Sep
17
Sep 26

Kayaking the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre

Exploring the Five Villages of Cinque Terre by Kayak

(9 days & 9 nights in Italy)

Join us for an unforgettable kayak adventure along the soaring coastline of Cinque Terre, an enclave of five villages perched precariously above the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Also known as the Italian Riviera, this region of Italy boasts not only incredible kayaking but an intricate network of hiking trails between the villages allowing visitors to experience the beauty from both sea level and a bird's eye view.  Accessible only by boat or train, the five villages remain untouched by the encroachment of development, which changes the character and charm of such special places.  This is a destination that offers an authenticity, a slower pace, yet, provides a diversity of activity that truly sets it apart.

Enjoy five days of paddling from village to village, our lodgings wonderful Inns and hotels with panoramic views of the Mediterranean.  A special addition to the trip is an exploration of Porto Venere which was a major trading center throughout Medieval times.  Its wide quayside offers a multitude of cafes and quaint shops and, with some careful wandering, you may discover the most delicious pesto to be found anywhere in Italy.  We'll leave that discovery to you!

What makes this trip especially interesting is that it offers so much more than just the paddling.  The spectacular vistas of the Ligurian Coast are complemented by the food, the wine, and the subtle play of light on the colors of the landscape. These are all qualities that contribute to the essential nature of what Italy has to share.   Participate in an authentic Slow Food cooking class, a full day of gustatory comeraderie with hands-on preparation, involved cooking, and the resultant feast by mid afternoon, a fitting culmination to the day's "work".

There is no better way to create a memorable journal of your experience than a photographic record of where you have been and those with whom you have shared your adventure.  Our uniquely structured photography workshop lends itself to just that... a process that develops a sense of effective composition rather than technical complication.  Our instructor and Tuscan guide, is a noted photographer in the region.  His approach is positive and reinforcing and provides you with the opportunity to grow and test your skills whether you are looking through the viewfinder of a high-end DSLR camera or framing your shot on the screen of a point-and-shoot.  Photo opportunities abound from ancient Roman baths and hidden Etruscan ruins, to the day to day activity and commerce in the local butcher shop, Macelleria, a place where our group will have a chance to feast on a sampling of meats, cheeses, and wines that will constitute our late day picnic lunch in the field!  This will be a "full" day excursion in more ways than one.

So come join us on our maiden voyage to Cinque Terre.   "Piano, piano, piano", as the Italians say, "slowly, slowly, slowly" enjoy life, perhaps as it should be.


*The first and last days listed are international travel days

Click here to view detailed itinerary

$4750 per person double occupancy; singles add $600.

Price includes accommodations for 9 nights in Italy, meals as noted on itinerary, kayaking equipment, qualified and highly trained guides, and transportation once in Italy as noted on itinerary.

How to register

Sep
23
Oct 3

The Tuscan Islands and the Sensations of Chianti

Just had to say thank you! Thanks for a wonderful, fabulous, incredible trip! You gave me so much more than I expected and it truly changed my life, seriously. I don’t think I can find the words to thank you enough!
— E. Shankman, CT

When the goddess of love Venus emerged from the swells of the Tyrrhenian Sea, seven gemstones were lost from her crown as the waves crashed all around her. These seven stones became the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Gorgona, Pianosa, Giannutri and Montecristo. So these are the gems of Tuscany encompassing 600,000 acres making it Europe's largest marine park. The most famous and largest of these islands is Elba, dominated by nature with its long sandy beaches, small inlets, vertical cliffs, and transparent deep blue sea. The Etruscans mined metals here, to the Romans, it was a destination resort, and to Napoleon it was his home away from home during his exile. We'll visit small medieval villages, sample local fare rich in genuine flavor, and explore the stunning coastline of white sand, hidden cobblestone beaches,and rugged rock outcroppings.

From here, we'll journey to the heart of Tuscany, a region first inhabited by the ancient Entruscans, who cherished the hills, the land, and the air as a place of sanctuary. For Chiantigianos it is the place to cultivate the grape, harvest the olive, and to savor the sights, sounds, and scent of the hills. For us peregrinators, wayfarers as the Roman tourists called themselves, it will be a delight for the senses and truly an adventure for a lifetime. 

Click here to read an account of the Elba adventure

Italy - Amalfi Coast
Oct
7
Oct 16

Italy - Amalfi Coast

Imagine paddling through volcanic archways, a glimpse of a precipitous coastline coming into view, and then the full drama of la Costeria Amalfiano before you its landscape of color, texture, and relief are woven into a dramatic tapestry that permeates the soul.

