Sea Kayak Europe
Surrounded on three sides by seas, and with hundreds of rivers and lakes, Europe is a paddling paradise. We’ve chosen a few beautiful destinations that offer a superb European kayak adventure! Our lodge-based kayak tours in the warm waters of the Mediterranean are idyllic. Scotland’s Whisky Trail blends scenic paddles with cultural immersion. The mix of paddling by day with comfortable, authentic local accommodations at night, makes for the perfect recipe for a life-enriching journey.
Imagine paddling along the dramatic and mountainous coast of Corsica just south of mainland France. Or in the turquoise waters of the Adriatic off the coast of Croatia; the deep-blue of the Ionian Sea along the coast of Albania and Greek island of Corfu or; the lapping waters of Scotland’s Atlantic. The paddling is generally moderate on these trips, although we can lengthen distances and options for more enthusiastic and experienced kayakers.
For nature-lovers, the mountainous island of Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon, is like nowhere else in Europe. Unlike Sardinia to the south, which has developed much of its coastline, Corsica remains wild and sparsely populated. Our French kayaking tour, Compelling Corsica, features a mix of hiking and sea kayaking. The trip is planned to allow for maximum flexibility so we can hike or kayak on various days, depending on the weather. A highlight is paddling in the UNESCO World Heritage area of Gulf of Girolata and the Scandola Reserve. Pink sandstone cliffs, mountains that jut abruptly from the sea, warm, welcoming water and delicious French cuisine make this trip a winner! In fact, it was chosen by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their 2015 Tours of a Lifetime!
Further east we offer a couple of kayaking options in the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Our signature Three-Country European kayak tour features paddling in Croatia, Montenegro and Albania! No one other than Sea Kayak Adventures offers this incredible combination of culture and kayaking. Starting in the legendary walled-city of Dubrovnik, we paddle a few days in the Elafiti Islands where cobble-stone beaches, centuries-old stone houses and magical azure waters await. Lodging is in a local bed and breakfast with delectable Croatian meals each day. We paddle to and from our base island each day, exploring the beauty and intrigue of the area.
From here we head south to Montenegro for a kayak tour of Kotor Bay, another Renaissance-era town with narrow streets and warm architecture. We continue south to overnight in the coastal town of Budva. Our next morning takes us to Albania, the once-forbidden country that only opened to tourism in the 1990’s. Here we have a marvelous mix of kayaking the Ionian sea and experiencing the unusual mix of Ottoman-era architecture and culture influenced in the past century by close ties to Italy. The local cuisine expresses this mixed pedigree in scrumptious meals that are the best of what is today considered Turkish cuisine, with a splash of Italian influence. We meet and interact with many locals along the way as we learn about the fascinating and complex history of this corner of Europe.
We also offer a sea kayak and walking tour set entirely within Albania. Our Kayaking the Ionian Sea trip offers a more complete introduction of the country and explores more of the interior. Albania is a tapestry of Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture and history. The coast of white-sand beaches and rocky coves leads to a mountainous interior with spectacular peaks, pastoral valleys and wild river canyons.
For those seeking a to explore the north of Europe, our Kayaking, Walking & Whisky – Scotland’s Highlands & Coast is an excellent choice with some of the best sea kayaking in Europe combined with hikes to explore sites and culture of the Scottish Highlands. On this kayaking tour of Scotland, dramatic scenery of rugged coastline and verdant landscape join with castle ruins for a deep dive into history.
The trip explores Cairngorms National Park as well as the Scottish Sea Kayak trail, among many other highlights. We stay in quaint country inns and small hotels, and visit several whisky distilleries as we journey. A perfect blend of activity with culture, this is a trip to love.
The turquoise waters of Turkey are steeped in history and magic! Join us to explore ancient Greek and Roman ruins, paddle between villages set among olive groves and swim in warm, transparent waters. While this is a new trip for 2021, we've been going to Turkey since 1984 and know the country and its coastline well. Superbly friendly people, one of the greatest cuisines in the world, and charming hotels and inns for comfortable overnights, make this a marvelous trip. Add time in Istanbul before or after your paddle, where Byzantine and Ottoman architecture graces one of the most dramatic cityscapes you'll ever find. For those with a bit more time, also consider visiting other-worldly Cappadocia.