As colder weather grips the northern hemisphere thoughts of warmer climes are understandable. Paddling for some does tend to get put on the back burner when colder water and air temps are in the mix. With that in mind here’s some of the best locations for a spot of Winter kayak touring.
We love the Spice Isle of Grenada. Sitons’s friends Conservation Kayak run a superb touring set up operating from Whisper Cove Marina in Woburn Bay. From this put in there are a plethora of different routes you could follow (conditions allowing). One of the most fun is circumnavigating Hog Island, with a lunchtime stop half way.
Not only do Conservation Kayak chaperone you along the journey, they also impart their knowledge about the delicate Grenadian eco system – educational and active to boot, what’s not to like?
Zante, Zakynthos (Greece)
Zante might be more associated with the summer booze ‘n’ burgers crowd – you may have heard of the infamous Laganas Strip – but get yourself off the tourist path and you’ll discover a stunningly beautiful Greek island.
The jewel in Zante’s crown, from a kayaking perspective at least, are the stunning blue caves – accessible by kayak from Agios Nikolaos port. With its sleepy feel and handful of tavernas, all serving local fayre, it’s a cracking little spot to put in and a few paddle strokes north will reveal the Blue Caves.
The adventurous, and prepared, may even fancy the trek round to Shipwreck Bay. Inaccessible by land it’s another stunning Zante location that’s worthy of inspection – even if only gazing from the viewing point perched high above on the white cliffs.
Lefkas is known throughout the boating world and each summer attracts hordes of yachties. Off season is much quieter with enough watery space to explore via kayak. Horizon Watersports are based out of Nidri town and have a fleet of Perception kayaks ready and waiting for your piloting skills.
Straight off the beach are a variety of different routes to check out with offshore islands, nooks, crannies and secluded beaches begging to be checked out. And although it’s not 30C+ degrees, as in summer, the temperature can be pleasant and perfect for quaffing a post session sundowner.
Yep we love the Caribbean, after all who wouldn’t? With tropical temperatures and abundant warm water to paddle upon it’s a great part of the world for kayak touring adventures.
While the northern half of Antigua experiences the Trade Winds blowing onto beaches it’s the southern shores around English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard that offer the casual kayaker most interest. Here you’ll find shelter from the wind and chop with a multitude of bays to explore. And let’s not forget the historic element of this part of Antigua – all best experienced from the water of course.
If you fancy an even further flung destination then a visit to the Valley Isle of Maui – part of the Hawaiian Island chain – could be worth a go. Polynesians are some of the oldest practitioners of paddle sports so if you did choose to head here then you’d be in good company.
While huge waves pound the northern shores in winter it’s the southern side of Maui that offers most appeal for sit on top kayak touring. The epicentres of Lahaina and Kihei are where you’ll find the easiest and mellowest put ins – unless a southern swell is running. On less hectic surf days spots around Kanaha on the north shore would be fine – the offshore reef keeping waves at a distance.