what’s the kayak scene in Iceland like? how long does the season last? is paddling done throughout all of the island’s coast line?
Never saw a kayak Sea or WW
Regretfully no vital information for you despite the scenic sights everywhere along the coast. With the Gulf Stream ending up around Iceland, one would think Kayaking would be popular provided one wears a dry suit. Been in an out of Iceland numerous times over 12 years, though my last vist was 2001 (9/11). From a White Water stand point, opportunities exist as well. Though the one Water Falls exceeds Nigra Falss in height and water volume. Bottom line, never saw a wind surfer or kayaker along the major coast lines south and west of the island. Beautiful island well worth seeing for the natural beauty. Some roads are closed October through March/April. Good luck, Mark
Kayaking in Iceland
Never been, but on my list of places to visit. I believe Wendy Killorin (SP?) who posts here very seldom now has paddled there. I know she has lots of friends on PNET in Canada who could put you in touch with her.
There is lots of Kayaking going on in Iceland. Most of the people I know that do it are from Norway. Here is a video of some crazy guys going over Waterfalls in Iceland (mostly from Norway but the end of the video is Iceland, scroll down the link to the video that says Vahalla Norway and Iceland or something like that)....
There is also lots of seakayaking going on. There are tours organized in Norway or Denmark ... here is a link
If you google for "Island kajak" or " "Island sjøkajak" you can find lots of outfitters. You might need to know how to read Norwegian, Danish or Icelandish however.
Liketill og Hilsen
on the circumnav attempted by 3 world class sea paddlers i think i read/heard that it had to be aborted due to an injury/illness and then a subsequent storm that lasted several days that pinned them down.
i think too that i remember reading that during the storm, the blowing, drifting volcanic sand had to be taken off of their tents lest they collapse beneath the weight...that they had to dig out their gear after the storm. essetially that the trip could have easilly ended in a much worse way.
something like that...
you probably aren't planning and "expedition-y" thing and surely iceland is a very large place with varied conditions but keep all that in the back of your head...maybe a good place to have lots of research into.
An alternative to Iceland?
If you want a northern paddling destination that offers lots of variety and fun places to explore, consider Shetland. The scenery and paddling are - as the locals say - "brilliant" and it's lightly populated enough to feel pretty remote. When we went in July of '04, there were many days where we never saw another boat, not just no kayaks, no boats at all. The only sounds you hear are from the wind, sea and wildlife. You can camp pretty much anywhere you can land, if that's the type of trip you're planning. If not, accomodations are readily available onshore. In the summer, it basically never gets dark, so long paddling days are possible. It's interesting to come home at 9PM in broad daylight. The convoluted shape of the islands and relatively short driving distances means that you can always find sheltered water to paddle in, regardless of the wind direction. To top it off, we found the people to be incredibly friendly, though they do talk a wee bit funny. ;-)
I've got lots of pics of the trip at:
If you're interested, I can put you in touch with the head of the Shetland Canoe Club. If you join the club for ~$40, you can borrow boats from their fleet of rotomolded VCP Skerrays and Avocets for the duration of your trip.
The expedition refered to was actually succesful. But they did have a miserable time on the south coast, due to high winds driving the black sand.
The west and northwest coasts are quite beautiful, lots of fjords. There are also kayaking clubs around, mostly on the east coast.
Contact Shawna Franklin and Leon Somme at
Also, Justine Curgenven soloed the west and north coasts. Contact her at
never been, but seen some magnificant photos.
I have, when in Anglesey, paddled with a group that live in Iceland. Super nice folk, I seem to remember that one of them occasionally checks in on this message board.
spoke with them…
...the part i remember so vividly is their being so miserable....my impression from their tale alone was that it was a place worth lot's of research before getting on the water.
Here's a guy who seems to know Iceland well: