Canoeing opens up a new way to experience the Baltic Sea

A kayak glides on the water without a sound. A summer breeze cools you down under the scorching sun. Is that a seal basking in the sun? Only the lapping of the waves and the gentle splash of the paddle in the water add to the hum of the wind in the reeds and birdsong up in the sky. Engines make their noise elsewhere – in a kayak you are one with the sea.

The enticing islands and bays of the Finnish coast offer a magnificent setting for canoeing. You can watch nature from a unique perspective and travel in areas where a boat cannot go. Go on an adventure and leave the busy weekdays behind! 

 The tip of the canoe heading out towards the sunset.
Relax and admire the sunset over the water.

The coast offers a variety of canoeing sites

Canoeing routes and distances are easy to plan according to your skills and the time available. A beginner can spend a few hours in the archipelago in calm weather. As you gain more experience, you try longer trips lasting several days, even when winds are higher. 

You can rent a kayak or canoe from any town along the coastline, while municipalities and recreational areas offer various canoeing areas and routes. Canoeing services are also available in more remote regions: in addition to equipment rentals, national parks offer cabins and campfire sites, as well as guided canoeing trips. 

The Kvarken World Heritage site and the national parks of the Archipelago Sea, in particular, are full of new things to see and experience!

 A SUP board gliding on a calm lake.
The calm weather makes for a relaxing paddle on the SUP board, allowing you to move around effortlessly.

Remember the proper equipment

You can easily pack a tent and food for a one-week trip in the archipelago at the bottom of your kayak or canoe. However, check where you can refill your water cans if you are planning a longer trip. A tandem kayak or a canoe also has room for smaller children. Do not forget sunblock or insect repellent during summer!

Choose your watercraft according to where you are planning to go. A canoe is ideal for calm weather and sheltered bays, while a kayak is the better choice when travelling in the open sea. There are also differences between kayaks: whitewater kayaks are shorter and easier to manoeuvre than touring and flatwater kayaks.

Also protect your equipment against water –you cannot go canoeing without getting wet, especially at sea. but when the weather gets colder after summer, you can still go canoeing, enjoying the comfort of a drysuit. 

Learn about safety in a canoeing course

You do not need any courses to get started, but there are plenty of courses to choose from if you are interested in paddling techniques, basic gear and safety. Canoeing clubs and partners of Metsähallitus and national parks arrange courses for beginners.

As always when going outdoors, first aid and navigation skills are vital. Canoeing often presents hazards when going ashore on slippery rocks and when lifting canoes and kayaks. Read more about canoeing!