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.
Image credit: brains!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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