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The Best Places To Kayak Around The World (ULTIMATE GUIDE)

Mark Armstrong
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Exploring the world from a kayak can give you a fresh perspective on the landscape. Kayaking can also allow you to enjoy the natural world away from busy cities, which is probably just what we all need right now.

Maybe you’re starting to plan your great escape and you’re looking for some of the best spots around the world to kayak. We have put together a short guide to provide you with some inspiration (and some much-needed escapism).

Our Kayak Trip Bucket List: The Best Places To Go Kayaking Around The World

Greek Islands

Greek Islands KayakingPin
Courtesy: Chripell on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Greece has thousands of islands to explore, with many of them uninhabited, making it a fantastic place to kayak, especially if you’re looking for peace and relaxation.

The beautiful islands of the Northern Sporades can make for a great trip, with lots of secret beaches, hidden caves, and breathtaking scenery. A good spot to start is on the island of Skopelos, famous as the backdrop for the movie Mamma Mia. You can rent kayaks on the island and there are guided tours.

The Dodecanese islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea can be ideal for budding archaeologists and history enthusiasts. Paddle through mythical landscapes along rugged coastlines dotted with white villages in Rhodes and Kos or check out the Neoclassical buildings (best viewed from the sea) on the island of Symi.

There are various places to rent kayaks, especially on the islands of Rhodes and Kos. You’ll also find guided sea kayaking tours, including around Symi.


Scotland KayakingPin
Courtesy: Dave Conner on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Scotland is home to a rich array of waters, from rugged coastlines to mysterious lochs and spellbinding rivers. Whether you want to immerse yourself in the scenery from Harry Potter at the tip of Loch Shiel, discover prehistoric villages in the Orkney Islands, or explore the remote white sand beaches of the Western Isles, there is plenty of variety.

There are many places to rent kayaks across Scotland, as well as guided tours in many locations. For the northwest coast, Arisaig and the Isle of Skye can be good spots to begin if you want to explore the rocky coastline.

You can also paddle the 60 miles from Fort William to Inverness along the Great Glen Canoe Trail, covering the famous Loch Ness along the way. This trail follows the Caledonian Canal, which is a navigable route linking the Atlantic Ocean with the North Sea.

> Best places to kayak around the UK

New Zealand

New Zealand KayakingPin
Courtesy: Bernard Spragg. NZ on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

No matter what type of kayaking you want to do, you’ll probably be able to do it in New Zealand.

One unmissable location is Milford Sound, one of fourteen spectacular fiords in Fiordland National Park and kayaking can be one of the best ways to experience it. There are kayak tours available from the village of Milford Sound.

If you’re looking for something a little more tropical, head up to the Bay of Islands where you can paddle up to the Haruru Falls and explore the historically and culturally important area of Waitangi.

There are many islands to explore around the bay and it’s an easy one hour paddle from Paihia across to the historic town of Russell, from where you can set off to explore some of the islands. There are kayak rentals and tours in Paihia.


Norway KayakingPin
Courtesy: Jerdam on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Norway has some of the most stunning scenery in the world, with world-famous fjords, UNESCO world heritage sites, and even the Northern Lights.

The Sognefjord is the longest and deepest fjord in Norway, with many arms that branch off for added adventures. These fjords were created by glaciers two and a half million years ago so there’s plenty of history to explore.

Paddling through the fjords can be one of the best ways to experience the magnificence of this landscape. However, it’s recommended that you have a guide. And to note, some of the glacier lakes require you to have a guide for safety.

There are kayak rentals and tour guides located in many of the towns and villages in the Fjords, including Sogndal, Balestrand, Gudvangen, and Flam.


Vietnam KayakingPin
Courtesy: Hanna Sörensson on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

If you’re looking for exotic, other-worldly scenery, Halong Bay in Vietnam is the place to go. The bay is dotted with mesmerizing islands with limestone cliffs ranging up to 330 feet tall and surrounded by turquoise waters.

There are lots of cruise tour operators located in Halong Bay, including within the Bai Chay Tourist Wharf. A lot of these operators offer kayak rentals and guided tours. Some of them can also sail you and your kayak out to certain spots for launching.

You can explore caves and visit floating fishing villages, such as the Vung Vieng Floating Village.

Final Words

There are so many top kayaking destinations around the world that it can be difficult to narrow them down. But when you’re planning your future trip, we think our favorites should definitely be on your bucket list.

Remember to check travel restrictions and regulations in advance of booking any future trips. And, as with all kayaking trips, remember to wear your life jacket and stay safe out there.


Best Places To Kayak Around The World - PinterestPin

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