How about a paddling trip in Vesterålen, or taking part in the Arctic Sea Kayak Race? Enjoy a damp, refreshing encounter with yourself, or make new friends among kayakers from all over the world.

Vesterålen is perfect for sea kayaking. Here you will find everything from sheltered fjords, sounds, idyllic fishing villages and beaches leading down to the open sea and bird cliffs. Vesterålen consists of five large islands, linked together by bridges.

Sortland

Sortland is a natural starting point for planning your itinerary and stocking up on provisions. Skipnes on Tindsøya on the way to the outer reaches has specialised in accommodating sea kayakers from all parts of the world, regardless of whether they come here on their own or in groups.

A week of sea kayaking in Vesterålen

Meet kayaking enthusiasts from all parts of the world. The Arctic Sea Kayak Race (ASKR) is the annual meet for sea kayakers and was organised for the first time in 1991. The event attracts seasoned competitors, leisure kayakers and novices for a wonderful, social and educational week of paddling in delightful surroundings. Just like last year’s event, this year’s ASKR is based in the old, traditional fishing village of Skipnes on the outer side of Vesterålen.

Race day – competition for amateurs and professionals

The race is run as a one-day event and involves covering 42 km – almost a full marathon. The race principally involves paddling on the open sea. The 2008 route ran from Skipnes to the outer edge of Tinden, the outer edge of Skogsøya, on to the turn at Nyksund in Øksnes and then back the same way. All routes are subject to change depending on the weather conditions.

You can participate in the race day without having completed the entire week. We have decided on this to accommodate participants who want to take part in the race but do not have the opportunity to participate in the entire event. On Race Day, participants compete in the classes K1 Women and K1 Men.

Camp – base and paddling course

A paddling course is held during the sea kayaking meet, and there is a base camp, too. The paddling course is intended for novices and kayakers who have some experience, but who wish to boost their enjoyment of kayaking and learn more about safety, paddling technique and tour planning. Theory and practice go hand in hand, so participants spend most of the course in their kayaks. There is a fixed base camp at Skipnes. The group stays here for the first day, but from day 2 onwards everyone is out and about on the practical part of the course. Progression on the course is adapted to suit the participants’ skills and the weather conditions.

The various routes all involve different experiences as regards countryside and landscape, accommodation, culture and history, birds and animals. And, of course, making new acquaintances and friends. The Ramble event is usually divided up into two groups on the basis of experience and skills, and the day stages are adapted accordingly. Information and division into groups takes place at Skjellfjorden marina on Sunday. This is followed by a fast boat transfer to Skipnes that same evening.

Tourist information and contact

For information about transport connections, other experiences and accommodation en route, contact Vesterålen Reiseliv on + 47 7611 1480 or by e-mail to tustistinfo@vestreg.no. Alternatively, call in at www.visitvesteralen.com.

Additional information about sea kayaking in Northern NorwayRead our article about island hopping in a sea kayak

  • To read more about the Arctic Sea Kayak Race, visit www.askr.no
  • To read more about the fishing village of Skipnes, call in at www.skipnes.com
  • To read more about the West of Vesterålen, see www.turliv.no