Japan's Inland Sea
Nov
5
Nov 16

Japan's Inland Sea

Sea Kayaking Japan's Inland Sea

The island archipelago of Japan is a land of contrasting harmonies, and this ever present quality becomes a prevailing condition of our journey. The juxtaposition of nature and tradition against technology and development presents the backdrop for an adventure for a lifetime.  From the busy seaport of Osaka to the sacred island precinct of Miyajima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, our group of paddlers will come to understand firsthand the complexities of this island nation.  This is a voyage we have been taking since the late 90's and we have formed long lasting relationships with the local people, businesses, and the areas in which we paddle.  Our group will participate in a traditional tea ceremony, relax at the end of the day in thermal Onsen hot springs, and indulge in gustatory delicacies unique to each region we visit. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is at once humbling and spiritual, sending a clear message of our ability to destroy, while leaving a lasting impression for hope.  The ancient cities of Nara and Kyoto are on our agenda also, providing a clear view into Japan's past.  All this is connected, appropriately, by in-country travel on the country's Shinkansen high speed bullet trains!  And so, the principles of Wabi-Sabi apply as we venture from one realm to the next...


$5950 per person double occupancy
singles add $500

Price includes 10 nights accommodations in Japan, meals as noted on itinerary, all transportation once in Japan, kayaking equipment and guides, entry fees to other points of interest as noted on itinerary.


THE INLAND SEA OF JAPAN
November 5 - 16, 2016

Join us on a paddling adventure that incorporates not only exploration of the seas but the history and culture of an island people whose contributions are broad and varied in the landscape of time. The H2O team is prepared to lead you through Japan's spectacular island thoroughfares, guide you through its cities and villages, and help you to enjoy the adventure of the country's rail system! We hope you'll consider this adventure of a lifetime!

Itinerary Overview

Day 1, Wed. Nov. 5 Depart US
Day 2, Thursday, Nov. 6 Arrive Osaka � transfer to Kyoto
Day 3, Friday, Nov. 7 Sightseeing Kyoto
Day 4, Saturday, Nov. 8 Travel to Miyajima � Himeji Castle
Day 5, Sunday, Nov. 9 Paddling day � Miyajima
Day 6, Monday, Nov. 10 Paddling day � Miyajima
Day 7, Tuesday, Nov. 11 Paddling day � Optional hike Mt. Misen
Day 8, Wednesday, Nov. 12 Paddling day � Miyajima
Day 9, Thursday, Nov. 13 Visit Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park
Day 10, Friday, Nov. 14 Traveling day to Nara, the Ancient Capitol of Japan
Day 11, Saturday, Nov. 15 Visit Uji � final night in Nara
Day 12, Sunday, Nov. 16 Depart for US

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Wednesday
International flight to Japan.

Day 2, Thursday
Arrive in Japan and stay at one of Kyoto's finest hotels, which offers western comfort and Japanese hospitality.

Day 3, Friday
We'll meet at 7:30 a.m. in the lobby of the hotel and then proceed to the dining area for a buffet breakfast offering an assortment of
Japanese and Western choices. We'll spend our one day in Kyoto exploring the Nishijin district of Kyoto learning about Kyoto's
textile industry and then finish off our day wandering the narrow streets of Gion enjoying the architectural design of the O-chaya
(teahouses) that cluster together in this famous neighborhood. Topping off our day will be dinner at a local restaurant just around the
corner from our hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 4, Saturday
Once we have gotten a feel for the country and our internal clocks are on track, we'll begin the journey to the Inland Sea with a stop at
Himeji Castle along the way. Himeji Castle is one of the few original remaining castles in Japan that was not destroyed by fires,
earthquakes or wars and is both a national treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Widely considered as Japan's most
spectacular castle, it originated as a fort in the 14th century, evolved over the centuries into the castle complex it became in 1609 and
remains to this day. After a short visit here we'll continue on to the island temple precinct of Miyajima. Miyajima is the site of the
famous red Torii gate rising out of the sea separating the everyday world from the spiritual realm of the adjoining "floating temple"
compound, the Itsukushima Jinja shrine, a symbol of Japanese culture and spirit. Upon arrival we'll check in to our Inn and then
spend some time exploring the village, the temple compound, and wandering through Momiji-dani park, noted for the beauty of its
maple trees in autumn and the cherry blossoms in spring. (B, L, D)

Day 5, Sunday
After a good night's sleep and a Japanese breakfast, we'll be ready to hit the water and view this sacred temple compound from the
unique perspective of our kayak's cockpit. Once we have had the chance to take a few photos and loosen up in the kayak, we'll pack
our picnic lunch and venture along the shore exploring secluded coves, pocket beaches, and oyster farms scattered throughout the bay.
A lunch stop along the way will provide opportunities for a quick dip in the sea, a nap on the beach, or simply a chance to relax and
enjoy the view. Once back at the Inn, we'll freshen up, sit back and enjoy one of our host's magnificent multi-course Japanese
dinners. (B, L, D)


