5 reasons you need to go kayaking in Delft

Now that the summer is rolling around and the days are getting longer, all sorts of quirky outdoor activity places are coming out of hibernation.  One such place is the Delflandhoeve campsite, run by a lovely Dutch couple, where you can rent kayaks and canoes for paddling through the Abtswoudse Bos.

The Abtswoudse Bos is not really a forest at all but more of a kind of wetlands.  With a two-and-a-half hour tour, you’ll have plenty of time to meander through the canals and take a break for a picnic to replace all those calories you wasted.  If you need more convincing, here are 5 reasons kayaking in Delft kicks ass.

1. You can chill with the baby ducks

And all the other wildlife.  Even though you’re just around the corner from Delft, it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere out here.  Just you, your kayak and the tranquil waters that are home to all sorts of water birds.  And I know there are ducks all over the Netherlands, but they somehow seem even cuter when they don’t have to wade their way through piles of garbage.  Just sayin’.

Chilling with the ducks
Chilling with the ducks, photo by Danielle Pacheco

2. You’re spoiled for choice with uncrowded picnic spots

If you’re sick of rubbing shoulders with the hordes of tourists up at Vondelpark, the lunch break on your kayaking trip will present a welcome change.  We spent almost three hours paddling around and came across less than ten other people.  The only sounds are the chirping of birds and the gentle lapping of the water.  Eat your stroopwafels in total serenity!

Uncrowded picnic spots
Uncrowded picnic spots, photo by Danielle Pacheco

3. You have total freedom

Well, ok, you are meant to follow the suggested route, and there’s not too much chance for deviation.  But it sure feels like the world is your oyster when you’re out on the water all by yourself, surrounded with nothing but gently waving grasses and winding canals.  Now, bring me that horizon!

Complete freedom while kayaking
A feeling of freedom, photo by Danielle Pacheco

4.You can get in shape

It’s not crossfit, but kayaking is a great way to build your upper body strength, especially in your core, your back and your shoulders.  If you’re interested in burning calories you can do that too, but we were more interested in watching the ducks.  Another thing you can build is the cooperation required to man a two-person kayak without constantly crossing paddles with your partner.  It’s a great marriage exercise. 

Getting back into shape, go kayaking
Getting back into shape, photo by Danielle Pacheco

5. You get to enjoy the sun

It doesn’t come out very much in the Netherlands!  We should all take advantage of it.  Get some vitamin D, find your inner peace and push the office far, far out of your mind for the weekend.  There’s nothing more rejuvenating than being out on the water under the hot sun… and nothing more satisfying than bragging about your tan on Monday morning, am I right?

Enjoying the sun while kayaking
Enjoying the sun while kayaking, photo by Danielle Pacheco

Useful info

The Delflandhoeve is super easy to reach, just a fifteen-minute bike ride south of Delft.  It’s open for kayaking and canoeing from April 1st to October 1st.  There are two designated routes, the first of which is 45 minutes long (€4 per person) and the second about 2.5 hours (€10 per person).  It’s also possible to rent kayaks for the entire day (€15 per person).  There are plenty of boats available but you’re free to call ahead and reserve, just in case.

The campsite accepts payment in cash only.  If you forgot to bring some, there is an ATM at the nearby strip mall at Schieweg 104.  There is a loading system for container ships just north of the campsite which sometimes blocks the bike lane access, so keep this in mind if you are biking from Delft.  You’ll need to add five minutes to your trip so you can go around.

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Danielle Pacheco
dpacheco22@live.com

I was born in Canada and have since lived in Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam. I'm passionate about skiing and scuba diving and always looking to get outdoors and have fun!