Planning for Kayaking Greece and the Greek coastline? The Greek Islands that are set within the Mediterranean are some of the most beautiful places to explore in all of Europe and even the whole world!
The problem is there are about 6,000 of them in total in which only 227 of which are inhabited.
So, which Islands are the best for sea kayaking trips and which are better for single-day trips? Read more below.
Before we get any further I will provide a necessary kayaking checklist for Greek kayaking tours.
Table of Contents
For Day Trips
- Life Vest specific for kayaking
- Rescue Sling
- Spray Skirt (if going far)
- Dry Bags
- Whistle (necessary)
- Good Quality Paddle
- Bilge Pump
- Floatation piece in your kayak (usually a piece of styrofoam)
- A Snack
- Lots of Fresh Bottled Water
- Hat and Sunglasses
- First Aid Kit
- Camera (Optional)
If you do not have a kayak or don’t want to invest in one just yet fear not! We will mention locations where you can rent a kayak and they will provide the necessary safety equipment for you.
For Multi Day Trips
- Life Vest
- Rescue Sling
- Spray Skirt
- A few Dry Bags
- First Aid Kit
- Good Quality Lightweight paddle
- Paddle Float
- Bilge Pump
- Repair Kit
- Duct Tape
- Enough Food for the Trip (2 day trip 3 meals)
- Snacks (like granola bars) in between meals
- Sleeping Bag and Pillow
- Signal Flare
- Phone or walkie talkie and waterproof case
- Broom (Optional)
- Flash Lights
- Pocket Knife
- Sunglasses, Sunscreen and a Jacket for Rain
- Tent and necessary accessories
- Camera Gear (Optional)
- Underwear, long and short sleeve shirts, synthetic socks, pants, bathing suits, hats
- Water pail and pot as well as something to hold onto
- Bug Spray, Bug Net (Optional)
- Flash Lights, Lanterns spare batteries (battery powered or fire powered)
- Head Lamp
- Waterproof Matches
- Folding Axe or saw and shovel
- Bag for Garbage
- Camera/ Cell Phone
- Fishing Rod (Optional)
- Tackle (Optional)
- Fishing Licence (Should you fish)
For a Complete Guide check out this excellent resource we regularly check. This may seem like a very overwhelming list but it is always better to be over prepared than under prepared!
Now that we got all that out of the way let’s get to the Top Sea Kayaking Destinations in the Greek Islands.
Best Day Trip / Rental Greek Kayaking Tours & Destinations
Santorini is a great destination to go if you want to rent a kayak and explore the many wonders of this island. There are many different tour options from different sea kayak companies that cater to all paddler levels.
There are many different routes that you paddle along that range from a half day to a full day of kayaking. Some worthwhile highlights include paddling by the volcano, snorkeling/ swimming in crystal clear waters as well as having a unique greek dinner should you go the full day route.
The most popular tours include South Discover (Half Day), Caldera Crossing (Full day) and Round the Lighthouse (Full Day)
Athens: To the Temple of Poseidon
While you are touring the mainland of Greece you will be paddling by a few Greek islands along the way. You will start by paddling along the Athenian Riviera to up along the coastline of the Saronic Gulf.
Between beaches, you will stop and swim/ have a snack before seeing the Temple of Poseidon by kayak. You will also get to explore an ancient temple with entrance fees being included within your tour.
This experience is limited to a small group size of 10 or less to give it a more intimate feel and allows you to interact better with the tour guide.
If you guys are avid readers of AGreekAdventure then I’m sure you have read about Chris and Mary’s adventure to Skopelos.
Some highlights to this trip were a great beach breakfast, kayaking through caves, swimming through crystal clear waters and setting up camp and indulging in some fresh vegetables, pasta and Skopelos meat pie and desert!
This is a great kayaking trip for paddlers of all different levels who want to explore all the landscapes that Skopelos has to offer.
