Article by Thomas Mogensen, sea kayak guide in Norway and adventurer.
Paddling kayak in Norway is amazing. The possibilities of paddling come with great variety in nature and landscape, but also in paddling skills. Since sea kayak is my thing, I will focus on that.
There are just as many opportunities and variations for white water paddlers in rivers and streams.
For sea kayaking, or more specific, tour paddling, you have coastal variations from cosy archipelagos to sandy beaches with big waves and even steep high mountains rising thousands of meters up from the deep.
The Norwegian coast is huge, with many narrow fiords. Inland you can paddle on beautiful lakes, glacial water, channels and even bigger slow stream rivers!
Here are some of the Best Places to Kayak in Norway…
Lovatnet – A Glacial Lake Adventure
The water comes from the glacier Jostedalsbreen.
The melting water gives the lake this magical emerald colour. For going to Lovatnet, you must go to the small village of Loen. The surroundings are also amazing for hiking. You might find the lake on Instagram as well, as it has become very high ranked on many people’s bucket list.
Næroyfjorden – A Long Narrow Fiord
This Fiord is on the UNESCO heritage list.
The fiord is about 200 meters on the narrowest and the highest peak at the fiord is about 1800 meters above sea level. This place is not crawling with people yet, but it is starting to get famous. It’s sister fiord, Aurlandsfjorden, is the end station of the Flåmsbanen, which is heavenly beautiful and has been popular on Instagram. It attracts many people, that also take a sightseeing to Nærøyfjorden. But still you can find silent spots. Especially in the low season.
Storglomvatnet – A Glacial Lake in North of Norway
Here it’s possible to paddle all the way to the glacier, laying about 500 meters above sea level.
This lake is difficult to find and not know to so many people, which means that you often can enjoy the silence and getting really close to nature. The ice tastes amazing and would fit into any fine scotch whisky.
Hamarøy – An Area With A Lovely Archipelago
This place is right south of Lofoten.
But while Lofoten is getting overcrowded in the summer because of Instagram and other medias, Hamarøy stays completely untouched, only to meet locals. And for my opinion, Hamarøy actually offers much better kayak possibilities than Lofoten. Easy to park the car, easy to find protected waters and many places to put up a tent, since there are no other people. Another paddle paradise.
Andkilvatnet – Another Hidden Pearl In The North
This place is mostly just known by locals.
If you drive from Oslo to Lofoten, you will pass it without knowing it is there. Right north of the small town of Fauske, you will find this beautiful lake, that is just as beautiful summer as winter. Besides, there is a great trout fishing, but you would need to buy a license for a lower cost.
Who Am I?
Paddling has been a big part of my life, since I started paddling in 2014.
The first course I took, was north of the arctic circle in wintertime, wearing a dry suit and several layers of wool underneath. Snow on the ground and the water just above 0 degrees Celsius. This experience was special, and I got gripped in a way, that I got totally carried away. The love to sea kayak and especially paddling in remote and rough places was born.
Now 6 years after, I have become a skilled paddler and even got educated as instructor and guide, so I can take people out the same way and some of the same places, that took my breath away. Mostly I have been paddling in Norway and Sweden, but I even discovered places in Denmark. I do micro adventures like day paddling.
But often I bring a tent and food with me, for being able to stay out for several days.
The special thing to stay out for several days is, that you in some way, become one with nature. It gets used to you and accept that you are there, giving your own place, like the animals and like the flowers.
When getting around with a kayak, you easier melt in with nature. A boat where you literally sit in the water, instead of above the water, like a canoe or a boat. When getting closer to the surface and moving silent forward, you don’t seem that scary so many of the animals, like bigger vehicles would.
My first kayak was a Tahe Marine Reval Midi PE, a good starter for varied paddling. The kayak I paddle now is a Zegul Bara composite kayak. Great kayak that are fast but still very manoeuvrable. It handles waves fine, but might seem a little lively to beginners, though it is very stable. It performs well both for day trips and longer multi day explorations.