Kayaking is an awesome way to see some of the most beautiful natural destinations in the world – whether it’s the fjords of New Zealand or icebergs in Greenland. There’s something unique about viewing these world-famous sights from the water.
Now you’ve absorbed plenty of kayaking tipson your kayaking for beginners course, bought your essential kayaking kit and you’ve watched all the kayaking videos that you can find on the internet – it’s time to make your kayaking adventure a reality. Which one will you choose first?
MILFORD SOUND, NEW ZEALAND
Deep in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island, you will find some of the most beautiful fjords in the whole world. Milford Sound is among the most famous, surrounded by towering lush green peaks. Writer Rudyard Kipling described it as the “eighth wonder of the world”. You can see why. Rosco’s Milford Kayaks is the longest serving owner operated sea kayaking business in New Zealand. You can paddle these waters with an experienced guide from Rosco’s team from NZ $109 per person.
NA PALI COAST, HAWAII
If you want to see Hawaii in all its raw natural beauty, then you need to head to the Na Pali coast in Kauai. The 17 mile coastline can only be accessed by hiking, helicopter or boat. Kayaking is an awesome way to discover this untouched stretch of Hawaii. Paddle past green cliffs and cascading waterfalls. You might even spot a dolphin or shark in these warm waters. Napali Kayak run daily kayaking adventures along the Na Pali coast.
Head to Vancouver Island off the west coast of Canada to spot wild animals in their natural habitat. Johnstone Strait is known for being the best place in the world to go kayaking with orcas. Situated in the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, you will be surrounded by ancient forests and stunningly beautiful mountains. From June to October, you can see hundreds of orcas gathering here as well as black bears, bald eagles, Pacific white-sided dolphins and humpback whales. Spirit Of The West Adventures run expeditions to see orcas for all paddlers including kayaking beginners.
DALMATIAN COAST, CROATIA
Some people say Greece is the most beautiful place in Europe. Others say Italy. We would argue Croatia is up there as one of the most stunning spots, especially for those who love kayaking. Crystal clear water, scorching hot summers, historic architecture and hundreds of coves to explore. It’s not hard to escape the crowds and find yourself alone on your own private beach. Adria Adventure Tours organise holidays for kayaking beginners all over Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast – from one day excursions to week-long trips.
If you are big fan of whales, sea lions and dolphins, then you need to go kayaking off the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Just south of California, the Baja Peninsula is the second longest peninsula in the world. The warm, clear waters of the Sea of Cortez have regularly been voted one of the most spectacular places for sea kayaking. Join a kayaking for beginners course or just hop on a guided tour tour of the area. You may be lucky enough to snorkel with a whale shark. Sea Quest Expeditions offer kayaking tours around the Baja Peninsula with specific trips to see blue whales and grey whales.
Scotland is a little colder than the other kayaking destinations on this list but no less beautiful. Nestled away off the north-west coast of Scotland is one of the most remote parts of the United Kingdom. If you want to go somewhere wild with very little human activity, then visit the Hebrides. Kayaking beginners will feel comfortable on Clearwater Paddling’s lodge-based tours to the beautiful islands of Barra and Uist. Some beaches here are surrounded by turquoise water so clear, you would think you are in the Caribbean (cold northerly wind aside).
Everyone has heard of the Whitsunday Islands off Australia’s east coast. The idyllic white sand beaches, the turquoise water filled with coral reefs, dolphins and turtles. I can testify that it’s just as beautiful as the photographs. Kayaking the Whitsundays is a great way to wave goodbye to the crowds at Airlie Beach and discover the quieter untouched side of the islands. Salty Dog Sea Kayaking take kayaking beginners on half-day and full-day tours of the Whitsunday Islands. Experienced paddlers can hire kayaking kit and head off on their own self-guided tour.
TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK, CHILE
Patagonia in Chile is on every adventurer’s bucket list. Soaring mountain peaks, icy glaciers, cobalt blue lakes. You really will feel humbled, surrounded by this spectacular landscape. Swoop Patagonia are experts when it comes to adventures in extraordinary destinations like the Torres Del Paine National Park. Kayaking beginners will enjoy their half-day kayaking trip to Glacier Grey, one of the most amazing glaciers in the region.
Slovenia, you say? While it isn’t the most obvious destination for kayaking beginners, Slovenia is fast becoming one of the most popular European hidden gems. Deep in the Julian Alps, you will find the emerald blue Soca River. It is renowned for being a top kayaking and whitewater rafting destination. Soca Valley Holidays will teach the you basics before taking you down some easy but exciting rapids.
SERMILIK FJORD, GREENLAND
Greenland is the perfect place to get a real taste of life in the Arctic Circle. It’s become a bucket-list destination for kayakers who want to paddle among the gigantic icebergs of this wild island. If you are a keen hiker, you can go on a hiking and kayaking adventure with Tasermuit which is suitable for kayaking beginners. You’ll start with a hike up the Mellem Mountains followed by a kayaking excursion weaving through moving icebergs and spotting seals in the Sermilik Fjord.
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