Kayaking

Kayaking

With nearly 3500km of coastline and hundreds of lakes, steams and rivers, paddling is a top activity in Victoria. Not only does it allow a close up of the marine life that calls the coast home, but kayaking also gives a unique outlook on Victoria. It’s a great way to take advantage of an aspect that makes the place so special in the first place. In fact, Victoria and the West Coast of British Columbia have been rated as one of the best kayaking destinations in the world. Stunning by virtue of its unique and rugged coast, it’ll be tough to disagree after the first trip out there. The nearby Gulf and Discovery Islands create a near endless expanse of territory to explore and each expedition is a brand new adventure.

Photo By: © Natulive Canada

Photo By: © Natulive Canada

First time paddlers can rest assured that most kayaking companies do tours geared towards beginners. They go over technique and water safety before departure, and the paddling routes are do-able by almost anyone. Most tours start off at or near the Inner Harbour, granting an unparalleled viewpoint of the cityscape of Victoria from the water. Most tours pack in plenty of educational breaks and sightseeing stops, so there’s no need to worry about getting tired out there. Those who are perpetually in the water and have a handle on what they are doing can book longer tours and even overnighters, or simply find a place that will rent out gear.

Photo By: Lisa Hammel Gesner

Photo By: Sam Vandervalk

Kayaks are quite stable boats, typically made of fiberglass or polyethylene. Light and with double ended paddles, they’re cut smoothly and easily through the water. As far as exercising goes, this is a pretty painless option. Pack a friend into a double for added entertainment and test out communication and coordination. Waterways in Victoria are quite sheltered, which is why it’s such a fantastic place to paddle. The Gulf and Discovery Islands, the Gorge Waterway and Inner Harbour are the highlights, but there are plenty of lakes, streams and rivers to explore if freshwater is preferred.

As far as gearing up goes, athletic clothing is the best bet. Strapped sandals or waterproof shoes, lots of sunscreen, lip balm, a hat and sunglasses for those sunny days are also a good call. Chances of ending up completely soaked are small, but paddles tend to dribble.

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