Saint Anna & Gryt Archipelagos
A fascinating landscape formed by the last Ice Age
A kayakers paradise
The archipelagos of Sweden’s east coast are a stunning remain from the last ice age. The landscape is entirely shaped by the massive ice sheet, smoothening rock surfaces and etching glacial striations into the bedrock as it moved across the land. All you gotta do to experience it is to look around, it’s visible everywhere around you!
Explore an untouched coastal wonderland
Saint Anna & Gryt truly are treasures among treasures. This seventy kilometre remote stretch of the Baltic coast is incredibly untouched with six thousand islands and islets in a maze. You get to be an explorer in this amazing coastal wonderland, and you’re free to paddle and camp wherever you like! Kayak through narrow passages and clusters of islets, or venture far out to sea to the many barren skerries of the outer archipelago. Always find an island completely your own to set up camp, cook a nice meal and enjoy the sunset.
A feast for all your senses
Paddling and camping here is a fantastic treat for all your senses. Aromas of salt and seaweed fill the air. Birds chirping in the background, waves crashing into rocks, the subtle dripping of sea water from your paddle. The afternoon breeze rolling in and the sun warming your skin. And you’re surrounded by beauty – the blue sky reflecting in the water, sailing boats far off in the distance, idyllic old houses that invoke a feeling of a time long gone. The solitude and sense of freedom is hard to put into words, it has to experienced!
the privilege to roam free
The chance to go wild camping is quite unique in the world. “The Right of Public Access” gives you the privilege to move and camp freely in the outdoors, hand in hand with the obligation to respect the land, animals and people. We give you lots of information on the rules and practises in regards to bird sanctuaries, open fires, protected plant and animal species, rubbish disposal and much more. Saint Anna & Gryt are incredibly clean and untouched – we will keep it that way!
nature & wildlife
This brackish environment is a mosaic of habitats, and there is an impressive level of biodiversity both on land and in the water. You’ll encounter varying types of forests, meadows and rocky beaches, all with a different flora of pretty flowers, berries and grasses. When gliding across shallow waters, you can look down to see large forests of bladder wrack and eelgrass. On some islands close to the mainland you’ll see sheep and cows grazing. And of course, there is wildlife! The area is a dream for bird lovers, and you may spot Grey seals!
Birds in abundance
The area is famous for its large number of White-tailed eagles and sighting them soaring high up in the sky is almost a given. No less than thirty-five coastal birds breed on the barren islands in the middle and outer archipelago! It’s a bird lover’s paradise! You’ll find different types of ducks, geese, waders, auks and gulls. Some typical Baltic species are Velvet scooters, Ruddy turnstones and Razorbills, which breed in the protection of squawking colonies of gulls and terns. Spotting predatory birds like Ospreys, Great cormorants and Arctic skuas is a delight.
Grey seals bobbing their heads above the water
If lucky, you’ll see Grey seals – they swim all over the area hunting for fish. They are magnificent animals, and although almost extinct a few decades ago, the seal population is steadily growing. There are a couple of seal sanctuaries far out to sea with year-round protection, and during bright early summer nights the islets are yet again filled with bobs of seals. The melancholy deep bellow of the large males can be heard from far away – invoking a magical, primeval feeling for those lucky enough to experience it.
a people's history of the islands
Saint Anna & Gryt have a rich cultural heritage. Although sparsely populated these days, the landscape still bare many signs of human activity, some date back to pre-historic times.
Island dwellers in the past
As far back as the Bronze Age through Medieval times, settlers out here lived off fishing, hunting and farming. The area experienced its heyday in the 1800s when the population was at an all-time high. There was a flurry of activity around the islands, and this is when a lot of the houses that still remain were built. Between the 1920s and 50s, almost all residents joined the rest of the Swedish countryside in packing up their few belongings and moving to the cities.
Archipelago culture of today
Only around 800 people live permanently on the islands and by the coast. Many still live off fishing and farming, but these days tourism also plays an important role. Everything out here is small-scale family operations, and the archipelago is yet again coming alive with little cafes, restaurants and country stores.
There are many places to visit to experience the interesting history of the islands. Picturesque old fishing villages, navigation marks and lookouts used by seafarers for centuries, the Häradskär lighthouse at the edge of the open sea. Just to name a few.
It’s an absolute joy to go kayaking and wild camping in this amazing landscape. The solitude is incredible, and there are so many beautiful and interesting places to visit. Early summer until autumn, each month has its own charm.