Fatyak’s top 10 places to kayak in Europe
Here is a list of 10 places to kayak in Europe that you might not have thought of! Europe is bursting with incredible kayaking locations and this doesn’t even scratch the surface, but we hope this will inspire you on your next kayaking trip abroad.
Norway, the Fjords
© Chris Street
Norway has more than it’s fair share of awe-inspiring coastline, and if you are a keen paddler this really should make it to the bucket list. There are few places that have the same peace and tranquility to kayak or canoe. At the main towns there are plenty of kayak hire businesses and we would recommend doing this region as a tour if you can, taking camping equipment with you. This way you can start to appreciate the differences in coastline as you cruise through the fjords and make the most of this wonderful destination.
Portugal’s southern coastline is stuffed with fantastic beaches and coves to explore by kayak. The south coast is more protected from the elements which makes for smoother paddling generally than the west coast which is more exposed to the swell of the Atlantic. The Algarve coastline is busy in summer, but full of kayak hire spots and paddling on the water is a great way to get away from the crowds. In Autumn and Spring the temperatures are still high, however the beaches are often deserted, which makes for near-perfect coastal kayaking conditions.
© P. Gonzales
Croatia has a lot to offer in terms of coastline. Pictured above is a castle wall in Dubrovnik, but there are hundreds of miles of coastline as well as islands that make up this region known as the Dalmation Coast. Packed with history, as well as lovely small coves to take an icecream break at, this area makes for a brilliant kayaking location.
© Phillip Cooper
To look at it you might not guess this is Scotland, but it is! Scotland, including the Hebrides and Shetland offer some of the most unspoilt and underrated places to kayak. The sea is teaming with wildlife, including whales and dolphins, and the beaches are as beautiful as any you can find in the world. What’s more, the water is so clear, it is like paddling on glass, offering an incredible new dimension to your paddle. (When the weather is good of course…)!
France, the Ardeche
© Yann Coeuro
See one of Frances most impressive gorges by kayak and you will not be disappointed. Cliffs rising out of crystal clear water that is some of the best for swimming in, wildlife in abundance and patches of rapids make this river a fabulous day out. Pictured is the Pont d’Arc, a natural arch over the river. Many paddlers come here in summer, and so it might be wise to go over one of the shoulder seasons to have the best experience.
Slovenia, Lake Bled
One of Slovenia’s best loved and well known lakes, but for good reason. This huge expanse of still water looks like something out of a fairy tale. There are numerous kayak hire companies based around the waters edge. Enjoy the spectacular mountain views and fresh air as you paddle along.
Menorca, one of the Baleriac Islands off the southern coast of Spain, is a wonderful location for coastal kayaking. Limestone cliffs, arches, caves and stacks give endless days of fun exploring by kayak. There are also an abundance of sandy beaches to pull up on. A great day out for the family whilst on holiday.
© Michael Tyler
If you are willing to head off the beaten track a little, perhaps with your own kayak, then Montenegro has a lot to offer for a keen paddler. The coastline has numerous large inlets, which give lots of opportunities for safe sea kayaking. Large mountains rise up straight out of the water giving a stunning backdrop. Further inland the country is full of long, unspoilt rivers. Winding through magnificent countryside, these rivers make for a wonderful kayak touring location.
© Lex Kravetski
There are many ways to witness Switzerlands spectacular scenery, but by boat has to be one of the best. Here, bright blue lakes are surrounded by the snow capped peaks of the Alps. There are a number of locations on most of the larger lakes where single and multi-day kayak hire can be arranged.
© Ianwool | Dreamstime.com – Kynance Cove Cornwall Photo
Yes, OK we might be a bit biased but we still think Cornwall has some of the best kayaking locations in Europe. Shipwrecks, fossils, caves and coves to explore, fish and chips and Cornish ice cream for afterwards. What could be better?
What are the best locations that you have experienced by kayak? Share them in the comments section below!
The Fatyak Team
Related articles: Top 10 locations to kayak in the UK, Caring for your Fatyak, Transporting your Fatyak, How to Paddle a Kayak. Or look under our top menu to see all our paddling advice and product information.