Kayak conference on Sävö
Those who choose the island of Sävö in the Sörmland archipelago, 100 km south of Stockholm, as a basis for their conference will stay in an archetypal Swedish idyll. This idyll will be spiced with exciting kayaking, or with a walk on the Sörmlandsleden trail around the island.
It is easy to elect Sävö your favourite island. Highland cattle graze the green meadows where orchids like “Adam and Eve”, quaking-grass, milkwort and wild flax flourish. Sävö is also an old pilotage station, and pilots lived on the island from the 1660s until 1967, when the piloting station was closed. The old pilots’ cottages, in classic Falu red with white corners, have been made into a youth hostel with conference facilities. On the island there are also oak trees planted close to the cottages, symbolising wealth and promising timber for new ships.
Dag Åsvärn starts his guiding by a short instruction session. Next, the kayaks glide out from the small shielded harbour by the youth hostel. Dag is Commando major, botanist and archipelago enthusiast, and the other guides are his friends from one, or both, of these two worlds. But there is no stress, as the pace is adjusted to fit the least experienced kayaker.
If there is a strong wind the route is laid towards calmer waters, passing forest-clad islands where meadows are kept open by grazing cattle. Otherwise, the barren outer skerries, with their flat, smooth rocks and windblown junipers are close. If the water is cold, or the wind strong, an escort boat, increases safety. The boat also transports the culinary lunch surprise, perhaps smoked flatfish? Dag of course knows the best spots for a leg stretcher and a snack.
Close to the hostel, dinner is served in a rustic restaurant by the narrow strait between the islands of Sävö and Långö. Fish and game from the area are among the specialities. The restaurant even has its own kayak entrance! As an alternative to kayaking, Sävö also offers nice walking trails. A part of the Sörmland trail goes around the island, passing a hill with a great view over the open water expanses. Smaller groups can also spend the night in a cabin by the trail. In this way, kayaking and hiking can be combined during a fine couple of days.