Points of Interest
From North to South
Saint Anna & Gryt are wild archipelagoes with almost all uninhabited islands. The area also has a rich history of people living their whole lives out here. It’s completely up to you what you choose to explore – visit cultural points of interest, do all wilderness, or more likely, a blend of both!
Saint Anna Archipelago
Saint Anna is a very wide and finely chiselled archipelago, stretching for twenty kilometres from west to east. Some of the highlights are Aspöja island, the long band of outer islets and skerries of Missjö and the famous lookout Kupa Klint.
Alnholm nature reserve
View fascinating primary rock formations and a giant kettle hole from the last ice age. Abundant birdlife – Eiders, Mute swans, Black-headed gulls and Herring gulls.
On the northern tip of the large island Aspöja you’ll find one of the most interesting geological spots in the archipelagoes. View folding processes that took place 2 billion years ago, when magma protruded through the hardened bedrock. Winding bands of dark rocks meander between white and reddish layers of marble in a beauitful relief pattern. There is a also a giant kettle hole, that was formed at the end of the last ice age by whirlpools of melting ice water. The whole area and surrounding islands show distinctive ice age features with smoothened rock surfaces and glacial striations.
There are lots of birds around here, for example Eiders, Mute swans, Black-headed gulls and Herring gulls. Old trees offer shelter and a plentitude of insects live in the dead wood, which provides an important food source.
Visit Forsmans where Helen and family breed sheep, smoke lamb & salmon, and run a small cafe. Wander the island and take in the history of people living here for centuries.
Land your kayak in the sheltered bay on the east side of the island and walk the little gravel road towards the village. Visit Forsmans where Helen breeds sheep and operates a salmon and lamb smoke-house. There is a small cafe where you can enjoy a lighter meal, baked goods, or purchase smoked products.
Interesting flora and beautiful views from this birch islet bordering on the outer archipelago. Historic remains from a fishing camp.
Typical “birch islet”, a narrow band of wild islands between the middle and outer archipelago, where short wind-pined birch trees grow. There is a beautiful creek to land your kayak to the northeast. It’s a hilly little island with long rifts filled with grasses where the birch trees are rooted. Here you can find bogs with Cloudberries, Crowberries and Hare’s-tail Cottongrass. You may spot Arctic skuas and plenty of other birds.
There are a couple of old house foundations with remains of a hearth. Likely it is a centuries old fishing outpost, where fishermen would spend the night during fishing excursion in the outer archipelago.
Off the northern tip of the island there is an old ship wreck, believed to have sunk in 1850. The quite macabre legend goes – the ship came to Harstena and the whole crew, except the cook, was beaten to death. The ship then drifted to Aspöja where the islanders killed the cook and unloaded the cargo of blubber before sinking the ship intentionally off Inre Brunnskär. They tried to sell the cargo in Söderköping, but ended up in legal trouble and sentenced to jail time on bread and water.
Melskär, St Gåsskär & Kalskär
Listen to thousands of Eiders in the early summer. Restored hunting cabin from the 1700s.
These three “birch islets” are located in the border zone close to the barren islets of the outer archipelago. There is a restored hunting cabin from the 1700s on Melskär, likely its history dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. For centuries, inhabitants from the homesteads closer to the mainland used the outer parts of the Saint Anna archipelago as hunting and fishing grounds. These types of cabins or outposts, close to the open sea, housed gear and functioned as resting or overnight spots. The islanders hunted coastal birds and seals, and caught eel, flounder and herring.
Kalskär is a surprisingly lush island with thick bushes of juniper, sloe and roses. Small birds that are unusual this far out can be found here, such as nightingales and whitethroats.
Many typical coastal birds breed in the surrounding area, such as colonies of terns and gulls and waders. In the early summer, thousands of molting Eiders can be heard from the outer skerries.
Atoll formation of islands with gorgeous views. Pretty meadows with orchids.
Paddle the narrow inlet between Lammskär and Kalvskär and end up surrounded by the beautiful and sheltered atoll formation of islands.
The island used to be somewhat populated and the inhabitants lived off fishing, farming and seafaring. Old stone fences and over-grown fields remain. The island is still used for grazing, which benefits the meadow flora of for example Elder-flowered orchid, Butterfly orchid, Dropwort and Heath-grass.
Uggleholmarna nature reserve
Very diverse flora, 200-300 year old pine and linden trees. Old cultural landscape with characteristically pruned linden for winter fodder.
These islands are located in the middle archipelago and boast an impressive flora. Very old pine trees, likely up to 300 years, grow on the higher rockier ground, and deciduous trees like oak and linden dominate the lowlands. Some of the linden trees are 200-300 years old, and many show traces of “hamling”, a specific way of pruning which allows for winter fodder for animals during the winter months.
The grove-like environment has a very diverse flora of for example Lilies-of-the-valley, Liverwort, Stitchwort, Wonder violet, Butterfly orchid and Baneberry. The open vegetation is great for wandering around and taking in the beautiful nature.
Nice boathouse restaurant right on the sea, delicious food, wine & beer. Paddle-board rental and sandy beach.
Mon, situated in a sheltered bay on the largest island in Saint Anna, is our launch site and it’s likely you won’t return here once your kayaking adventure begins. If you do however, be sure to visit the boathouse restaurant located right on the sea. They serve delicious food with a great view. There is a sandy beach here and you can rent stand-up paddle boards.