Best places to go sea kayaking

Wherever there is a bit of coastline, sea kayakers will try to bag it. It is a growing sport and can be found just about everywhere these days. We have a few favourites, not just because of the variety of scenery and wildlife, but also because they are places where excellent instructors and guides have been drawn to. These are sea kayaking destinations that are not about making a killing out of kayaking. They are places that sea kayaking professionals have sought out because of their passion for wilderness. And we like to follow the experts. Not just because they know all the best spots, but because they also value good local infrastructure and support, from conservation to rescue organizations. Because, although sea kayakers thrive on peace and solitude, they also appreciate the teamwork that goes into making the activity wholly responsible and reputable.

1. Canada

Sea kayaking vacations on the west coast of Canada are a cocktail of paddling panacea with a serious twist of wildlife. Let expert guides lead you through the waters of British Columbia on trips that will get you back in touch with the ancient traditions of sea kayaking. You can go wild camping and or stay with First Nation Communities who know these waters better than anyone. Waters that are home to orcas, and watersides that are home to grizzly bears.

2. Croatia

Say the word archipelago to any paddler and their eyes light up. And with over a thousand islands along the Istrian and Dalmatian coasts of Croatia, you have a lot to choose from. Only a handful are populated, and many of them have green interiors, so each time you come across one it is like finding another jewel in the Adriatic. So, it is worth putting a pair of hiking boots in your dry bag for sea kayaking in Croatia.

3. Iceland

There can be few lesser-paddled places than Iceland, and if you're looking forward to fjords as well as beaches, seabirds and saunas then Hesteyrarfjordalur and Veidileysufjordur are definitely the best settings to start sea kayaking. Paddling distances around 20kms enables access to Iceland's least accessible, yet most beautiful, coastlines where waterfalls tumble, glaciers glisten and seal colonies make sea kayaking an absolute thrill, even for beginners.

4. Indonesia

Exploring Komodo National Park by kayak is stunning. There is so much variety and longer expeditions are recommended. Swimming and snorkelling play a big part of a kayaking trip here, as the marine wildlife is omnipresent. There is so much to explore you are out of your kayak almost as much as you are in it, with mangrove islands, waterside villages and waterfalls to investigate and, the ultimate aim for many, to see the world famous Komodo Dragon.

5. Montenegro

Sea kayaking along the Bay of Kotor lets you paddle into a giant 28km fjord-like inlet which extends all the way from the Adriatic Sea to Kotor's UNESCO-listed Venetian fortifications. Along the Adriatic there's also over 100km of shoreline to explore afloat, all enveloped by the Orjen Mountains to the west, and the Lovcen mountains to the east, keeping those winds at bay. Or not at bay, as the case might be.

6. Sweden

Sweden’s Saint Anna archipelago contains more than 6,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited, to enable sea kayaking adventures to evolve as effortlessly as paddles passing through water. Wood fired saunas by the sea are just as commonplace as freshly grilled fish suppers with a great many wild camping spots allowing for endless opportunities to go with the flow.

7. Wales

Pembrokeshire is the kayaking hot spot of Wales and, as a National Park, it is not only highly respected, but also has brilliant facilities. High quality kit makes kayaking a year round activity and equally accessible to newbies. There are sheltered bays with caves and sea arches which up the exhilaration factor for beginners. But for the more advanced, Ramsay, Skomer and South Bishop islands are paddle paradise, although with strict access rules.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Sea kayaking or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Responsible Travel recommends

Jon Kellie , sea kayaking guide with Preseli Venture, our supplier in Pembrokeshire, Wales:
"The fact that this is a national park means that you can paddle ten minutes from the shore here and be totally secluded. And not see a building or a phone mast or anything. It really is a wilderness environment."
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Aaron Burden] [Canada: shankar s.] [Croatia: Sorin Cicos] [Iceland : Jeremy Bishop] [Indonesia: Charlie Marchant] [Ireland: Hauke Musicaloris] [Montenegro: Jocelyn Erskine-Kellie] [Sweden: Richard Mortel] [Wales: David Evans] [Jon Kellie Quote: David Evans]