Eurfirst Kayak Trip in Europe

Revised February 2019

Postwar Europe discovered kayaks as a great way to explore the rivers that flow across the continent and the canals that have been built to link those rivers; the more adventurous have discovered the excitement of whitewater in the rivers that drain the Alps. Many Europeans spend summer days on the calm lowland rivers enjoying the beauty and invigoration that comes with a pleasant paddle in the countryside. The leisurely pace of a kayak trip down a river may be the best way to meet the people of Europe and learn about their communities and culture.

Kayaking Areas in Europe

Getting a Boat in Europe

You may wonder, as I did, whether it makes sense to ship your own kayak to Europe. The first question you should ask is how much kayaking you will do in Europe. If you pnly plan to spend a day on a river looking at hilltop castles from a distance, you need do nothing more than rent a kayak for the trip. But if you plan to do a long trip, more than a couple weeks, you may prefer bringing your own kayak or making some type of lease arrangement with a kayak company. Our experience is that we spent $30 to $40 a day to rent a boat for 2, so that we would have to spend a fair portion of our trip on the water to justify the expense.

The cost of shipping a 15-foot kayak to Europe is about $400 and takes about 3 weeks; double the amount to get the kayak back from Europe, and you'll realize that it is probably best to buy, lease or rent while in Europe.