Day 6, Monday
We'll continue our paddling adventures by exploring the remote southern side of this sacred and magical island, absorbing the
peacefulness and breath-taking beauty of the primeval forests blanketing this part of the island. As we paddle along the rocky
shoreline, we'll keep our eyes peeled for the smaller shrines associated with the Itsukushishrine, that have been placed at intervals
around the island further defining its sacred geography. Lunch will be served on the shore of our "own" private pocket beach; time to
rest our muscles, snap some pictures, and enjoy the serenity of the moment before paddling back to our Inn. An evening soak at the
local onsen, (bath house), will provide just the right amount of relaxation before our magnificent multi course Japanese dinner. (B, L,
D)

Day 7, Tuesday
Towering 1739 feet above the quaint village of Miyajima is Mt. Misen, offering panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea and the
distant mountain ranges of Shikoku. We'll start the day with a hike up one of the three footpaths to the summit, encountering
hundreds of domesticated deer along the forested trail and wild monkeys at the summit. Nestled in the peaceful forests near the top of
Mt. Misen are several small temples, including the Gumonjido, founded in the early 9th century by the great sage Kobo Daishi, who lit
the flame within the temple that has burned continually since its dedication. Further down the trail, we'll take the time to explore the
Daishoin Temple, the religious center of the Omuro sect of Buddhist Shingonshu devotees. After a relaxing lunch on the slopes of the
wooded mountainside, we'll head back to the inn, freshen up, and then experience a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, a custom
introduced to Japan in the 9th century and practiced quite often today. (B, L, D)

Day 8, Wednesday
Having had a break from the seat of a cockpit, we'll jump back into the kayaks and continue our exploration of this area by water.
Weather and conditions permitting, we'll explore some of smaller islands near Miyajima, enjoying a picnic lunch along the
way. (B, L, D)

Day 9, Thursday
Today we'll visit the mainland, our destination the world renowned "City of Peace", Hiroshima. Our first stop will be the Peace Memorial Park dedicated on the site of the horrific atomic bomb blast that leveled the city during WWII. The ruin of the atomic bomb dome stands in stark contrast to the lush green of the gardens and the grounds of the Peace Memorial itself. A UNESCO world heritage site, it provides us with perspective in these troubled times. After lunch we'll visit the famous Sukkeien Gardens, originally designed in 1620 by Naga-Akira Asano, the feudal lord who ruled this district. The gardens are situated on the Kyobashi River whose waters are diverted to create streams and ponds within the garden proper. The latter part of the day we'll find us exploring Hiroshima's busy downtown. (B, L, D)

Day, 10 Friday
Once we are through breakfast, have packed our bags and said our goodbyes, we will bid farewell to Miyajima and travel to Nara, the ancient capital of Japan, for our final two nights. Here we will stay at a very traditional Ryokan located in one of the older sections of Nara, and within walking distance of Nara Park. A soak in the onsens, a nap and a visit to a nearby local's favorite for dinner will prime us for an evening wandering around the temples, enjoying the solitude and peacefulness without the crowds.
(B, L, D)

Day, 11 Saturday
Today we'll visit Uji city, and within its confines discover the small village of Uji known for its famous green tea market. Reputed to be Japan's finest tea, we'll be able to sip our tea in the tranquility of the wooded and hilled terrain. In the heart of the city is the renowned Byodo-in and its famous Phoenix Hall, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 950 year-old building is one of the few remaining pieces of architecture from the Heian period and it holds two of the original phoenix carvings fro the ancient roof pediment. Inside we'll also see the original temple bell along with original carvings from the past. Stroll along the river, explore winding trails leading to hidden shrines and temples, or just sit and enjoy the ambience of the cafes along the riverside. Once back in Nara we'll enjoy our final meal together, perhaps drink a little sake, and turn in for the evening. (B, L, D)

Day, 12 Sunday
Depart for US (B)

Note: We try to be as accurate as we can with our itineraries but certain factors out of our control can cause the itinerary to change. We appreciate your flexibility and trust in us to provide you with a safe, enjoyable and memorable experience.


Casco Bay
Aug
16
Aug 18

Casco Bay

Summer homesteads to once-famous authors, poets, and explorers await your visit to this intriguing area known as the Harpswells.

