July 07, 2022 12 min read

Where To Paddle Board In Europe

Man paddle boarding on a sea

Summer is just around the corner and we are itching to share with you the best places to paddle board in Europe! Anyone who has had the pleasure of traveling Europe will be able to tell you how fantastically diverse the culture, terrain, and experiences can be. Let’s start dreaming about paddle board spots in Europe! 

Navigate lakes and rivers that sweep through the mystical Alps. Follow canals that carve renowned capital cities. Venture to the Mediterranean or Atlantic coast. Europe really does have it all!

Whether you are planning an epic European road trip or are embarking on an interrailing adventure, inflatable paddle boards are definitely going to be the best choice to get around with. Having a trusted iSUP means you can reach the more remote destinations, hike up to that alpine lake, or hop across to hidden coves. 

From beginner paddle boarders to the most experienced, there is something for everyone in Europe. So here are the top 25 places in Europe to explore by paddle board, perfect for daydreaming and trip planning!

Best 5 Places For Paddle Boarding In The UK

Let’s kick off with the UK, our neighbors over the pond. In between cream teas and idyllic walks in the countryside, why not try out paddle boarding some of the incredible waters? The UK’s coastline is rugged and diverse, with some beautiful beaches and remote coves. 

Inland, you can find lakes, rivers, and well-established canal systems that are perfect for days out on a SUP. There are countless places to paddle board in the UK. Here are our top five dreamy places to get you started. 

Jurassic Coast

Jurassic Coast, UK

England’s Jurassic Coast is 95 miles of hugely diverse and beautiful landscape underpinned by incredible geology of global importance. It has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is no secret why. Prepare to be blown away!

From Exmouth in Devon to Swanage in Dorset, this stunning coastline has beaches upon beaches just waiting to be explored by paddle board. Our top recommendation has to be the famed Durdle Door. You can paddle straight through the rock formation and take in the amazing views from the water. Just be warned, it can get busy on the hot summer days.

The Lake District

Coniston water, Lake District

The Lakes, as the Lake District is affectionately known across Britain, is one of the best places to take a paddle board in the world! This National Park region offers fantastic hiking and views across the northeast of the UK, and of course, incredible lakes to explore. 

There are 16 large lakes in the Lake District and even more waterways and streams. Here are a few of the best ones to check out with a paddle board:

  • Windermere
  • Ullswater
  • Grasmere
  • Derwentwater
  • Coniston Water

Most of these lakes are sheltered from the prevailing winds. However, do be careful on the larger lakes for quick changes in the weather. Always know where the exit points are so you do not get disorientated on the water.

Pembrokeshire

Crystal clear water of Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is nestled in the south corner of Wales and is a must-visit destination for any outdoor lover! National Geographic magazine rated this coastline as the second-best in the world. With 186 miles of magnificent and varied coastline and over 50 beaches, there's plenty of space for everyone to enjoy this gem.

The waters in Pembrokeshire are crystal clear. You will be forgiven for thinking you are in the Mediterranean while you paddle here on a summer's day! Make sure you keep a lookout for seals and dolphins playing in the ocean.

Loch Lomond

Paddle boards on the Littoral land of Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is one of the most popular places to visit in Scotland and you should definitely add it to your paddle board wishlist. The sheltered waters are perfect for paddle board beginners to learn the ropes, while the more experienced paddler can enjoy a peaceful expedition into the Loch.

Just a stone’s throw from Glasgow, this spot is accessible for most road trips, including the famous NC500. Scotland also offers some of the most remote paddling opportunities in the Highlands and Outer Hebrides region. So if you are keen for an adventure, this may just be the perfect place for you!

Causeway Coast

Golden beaches of the Causeway Coast

An Irish gem that is just as charming as you would expect. The Causeway Coast offers golden beaches and rocky coastlines. With the right conditions, you may come across some swell to test out your SUP surfing skills. 

Make sure you head over to the Giant’s Causeway to see this natural phenomenon from a different angle. With marvelous views and clear waters, you won’t want to leave!

