Stand up paddle boarding, also known as SUP, has been exploding into our lives for quite a few years now. The allure of gracefully gliding across the water undertaking micro expeditions while working on your physical and mental wellbeing is incredibly attractive.
As SUP isn't a weight-bearing activity, it’s kind on the joints, allows you to practise your balance and coordination as well as help strengthen the core. This versatile sport combines social distancing and the great outdoors. It can be done on a lake, sea, river, loch, canal or ocean as long as the water is flat and fairly still.
No matter where your travels take you this summer, you can rest assured an amazing SUP spot is within reach.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up six of the best places to SUP in Europe so you can get involved in one of the coolest summer activities this year.
6. Lisbon Coast, Portugal
Portugal is a paddle boarding paradise and is often referred to as the capital of Europe for SUP enthusiasts.
The waters of the coast are crystal clear and the climate is just right pretty much year-round. If getting up at the crack of dawn is not a daunting prospect, then SUPing in the morning will offer tranquillity and peace for the mind.
But for guaranteed calm at any time of the day, nature lovers may want to head to the West Algarve. You’ll be rewarded with a spectacular coastline discovering cave systems and paddling underneath naturally shaped arches.
5. The Islands of Greece
When we said there will be no shortage of places to SUP wherever you go on your travels this year, the islands of Greece will leave you spoilt for choice.
With its 6,000 islands, 60 lakes and 12,000 km of dreamy coastlines, this place is a SUP lover's dream. Gliding on the Greek waters offers a unique perspective on the islands, with places like Santorini and its whitewashed villages appearing somewhat more magical than when on foot.
4. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Amsterdam may be synonymous with the city of bikes but there is no reason why you can’t paddle your way through its endless canals. Home to the Amstel River and over 100 kms of canals - which happen to be over 400 years old - you can delve into the city’s deep culture as well as admire the beautiful scenery from a paddleboard.
The canals are host to numerous historical sites with no less than 1,550 monuments to explore within their borders. Nervous about your navigation skills? Take advantage of the many guided tours available in this fascinating city.
The sporty folk of Norway throw themselves into all types of outdoor activities and they certainly don’t lag when it comes to SUP. Not many people are aware but this raw and somewhat secluded country has some incredible paddle boarding spots.
It’s hardly surprising then that you easily find a SUP board to rent. The islands of Lofoten are not to be missed if you have a penchant for picturesque fishing towns as viewing them from the water is something else.
But be sure to wrap up warm in a wetsuit as a SUP adventure in the Arctic is a tad different to catching the rays from sunnier climates.
Speaking of sunnier climes, you can’t go far wrong with riding a SUP in Spain. The country is full of spectacular places for paddling enthusiasts who can also throw themselves into the Spanish culture - and the food and drink.
One of the places to head to for a spot of paddle is Zurriola Beach, located in San Sebastian. The area is home to some of the most loved beaches and amazing paddling spots which are accompanied by the thriving nightlife.
If you’re the adventurous type, Mundaka has great waves and is considered to be one of the best places to go paddle boarding in Europe. Enveloped by mountains and forests, Mundaka is both a magical and mysterious place to visit.
1. Lake Bled, Slovenia
If, like us, you like scrolling through Instagram posts of beautiful lakes and scenery, you’ll no doubt have stumbled across pictures of this delightful Slovenian lake on social media.
Taking its place by the majestic Julian Alps, Lake Bled brims with adrenaline-filled adventurous activities for visitors to get involved in. But you don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to explore this beautiful lake aboard a SUP. Instead, you’ll get a uniquely peaceful experience riding a SUP and have the option to stop off at the small island in the middle at your leisure.
What’s more, you’ll also escape the crowds who are often found crammed on a boat just to see Bled Island.