Top Guided Greek Kayaking Tours & for Multi-Day Trips
By far the biggest island in the Greek archipelago, Crete has something for just about every paddler as you can choose to do a guided day tour or be more adventurous and go on 10-day expedition! There are eight types of expeditions that you can choose from including:
- Kayak West Crete: Advanced (10 Days)
- Kayak South West: Easy (4 Days)
- Kayak Eastern Crete: Advanced (8 Days)
- Kayak South Crete: Intermediate (8 Days)
- Kayak North Crete: Advanced (10 Days)
- 8 Days Multi-Sport: Advanced (Includes Hiking Climbing, Sea Kayaking)
- Kayak Sporades: Intermediate (6 Days)
- Southern Central Crete: Intermediate (3 Days)
In the view of Stelios Asmargianakis who is one of the sea kayaking experts in Crete, it is a good idea to allow yourself to stray to Northern Crete. While Southern Crete is marketed to be the better location Northern Crete gives you many secluded beaches as well.
Some highlighted routes in the northern part of Crete include the Southern Chania region, where you paddle from Chora Sfakion and end up at Agia Roumeli, the Southern part of Rethymno region where you start at Plakias town and end up at Agios Pavlos beach.
Finally, if you enjoy some open ocean you can start at Kokkino Pyrgos marina and head southwest to Heraklion towards the Paksimadia islands.
Kefalonia is one of the best sea kayaking destinations that has something for everyone in terms of multi-day tours. Some of the things that are included in this 7-day sea kayaking tour include:
- 11 Meals (4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 3 BBQs)
- 4 Over Nights at Apartments
- Sea Kayaking Equipment
- Snorkeling Equipment
- Camping Gear (Minus Sleeping Bag)
Some highlights on this trip include paddling through fishing villages located in isthmus of Assos, the Aristocratic town of Fiskardo, Snorkelling in Afales bay, visiting Kioni, and sampling unique Greek delicacies that each town has to offer.
There is also a 12-day circumnavigation of the whole Kefalonian coastline, as well as a 6, say self-catered sea kayaking trip where food is not included.
The Ionian islands are ideal for extended, multi-day explorations. The sea is warm and calm, and almost always has perfect kayaking weather.
You can paddle down the west coast of Kefalonia and Ithaca for days, staying nights in picturesque historical inns and spending days exploring sea caves and rock formations.
The west coast of Kefalonia features Myrtos Bay, the most photographed beach in Greece. Assos village has fantastic cliffs and an ancient fortress.
Fiskardo is a historic village that is unlike anything else in the country. Phoki Bay holds a maze of sea caves and tunnels, the remains of an abandoned limestone mine.
Samos offers folks a variety of day trips, extended day trips to Multi-Day Trips that combine pristine beaches with giant green mountains, waterfalls and everything in between.
They also can arrange custom trips for exclusive kayaking that is an idea for friends, families and cruise travelers.
The multi Day trip is a duration of 5 days that takes you from Karlovasi to Ireo which is a total of 38 nautical miles.
This trip is for more advanced paddlers as you are expected to paddle 9 miles per day. It includes:
- Sea Kayak and Equipment
- Qualified Guide
- Almost all Meals
- 3 overnight stays at apartments
This is a great trip to take if you have some paddling experience already but want to hone your skill with more difficult conditions such as strong winds and consecutive hours paddling.
Sea Kayaking in the Aegean Sea
The island of Skopelos is ideal for those looking for a real kayaking adventure.
It has sea caves, hidden beaches, tunnels, and stunning cliffs. Skopelos is surrounded by many smaller islands, which are homes to all kinds of sea birds.
Kayakers often get visited by a pod of dolphins that makes the area their home. Sometimes whales even swim past the island. Seals and sea turtles can be found everywhere.
Some of the rock formations off the coast are amongst the most stunning in the world. The crystal-clear waters are also ideal for snorkeling.
Naxos island is a wonder. The houses are all built together so that the entire village is part of one giant structure.
The streets are a maze that leads to an ancient Roman fortress in the center. The waters around Naxos are as warm as bathwater and colored like gemstones.
Kayakers can explore all around the island, with its hidden beaches and rock formations, in a day.
These locations are just the tip of the iceberg for Greek kayaking tours, as there are plenty more high-quality destinations that deserve mentioning such as Messinia, Epidavros, Nafplio, and many others.