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Authored by Jyotsna Ramani

So you love being on the water, and always admired others who enjoy getting out on their own and kayaking away. But perhaps you’re worried that you’ll find yourself paddling around in circles for most of your day.

Even if you have never kayaked, there is no need to fret: there are plenty of fabulous spots for kayaking beginners all over the world. And the great news is that kayaking is a great sport for any beginner to learn.

It’s relatively simple to pick up kayaking, and this is a great way to get close to nature, and access remote sightseeing that you wouldn’t usually be able to enjoy on land.

The following are the best kayaking spots around the world for beginners. If you find yourself in one of these destinations, consider renting a kayak!

7 Kayaking Spots Around the World for Beginners

Na Pali Coast, Hawaii

To enjoy the raw natural beauty of Hawaii, head towards the Na Pali coast. Kayaking is an excellent way to discover this awesome stretch of Hawaii; the region is known for its towering pali, or sea cliffs, punctuated by narrow valleys, streams and cascading waterfalls.

You can get to the coastline via boat, helicopter or hiking. Enjoy the glorious views as you paddle past the cascading waterfalls and the green cliffs. You can find a list of good paddles from dreamguides.

Na Pali coast Hawaii

Image credit: brains!

Hebrides, Scotland

Scotland may be a bit colder for kayaking but is most beautiful. Just make sure you don’t fall in the water!!

The Hebrides is located towards the north-west coast of Scotland and is very remote. There is very little human activity here, but kayaking beginners are sure to feel comfortable on lodge-based tours among the beautiful islands of Barra and Uist.

With both open seas and more sheltered sea lochs this region allows you to fully exploit the best and possibly worst of the Scottish weather.

Enjoy paddling in the clear turquoise waters, and crossing over to Jura to witness the world-renowned Corryvecken whirlpool, one of the biggest whirlpools in the world.

Hebrides Scotland Kayak Canoe

Image credit: Justin Kauffman

Baja Peninsula, Mexico

To maximize your chances of paddling alongside marine mammals, go kayaking off the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. You’ll often find yourself sharing the water with dolphins, sea lions, and whales.

The warm, clear waters here are commonly recognized as the best for sea kayaking. However, you do need the best inflatable kayaks like these to soar through the seas.

You can take an escorted tour or simply join a kayaking trip for beginners. If you are lucky, you might have the opportunity to jump out and swim with a whale shark!

Image credit: James Kelley

Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

The Dalmatian Coast is Europe’s most unspoiled coastline, and people travel from all over the world to experience its crystal clear waters and stunning mountain scenery.

Kayaking here offers the chance to explore remote, little-traveled islands, paddle clear turquoise waters to beautifully wooded islands, hike to historic ruins and meander through red-roofed villages.

There are some truly rich historical and architectural features along the Dalmatian coast, as well as seldom-visited areas of stunning natural beauty that you are able to take in with your kayak.

Kayaking RF

Image credit: Dean Ward

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Fjordland National Park in New Zealand is most famous for being home to Milford Sound. This is arguably the country’s most beautiful fjord; consistently rated as New Zealand’s top attraction and considered to be the eighth Wonder of the World by Rudyard Kipling.

Visited by nearly a million people annually, Milford Sound can be accessed by boat, road, or scenic air flight. The park is home to some of NZ’s great walks, including the well known Milford Hiking Track which passes through mountains and temperate rain forest.

It runs the longest-serving kayaking business in New Zealand, and you can paddle amid the intimidating landscape with a group or under an experienced guide. Keep an eye out for the southern brown kiwi birds and the rare flightless kakapo!

Kayak RF

Photo credit: Sander Wehkamp

Vancouver Island, Canada

Vancouver Island is one of the best places in the world to spot wild animals, and one of the best places for kayaking beginners.

Enjoy the beautiful views of the water as you paddle and feast your eyes on the stunningly beautiful mountains and verdant forests. You may just get to see hundreds of orcas, black bears, and bald eagles, especially if you are there from June to October.

Fishing is a popular passtime here (Vancouver Island is home to some of the best Chinook (King) and Coho (Silver) salmon fishing in the world, even when compared to neighboring Alaska) so you’ll likely see many people out on the water in a fishing kayak.

Door County, Wisconsin

Get to the uninhabited islands in Green Bay and Lake Michigan to kayak alongside limestone bluffs, and sea caves. This is a fine spot for kayak beginners as well as a fun spot for families.

You can paddle on the calm waters here for hours, or opt for guided paddling excursions. However keep in mind that you might need a bit more muscle power, depending on the winds. It sure makes for an exciting trip!

