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Mill pool still water, silence but for the neat splash of your paddle, a seal feeding yards from your bow but most of all an overriding sense of peace and oneness with nature. Sea kayaking holidays do funny things to you. It doesn't help that the tortured winding coastlines beloved of sea kayakers also happen to be some of the wildest most beautiful places on
...earth. A Sea kayaking holiday removes you entirely from modern life and immerses you in the wilderness, yet is entirely accessible to beginners - and it is that combination that makes it like no other. Case in point, imagine yourself paddling deep in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador, surrounded by primeval rainforest, jungle populated only by indigenous communities and exotic wildlife, or sea kayaking amidst the incredible wildlife of The Galapagos Islands?
On a similar wildlife theme, you could be exploring Johnstone Strait off Vancouver by Sea kayak, camping in the amazing Canadian wilderness and getting the chance to see killer whales up close, literally. That is if you aren't looking the other way at the bald eagles hunting for wild salmon and dolphin playing in the waters. Or alternatively, paddling amidst the vast floodplains of the Selinda Spillway in Botswana, home to hippos, elephants, buffalo and sable antelope.
The scenery too is often worth the price of entry alone. Imagine yourself Paddling on Milford Sound overwhelmed by towering glacial mountains, the imposing sheer rise of Mitre Peak sat almost above you and waterfalls pouring into the sea, or exploring the sheltered sea lochs and inlets of Western Scotland where the beautiful Highlands meet the sea.
And of course, if all those glacial landscapes send a shiver down your spine there are always the pristine desert Islands & beaches of Lake Malawi or the wealth of tiny Islands in the Sea of Cortez in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico in which to dip your paddle.
Finally an apology. Sea kayaking is very much distinct from canoeing on many levels, but we have deigned to include a number of fantastic canoeing holidays in our collection of sea kayaking holidays. It isn't perfect but are you going to blame us, if, whilst browsing a sea kayaking trip in the Highlands of Scotland your attention is taken by a rather exotic and enticing canoe safari in Botswana?
I had a superb holiday in Milos and it went far and away above my expectations. Rod is an excellent host and he manages to cater to everyone’s abilities.
Hopefully I will be booking again soon to return in the autumn.
catheryne waterhouse reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
Hotel More was absolutely wonderful. What an incredible place! I think we got lucky with the room in which we stayed (jacuzzi on the balcony overlooking the sea) but we regret not having eaten in the hotel itself as the restaurant we found further down the coast was truly awful (not your fault though, of course!)
Lopud turned out to be our favourite island. It was a sweet place with a lovely, whimsical old dog. It's a pity about the grand monstrosity of a hotel on the other side of the island - totally soulless and so glad we don't go for that type of holiday. We had a few issues with the aircon initially but it was sorted.
Our host was great (forgotten the name now, sorry). We really enjoyed the homecoming at his family house with a little live music. We would have liked a little more time kayaking but the weather was an issue.
The Croatian food wasn't too great so it was definitely worth going to Dubrovnik, if only for just a short while, as the restaurant we went to improved the experience (and Dubrovnik was pretty incredible!). However, easily the best food of the whole trip was Hotel Bozica on Sipan.
A lovely trip on the whole.
Stephen Boyes reviewing Tailor-made Boutique Dubrovnik Kayaking Holiday
We had a super holiday, thank you.
adam chamberlain reviewing Tailor-made Boutique Dubrovnik Kayaking Holiday
Three 50+ year olds had a fab time on the Croatian Island Hopping Holiday in June 2012. The trip was extremely well organised, but we didn't feel as if we were being over regimented. The kayaks were well maintained and we had the option of singles or doubles. The kayaking was challenging, due to unusually high winds, but was manageable if not a little tiring. We paddled between 12 and 19km/day. On a very windy day, the water activities had to be cancelled, but they were replaced with an equally challenging and enjoyable hike. We had the services of the guide for an extra day at the end of the week, which should have been a free day, this was an unexpected bonus to compensate for the missed day at sea. The accommodation was basic but adequate, our room on Lopud didn't have air-conditioning, which was fine in June, but may be uncomfortable in August. Other rooms in Lopud did have aircon. The food was plentiful, very fresh and lovely.