Galway Bay, Ireland

Diamond hill Galway Bay, Ireland

Galway Bay is located off the west coast of Ireland, looking out to the Atlantic horizons. If it’s good enough for an Ed Sheeran song then it’s good enough for us to head to with a paddle board. And man isn’t it great! With an unforgettable landscape and views out to the open ocean, this place will stay with you for a lifetime. 

Check out Rusheen Bay Windsurfing for SUP lessons in the area or other watersports rental services. Be sure to make use of their local knowledge to get the most out of your trip.

The Alps, France

Lac de Serre-Ponçon, The Alps France

The French Alps are well known and loved by skiers, hikers, and cyclists. So what about paddle boarding? There are so many breathtaking alpine lakes nestled among the impressive valleys and mountain ranges that are still relatively untouched. One of the most beautiful hidden lakes in the Alps is Lac de Serre-Ponçon in the south.

In the summer months, the waters in Lac de Serre-Ponçon are crystal clear and inviting to paddle. Impressive mountain peaks surround the lake in every direction with alpine forests stretching to the lakeshore. Water temperatures are refreshing year-round, so be warned in case you fall in!

Guadalquivir River, Spain

Galleon at Guadalquivir river, Seville Spain

The Guadalquivir River is one of Spain’s largest rivers. It can be accessed at multiple points, though Seville may be the best place to launch your paddle board from. You can discover the beauty of this historical city’s architecture from the water, giving you a unique perspective. 

Other good places along the river that are also popular for wild swimming are in the Jaen province:

  • Segura
  • Tranco de Beas Reservoir 
  • Sierra de Cazorla

Paddle on rivers often? Be sure to download the River App, an absolute must-have paddle boarding app for those frequently paddling rivers across Europe and the USA.

Balearic Islands, Spain

People at the beach of Balearic Islands, Spain

Spain’s Balearic Islands are dreamy and lustrous. The turquoise waters of the Mediterranean are warm, calm, and oh-so-inviting. Is there anything better than paddling your days away on these hazy waters? 

No matter which Balearic Island you choose to visit, you are guaranteed an amazing vacation. This chain of islands consists of Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca, and Menorca – all fantastic paddle boarding destinations.

The Algarve, Portugal

Boats at Coast in Lagos, Algrave Portugal

The Algarve is a popular corner of Portugal that is great for a winter escape for year-round sunshine. With golden sandy beaches and warm waters lapping at the shore, it’s no wonder why so many people hold the Algarve close to their hearts. 

Paddle boarding this Portuguese coastline is a fantastic experience. You can discover incredible places, like the Benagil Caves, and even give SUP surfing a try on the gentle rolling waves near Lagos. There are plenty of guided tours in the area that will show you the basics of how to paddle board and take you to the best places in the Algarve.

Lake Schluchsee, Germany

Lake Schluchsee Germany

Germany has so many beautiful lakes across the country surrounded by forests and wildlife. Lake Schluchsee is one of the most notable places to head to in Germany with a paddle board. Located in the southwest of Germany, this lake is on the outer edge of the Black Forest. Surrounded by mountain ranges, quaint towns, and evergreen trees, this dreamy location is like something out of a fairytale. 

Lake Schluchsee actually has the cleanest and clearest waters in the country. However, this glacier-fed lake is not the only place to explore by SUP in Germany. Be sure to check out these other beautiful paddle board locations:

  • Bodensee, Konstanz
  • Mittelrhein, Rhine Gorge
  • Lake Titisee
  • Öhningen on Rhein

Eibsee, Germany

Reflection of the snowy mountain at Eibsee Grainau, Germany

Prepare to be amazed by this incredible Bavarian lake! Eibsee is over 900 meters above sea-level and has a staggering 177 hectare surface area. It is tucked in between evergreen trees and the snow capped peaks of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. 

The crystal clear waters of the Eibsee Lake mirror the surrounding mountains and are wonderful to paddle over. More experienced paddle boarders can brave the cold and head here in the winter months for some of the most magical paddle boarding in Europe. Just don’t fall in – the water will be freezing!

