The Best Places to Kayak and Canoe in the World
Kayak and canoe trips offer nature enthusiasts some of the most thrilling adventures imaginable, be it paddling through Alaska’s coastal bays, gliding through France’s river canyons, or discovering an African delta teeming with wildlife – they all provide unforgettable experiences.
Slovenia’s River Soca is known for its mint-green waters and stunning mountainous backdrop. Both experienced paddlers and those just starting out enjoy deep gullies and pure white water; its banks are lined with willow trees.
Alaska’s vast wilderness is an ideal setting for paddlers. Paddle along a tranquil lake shore searching for marine wildlife or explore fjords and mountains encircled by towering glaciers for an incredible kayaking adventure. There is also plenty of opportunity to spot land wildlife from puffins to majestic bald eagles soaring overhead!
Anchorage offers an exciting and scenic paddling adventure at Jewel Lake, which only allows non-motorized watercraft. Paddle in peace while exploring nearby wooded parks or wilderness areas around this serene body of water.
Kenai Fjords National Park offers one of the finest kayaking experiences available in Alaska, featuring Ailik Glacier in all its spectacular glory. Get close and listen as giant ice blocks calve off of its surrounding cliffs; an experience truly spellbinding! Alternatively, white water rafting on Nenana River near Denali National Park provides equally thrilling thrills; be sure to use an experienced local guide as this will add local knowledge that could prove invaluable during this excursion.
Canada is an idyllic paddler’s paradise, boasting more than one million lakes and 202,000 kilometers of coastline – it also hosts some of the finest canoeing trips on offer worldwide.
Banff National Park stands out among paddleboarding destinations as one of the premier paddling destinations, boasting vibrant emerald- and turquoise-hued glacial lakes framed by towering mountain peaks that create one of the country’s premier paddling experiences. Its idyllic waters make an unforgettable backdrop to this unforgettable paddleboarding journey.
The Nahanni River is a legendary Canadian wilderness route, straddling the border between the United States and Yukon Territory. Paddlers traverse a breathtaking landscape of canyons, waterfalls, and hot springs teeming with Trumpeter swans, grizzlies, woodland caribou herds as well as over 180 bird species that call this home.
Quetico Provincial Park in Canada is another top canoeing destination worth exploring. Home to over 600 lakes and over 1,000 backcountry campsites, Quetico Provincial Park draws paddlers who want a serene wilderness experience. It features islands dominated by birch trees and white pine; indulging in incredible sunset views while paddling alongside water lapping beaches will bring it all home for you!
France offers some of the world’s most breathtaking kayaking. The country’s azure coastline features picturesque bays and coves with incredible azure waters and picturesque backdrops; kayaking can also be done on its inland waters, such as its rivers with wilder features.
Ardeche Gorge stands out as a premier kayaking destination in France, drawing over 200,000 paddlers each year and becoming overcrowded during peak times. The river’s stunning gorges will leave you spellbound – don’t miss a trip there.
Canoeists should definitely consider paddling the Dordogne River. This river winds past many breathtaking villages deemed among France’s most stunning, from Argentat all the way down to Beynac with medieval fortresses keeping watch from above and plenty of river beaches where picnic lunches can be enjoyed along its length. Along this stretch also lie walnut orchards, duck farms and houses strewn with colorful geraniums!
Paddling along Germany’s lakes and rivers is an enjoyable way to discover this country, often giving you a quiet ride as motor boats are banned – and you’ll get closer views of all of the native species that live here!
The Mecklenburg Lake District is especially stunning during May and June when thousands of water lilies bloom across its peaceful waters. Beginner paddlers may want to start out slowly while more experienced paddlers may wish to take on longer excursions in this region.
Near Paris, the river Marne offers a tranquil paradise that’s ideal for canoeing and kayaking tours. Paddle down peaceful canals before passing old boat houses at Fanac Island.