Joy Marshall reviewing Croatia Island Hopping Holiday
Brilliant in every respect.
Robert Waddington reviewing Croatia Island Hopping Holiday
I really loved this trip. Croatia is simply stunning and I will certainly go back there. Kayaking is a brilliant way to explore the beautiful coast. The highlights for me were the simple pleasures - exploring caves; playing around with my waterproof camera; the satisfaction of paddling over to the mainland in the heat of the day and once there, diving off the harbor walls.
I was already confident in a kayak so found the pace easy. Our guides were friendly, relaxed and helpful. The only downside for me for a spot of seasickness on the first day, but luckily the waters were much calmer for the remainder of the trip.
The food was typical Mediterranean fare - tasty and simple. My accommodation was just as I expected, a basic, comfortable guest-house with a friendly hug from my landlady at the end of my stay!
Can you please pass on my thanks to the excellent mainland-based tour guide who put himself out to drop me in Dubrovnik old town on Thursday and looked after my bags so I could explore, before driving me the airport that evening. That's the sort of helpful, friendly touch that you wouldn't get with a bigger company.
5 out of 5 for everything!
Anne-Marie Critien reviewing Dubrovnik Kayaking Short Break
Amazing time, 6 of us joined the group, the two guides were so lovely friendly and very helpful. The guest houses on both islands were very traditional and very nice and the owners so welcoming. Ben and Anna at Tourdust made organising this group holiday very easy by constantly keeping in touch and answering questions etc. The kayaks and equipment was very good and each day was an adventure. I would highly recommend Tourdust to others. Thankyou for a very good holiday. Anne's group Norwich
Anne Herring reviewing Croatia Island Hopping Holiday
5/5 for the Guide
5/5 for the accommodation
5/5 for everything.
Fantastic trip and we thought the food the organisation and customer care was absolutely brilliant.
Marianne Peck reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
We had a really excellent time thanks and would rate everything 5 out of 5.
Murat was great fun, a careful and competent guide,
as well as being informative and entertaining.
Loved the hotel and the friendly staff.
Elinor Cole reviewing Seakayak Turkey's Turquoise Coast!
We had a great time!!
Guides - 5
Accom - 4
Meals - 4
Prior - 4
Overall - 5
Paul Royston reviewing Dubrovnik Kayaking Short Break
Would rate the trip as 6 out of 5. Don't think I can say anymore than that. Had a fantastic time with great paddling. My only problem was we didn't stay for the week. I will recommend it to as many people as I can and I will return. Great value for money.
Theresa Torrance reviewing Dubrovnik Kayaking Short Break
A great trip. There was a choice of single and double kayaks which were of good quality. The trips included a mix of coastal exploration and short crossings which was a good combination.. A star feature was a trip to a family small holding where we were fed copious quanties of home grown vegetables, goat and chicken reared on the farm and washed down with home made red wine and an interesting selection of liquers. At the end of the meal the guide got out is guitar and played and sang some classic English folky type songs. Accomodation but modest but fine and there was a good selection of restuarants. Obala on Lopad and the hotel on Sipad were very good value for a upmarket meal whilst the other restuarants we visited all had good fish.
Angela Milne reviewing Croatia Island Hopping Holiday
We had a great time on this holiday, arranged efficiently by Tourdust. Transfer to the Calypso Plus - a really nice hotel, was only 30 mins from Dalaman airport and Dalyan, ther town, was a great place to be. It had a unique site on a large river with a variety of interesting boat trips and local historical sites to see. The combination of sea kayaking, camping overnight and staying in the hotel gave us the best of both worlds as we could explore locally on our 'rest' days.
Or guides on the kayak trip, Sonja and Murat, were friendly, efficient and experienced and we cooked on an open fire both nights. Idyllic, isolated beach/cove campsites, with plenty of time to practice kayak skills in the sheltered, shallow water. We found the Turkish people exceptionally friendly and the standard and variety of eating out in the local restaurants was very good.
All in all a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday!
John Donald reviewing Seakayak Turkey's Turquoise Coast!
The guides on our trip to Croatia were really fun, knowledgable and helpful. They seemed to know absolutely everyone on the islands which was really nice and they always tried to include everybody in everything, even if their first languages weren't english. The guides were awesome.