Enjoy Downeast Maine
Aug
9
Aug 14

Enjoy Downeast Maine

Rugged, remote, and simply beautiful. Open stretches of sea, majestic headlands, rustic fishing villages, and undeveloped shoreline are just some of the reasons why we like this area. 

Kids Day Camp
Aug
1
Aug 5

Kids Day Camp

Get the kids outdoors this summer for a great introduction to kayaking and the coastal environment.

Discover Muscungus Bay
Jul
18
Jul 21

Discover Muscungus Bay

Gear up for this exciting adventure along mid-coast Maine. The long narrow bays fed by abundant rivers provide the adventurous paddler with much to see and explore.

Sea Kayak Inn to Inn
Jul
10
Jul 16

Sea Kayak Inn to Inn

The Best of Both Worlds...enjoy an exhilarating day kayaking on the water, soothe your muscles under the warmth of hot shower, sample the fruits of the sea, and relax in the comfort of a cozy Maine Inn!

Casco Bay
Jul
8
Jul 10

Casco Bay

Summer homesteads to once-famous authors, poets, and explorers await your visit to this intriguing area known as the Harpswells.

Midcoast Expedition
Jun
26
Jul 2

Midcoast Expedition

Join us on this 6-day expedition paddling across Penobscot bay, Blue Bay, and into Frenchmen's Bay, a distance of approximately 65 miles.

Jun
1
Jun 12

Icelandic Journey

Kayaking & Sailing Iceland's West Fjords

Iceland...an island in time, presenting a panorama of surreal landscapes, rich history and the struggle between man and the environment; it is a destination whose breathtaking beauty invites exploration.

Iceland is at once a primordial world and a technical conundrum. It has been a place that demonstrates the dichotomy of the wildness of nature, its taming and harnessing by humanity. These qualities have sparked the imaginations of explorers, adventurers, writers and artists from the four corners of the world...and in so many ways, it is indeed the earth's center.

Take the voyage with H2Outfitters' staff, and cross the seas to the island Republic of Iceland. We'll land in this small country's capitol, Reykjavik, the place of Norseman Leif Erikson and his Viking explorers made landfall centuries ago. His statue stands beneath the church towers of Hallgrimskirkja.  Leif's era was a time of epic Viking sagas, discoveries, and battles with the gods and demons that inhabited the geo-thermal nooks and crannies scattered across the surface of the island. These "super-natural forces" have since been tamed by the local population and now support the people and the land as alternative energy sources while at the same time providing recreational and therapeutic resources as an added bonus. From hiking, skiing, and boating to the relaxation of soaking away the stresses and strains in the plentiful hot springs, the land in and of itself is unequaled as an adventures' paradise.

We'll paddle into the country's deep fjords, visit small villages, and get to know the people on an intimate level of culture-to-culture. The locals are self-sufficient, welcoming to voyagers from the sea like ourselves, and always curious about the ancestry of the new friends they meet. Remember, these are people with surnameslike Sigurds-son or Olafs-dottir and they want to know who you belong to this in this world! This is their land where the mountains meet the sea, a land that is in a constant state of flux with seismic volcanic action and slow-moving glaciers. The metaphor of fire and ice holds so true in this dynamic environment and is the driving force behind the hospitality and generosity of its people.

We'll trek to, and stand on, the surface of a glacier underway, breath air whose crispness will quickly become an acquired taste, and savor the magical light in a land that is for half the year bathed only in shades of twilight. This is the atmosphere of adventure, and discovery, and there is no place like it on this Earth. And so, it might be said that Iceland is an all-encompassing wilderness that not only transcends the conflict between man and nature, but also offers visitors an opportunity to become participants in its daily give and take.

Please join us for an exciting journey to this magnificent land of fire and ice, another on our list of Adventures for a Lifetime.

(Need new itinerary)

2014 Iceland Itinerary

Sea Kayaking & Sailing Iceland�s West Fjords

A journey by sea, land and horseback

June 7 - 17, 2014

 

The West Fjords of Iceland offers unequaled landscapes of dramatic cliffs, lush valleys, and few remote fishing villages.  Wildlife is abundant with almost 50 species of breeding birds, arctic fox, seals, whales and porpoise. Using a sailboat as our �Mothership� you will have the flexibility to explore the plentiful fjords that penetrate deeply into this land-mass creating the fingerlike peninsulas of the West Fjords.  In addition to the kayaking, you�ll also have the chance to explore on foot over glaciers and sloping lava fields.  Clean, comfortable, and warm accommodations are provided on board the sailboat as well as delicious Icelandic meals and fresh coffee.

