In the Summer of 2009 I traveled to Northern Norway for a three week kayaking holiday. I took the "Whale Route" beginning my journey in Tromsø, passing across the Islands of Senja and Andenes and down to the Lofoten Islands. You can read about Norway and how to get there here.
There is a great deal of information available about paddles and kayaking outlets in Southern and Mid Norway. These are the areas which are the most popular and have been opened up to tourists by commercial adventure companies. There is much less written about Northern Norway. This may reflect the long distances which must be traveled to get there, and also by the less well established transport links to the parts of Norway which lie above the Arctic Circle. However, this area must rank as one of the best kayaking areas in Scandinavia and Europe, and this "Norway" section will concentrate on the Mid Troms and Lofoten areas of Northern Norway. Paddles and travel advice will be added by several contributors as they become available, and can be accessed through the sub-menu above right.
Getting your kayak to Northern Norway
I prefer to use my own kayaking gear when possible. Because of the difficulties outlined here in transporting kayaks, I opted to "post" my boat to my hotel in Tromsø. I flew up to Tromsø to meet up with the kayak. I have a three piece Rockpool Alaw Bach. I had a tough foam lined case made to accommodate all the pieces, plus my gear. I used a well known parcel company to transport the boat from the Isle of Man, through the UK, Europe and up through Norway by lorry. The kayak was delivered to my hotel safely. I would not recommend that you try this however. Inspecting the case holding the kayak it was clear that the boat was lucky to survive some of the handling it received. In addition, it was removed from the protective case by customs on several occasions during which it sustained several minor scratches. Because Norway lies outside the European Union, free movement of goods does not apply. I was initially faced with an expensive importation charge of £680! I did get around this by explaining that the kayak was a temporary import and not for resale, for which there is no charge. However, the customs bureaucracy cost me several days of kayakingl. Finally, total return delivery charge was £560! My advice would be to fly to Norway and hire gear and kayaks if possible, thus avoiding a very long drive, or a massive postal bill!
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