An Introduction to Kayaking in Norway

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Kayaking in Norway offers an intimate escape into its fjords and rivers, away from crowded tourist spots, connecting you with nature and Norway's breathtaking landscapes.

Away from the bustling decks of cruise ships and the crowded tourist ferries, a kayak puts you at the heart of nature, allowing you to navigate through serene waters and explore hidden coves and inlets at your leisure.

Kayaking in downtown Ålesund. Photo: David Nikel.
Kayaking in downtown Ålesund. Photo: David Nikel.

As you paddle, the majestic scenery unfolds around you. Towering cliffs rise dramatically from the emerald waters, waterfalls tumble down the mountainsides, and wildlife such as seals and seabirds can often be spotted in their natural habitat.

The advantage of kayaking is not just in avoiding the crowds, but also in the ability to access areas that are otherwise unreachable by larger boats.

For those new to kayaking, Norway offers a variety of guided tours that cater to different skill levels—from beginners to seasoned paddlers. These tours provide not only the necessary equipment, such as kayaks, paddles, and safety gear, but also expert guidance to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

For the more adventurous, there are opportunities to engage in multi-day kayaking expeditions. These longer trips can include camping along remote shorelines, providing a full immersion into the wild and pristine environment of Norway’s coast.

Whether you seek a tranquil afternoon paddle or a multi-day adventure, kayaking in the fjords and rivers of Norway is an exceptional way to connect with nature and experience the country’s famous landscapes from an intimate perspective.

Norwegian Fjords by Kayak

From early May to mid-September, numerous kayak rental companies along Norway's major fjords offer guided tours for beginners and equipment rentals for the experienced.

Kayak centre at Flåm. Photo: David Nikel.
Kayak centre at Flåm. Photo: David Nikel.

Guided tours provide valuable insights into the local geography and points of interest, and are ideal for those who may feel apprehensive about kayaking solo.

The fjords, being distant from the open ocean, ensure these excursions are calm and family-friendly. Kayaks are often double occupancy, making such tours an ideal choice for couples.

Choosing either option allows you to experience the fjords from a unique, low perspective, where the towering cliffs closely bordering these waterways become even more imposing.


Geiranger and the stunning Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site, epitomise Norway's dramatic beauty.

This idyllic village, surrounded by towering mountains and cascading waterfalls, serves as a gateway to some of Scandinavia's most spectacular natural wonders, attracting visitors from across the world.

In Geiranger, the sense of seclusion starts even before reaching the water, with the kayak rental facility located a peaceful 25-minute walk away from the bustling village centre, along a gravel path.

Tour options include a 2.5-hour guided tour (NOK 1,045), passing waterfalls, a goat farm, and full of stories of troll mythology. An alternate four-hour tour (NOK 1,378) is long enough to visit the famous waterfalls ‘The Seven Sisters' and ‘The Suitor'.

Kayaks on the shore of the Geirangerfjord. Photo: David Nikel.
Kayaks on the shore of the Geirangerfjord. Photo: David Nikel.

If you just want to rent equipment, double kayaks offer the best value at NOK 610 per hour or NOK 950 for up to three hours. For more details or to book, contact Geiranger FjordService.


Nestled in the heart of Norway, Flåm is a gateway to exploring the dramatic landscapes of the Aurlandsfjord, the Nærøyfjord, and the lush Flåm valley.

Once you've done the world-famous Flåm Railway, how about getting to know the mighty Aurlandsfjord better? One option is a sightseeing cruise, but for a more intimate experience, jump in a kayak offered by Njord Kayak Centre.

Independent travellers super keen on discovering the area by kayak could consider a private three-day tour from Flåm to Gudvangen including camping. No prior experience is necessary and warm meals are prepared by the guide.

Another private tour option is a one-day trip to the charming village of Undredal. Shorter 2- or 3-hour group tours are available in the waters around Flåm, starting at NOK 750 per person.

If you prefer exploring alone, double kayaks are available for rent from NOK 1490 for up to four hours. Pre-booking is only needed for longer rentals. Single kayaks are available for hire only for experienced kayakers.

Norway City Kayaking

The excitement of kayaking extends beyond the fjords. Many of Norway’s cities can also be explored from the unique perspective of the water, offering a distinctive urban adventure.

Kayaks in the Trondheim river. Photo: David Nikel.
Kayaks in the Trondheim river. Photo: David Nikel.

Ålesund by Kayak

Experience Ålesund by kayak and discover the city's wonderful art nouveau architecture from the tranquil waters that surround it.

This unique perspective highlights the charming islands and bustling harbours, making it an exciting adventure for those looking to blend urban exploration with the serenity of sea kayaking.

Kayak More Tomorrow offers extensive kayak and hiking tours of Norway's nature, but also a more manageable 2-3 hour exploration of Ålesund's waterways. Expect countless photo opportunities and a guide full of local knowledge.

Trondheim by Kayak

Explore Trondheim by kayak and navigate its historical waterways, viewing the city's rich heritage from the calm Nidelven River that winds through it.

This vantage point reveals intimate glimpses of the old timber houses, the city bridges, and vibrant city life. It's the ideal tour to combine cultural discovery with the peacefulness of paddling.

A two-hour tour with Trondheim Kajakk is enough to see the highlights of the city. Rates start at NOK 790 (guided tour) and NOK 490 (rental only). You'll need to take a local bus to the meeting point, but once you've returned to the city via the water, you can drop off the kayak downtown.

Kayaking in Lofoten

Discover Lofoten kayaking in the stunning Arctic landscape of Henningsvær. Paddle along the rugged coastline, serene bays, and discover hidden beaches.

Experience unique midnight sun tours, and encounter local wildlife like sea eagles, seals, otters, and whales. This vibrant fishing village is a gateway to thrilling outdoor adventures and rich cultural stories.

Henningsvær Adventure Sports offers three-hour tours in the daytime and evening, and even winter options. Tours begin at NOK 900 per person and no experience is needed.

White-water rafting

If a gentle paddle lacks thrill, consider white-water rafting on Norway's rivers, ideal for all skill levels.

Extreme-sports hub Voss offers a three-hour rafting experience starting at NOK 1,250 per person, with a minimum age requirement of 12. Other options are available.

Have you ever taken a kayak trip in Norway? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences down in the comments.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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