The accomodation was very nice and authentic, everything you could ask for was provided and the views from the balcony were quite something
The pace and amount of paddling were good, shame one of the days we couldnt get out because of the bad weather which made the next day a bit harder but still very enjoyable.
The whole holiday as a package was very good. Everything was organised well even when the tourdust van broke down at the start, a replacement form of transport from dubrovnik was straight there. I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone interested in kayaking at all, because as a beginner i was slightly nervous at the start but thought i become quite good at the end, which is a testement to the guides and the trip really. I just wish i can get enough money to go again next year!!
David Langley reviewing Dubrovnik Kayaking Short Break
Stable kayaks, powerful doubles in interesting paddling conditions.
geologically interesting coastline well explained by Rod. Wildlife somewhat sparse
at time of trip, however, some surprises as well, particularly the number of
Eleanoras falcons seen on all trips. Very friendly people everywhere in comfortable
Catherine Morrison reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
We very much enjoyed our trip and met great people on our guided tour. The combination of sea kayaking/biking/hiking/diving etc really suited our penchant for activity holidays. The hotels were basic but absolutely fine, the food great and the Island to Island transfers exciting. You cannot help being impressed by the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. We combined it with a visit to Quito where we did an awesome mountain bike ride down the slopes of Cotopaxi, then managed to climb the same mountain over the next 2 days - 19,000 feet!
I would thoroughly recommend this holiday as organised by Tourdust!
That's our second great trip with this company.
John Donald reviewing Galapagos Adventure
Just to let you know that we had an outstanding week of sea-kayaking, white-water rafting and trekking. Our guide, Sonja Grau, and Murat were simply outstanding in their manner, the design and delivery of the week's activities.
ThomasJ reviewing Seakayak Turkey's Turquoise Coast!
I had a fantastic group, the local knowledge of the guides was invaluable in ensuring the group had the best possible experience. Great paddling, great guides, great good, great time had by all.
TonyLitson reviewing Croatia Island Hopping Holiday
Sea kayaking is the ideal way to explore these beautiful islands. Warm clear seas, fantastic local cuisine and a very helpful company with local knowledge of all the best places to visit and eat.
Maureen Birch reviewing Croatia Island Hopping Holiday
This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We enjoyed the kayaking whch was quite manageable even for a couple in their late fifties. The weather was brillinant and we met some really nice people. What more could you want - a bit of white water?
Neil Badger reviewing Croatia Island Hopping Holiday
This was a fabulous holiday. Four days of kayaking, one day white water rafting and a day of trekking and a boat trip - perfect.
It didn't take long to feel at home in the kayak and it was great to stop at secluded beaches for lunch and snacks and to camp under the beautifully starry night skies.
My personal highlights were the snorkelling opportunities and gazing open-mouthed up at the huge boats in Gocek harbour as we paddled by.
Huge thanks to Sonja from Kaunos Tours who was a great guide, chef and goat wrangler!
Thanks to Tourdust too for their smooth organisation and booking of the trip.
Louise Kelly reviewing Seakayak Turkey's Turquoise Coast!
We really enjoyed our trip. It was a great introduction to Sea Kayaking and Milos has a wonderful varied coastline that is best appreciated by Kayak. We used the 2-man Kayak for some of the trips which helped when you wanted a lazier day. I completely agree with Angela's review already on site and add that Rod's a great photographer on the water. We also enjoyed relaxing in the guesthouse bar with the other kayakers after the day's paddling.
GavinStather reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
This is a great experience to see the real Croatia. I had never been on a group holiday before and was a little hesitant, however Filip and Radovan the guides were incredibly patient and I was blessed with a fantastic fun group.
MerihanTadros reviewing Dubrovnik Kayaking Short Break
I would highly recommend Tourdust to all wanting a well organised, no fuss trip. The Tourdust Team are friendly, knowledgable, and readily available; and offered a superb value-for-money service. Our group sea-kayaked on a bespoke tour, and fully indulged in all the organised delights. Lots of credit to our guides Sonja and Murelia too! Incidentally, the scenery along the coast is stunning, the stars at night are totally magical, and the wild camping is a pretty decent experience - all lent to make a great time with friends and colleagues. A rustic treat!
