Töreboda guest harbour, and dinner is at Krubb Restaurant with lots of local produce.

Day 4
In the morning we travel along a naturally beautiful section of the canal, which is perfect for kayaking or cycling.
After lunch we set off sailing over Lake Viken. We take dinner at a local restaurant and the night is spent in Karlsborg.

Day 5
In the morning we set sail and steer towards the North Vättern Archipelago Nature Reserve. During the afternoon we experience the sometimes breath-taking feeling of kayaking in the clear waters of Lake Vättern.

Day 6
In the morning we take a short trip with the boat to Olshammar, from where we continue in a minibus to Tiveden National Park. We experience the wilderness of the National Park when we wander through the mystical surroundings. We cook lunch in Tiveden and enjoy a lovely day in the National Park before returning to Mariestad again for the evening.

The archipelago outside Mariestad has several large nature reserves to protect its great natural values. Here, there are large areas of pristine wilderness with centuries-old pine trees where 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.

In Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern there is no need to worry about crowds, jellyfish or having to rinse off the saltwater after a swim. We are often able to find our own beach or island and the water is usually clean enough to drink straight from the lake.

Included: Accommodation with sheets, fully equipped kayak, all meals, skipper/guide, two course dinner and sauna on Lurö, entrance and guided tour at Läckö Castle, lunch at Hvita Hjorten Restaurant, Wi-Fi (Except when mobile coverage is missing).
Not included: Alcohol and desserts in restaurants.

Things to consider:
The tour is subject to the prevailing weather conditions and the participants' skills. We welcome both complete beginners and more advanced kayakers. Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern is inland seas and paddling conditions can vary a lot based on the weather conditions. With M/S Pärla we search for as wind protected areas as possible to paddle in, but you can also choose to stay aboard or go ashore.
Swimming ability of 200m is required.

Age limit: minimum 12 years
Number of participants: Minimum 4 participants, maximum 7 participants in cabins (otherwise maximum 8 participants)

Dates 2017:
31st July – 5th August - Introduction price!
6th – 12th August

Extra night (agreed with the supplier): One night’s accommodation on the boat before the start of the tour 29th - 30th Juli. Breakfast included. Minimum 2 people.
One night’s accommodation on the boat after the end of the tour 12th - 13 August. Minimum 2 people.
Transfer: Transfer to and from Landvetter airport in Gothenburg can be booked. Price: Max 4 people SEK 1,900/ each way. Maximum 8 people SEK 2,900/ each way.

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

With to few participants the trip can be canceled.

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About this activity

Nearby accommodations


Sätra Bruk Country Manor

Distance: 30.6 km
In northern Skaraborg, between lakes Vänern and Vättern, near lake Viken at the highest point of Göta Kanal, you will find Sätra Bruk Country Manor. Close to golf and experiences in the nature of Tived. Here you will be able to relax and find peace. Room standard worthy of a genuine Country House. (4 star rating according to SHR)

Norrqvarn Hotel & Conference

Distance: 17 km
Norrqvarn Hotel & Conference is located by Göta Canal at the beautiful Norrkvarn lock area, just off the E20 outside Mariestad. Accommodation includes hotel, fairy-tale tree stump cottages, restaurant and conference facilities as well as beautiful recreational area for families with children.

Norrqvarn/Göta kanal, STF Hostel

Distance: 17 km
The area around the Norrkvarn locks near Lyrestad has been transformed into a world of adventure for the whole family.