Coniston Water (Wikimedia : Thruxton)

Kayaking Experiences in Europe… An OAR-inspiring (sorry) Activity

This post was brought to you by guest author Ricky Sutton.

Locations in Europe abound with opportunities for water exploration: Venice and Amsterdam are some of the few destinations where taking to the water is not only advised but it also provides visitors with a rare perspective to appreciate their beauty. Taking to rivers and canals offers tourists a fresh view of the city, and is a relaxing way to explore the hidden nooks and crannies of an urban landscape. However there are many places that offer stunning visuals from the water and, ever increasingly, it is becoming more commonplace to take advantage of them. One of the most intimate ways in which to do this is through kayaking or canoeing – an activity that is becoming more accessible thanks to the variety of companies facilitating trips through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe.

Although some forms of kayaking can be quite an adrenaline rush, we’ve opted for the more calm and relaxed alternative to the white-knuckle white water rafting options out there. Our intention is to give you an excuse to float and amble along a waterway while taking advantage of the opportunity to appreciate some untouched natural beauty.

Anyone with at least a moderate level of fitness can participate, and many companies – especially those offering sea kayaking excursions – offer a period of training for those who are unsure of their skills. Feeling all adrift as to where to experience your water-based wander? Check out the suggestions below before setting off on your maiden voyage.

Kayakers view of Lake Coniston Cumbria

Coniston Water (Wikimedia : Thruxton)

Coniston Water, Cumbria, England

With its stereotypically wet weather keeping you damp enough, England may not be your first choice as a destination for a holiday centred around a water-based activity. However, areas such as the Lake District (above) and the many rivers that run through the countryside, including the Helford River in Cornwall (below), lend themselves nicely to ambling afternoons of drifting along while you take in some stunning scenery.

There are also some trips that pass through more urban areas, giving visitors a fresh look at the ways cities adopt and influence waterways, and even some eco-friendly canoe trips that require participants to collect their own food by foraging for it along the paddling route.

Kayakers view of Lake Coniston Cumbria

Helford River (Wikimedia : Thruxton)

Milos, Greece

A sunnier destination, Greece has fantastic summer weather and plenty of gorgeous water from which visitors can enjoy its picturesque scenery. Sea kayaking is extremely popular here, and is a great way to see parts of the islands that may not be otherwise reachable. The main sea kayaking centre is on the island of Milos, with the company catering to kayakers of all levels; those with more experience are allowed more freedom to explore during the guided days and those with less experience are assisted as necessary.

Milos Island

Milos, Greece (Flickr : Allesandro Loss)

Kupa River, Croatia

A recent newcomer to the EU, Croatia has lots to offer as a European tourist destination. In particular, both sea and river kayaking are available here in a variety of stunning locations. Giving you the chance to float in the warm and crystal clear Adriatic Sea above sunken ruins or the remains of an ancient Roman bath, sea kayaking in Croatia makes for a rich and incredibly scenic holiday.

Sea kayaking in Croatia

Sea kayaking in Croatia (Flickr : Allesandro Loss)

Reykjanes, Iceland

Iceland is truly a mystifying land. Home to numerous natural spectacles that captivate visitors and locals alike, it is an island that warrants revisiting, calling people back time and time again. A great way to experience its deeply sublime landscape is to sea kayak in the geothermal pools of Reykjanes. While many activity providers offer camping options for participants who prefer a more extended wilderness experience, those more inclined to home comforts can book a day trip. Either way, those who take part will glide past glaciers, seals, and a host of other wildlife.


About the Author: British-born Ricky Sutton now lives in Berlin where he works for GoEuro, a multi-mode travel search engine and writes for the GoEuro blog. He loves Berlin’s location as an excellent base to explore the rest of Europe.