Robert Streeter reviewing Seakayak Turkey's Turquoise Coast!
We were absolutely delighted with our recent kayaking trip. Both your handling of the booking and Rod's handling of the week were exactly what we expected and it was all good!
I would rate your service as a 5/5 and cannot think of anything to suggest improvements.
We would also rate Rod's service as 5/5 and have already recomended it to a couple of friends if they were to do a similar trip.
Many thanks to you and Rod for making this a very stress free holiday.
LynnKitching reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
We had a thoroughly enjoyable holiday - Rod Feldtman looked after us very well on the sea trips and as beginners we felt 100% safe at all times. Milos is a lovely island & we'll definitely return one day
StephenBrown reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
Brilliant and varied trips for a whole week. The scenery was very different each day and there was a good combination of trips with caves and arches to explore and crossings to nearby islands. Lunches and snacks provided were good and the trips seemed suitable for both those with and without previous experience of kayaking. It was also nice to be able to choose single or double kayaks.,We enjoyed some very good food in the local villages in the evenings.A bonus was we were given a cd of pictures of our trip at the end.
Angela reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
Received good support for my late booking through Tourdust who were able to answer all my questions in a timely way and even put me in touch with the Tour leader in Turkey via e mail. I thought Kaunos Tour staff were good and our Kayak leader Sonja was excellent. The camping food was ample and tasty. Felt that all our needs were met without any fuss.
Gill reviewing Seakayak Turkey's Turquoise Coast!
Great holiday. Excellent value for money. We were looked after extremely well. I would recomend this holiday to anyone wanting to experience Turkey and not follow the crowds. It was everything we hoped for and more.
Ken reviewing Seakayak Turkey's Turquoise Coast!
We had a fantastic holiday in Greece. The island was beautiful and Rod, Paul and Petronella looked after us very well. We met some great people whose company made the trip hugely entertaining.
I'd highly recommend the adventure.
ZoeF reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
My holiday experience was very good,for all round care and attention to
detail, standard of accommodation, and our tour guide Sonjia who was
brilliant, all round I would give it 4 out of 5, but for value for money, i
would give it 5 out of 5.
I will almost certainly return next year possibly for a week in May.
Gary reviewing Seakayak Turkey's Turquoise Coast!
We had an absolutely fantastic time in Milos and have recommended it to
many of our friends.
Chellie reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
Amazing. I didn't expect to have so much fun. Each day there was something new to explore or see that was unexpected. Rod is the perfect guide and coach. Paddling conditions varied which also made for some interesting windy trips and some more serene calm ones.
Louise reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
This was an absolutely brilliant holiday and pretty much ticked all the boxes - fantastic weather; lovely scenery; not too touristy and an activity that teenagers and middle aged adults alike would enjoy.
I had not kayaked before but Rod was so positive and encouraging that any feelings of apprehension were soon banished and paddling over the crystal clear waters and into the caves was fantastic. We all loved the snorkelling and jumping off the rocks.
On two of the trips we paddled home into the setting sun -so stunning!
The room we stayed in was basic but clean and comfortable and right above Petronella's cafe so great for ice creams and ouzo!!
Everything was so well organized but really relaxed and laidback at the same time. Generally we set off at 10am which feels pretty civilized and then we'd be back by about 6.30, nicely tired and hungry.
We can't wait to go again!
Robyn reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
This holiday is really great- I'm back in London now and missing the easy-going days of eating, paddling, swimming/snorkelling and paddling some more.
There are lots of different trips to go on and Rod (the guy who runs things along with his wife, Petrinela) tells you which you're doing at breakfast depending on wind and such like. One day we went to an old sulphur mine, another we spent going through lots of arches and into caves (Kleftico- my favourite day), another we paddled across to the nearby island Kimolos.
Ability doesn't matter. I started the week in a kayak with a rudder (easier for steering) and then 'graduated' to one without. I was happy just to paddle along and play about in the rocks but my brother wanted to eskimo roll and learn how to rescue people who fall in- Rod duly taught him to do so. There were some hardcore enthusiasts who practised their kayaking skills during breaks, folks on day trips only, and couples in two people kayaks. This meant group dynamics changed- sometimes the group would be speedy/fitter but on other days paddling was more leisurely (and Rod adapted as such). Either way I love the peacefulness of kayaking and Milos' beautiful coastline and gorgeous blue/green sea meant my holiday was pretty bloody fantastic.