PRODUCTS YOU MIGHT LIKE FOR KAYAKING. CLICK TO VIEW ↓

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Walant Women’s Halter Bikini

Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask

GoPro Hero4 Black (Underwater Camera)

SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓

Jyotsna is a globetrotter who loves the great outdoors and doesn’t miss an opportunity to strap on her backpack and head off to explore new places. Then, she comes back to jot down her adventures on her blog WanderWithJo.com

Her passion for travel continued to grow as she started exploring South East Asia solo. There was no looking back and now she is constantly on the move, traveling full time and exploring everywhere she can go!

    32 Comments

  1. Milford Sound looks brilliant Jo. We missed it; doing a good 4 trips during our 10 days in Timaru was enough last month on the South Island. But booked whenever we decide to return to NZ. Laying over in Hawaii next week as we fly back to New Jersey but alas, only 4 hours. Oh well. When we meet again, Hawaii. Lovely post and great to see you here again.

    • Sounds like you have the perfect excuse to return to NZ at some point Ryan – yes, there’s SO much of the South Island to see, quite impossible to get everything into one trip 🙂

      Maybe your next trip to the Pacific region can have an extended layover and spend a couple of days in Hawaii 😀

      Safe travels!

  2. Love kayaking you should check out Fornells Menorca amazing food and the best kayaking😀

    • You are welcome there is a whole inlet at Fornells so completely safe for watersport beginners and lovely tiny beaches to paddle up to also huge bonus you can put up on a small stone beach right at Sa nansa cafe the have a real family friendly menu 🙂

    • Sounds awesome, I love discovering fun new spots, thanks!

  3. Hebrides, Scotland is so wonderful and cool place. For kayaking your sharing places are perfect. I love to Kayaking and I enjoy it.

    • So glad you enjoyed the post Jeams – happy kayaking! And yes, the Hebrides is great!

  4. Avid kayaker here, great info. Florida Keys is my favorite. Last 5 years I’ve done 100 miles in 7 days. Key Largo to Key West for wounded warrior. Love the water and color of the keys.

    • So glad you enjoyed the post Bruce – wow that sound like an epic journey around the Florida Keys! Such a beautiful area – I lived in Fort Myers for about a year, so we were fortunate enough to visit a couple of times. Didn’t make it into a kayak, but we did do a lot of snorkeling – the water is so impossibly clear!

  5. Flam Norway to be dwarfed by the fjords or Dubrovnik Croatia for the turquoise waters. Kayaking always gives you the opportunity to see a place from a different perspective.

    • I would LOVE to make to to Norway at some point, I imagine it would be very similar to New Zealand in terms of the mammoth fjords. A great choice for a kayaking adventure! Agree that you see a place from a new perceptive when you’re on the water 🙂

  6. Great list. Croatia is getting higher on our bucket list, but we have never been kayaking. If we make it there someday soon, wee may have to try it 🙂 Thanks again for sharing. Happy travels.

    • Thanks Samantha! So glad you enjoyed it – I hope you do manage a trip to Croatia at some point soon, it’s an incredible country. Definitely keep the idea of renting out a kayak in the back of your mind for when you do 🙂 Happy travels!

  7. Menorca Island, Spain, and the Caribbean! Has to be warm and sunny!!!

    • Will have to add them all to my kayaking bucketlist! I’m in winter in Australia right now, so the Caribbean is definitely a welcome thought :D!

  8. I loved my kayaking experience in Andaman Islands.

    • What an awesome place to kayak Amit! I’ll have to get there at some stage with our kayak 🙂

  9. Love kayaking! Amazing places. But some pictures are of a canoe. 😅

    • Thanks for the heads up Doug! We’ve obviously confused the difference between the two 🙂

  10. Ohh WoW…..👍👍

  11. From my personal experience, I can confirm that Croatia and the Dalmatian coast are a great place. I was there before years and it was wonderful. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to go kayaking. But, I will definitely do it next time…

    • So glad you had a wonderful time Simeon! Perfect excuse for there to be a next time 😀

    • Thanks Harry, glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Jon 🙂 Happy kayaking!

  12. Those are all such amazing destinations and I would love to visit them all. I have only been in Croatia and on east coast of Canada. Exploring them from kayak and on the water seems like a great and different experience. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Janja, Croatia and Canada are both such incredible destinations. Hopefully we’ve inspired some ideas for your next trip/s 🙂

  13. There are inflatable kayaks that are made with the same material used in boats the US Coast Guard and rescue crew use. You have quality kayaks and boats such as those made by Sea Eagle, Innova and Zodiac that offer nothing but the best materials to build their inflatable water crafts.

    • That’s fabulous to hear Jerin, we had an inflatable kayak for a little while in Florida though it eventually burst holes! Will definitely put in the research to organize a quality and durable product next time 🙂

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