Kayaking in Northern Europe

Kayaking in Northern Europe

Where are the best kayak holiday destinations in Europe?

Is there something better than the mix of adventure and adrenaline that will feed your soul with unforgettable memories and will upgrade your level of experience?

For everyone that wants to taste that mixture and wants to explore the whole spectrum of beauty of nature, we recommend trying kayaking in Northern Europe.

If you decide to gain this marvellous experience and you don’t know where to start, here are top adventurous destinations for visiting and kayaking in Northern Europe:

Bohuslän, Sweden

Bohuslän is a paradise on earth, with a huge marine national park, crystal blue waters rich in diverse fishes, clean and fresh air and with more than 8.000 islands. The place is amazing for exploring with kayak whether you are alone, with friends or with family.This place was profiled by CNN as one of the top ten wilderness areas in the whole world and you need to visit the place to see why.

Svalbard, Norway

Do you consider yourself as a person with an adventurous spirit who wants to go beyond the set limits? Then kayaking in icy waters near glaciers is what you need to try. Svalbard gives you this opportunity, offering different trips. Plus, you can see the polar bears and walruses and that’s not something you can usually see during kayaking in other countries. So, what are you waiting for?

Baltic Sea, Estonia

Do you know that near Baltic Sea live more than 50 million different types of birds? You can see them while kayaking the Baltic Sea and Estonia islands. There are different tours that include: Pakri islands, Kessulaid and Hiiumaa, and are very safe and suitable for every adventurer. Exploring and experiencing Estonian hidden treasures should be on your list already!

Lake Saimaa, Finland

Lake Saimaa is called by the natives ‘the Paradise of Paddlers’.There they offer canoeing and kayaking as the best way to experience the beauty of nature and enjoy the quiet place. The smell and the murmur of water are the most beautiful note for the peace of your body and mind. The water is crystal clear, there are many islands and different rivers that you would definitely like to explore by kayak.

Sognefjord, Norway

Sognefjord, the second longest fjord in the world, is considered as one of the best kayaking destinations in Europe. This place is Paradise and you will have to visit it to convince yourself in the beauty of the place.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

The tours in Lofoten islands offer a historical and adventurous journey, showing the beautiful villages, the Viking history, Lofotr Viking Museum and many others, including sea kayaking. This place is magical just as the whole experience there.

What type of kayaking is available?

Recreational kayaking

You just have to grab your paddle, relax and find some of the most beautiful areas in the world. Take a few days in the wilderness and enjoy some peace and serenity.

Sea kayaking

There are plenty of seas waiting to be explored with the tours that offer kayaking as an excellent option for it.

Whitewater Kayaking

Not all rivers are calm. You will want to take some classes before trying whitewater kayaking. You would like to be prepared for everything that the rivers can offer.

Kayak fishing

This is a great try for anglers that are bored with the usual fishing. There are kayaks that are made for angling. They are very comfortable and have adjustable seats, but are also suitable for standing in.

What are the best countries for kayaking and what type of weather can you encounter?

Northern Europe is not the only adventurous place for kayaking in Europe. There are many other places that offer amazing experiences and are worth visiting it.

Despite Norway, Finland, Estonia and Sweden mentioned before, Italy, Croatia, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Scotland and Portugal are amazing countries with precious beauty that have places where experiencing kayaking can be magical such as Ardeche (France), Loire Valley (France), Normandy (France), Vilamoura (Portugal), Albufeira (Portugal), Isle of Scilly (United Kingdom), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Sardinia (Italy), Anglesey (United Kingdom), Noce (Italy), Zrmanja and Krupa rivers (Croatia), Loch Ness ‘Coast to Coast’ (Scotland), Wild Atlantic Way (Ireland), Tara Canyon (Bosnia), Aosta Valley (Italy) and much more.

Ardeche (France)

This place is in southeast France and is the most popular place for kayaking in Europe. There is a huge stone bridge, named Pont D’Arc and you can pass under it. If you go there in summer, it is very warm and is perfect for a holiday like you never had before, but if you go in spring, there are faster flowing waters. There are different tours and you will definitely find the most attractive one for you.

Noce (Italy)

This place is located in the Brenta Dolomite Mountains of northern Italy. There are few challenging rapids, and if you are looking for adrenaline and adventure, then this is the right place. Also, it is best to visit it in spring.

Zrmanja and Krupa rivers (Croatia)

Zrmanja and Krupa rivers located in Croatia are good for exploring and filling your soul with the amazing energy and power of nature. There are some light rapids, but the most beautiful part is the marvelous waterfall and the hidden pools.

Loch Ness ‘Coast to Coast’ (Scotland)

Caledonian Canal is one of the greatest waterways, not only in Scotland, but in the whole world and it connects Fort William in the southwest of Scotland with Inverness (east). If you go on a route, you will pass through the Great Glen geological fault. The route is 60 miles long.

Wild Atlantic Way (Ireland)

The Wild Atlantic Way includes the whole of Ireland’s western coast which is mesmerizing. This place is born to be explored with kayak. The water is crystal clear and you can see the dolphins, sea otters, seals and sharks.

Tara Canyon (Bosnia)

Tara Canyon (Bosnia) is the largest canyon in Europe and one of the biggest in the world. This canyon is very beautiful and clean. The gorge is 25 km long and the rapids range from class III to V. This place is heaven for kayakers.

Dora Baltea, a river that runs through Aosta Valley, has the most amazing whitewater in Italy. There are rapids with class III to IV, but also there are sections for beginners, so that everyone can enjoy what they want. The rapids are really challenging and only experienced people should try them.

If you are planning to visit countries in Northern Europe and try kayaking there, then you should know that the weather is very cold and calm. There is one adequate saying for the people that visit Northern Europe: `there is no bad weather, there is only poorly dressed people´.  You will need just good warm clothes and rain clothes for the weather there.

If you don’t like the cold, you should visit the countries between mid-June to late August.

What are the dangers of kayaking in northern Europe?

There are no specific hazards to be especially aware of when visiting these countries and when you kayaking. The safety of people is on first place, so you should not worry about that at all.

But, for sure, there are some things to consider, and that is: to always wear a life vest or PFD. Second, it is very important to hydrate yourself because kayaking uses a lot of your energy. Third, if there is a little rain then it is not dangerous and you can still kayak, but if you encounter any sign of a thunderstorm you need to stop kayaking and find some cover. Fourth is hypothermia and cold shock. Cold shock and hypothermia are risks especially in places like countries in Northern Europe, where the water is very cold. Cold shock is something that happens to your body when it is immersed in cold water. Because there is a huge difference in the temperature between your body and the water, that affects your body and causes changes in blood pressure, breathing and panic can set in. Hypothermia occurs after prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, whether in water or outside. That’s why it is important to be wearing the right clothing and equipment.

What wildlife would you see?

There are polar bears, different types of birds, seals and walruses that can be seen while kayaking. It is really worth visiting those places and fully experiencing nature and wildlife.

If you go to Ireland, you can see the dolphins, sharks and sea otters. You should be careful and not get into dangerous situations.

Kayaking is a really special sport and is very healthy for your body and mind. If you still haven’t tried it, it is never too late. It doesn’t matter if you are 16 or 60 years old, you can still try it and enjoy it. For those who tried kayaking, the mentioned destinations should be on their list for visiting and experiencing all the adventurous things they offer. The earth is waiting for us to explore, so what are we waiting for?

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