The place where you stay is comfortable and clean and on your day off you can hire a buggy from nearby Adamas to whizz round the island on. Fun, fun, fun.
Caroline Harper, London UK
Caro07 reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
Sunshine, warm blue seas, beautiful scenery, comfortable air conditioned accommodation and a grinning Aussie guide. ………We had come to Milos to paddle but the warm evenings, when the shops and cafes reopened after their long siesta, gave us time to glimpse Greece at its best. Milos is where many Greeks go for their holidays, and within easy walking distance of Petrinela’s guest house is a labyrinth of picturesque lanes and alleyways, strung with fairy lights and flowers, tiny white-painted houses with colourful doors and balconies, and a wondrous array of artisan craft shops and relaxed restaurants (most with English translations in the menus). After dinner, if you have any energy left from the day’s paddling, I would recommend the stroll up to the top of the hill to the castle, originally a lookout post for pirates, but now affording beautiful views across the whole island and unparalleled glimpses of the sun setting over nearby islands. I could feel my cares dropping away from me on the very first evening and soon felt more relaxed than I had done for years.
The scenery was amazing. Milos is volcanic and Rod (who came to Milos originally as a geologist) was able to explain about the fantastic rock formations, caves, arches and islands. Each corner revealed a new surprise: a tiny fishing village, a deserted beach, and a labyrinth of mining tunnels or a kingfisher flashing past.
The first few days were calm, time to get used to the boats and enjoy the scenery. The trips were long enough to make us feel pleasantly tired but nothing strenuous. Each day we had two lengthy stops, usually on a sheltered beach or rocky area good for snorkelling. After morning snacks of biscuits and chilled fruit I was amazed to find I still had room for the huge amount of lunch Petrinela packed for us each day.
(Rhoda Daniels Published in Canoe Focus in September 2008)
CanoeFocus reviewing Sea Kayaking in Greece
There's plenty to see. Effectively a 364-mile (585km) long aquarium, Lake Malawi contains more fish species than Europe and America combined, many of which have evolved in Darwinian fashion according to local conditions around the specific groups of rocks they inhabit.
But you don't have to be a fish fanatic to appreciate the beauty of this place. Within a couple of hours of the minibus-with-earrings experience, the bows of my kayak were biting into the sand of what could have been an exclusive private island in the Seychelles, albeit with limpid fresh water and associated bird life.
My arrival was greeted from the trees by sea eagles that looked like demon headmasters. On a rock around the corner, a group of whitebreasted cormorants lined up to face the evening sun, their beaks open and wings wide, and wherever I walked on the island I seemed to be preceded by the same rainbow skink with a jauntily skew whiff blue tail.
Although the island of Mumbo is uninhabited, this was no hardship experience. A walkway of planks led out to an offshore islet which was home to a luxury tented camp in true upmarket safari style, with fresh Malawi coffee and home-made cinnamon biscuits waiting on the table.
Adamson, who introduced himself as an "island man", chided me gently for having pulled up my own kayak - he would do that - and added that ice had just arrived from the mainland to "chill the greens" - green- labelled bottles of Carlsberg.
Mumbo is one of two islands in the Lake Malawi National Park with camps run by Kayak Africa, a company set up by a group of thirtysomethings from South Africa who've managed to blend the ingenuity of man with the creativity of nature.
The tents are on wooden platforms overlooking the water; you can lie in your hammock in the moonlight, listening to wavelets beneath you.
Kayak Africa's concept is for an all-inclusive island exile, with your own canoe, snorkel equipment and dive gear, and if you don't have a PADI certificate (as I didn't), this is one of the cheapest places in the world to learn to dive.
You don't need to dive, though, to swim with the fish. The majority are ciclids, striped yellow or blue, and they are so unfazed by snorkellers that you could almost reach out and touch them. Many species have developed curious personal habits, which include playing dead, holding their offspring in their mouths, and reproducing in a way which would have Sir David Attenborough struggling for a non-salacious euphemism.
(The Times, London, 15 Feb 2003)
Times reviewing Kayak the deserted islands of Lake Malawi