The World’s Best Sea Kayaking Locations
Over the centuries, we’ve devised numerous ways of traversing the world’s waters, be it as a means for travel or simply for the fun of it. Sea kayaking serves both purposes, and unlike some of its contemporary sports (such as windsurfing), very little experience is needed in order to fully enjoy it.
With only an hour or two of safety training, you can be setting out into open waters on your own steam. The only problem to worry about is when and where to explore?
Sea Kayaking with Orcas
Where: Depart from Port McNeill, Canada
When: July to September (for best chance to see orcas)
The idea of getting into the water with killer whales, on paper, sounds pretty terrifying. In reality, they are graceful, curious creatures which really don’t live up to their name – they’re neither whales nor aggressive. The Johnstone Strait is a gorgeous stretch of water to explore and is one of the best places to see these incredible creature up close, and by ‘close’ we mean swimming within a couple of meters of you!
Deserted Islands of Lake Malawi
Where: East Africa
When: August to January
The astute among you will notice that we’ve snuck this lake into our list of sea kayaking locations. Semantics aside, Lake Malawi (or Nyasa, depending on where you’re from) is pretty much a sea in its own right – it’s the eight largest lake in the world and is reputed to harbour more species of fish than any other body of water on the planet according to UNESCO. If that sounds like a treat to the avid paddler, another bonus comes in the form of its many deserted islands which wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Our favourite of which is Mumbo, which is completely unpopulated save for the rustic private accommodation which is used as a base for kayaking trips.
The Crystal Waters of Baja, Mexico
Where: The Gulf of California (a.k.a Sea of Cortez)
When: All year
Clear blue seas, blissful weather and cocktails on the beach to round off a day on the water… could it possibly get any better than this? There are around one hundred islands in the gulf which is famed for its copious exotic wildlife and flora, and much of it is recognised by UNESCO as a place of unparalleled beauty. While kayaking and snorkelling you can expect to see countless examples of the amazing marine life here, getting personal with dolphins, exotic fish and more than a few different species of whale.
Traverse the Rugged Highlands
Where: Inverness and beyond
When: Late Summer
Okay, it’s not nearly as tropical as the previous entries and the waters are a tad on the frigid side, but Scotland has a unique charm and we can think of no better way of surveying it than by kayak. It’s also a great place to learn the art of sea kayaking since the waters are relatively calm and the scenery is as rewarding as anywhere else on Earth, with myriad islands and prehistoric formations to explore. The finest whiskey on the planet goes down a treat, too!
The Turquoise Coast of Turkey
Where: Southwest Turkey
When: September to November
Turkey’s coastline is an amazing location for both beginner and experienced sea kayakers alike. Heck, it’s just an amazing location – pristine beaches, shallow bays, mountain backdrops and hidden caves come together to make the Turquoise Coast a holiday location par excellence. The great thing about it is that it never feels overly touristy and you’ll often be alone with your thoughts while on the unspoilt sands, and if you didn’t know any better you’d be hard pushed to guess you were in a popular region of the Med. Truly magical stuff.
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