Venice, Italy

Venice canal between Old buildings of Venice

Paddle among the gondolas and experience Venice from the water. These canals are iconic and world-famous, so why not do it yourself on a paddle board? Touring Venice by SUP is an incredible experience that will give you memories to last a lifetime.

There are a number of tour operators offering guided SUP experiences. Otherwise, you can rent and paddle board the canal in Venice, exploring at your own pace and escaping the crowds. Just do your best not to fall in as there is a ‘No-Swim Rule’ in Venice!

Bosa, Sardinia

Bosa, Sardinia Italy

Bosa is said to be the most beautiful Italian village, and who are we to argue? Quiet and quaint, colorful buildings and a hilltop castle completed by a river flowing right through the middle. It is honestly so scenic that you really should not miss it if you happen to visit Sardinia. 

As you may have guessed, add paddle boarding into the mix and you can discover the most beautiful village in Italy from a new perspective. The crystal clear waters are mesmerizing and are simply a dream to paddle on.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Boat at the river of Amsterdam Canal, Netherlands

Amsterdam is another fantastic city that has a canal running through the heart of it. Paddling along the canal and under the famous bridges allows you to experience this city in a new light. The best season to paddle board in the Netherlands is between April and October; you can paddle outside during these months, but be prepared for a brisk chill to the wind!

Some highlights that you can see when paddle boarding in Amsterdam include:

  • Skinny Bridge
  • Seven bridges
  • Amstel River
  • Maritime Museum
  • The Amsterdam replica ship
  • De Gooyer windmill
  • Old Church
  • Red Light district

Amstel River, Netherlands

Amstel River, Netherlands

The Netherland’s Amstel River flows for 19 miles. There are many places you can start your journey from by SUP. The river flows from Aarkanaal and Drecht in the north, passing Uithoorn, Amstelveen, and Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, coming into Amsterdam as well.

While the Amstel River carves through Amsterdam, we recommend you head out into the more remote parts of the Netherlands countryside along the river. With fresh green riverbanks and fields rolling into the horizon, you can truly loose yourself out here.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Bellevue Strand, Copenhagen

Cophenhagen is a magical place to visit, made even more special if explored by paddle board. Denmark’s capital is a coastal city that is surrounded by waterways and smaller nearby islands.

There are three top spots to visit in Copenhagen with a SUP:

  1. The inner-city harbor
  2. Amager Strand
  3. Bellevue Strand

The area around the Opera and Christiania in Copenhagen’s inner city is fully permitted to SUP and is safe for beginners to try the sport out for the first time. However, we say get out of the city and head towards the strands. These secluded waterways are an adventure to paddle!

Lofoten, Norway

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Norway’s Lofoten Archipelago is pure SUP heaven. It is surrounded by lofty mountains with some of the clearest water in the world flowing between islands and villages. With rich Viking history and dramatic views in every direction, you won’t know where to look when you are paddling on your SUP. 

Lofoten is one of the best places in the world to catch sight of the beautiful northern lights and the midnight sun. In between paddling, you can go for a hike to see from a higher viewpoint. Or, why not join the fishing community and cast a line from your paddle board.

Helsinki, Finland

Aerial view of the bay at Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is surrounded by fantastic water spaces and beautiful beaches that are perfect for stand up paddle boarding. You can choose to stay within the city center and launch your paddle board from Finlandiatalo. Or, for more of a challenge, head towards the coast and paddle the windy Töölönlahti.

There are a number of SUP rental stores in the city that also provide lessons to help start you off. We recommend heading to Hakuna Matata for competitive prices and friendly smiles!

Prague, Czech Republic

Paddle boarders at Vltava river Prague

Prague is the historical center of Czech Republic and is known as the “City of a Hundred Spires”. It is a colorful yet Gothic city with iconic bridges you can paddle under. Taking to Prague by paddle board is a unique experience and one you will remember for a lifetime.

The Vltava River runs through the middle of Prague and offers calm water to paddle board on. This means that you can enjoy the experience regardless of your SUP level.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Island at the center of Lake Bled, Slovenia

If you are looking for picturesque views and castle shores to explore, look no further than Lake Bled in Slovenia. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central Europe. It is ​​55km away from the capital, Ljubljana, but can be easily reached by rail.

