Sea Kayaking and Canoeing in Greece

Sea kayaking is a great activity for you who enjoy activities in nature, love the sea and like a bit of exercise while exploring the sea and the amazing Greek coastline. A coastline with more than 3000 kilometres full of history and myths. From your kayak you will discover turquoise blue waters, lush, green vegetation and many hidden beaches and coves only accessible from the sea. Greece is the ultimate sea kayak destination with stunning and safe seas. 

Sea kayaking in Greece 

In Greece you will find sea kayaking clubs in many parts of the mainland as well as the islands. They are organizing day tours from 2 hours to 6 hours in duration where meals are included on the longer tours. Each tour has a theme of exploration like a sunken city or remote islets. The longer exploration tours are of course more challenging, where you will need to be a skilled paddler.  

Where to go sea kayaking in Greece? 

Travel to Greece - sea kayaks on beach

The best places to go sea kayaking in Greece are in the Ionian Sea among the Ionian Islands and in Milos Island in the Cyclades

Expeditions of 7 days duration 

Some of the sea kayak clubs organize expeditions of 7 days duration, where a huge amount of knowledge will be shared with you, both about the wildlife in the sea as well as the history and mythology of the places you visit. 

Find a list of sea kayaking clubs listed below and join an expedition for the ultimate experience in the Greek marine nature. 

What is a sea kayak? 

Travel to Greece - Sea kayak on beach

A sea kayak or touring kayak is a kayak developed for the sport of paddling on open waters of lakes, bays, and the ocean. Sea kayaks are seaworthy small boats with a covered deck and the ability to incorporate a spray deck. They trade off the manoeuvrability of white-water kayaks for higher cruising speed, cargo capacity, ease of straight-line paddling, and comfort for long journeys. 

What are sea kayaks used for? 

Sea kayaks are used around the world for marine (sea) journeys from a few hours to many weeks, as they can accommodate one to three paddlers together with room for camping gear, food, water, and other supplies. A sea kayak usually ranges anywhere from 10–18 feet (3–5½ meters) for solo craft, and up to 26 feet (8 meters) for tandem craft. Width may be as little as 21″ (50 cm) and may be up to 36″ (90 cm). 

Is kayaking dangerous? 

One of the most important factors about safety when kayaking is for you to wear your life vest. It is not enough to bring your life vest on your boat and not wearing it, you need to put it on and fasten it correctly. PFDs should fit snugly without being too tight but comfortably fastened. If you follow the advice of the professional tour organizer you should be safe in your sea kayak.  

River kayaking can be a different matter, here it is important to notice the difficulty rate of the specific river. You will find a scale of difficulty for Greek rivers below in the text about river kayaking and canoeing. 

The dangers of sun exposure 

Travel to Greece - Sea kayaking in Greece

Another real danger is the sun exposure. While going out for just an hour without sunscreen you might be okay, but if you are out on the water for longer than that, the exposure to the sun in Greece can become a high-risk situation. You may suffer sunburn, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration making your boat trip an unpleasant matter. Do not forget that water reflects the sunlight, so even if you are wearing a hat your skin can still get terribly burnt. 

Canoeing in Greek lakes 

Travel to Greece - Canoeing in Greek lakes

You will find many organized areas for canoeing in Greece. The best places are the lakes in Thessaly – Kremaston Lake and Plastira Lake as well as Lyras Lake in Thrace. Canoeing in Greece is an awesome activity during a holiday due to the breath-taking natural beauty of the landscape. 

Sea Kayak Clubs in Greece 

Canoeing & Kayaking in Greek rivers 

Greece has many great rivers running through the mountains of the Greek mainland and Peloponnese. It is an awesome way to explore canyons, gorges, old monasteries and traditional villages while simultaneously getting a bit of adrenaline in your blood. The different rivers are to be found at various rates on a scale of difficulty, ranging from I to IV, where Greek rivers have the highest rate of diffliculty at IV. 

The most difficult Greek location for kayaking is a stretch of 48 kilometres of rapids on the Aoos River, starting at Vovousa at Anatoliko Zagori and ending at the stone bridge of Konitsa.  

Rivers in Greece suitable for kayaking

The river Erymanthos is also considered difficult. Other, equally distinct rivers suitable for kayaking are:  

  • Lousios – Alpheios (scale II – III) 
  • Acheloos (scale I), Tauropos (scale II) 
  • Trikeriotis (scale III) 
  • Aspropotamos in Meteora (scale III) 
  • Aliacmon (scale I – IV) 
  • Myleopotamos (scale IV) 
  • Pinios (scale I – III) 
  • Voidomatis (scale III) 
  • Aggitis (scale II) 
  • Nestorios (scale II) 
  • Kalarrytikos (scale IV) 
  • Arachthos (scale I – IV) 
  • Evinos (scale II) 

Best time of the year for river kayaking 

The best season for kayaking is from October to May. However, some rivers are suitable for kayaking throughout the year. 

Canoeing has its origin from the native tribes in North America and the Eskimos of Greenland. Today canoeing is considered an extreme sport and has become a popular adventurous activity in Greece.