Satellite showed us black ice

Northern county Värmland and Dalarna was covered with snow in the end of November. Some lakes hiding black ice. We were waiting new lakes to freeze as the temperature was below zero and the weather forecast promised really cold weather. By studying the satellite we headed to lake Tisjön, Dalarna the 1st of December. Were we right in our expectation?

  • Amazing sunrise

  • Giant boulder hiding among the pine trees

  • Beautiful contrast between frosty birches and the black ice

  • What a window/mirror!

  • Morning trip following the shore line

Sattelite picture:


Nordic Kayaking Inspiration – Finland

After som hectic weeks with guests from abroad we were ready for another new exploring adventure. This time we were heading east to our neighbour country Finland. It has been a dream for many years getting to know and to paddle in the “Country of the Thousand Lakes”. We didn’t have much time, but time enough to realise that there are lakes enough for a life time. An eldorado for kayakers. We just spotted the right time for nature showing up in its “Golden costume”. Our destination was huge Lake Saima.

  • Some of the millions and millions of Silver Birches
  • Leaving Oravi Canal for Haukivesi
  • Camp fire
  • End of the day on Haukivesi

We arrived to and left Finland in sparkling autumn colours. What a visit!

We will be back for sure – and then for a longer trip.

Where to start next time?

Nordic kayaking inspiration – Norway

Nordic EcoTours has its main geographical area from Lake Vättern to Lake Vänern and onwards westbound to Skagerrak. This summer we wanted to extend “our territory” and explore new water systems. In July we headed to Lake Sølen, Rendalsfjällen in Norway – a place we have visited before, both winter and summer. A place that we love. Lake Sølen has a circumference for about 65 km with a few islands in the south west and south of the lake. This time our departure point was close to Fiskevollen, Norway’s oldest inland fishing village, which is situated in the north part of the lake. West of the lake the massive Midtre Sølen with three summits rises – its highest peak is 1755 meters above sea level.

  • On our way to Fiskevollen

  • Kayaking in blue waves

  • Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) protecting her chicks
  • Summit 1755 meters above sea level

The Sølen area is a magical location for kayaking, fishing and hiking. A place where you relax, recover and replenish your energy. We are willing to join you in an outstanding experience.

A magic area in Hedmark, Norway.

Glimpses from Summer 2019

Summer 2019 gave us loads of great nature experiences together with new wonderful people from various parts of Europe. Following is a summary of some golden moments.

  • Summer evening in the reeds

We never give up searching for beavers. Spring and early summer are the best conditions for beaver scouting.

  • A short walk for launching

We had a Full Day Archipelago Paddling booked for our French guests. The wind conditions was not with us, so instead of paddling singel kayaks in the sea we trailed our tandem kayaks to a lake in the forests and all ended up with a wonderful kayaking experience in wilderness.

  • The entrance is under the water

All our tours are “On request”. Beaver Safari in Bohuslän made us scout for beavers in land. And we made it! A skating tour last winter “hinted” us to the right lake.

  • Heading towards the first beaver lodges

Silent search for beavers in their habitat. Calm, peaceful and many traces from beavers and beaver huts – but just one splash this night.

  • Getting ready

Time again to paddle with our devoted “Girl group” – mostly from Norway. The wind cheated us again so we had a quite tough expedition this year.

  • Heavy head-wind

Practice makes perfect. Good paddlers in heavy wind!

  • The kayaks are waiting for a ride

Norwegian “Kick Off” starting from our boat houses.

  • Use of floats makes the ride safer in open wavy sea

Refreshing Sunday paddling is a good start as Team Building ahead of a new work week!

Beaver Safari Offers More Than Beavers

Krokstad Herrgård – situated close to the estuary of River Byälven/Lake Vänern – is a perfect starting point for exploring and experience the beaver habitat from the kayak. An impressing oak alley, in bright green spring colors, invites us to Krokstad herrgård. The late May evening was sunny, a bit chilly but probably too windy to make the beavers in the mood to show up.

  • The entrance to Krokstad Mansion

We had the pleasure to scout the surroundings together with family Say from France and Switzerland. A short walk down to the river before its time for preparations before embarking.

  • Preparations

Three double/triple kayaks and one single kayak is awaiting for the safari. The triple kayaks are really stable and to paddle these you don’t need any paddling experience – perfect to be able to concentrate on wildlife, birds and search for beavers.

We crossed the river and went behind “Ile des Castors” – habited by a beaver family last year – now the hut is abandoned. It made it possible to paddle into one of the narrow “beaver canals” to watch their hut.

  • Silent paddling

Windy and sunny. Expectant. Even the birds were withdrawn this evening though we observed and heard thrushes, wagtails, some geese and mallards.

  • Time for a little forestwalk

We decided to go ashore for a short walk and to investigate traces from beavers. Now the sun set and suddenly we heard a sound we had longed for. Three souffles from a bittern marking its territory in the reeds. It is a sound that is similar to blow in a bottle. That sound followed us now and then all the evening.