The typically way to experience Lake Bled is by boat. Paddle boarding is a fantastic alternative on this remote lake! To get the most out of exploring this SUP spot, and view the impressive castles from the water, you need to allow 1.5 hours.

Ljubljanica River, Slovenia

Group of paddle boarders at Ljubijana, Slovenia

The Ljubljanica River is sometimes called by its Middle Age name, the Sava. Slovenia’s capital lies on the river and, as you may have guessed, is a beautiful place to head out with a stand up paddle board. 

Go with the flow of the river and take in the beautiful Old Town district, escaping the bustling city and exploring at your own pace. There are SUP tours that are led by locals who can share the history of Ljubljana city and give you some tips on the paddle board at the same time.

Zadar Archipelago, Croatia

Turquoise waters of Zadar Archipelago, Croatia

Turquoise waters and hidden beaches – paddle boarding the Zadar Archipelago is one of the best things to do when in Croatia. The rocky coastlines and diverse marine life is perfect for some snorkeling, so make sure you grab a mask before heading out on your SUP.

If you have got more time in Croatia, make sure you explore the beautiful national parks, Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park. Another fantastic place to visit with a SUP in Croatia is Golden Horn Beach. The white sandy shores and striking blue water is mesmerizing and dreamy!

Greek Islands

Santorini, Greece

Whether you choose the Aegean or the Ionian side of the Greek Islands, you are guaranteed a beautiful vacation. Each island offers its own unique culture and charm, along with the iconic Greek cuisine and welcoming people. Turquoise waters, rugged coastlines, hidden caves, and near private beaches – trust us when we say, the Greek Islands have some of the best paddle boarding in Europe!

Need some help choosing which island to visit? Here are some insider tips to our favorites:

  • Santorini – iconic white villages, perfect for honeymooners
  • Corfu – culture, history, and beautiful beaches
  • Mykonos – sandy shores and great party scene
  • Zakynthos – turtles, beaches, and beautiful hikes
  • Rhodes – argues the most amount of sunshine in the world
  • Kos – ancient ruins and the best beaches

Have we missed off your favorite Greek Island getaway for a paddle boarding vacation? Tell us which is your go-to dream destination!

Klöntal Lake, Switzerland

KLÖNTAL Lake, Switzerland

The Klöntal Lake sits beneath the high peaks of the Glärnisch massif, one of Switzerland’s highest mountains. You can paddle on the deep blue waters and take in the breathtaking views Switzerland is known and loved for. 

During the winter the lake does freeze over, so this is a summer paddle boarding location. There are plenty of hidden coves perfect for swimming with natural diving platforms in the rockface. You can access all areas from your SUP and discover the beautiful and dramatic natural beauty of Switzerland.  

Best Guided SUP Trips In Europe

Fancy adding a guided SUP tour or experience to your European vacation? Here are some of the best guided paddle board trips in some of the best places to SUP in Europe!

Interactive Map

FAQ's

🏆 When is the best time of year to paddle board in Europe?

Europe has many fantastic paddle boarding destinations, and the best time of year depends on where you want to paddle. However, some are best during the summer months due to the climate. Lakes in countries like Switzerland and Norway freeze over during the winter, so paddle boarding is not always possible. Though, places like Spain and Portugal offer year-round paddle boarding. 


👍 Can I travel Europe with my own paddle board?

Traveling with your own paddle board gear is exciting and part of the adventure. This is where iSUPs come into their element. Whether you are driving yourself on an epic adventure or hopping on and off the interrail train line, having an inflatable paddle board saves space and will make traveling Europe a whole lot easier. 

Having your own equipment also means you can stop off along your travels and explore the more remote water spaces. Some destinations across Europe have limited or no SUP rental gear available.

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

Chief Paddler - Jay has been surfing and paddling for over 5 years. When he's not dreaming up new stuff at GILI, he's writing articles about paddling, out paddling, or often traveling.


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