Water Sports in Scandinavia
Scandinavian countries all have a close association and long history on the water…remember the Vikings? Here you’ll have pristine waterscapes in which to kayak, canoe, and sail, enjoying fabulous views of fjords and beaches. Don’t forget that invigorating sauna and swim at the end of your active day!
Denmark is the ideal destination for an active holiday in the blue element. Set sail in calm, deep fjords or the small sounds ringed by beach trees. Klitmøller and Vorupør are names that ring bells with surfers around the globe – there’s no need to wait for the wind to come up because it’s always windy in Denmark. If you spot a surfer with a sail caught high in the wind instead of fixed to the board then you’re looking at kite surfing, the latest trend in surf sports. Canoeing might appeal if you prefer calmer communion with water; Denmark has countless navigable rivers. Prefer a kayak? Then into the fjords and inshore waters you go, or at the other extreme, take a sea kayak in the Copenhagen canals for sightseeing.
Kayaks and canoes are the way to a lot of fun in the waterways of Norway. Close to Bergen, the Nærøyfjord is perfect for paddling. Western Norway has dozens of fjords worth checking out but there great opportunities for canoeing and kayaking throughout the country. Paddling along the Telemark Canal or on Lake Femunden in the wilderness of Hedmark is especially popular. You can also go sea kayaking on the Oslofjord or on one of the many lakes in the forests that surround Oslo. Sea, river and lake paddling are three different experiences, but each one offers a special closeness to nature and the chance to observe bird and wildlife that motor noise would never allow. You also have the option for a variety of scuba diving; for the ultimate indulgence go above the Arctic Circle, where you might get the chance to dive with the magnificent killer whales during the winter season.
Take your canoe and glide silently and smoothly across a clear lake in Finland. One of the best places for canoeing in Finland is on the extensive waterways of Saimaa. You can choose a short, relaxing canoe or kayak trip lasting a few hours, or go on a trip lasting days or even weeks. Routes are varied, mainly sheltered and suitable for both canoeing and kayaking. And if you get hungry, Finland's salmon rivers offer fly-fishing enthusiasts splendid opportunities to wear down genuine whoppers.
With an enormous coastline exquisite and diverse archipelagos and at least one hundred thousand lakes, Sweden has more then a lot to offer those in search of aqua. Activities include windsurfing, diving, sailing, cruising, swimming, skiing and so much more. Hundreds of canoeing routes criss-cross Sweden from north to south. Paddle to places the larger boats never venture and find your very own tranquil paradise on some deserted island. Seeking something a bit unusual? Then build your own timber raft using only logs and rope and go rafting down a river, or try wreck diving on one of thousands of sunken ships along the Swedish coast. It’s said that diving to an undisturbed wreck is like travelling back in a time machine.
Some places in Iceland, where swirling glacial rivers race over rugged terrain on their way seaward, the scenery looks custom-built for river rafting. Thre’s a choice of routes with different levels of challenge - for newcomers who want to experience the basic thrill and more difficult rides for the really wild at heart. Kayaking just off the Icelandic coast is an unforgettable experience; lucky kayakers might also get a close-up glimpse of a seal or rare birdlife.
Thanks to an abundance of hot water, swimming is probably the most popular activity in Iceland. Almost every town and village has a swimming pool, usually outdoors, which is filled with hot water to a comfortable temperature and kept open year round. Many people enjoy swimming lengths in the pools, but most go to sit in the circular “hot pots” and have a good chat with their friends.