  • "Beaver time"

After a small “picnic” with hot tea and some snacks we continued paddling south towards the huge Lake Vänern. In strong headwind we paddled towards a canal behind an island – but sadly no beavers. We had the luck to be in near contact with a crane – who probably had its nest in the weeds – grey lagged geese, gulls and sterlings. Now and then the european reed warbler sang wonderful tunes for us. On our way back in the dark we heard the spooky sound of a Tawny Owl.

No Beaver Safari is like the other. Even though you don’t meet beavers it’s always a treat to be out on the water in near contact with nature. BUT – in our very last minutes a beaver showed up – just with a big SPLASH – but a sign of a beaver.
To share these moments with people you have never met is a great gift for us. Thank you family Say!

Two Days on lake Vättern – part 2

We couldn’t resist to continue our discovery along the north east coast of Lake Vättern. The weather was with us so instead of what we was thinking making a short trip morning trip we were out all day – discovered the coast south of Tokanäset, passed Lemunda Bay and the exciting “Mill stone coast”, rounded Island Åholmen, had a wonderful swim by the sandy beach Lilla Hals and returned home in the evening. Full of new energy and impressions – again!

  • New day - what will happen today?

We followed the shore line and were amazed by the remnants from an industrial era about 100 years ago – mill stone making.

  • Forgotten mill stones produced by sandstone. Hard work in vain.

The sandstone shore line and the bottom below the water surface was “decorated” by loads of mill stones for kilometers. This masterpiece is now like a huge installation of arts which reminds us of very clever and hard working people. Sadly many of them died too early because the effects of their work.

  • Thankfulness for being a part of great history - but sad for unused work

We can’t get enough of this clear, drinkable water!

  • Struggling alder tree - a survivor in the water zone

We were very excited to investigate “our” new island. And we got a great reward – birds showed up we never had dreamt of.

  • The island was covered with trees and as we had hoped the opsrey's nest showed up in a pine tree

An inviting sandy beach was our our next goal.

  • Looking back admiring our beautiful island

With the afternoon sun in the back we had a wonderful trip back.

  • We paddled into a shallow, sandy bay with water lilies coming from the bottom and loads of fries - an interesting loop.

Total length of this trip was 28 km – in a relaxed paddling.

Two days on Lake Vättern in May – part 1

Quietness, peacefulness – Lake Vättern offered one evening and one whole day in perfect weather conditions for kayaking. Almost no wind and warm temperature. This time of the year you are on your own – except from wonderful company of birds. We left Medevi, by the north east side of the lake, and paddled northbound to Nature Reserve “Råå Uddar”. Following the shoreline in a choir of singing birds we finally had a stop at an island before we returned home in a spectacular sunset.

  • Heading northbound

Spring is in the air!

  • Bloody Geranium in evening light

We left the nature reserve in a beautiful sunset.

  • Sunset

The purple hour gifted us with with an additional memorable treat.

  • Sky in fire

This tour was 17 km long.


Beaver habitat shows biodiversity

Our different seasons offers a variety of nature experiences all year round. Spring is here – the ice and snow is gone, nature wakens up. The air is full of singing birds, the buds changes into flowers and leaves and our beavers continue their life cycle. Soon the new “babys” are born. We were out looking for our “friends” and we were anxious to find out how they had survived the winter. They were still there, though they had moved some kilometers south the river.

Can you start a beaver safari from a better spot than Krokstad Mansion? It is situated by river Byälven, close to Lake Vänern . The park was glowing in different green colors in the evening sun. We paddled down the river in a slight head wind. In the reeds we got in contact with one beaver. Just a big splash, but so exciting! Beneath the surface pikes, pike-perches and fries were active. Loads of geese were swimming around with their goslings. And the goosanders were around – both in the sky and on the water. The king and queen of the reeds – the marsh harriers – were hunting above us. The cranes were trumpeting from the fields in the background. The air was filled with singing birds.

When we reached the horizon of the giant lake Vänern we turned back around some islands. There in the channel we had an exiting time following the beavers in their evening swim. They were not really shy – more curious. Now and then we heard the special sounds from the bitterns in the reeds – like someone blowing in a bottle. When the sun set the wood cock appeared flying its route over our heads to protect his territory. Moments of thankfulness to be just here.

On our way back in the stunning evening light we visited some abandoned beaver huts. You can never stop to marvel these intelligent, unobtrusive animals. They create pieces of engineer buildings and pieces of art. The more you follow the lives of these animals the more respect you get for wonders of life!

Nordic EcoTours are looking forward to share these moments of nature together with you!

February delivered magnificent ice

Lucky us! Just when our guests from UK, Sicily and Germany arrived the weather cooperated with us and blessed us with marvellous skating conditions. The thick, black ice was polished by a thin layer of water.

In the borderland between Sweden and Norway small lakes gave us unforgettable memories.

During our 3 to 5 days together we skated on five different lakes.

The foggy weather made our days to a mysterious experience – sometimes like a fairy tale.

The temperature was above zero every day so we were lucky the sun didn’t shine. It would have destroyed the ice.

For two days we had company by a Norwegian family – their first nordic skating experience.

All members of the family made really good improvements.

Getting the last out of February on skates!

Nedre Bolsjön – Lower Lake Bolsjö – gave us two wonderful skating days. The ice is struggling against sun shine and temperatures above zero.