Does kayaking in Finland sound exciting to you? Well, that's because it is! We had an unforgettable kayaking experience which we would like to share with you! In this blog post, we will also introduce you to Natura Viva, a great kayaking operator in Finland which will make your tour even more excited! Ready?
SEE ALSO: One of Our Short Breaks in Finland
Ok, first of all, thanks to Natura Viva for having us and making our trip to Finland even more adventurous! What you probably don't know yet, with this kayaking trip, one of my dreams came true! Since I was little, I always wanted to independently float on a river or sea and to my imagination, this would be on a kayak! Every time I have found myself on the water, I was canoeing, boating or stand-up paddling, but never kayaking. This time, I finally got the chance to try it out. And I can tell, this was just the beginning!
Would you go kayaking in Finland?
So who is Natura Viva? It is a licensed Finnish kayaking operator with a team full of passionate paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts. The adventurous kayakers invite you to join their courses, trips and exhibitions every summer from May until August. There is a kayaking tour for total beginners, the "Let's Paddle Tour" (36€), one tour is for people who want to see the Helsinki city from the water, the so called "Helsinki City Kayak" Tour (49€), and there is this exciting tour which we had the chance to join, it is named the "Helsinki by Kayak" Tour (67€). On that tour, you can observe the beautiful archipelago of Helsinki! But prepare for the probably most unique tour - the "Midnight Magic tour" (73€) - it is kayaking through the night! Wow. Nonetheless, if you prefer an independent water adventure, go for it, Natura Viva is also renting out canoes and kayaks! Go and check their website for other services and tours too, but hey, stay with me for a bit longer to read about our kayaking experience in Finland!
Let the Kayaking in Finland Begin
Since we wanted to skip the sightseeing of Helsinki and spent more time in the nature, we decided to arrive to the paddling centre independently by car. Why am I saying this is, if you're
signing up for the kayaking tour and you're in the city centre of Helsinki, don't worry, you will get a lift by the tour operator who will drive you to the starting point of the kayaking
tour. Everything will be arranged for you. The paddling centre is just a half an hour away from Helsinki, on the map it is on the south-eastern coast of Finland. Once there, you get all
the necessary equipment from Natura Viva, from paddles to safety jackets. To my surprise, you get even a sandwich and a bottle of water, so you don't really have to do the big
Once all group members gathered, including us two, and were wearing the right kayaking clothes, we could choose our kayak (yay, I got the green and Jerry the red one), got the instructions on how to paddle, fixed our bottle of water on the kayak and whoops, we went out on the sea! My fears while being on the kayak were: "What if I suddenly roll over and my head appears to be under the water?" Our tour guide calmed us down, apparently these kayaks are very stable and it is quite impossible to roll over. Yay, problem solved. Let the kayaking in Finland begin!
It was a great feeling to paddle out on the sea, it seemed, every group member enjoyed their kayaking experience! Two of the tour guides joined our group in order to check out for our safety. We always made a stop if someone wasn't keeping up with the group but simultaneously the kayaking wasn't too slow. For me, it was perfect, a bit of paddling, a bit of a break. A good balance. Exactly how I imagined kayaking in Finland would look like - a relaxed adventure ;)
What I won't forget is the impressive coastline we were paddling along! Maybe I couldn't really take the perfect shot of it while being on a kayak but the small islands with the pine trees and the typical red stones beaches were so inviting! I could imagine owning one of the islands there and building a small wooden house on it! Hihi.. Of course, many people had the idea before, that is why we saw many cute vacation houses on the islands. The funny thing is, both Jerry and I compared the stones with the ones we have seen on our trip in the Seychelles! Crazy :)
After a while of paddling, it was time to do a break. We placed our kayaks on a small island, got rid of the equipment at the beach and followed our tour guide to the grill place where we would have our sandwiches (also vegetarian ones!). Besides the meal, we were also offered a very healthy drink, called Sea buckthorn, which contains more than 60 antioxidants and is rich in vitamin C. You see, kayaking in Finland comes even with some healthy stuff!
Cheers mates! :)
Afterwards, it was informative to cast a glance at the map, showing different options of kayaking routes. This time, we apparently went for a different one, not being marked on the map. However, you will most likely receive a map if you go for an individual kayaking tour in Finland with Natura Viva.
To my joy, on our way back to where we placed our kayaks, there were many raspberry and blueberry plants with its delicious fruits, just waiting to be picked by Jerry and me! Hihi.. Yummi!
It was another half an hour of paddling until we almost reached the paddling centre - it followed a competition - who will be the first at the coastline. Yeah, it was not me, not Jerry, someone else was the winner :) But hey, the whole kayaking in Finland was amazing! To give you an overall picture of it, the rest of the group met at 10 am in the city centre of Helsinki, at 10:45 am we started to paddle and at 2 pm we finished our kayaking tour. A great way to spend time in Finland!
While the others headed back to the city, we enjoyed some tranquil moments at the beach of the paddling centre. We felt happy and relaxed, Jerry even went for a swim on that sunny, warm day in Finland. Well, after sunbathing and a short nap, our next stop was Porvoo... but let me tell you also...
What to Take on a Kayaking Tour?
Important to say, you can take with you all you want, because you can leave your bag in the van at the starting point of the kayaking tour and even place the more valuable stuff in a locker at the paddling centre. Consider wearing a swimsuit in case you'd like to jump into the water. Well, if you go on the tour at the end of the summer, respectively at the end of August as we did, consider wearing something warm in order to prevent freezing moments :) Besides of the clothes, you can take a waterproof bag with you where you can put your camera and gopro - this is how we did it. But actually you don't really need that camera, all photos will be taken by the tour guide too and will be sent to you afterwards!
Is Kayaking in Finland Worth it?
So what's the deal with kayaking in Finland? Is it worth trying? Yes, yes, yes! It's totally worth it, especially, if you ask me, in countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway and New Zealand, where there are great waters and some very beautiful corners, which are not accessible by car. It's a great way to see a country's landscape! Well, for me it belongs on my list with my best travel moments: "The Best Moments in My Life While Travelling". We are already planning the kayaking in Finland for the next year. Looking forward to it!
Here is our GoPro Hero4 video about our short adventure trip to Finland, and also with some recordings of our kayaking tour!
Have a look:
Many thanks to Natura Viva and its team for hosting Jerry and me on the Helsinki by Kayak Tour. We would definitely recommend the kayaking operator to everyone who is interested in adventure travel in Finland. All opinions are, as usual, mine.
Now the big question, who wants to try out kayaking in Finland? Any adventure souls out there? Let me know in the comments