Top Paddleboarding Holidays
Being the birthplace of stand-up paddleboarding as we know it today, we just can’t pass over Hawaii as a near-perfect Sup destination. Sunset beach, in Oahu, synonymous with big waves over winter, turns into a SUP mecca during summer, with smaller, more manageable waves. Oahu has a multitude of amazing spots to visit, such as Puaena Point at Haleiwa Beach Park and Lanikai Beach which are both great for beginners and flat water paddlers alike, with easy access and calm, crystal clear waters to explore. With average water temperatures at around 27oC (80oF) it is always pleasant and warm, attracting some amazing sea life, such as turtles, rays and even whales amongst the lively coral reefs.
Best time to visit: April to May, September to October
Cape Town, South Africa
When you think of South Africa, you probably think of safaris, filled with lions and elephants, but there is a lot more to offer especially for active travellers. Paddleboarding is gaining popularity in South Africa, with many places offering rental or purchasing of boards, along with some knowledgeable guides to hire. With its rich surfing history, Cape Town has a variety of amazing, uncrowded spots to enjoy. You will want a wetsuit for this one as the water is generally on the cooler side, year round. You can start with a simple cruise around the waterfront, or find some surfable waves at Big Bay or Muizenberg. If you’re looking for some stunning flat water paddling, you can head further up the coast to the serene Langebaan lagoon for flat turquoise waters. As an added road trip idea, head on up the coast to discover iconic places such as Bruce’s Beauties and the infamous Jeffrey’s Bay. Pair that with the rich cultural heritage and fantastic wines and cuisines you’re set for an incredible holiday.
Best time to visit: October to November
Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
A tropical climate, beautiful azure waters teaming with sea life and seemingly perfect waves amongst the 70+ islands in this archipelago, the travel logistics are worth the effort. Stunning resorts from beach huts to luxury villas dotted around the islands. Amazing flat water paddling between untouched tropical islands, or for the more adventurous get out to one of the local reef breaks for some of the best waves you will find. With perfect forming waves for all abilities.
Best time to visit: March to October
Turks and Caicos
An stunning archipelago of 40 unique coral islands surrounded by azure, turquoise waters, the Turks and Caicos Islands is heaven for paddle boarding aficionados, a sport growing in popularity here. The calm waters and white sandy beaches make places like Grace Bay paddle boarding paradise. Chalk Sound National Park with its picturesque landlocked lagoon is another dream spot to paddle. Explore the mangrove swamps and reefs encountering sea turtles and schools of colorful fish, all the while watching herons and nurse sharks swimming underneath you. There are several guided tours on offer, allowing you to explore untouched mangrove swamps and reefs in open shallows.
Best time to visit: December to April
Namotu Island, Fiji
Namotu Island, another stunning island destination will get you some of the best flat water paddling in stunning warm, clear waters, surrounded by dream worthy palm tree laiden beaches. Enjoy incredible flat water paddles or endurance testing downwinders, before heading to one of the nearby well-known surf spots, such as Cloudbreak or the gentler Swimming Pools to test out your wave riding abilities.
Best time to visit: Year Round – November to April (Surfing), May to October (Downwinding)
Considered Europe’s paddleboarding capital, Portugal has an incredible variety of waters in which to paddle. With unique experiences such as the Luiz Saldanha Marine Park, with pool-like clarity and an abundance of dolphins, or the majestic Rio Tejo river, which flows into the Atlantic at Lisbon, giving you the opportunity to SUP around an 800-year-old Knights Templar Castle. For something a little different head North, away from the Southern beach tourist hub and enjoy a guided tour, venturing down the Douro River, passing by (or stopping in at) some of the oldest wine farms in the world.
Best time to visit: April to June, September to October
The Fjords Of Norway
If cold climates don’t scare you off, and you are looking for a SUP trip far from ordinary, then Norway offers a truly incredible and unique experience. Enjoy the snow capped peaks as you take on a multi-day SUP expedition, with seal, dolphin and whale sightings a definite possibility as you paddle past roaring waterfalls, hidden villages, and breathtaking mountains along the spectacular Nærøyfjord — a UNESCO heritage site.
Best time to visit: May to September
Canada will appeal to the flat water enthusiasts, with scenic lakes surrounded by beautiful, and possibly snow capped mountains, especially in the Banff region, with dozens of stunning lakes a full pallet of eye catching blue waters, and lush green surroundings. British Columbia has long been a popular destination for kayak and canoe trips, it only makes sense SUPing would soon follow, explore the waterways along this rugged coastline, Emerald Lake, the coastal waters of Tofino, Muncho Lake, Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, Whistler and the west side of Vancouver are the places to start for an unforgettable scenic SUP adventure.
Best time to visit: June to August
Not all paddle destinations need to be filled with pristine beaches and salt water, with 165 Canals to explore, Amsterdam starts to sound more and more like a plausible SUP destination to visit. Running alongside the historical cobblestone streets, and no threat of sharks. You can spend your time soaking in the historical architecture, paddling past Anne Frank’s house on a guided tour of the city. In Spring you can enjoy Amsterdams famous old windmills surrounded by stunning and vibrantly coloured tulip fields.
Best time to visit: April to October
Culturally rich and with enchanting, scenic vistas, New Zealand truly is a bucket-list destination. With its many lakes, rivers, beaches, and bays surrounded by rocky mountains, breathing in the fresh crisp air as you paddle your way around. Northland’s Bay of Islands, enticing you with sheltered coves, bays and inlets, its subtropical climate and warm water all year round, is one of the best places to SUP in New Zealand. Auckland and Raglan are well-known SUP hotspots. For something a little different head out to Lake Wanaka, New Zealand’s fourth-largest lake.
Best time to visit: December to March