Sylt Lake on the North Sea is one of Europe’s premier tourist spots and an ideal canoeing location. The shallow waters are calm enough for novice canoeists and the white sand beaches would look right at home on any tropical paradise! Paddle past charming harbour towns adorned with German architecture and breweries before stopping to sample local pastry shops’ offerings.
Norway offers breathtaking scenery, unspoiled natural beauty and authentic activities – making it an ideal kayaking destination. Paddlers will find themselves zipping through bubbling rapids, deftly navigating narrow inlets or skirting the edge of jaw-dropping gorges in Norway’s dramatic coastlines and rivers; paradise for paddlers of any kind!
Fjord Norway seems tailor-made for paddleboarding, offering endless islands, reefs and straits ideal for beginners. Or head north of Norway to Svalbard – an idyllic archipelago where polar bears outnumber people while the Northern Lights decorate the sky with color!
Go to Hamar, an attractive city on Europe’s largest lake, to spend several days paddling your kayak out into its calm waters, paddling to remote islands and coves surrounded by lofty mountains. Additionally, tours visit Saimaa lake system, featuring numerous lakes and islands–Linnansaari Island is home to endangered seals–perfect for an exciting weekend trip or mini expedition! Simply spending some time exploring and wild camping will leave you feeling rejuvenated and restored!
In Northeastern Spain’s region of mountains, lakes and cliffs lies Cellina river’s magnificent limestone gorge carved by its fast torrents – perfect for thrill-seeking speed-chasers – while Lake Barcis offers more tranquil paddle boarding experiences.
Kayaking allows you to discover the uncharted corners and crevices of this coastal landscape, from hidden coves and coves, through mazes of channels, forests and dunes, all the while being surrounded by rare flora and fauna as well as abundant migrating birds that call this spot home.
Nestled near Lake Pusiano – Italy’s crown jewel of lakes – this lake is an overlooked gem. As you float peacefully across its tranquil waters, grand old stone mansions line its banks while low green hills dot the horizon; keen photographers will appreciate this hidden treasure!
This lake, framed by towering mountains and snow-capped karst cliffs, offers a peaceful escape. Kayak tours often stop by waterfalls and caves as well as Tay families living nearby who live alongside it; making this activity suitable for beginners as well as families alike.
Tasmania is an amazing natural wonderland, from crystal-clear lakes to glacial rivers. Once likened by some early colonists to pre-industrial England, today this compact island brims with mountains, pristine forests, grassy moorlands, coastal heaths and vast temperate rainforests – an unimaginably diverse environment!
The island’s southwest region is dominated by a national park that holds some of the best-preserved temperate rainforest in the world, as well as wild rivers flowing through gorges covered with moss-draped trees and class II-IV rapids that offer progression paddlers a thrilling challenge and suspension bridges that offer photo-worthy rest stops. Storms River Gorge, known for its white water adventure with class II-IV rapids for progression paddlers and its picturesque suspension bridge offering rest stops, stands out among these rivers as one of renowned white water destinations on Earth.
Footprints Vietnam provides canoe trips through the tranquil Ba Be Lakes as an unforgettable highlight of any canoe trip, partnering with local communities along the way and offering home-cooked meals around a campfire at night. You will glide among its 6,000 islands of this archipelago while camping on various lakes en route and camping out near them at night – this truly makes an experience unlike any other!
Namibia offers the ideal outdoor adventure destination with its coastline of sand dunes and ocean filled with crashing waves – and is therefore a top adventure travel destination. In particular, Namibia’s remote northern regions feature granite inselbergs, empty valleys, desert terrain and semi-nomadic Himba people living semi nomadic lifestyles – canoe safaris through wild reserves offer truly off-the-beaten-path experiences!
Namibia boasts beautiful rivers and waterways ideal for canoe trips, with several rivers available for exploration on multi-day canoe or kayak safaris that include both paddling and camping. If you opt for full participation canoe or kayak safari, paddle all day while camping at riverside lodges or supported campsites at night.
For maximum luxury, choose a canoe safari featuring a mobile tented camp. These camps will feature comfortable tents with hot showers and meals that match those found at more permanent facilities.