The Perfect Family Adventure in Varmland

Friday, 30th January 2015

Bruno Kaufmann

sweden varmland klaralven river rafting ww

Travel Specialist, Bruno describes his Varmland adventure. Varmland is a real hidden gem. It provides the complete summer wilderness adventure for both adults and families – including the chance to stay overnight on your own private island.

“You feel as adventurous as Livingstone or Fiennes as you walk through the forest”

On the fourth day of your journey through Varmland on our Varmland Summer Adventure, you will take a leisurely journey down the Klara river on a family raft. These rafts meander along the river with the current, taking a few hours to get you to your island (yes, your own island!), for your overnight stay.

The Klara River is slow and peaceful, so swimming alongside the raft is no problem. My preference is to get the fishing rod out (provided), sit back on one the raft and cast my line. If I get a bite, great, if not, who cares! When drifting down this river, you won’t have a care in the world!

As the day on a raft slowly comes to an end, you pass under a bridge before you spot the jetty where you moor the raft. Doing this is a real hoot as the current tries to take the raft to the ‘wrong’ side of the island, and then tries to take you away from the jetty. Luckily, the raft comes with paddles which you can use to guide you to the pier (you’ll know this as it has a Swedish flag fluttering away). There was a fair bit of splashing, but we made it.

Once the raft is tied up, you head through the forest to the camp. You feel as adventurous as Livingstone or Fiennes as you walk through the forest on the island, despite only being about 60-80m from the jetty to the camp!

Once you have built your own fire and sat back to relax, Erik (or ‘Active Man’ as I like to call him) arrives and starts preparing your dinner for you. If you sit here quietly, you may be lucky enough to hear or see beavers, as well as the wide variety of birdlife that calls the Klaralven their home.

After dinner and an evening of relaxation, it’s time to get to sleep in the tepee. During the night, you may hear all sorts of local critters going about their business; it has even been possible to hear beavers just outside the tepee while you sleep!

Waking up on the island the following morning is a real treat, as you step out of the tepee, and wander to the fire, which, if you’re lucky, your camp-mates have already lit. After a leisurely breakfast, which Erik leaves behind the night before in a cooler basket, it’s time to pack everything up (including all your rubbish), before getting the canoe in the water, and heading downstream.

Of all the amazing things that you can do on this trip, canoeing was definitely a highlight for me. We had an absolutely stunning morning, with the sun beaming down on us as we slowly paddled downstream. As you paddle along, try to keep as quiet as possible, and you may be lucky enough to see or hear a beaver or two, just like we did.

This was the perfect way to finish a real wilderness experience, and the bike ride back to the bed and breakfast was the perfect way to do the last leg. If you’re an active family, this is the perfect holiday for you.

Ready for an adventure?

The Varmland Summer Adventure is 7 nights and includes stays in local hotels and B&Bs (as well as your night on the island) after your days spend pedalling, paddling or walking between the. Find out more here.

Do you prefer more camping? Take to the wilds on a one-of-a-kind camping adventure – find out more about Family Holidays in Sweden.

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