Posted on October 25, 2019 by Doug Robichaud
Did you know that you can paddle board anywhere in the world? That’s right, it’s time to take your SUP on vacation to some of the most unique destinations on planet Earth. We’ve done all the research for you and created a list of the 10 best places to paddleboard in the world. We cover everything from how to stand up paddle board the canals of Italy to gliding next to swimming pigs in the Bahamas.
Heaven really is a place on Earth and it can be found in the Islands of the Caribbean. Imagine yourself soaking up the sun as you paddle across crystal clear waters. With over 7,000 unique islands, you are sure to find a soft sandy beach to call your own. From your paddle board, enjoy the Caribbean’s abundant marine life as you float past the world’s finest coral reefs. Keep your eye out for turtles, manatees, iguanas, and stingrays. We recommend booking a SUP tour and exploring the mangroves in Turks and Caicos or the shallow waters full of stingrays in St. Thomas. In addition, the Caribbean is a great SUP destination to try out SUP yoga because the waters are so calm and tranquil.
Best time to visit: December to April
Paddle board past windmills and tulips fields as you explore the beautiful country of the Netherlands. With a plethora of rivers, lakes, and canals to SUP, you’ll never want to leave. The best time to visit the Netherlands is in the spring or summer. This is when the country warms up and the tulips bloom into a sea of blues, reds, and pinks.
If you are brave enough to venture out in the colder months, please make sure you have the proper cold-weather SUP gear. As winter temperatures in the Netherlands normally hover around freezing. We recommend paddle boarding on the Amstel River because you’ll get to view modern European cities alongside a pastoral countryside. Book a SUP tour to explore the city of Amsterdam or the relaxed hamlet of Nieuwe Meer.
Best time to visit: April to October
With over 15 islands to paddle board, Hawaii’s lush lands and flourishing oceans will blow you away. Hop on your SUP and explore Hawaii’s many calm bays and lively coral reefs. While you enjoy the clear blue waters, look down for a chance to see anything from sea turtles to whales. Hawaii truly has everything a paddle boarder could ever want. No wonder why paddle boarding was born here. One of our favorite spots to paddle board in Hawaii is The Secret Falls in gorgeous Kauai.
Best time to visit: April to May & September to October
Alberta is home to some of the most spectacular national parks in the entire world, including Banff National Park. Banff is a paddle boarder’s fantasy destination. It is home to dozens of breathtaking lakes that range in color from light blue to deep turquoise. If you desire a picturesque paddle on the brightest teal lakes you’ve ever laid eyes on, then head to Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, or Peyto Lake. When you paddle out, make sure to watch the shores for wildlife such as grizzly bears, bald eagles, and herds of elk.
One of our favorite things about the national parks in Alberta, Canada is that they are dog-friendly. If your dog loves the water and is a good listener, then learning how to paddle board with your dog will be a breeze. Grab your pup and head to any of the incredible paddle board locations Alberta has to offer.
Best time to visit: June to August
*Paddle boarding in the winter is not suggested, as most of the lakes in Alberta usually begin to freeze in November.
Known as the islands of the gods, Bali is a destination that will not only fulfill your wildest SUP dreams but also nourish your soul. From aquamarine lagoons to incredible SUP surfing, there is a body of water for every paddle board skill level. Treat yourself to perfect rolling waves in the morning, then catch the sunset on crystal clear waters surrounded by ancient temples. Regardless of your SUP abilities, Bali will provide you with a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s also pretty friendly on your wallet.
Best time to visit: April to October
Thailand’s southern islands are a lush playground for paddle boarders. Explore rich lagoons, mystical caves, and an island filled with friendly -- sometimes overly friendly -- monkeys. While some of the islands are tourist hot spots, you can book a paddle board tour to discover remote beaches all to yourself. No matter where you decide to explore, your SUP trip is destined to be filled with lucent waters, dramatic rock formations, and dreamy sunsets. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel gear on your paddle board as there are masses of beautiful fish living among the thriving coral reefs.
Best time to visit: November to April
After you visit the Colosseum and take a picture in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, hop on your paddle board to discover Italy like never before. In Venice, take a tour of the canals on your paddle board. Since the canals are so tiny, your SUP will be able to discover places only very few have ever explored in modern times.
After you’ve gotten your fill of Venice, head to Rome and explore the Tiber River. The Tiber River is a bit more of an intense paddle but you’ll get epic views of the historical Castel Sant’angelo and Saint Peter’s Basilica. We highly recommend booking a tour for each spot. With a tour guide, you’ll get an in-depth account of the history you are seeing and tools to stay safe in the busy waters.
Best time to visit: April to June & September to October
The fjords of Norway offer a rugged SUP destination that’s straight out of a paddle boarder’s dream. Located on the western coast of Norway, the fjords allow paddle boarders to cruise along pristine waters while being surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
If you want to experience the fjords to their fullest, we recommend planning a week-long SUP trip to Norway’s most famous fjord, Nærøyfjord. While you can experience breathtaking views in just one day, a week-long SUP touring expedition will allow you to explore some of the more remote landscapes.
During your expedition, expect to paddle past roaring waterfalls, hidden villages, and humbling mountains. Paddle boarding the fjords in the winter is not recommended due to the freezing temperatures, but if you are daring enough to take on the cold with your paddle board, make sure you are prepared.
Best time to visit: May to September
*Paddle boarding in Norway during the winter months is not recommended due to their low temperatures and lack of sunlight.
If you’re looking for a tropical place to paddle board along pink sand beaches and swimming pigs, then grab your paddle board and head to the Bahamas. With over 2,000 miles of coastline to explore, this will be one of the best SUP trips of your life. Our favorite Bahama destinations include Staniel Cay, Harbour Island, and Compass Bay. Each of these locations offers unique ecosystems packed with diverse marine life. On your paddle board, you’ll get to witness schools of colorful fish, pods of dolphins, and maybe even a sunken plane wreck.
Best time to visit: Year-round
*The Bahamas are located near the hurricane belt, so always check the weather and storm forecasts when planning your vacation.
Make your way to the southern tip of Florida to paddle board the stunning blue waters of the Florida Keys. The Keys are the perfect place in the United States to experience a taste of tropical life. Home to the third-largest living coral reef in the world, the Florida Keys are known for their abundant marine life. Try out SUP fishing or simply enjoy watching marine life glide along the ocean’s bottom from your SUP. The Florida Keys offer warm weather year-round, so don’t be afraid to grab your paddle board for a mid-winter SUP session.
Best time to visit: March to May
*Florida is warm year-round, but if you plan on visiting in the summer you should prepare for hot and humid temperatures. Also, Florida’s hurricane season typically lasts from June to November.
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