 

At the end of the kayak/sailing trip, we will return to the capital city of Reykjavik, renowned for its European influence of fine restaurants, nightlife, and shopping.  You�ll have time to explore this vibrant city full of history, architectural designs, and excellent cuisine.  One cannot leave Iceland before experiencing the agility and sturdiness of the Icelandic horse or a visit to the Blue Lagoon.  You�ll have the option to partake in both activities or spend time exploring on your own on our final day in Iceland.

 

Day 1 Departure from US

Day 2 Domestic flight from Reykjavik to Isafjordur

Day 3 Explore Isafjordur; leave on kayak trip

Day 4 Paddle around the island of Vigur; a breeding site for thousands of seabirds

Day 5 Kayak near spectacular cliffs in the Hornstradir Nature Reserve

Day 6 Kayak or hike in Hornvik and then sail to the old abandoned village of Hesteyri 

Day 7 Paddle to the Drangajokull glacier & hot springs

Day 8 Explore the fjord by kayak before returning to Isafjordur

Day 9 Catch a morning flight to Reykjavik� explore Reykjavik

Day 10 Optional � day horseback riding

Day 11 Depart for US 

 

 

Detailed Itinerary

 

Day 1 -  Saturday, June 7

Depart from US to Iceland.  It is best to try for the overnight flight arriving in Iceland early morning.  

 

Day 2 � Sunday, June 8

Upon arrival in Iceland, transfer by bus to the domestic airport for a mid-late morning flight to Isafjordur.  After we have settled into the guesthouse, spend some time exploring this picturesque village nestled in the shadow of the surrounding foothills.  Enjoy an Icelandic cup of coffee, stroll through the tiny streets or stretch your legs wandering the hills and be sure to bring your camera.  Our first Icelandic dinner will be enjoyed at the local restaurant as we share excitement for the upcoming sailing/kayaking adventure. (D)

 

Day 3 � Monday, June 9

Final preparations for gear and equipment will be covered today with the plan to depart at about 4PM to sail to our first night�s anchorage, approximately one hour away.  Once anchored you�ll have the option of going for a short paddle or a short hike along the beach.  The long days provide many hours to enjoy this incredible outdoor playground and wonderful lighting for the aspiring or avid photographer. (B, L, D)

 

Day 4 � Tuesday, June 10

We�re off to the island of Vigur, a breeding ground for thousands of seabirds including Eiders, Puffins, Arctic terns and Black Guillemots.  You�ll have a chance to walk on the island, paddle around it, and experience the unique coexistence of man and nature firsthand.  Later in the day, we�ll sail 2-4 hours to our next destination, the bay of Aoalvik. (B, L, D)

 

Day 5 � Wednesday, June 11

Get ready for some spectacular scenery today as we paddle along white sandy beaches, and 

beneath 600�-1500�cliffs around the Hornvik peninsula, part of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. The panoramic views of the fjords you will have from the hike will be well worth it and perhaps you�ll spot an Arctic fox frolicking in the flowering fields. (B, L, D)

 

Day 6- Thursday, June 12

View the beauty of this area today with a hike in the preserve to the top of the cliffs or explore more by kayak before we depart by sailboat to our anchorage just offshore of the abandoned village of Hesteyri.  A quick side-trip on the sailboat we�ll take us across the Arctic Circle before reaching our destination. (B, L, D)

 

Day 7 � Friday, June 13

A paddle across the bay will bring us to the Drangajokull glacier that flows into this fjord stirring the water enough to muddy the waters. Hike up the glacier and perhaps even take the kayaks up the river and try an easy run down.  (B, L, D)

 

Day 8 � Saturday, June 14

This is the final day of the kayak trip with the option of a short or long paddle.  Later in the day we will end up back in Isafjordur, check into the guesthouse and head off to dinner, indulging in another wonderful Icelandic meal and sharing tales of the week. (B, L, D)

 

Day 9 � Sunday, June 15

After breakfast and packing our belongings, we�ll catch a morning flight to Reykjavik, check into our hotel, and venture off to explore this vibrant city rich in history, culture, and architecture � maybe we�ll even stop by for a soak in one of the many thermal pools scattered throughout the city. (B)

 

Day 10 - Monday, June 16

It�s off to �tolt� on the sturdy-footed, agile, and gentle Icelandic horses through lava fields, farmland, and rolling hills.  These iconic creatures are beloved by the Icelandic people and an important link in the transportation chain of this small country.  If you�d prefer not to ride, you�ll have time to explore more of the city before we all meet up for our final dinner. (B)

 

Day 11 - Tuesday, June 17

Departure day. (B)

 

 

 

Trip Price

$5250 per person double occupancy; single supplement $300. 

If you are single and willing to share a room, please let us know.

 

What�s Included

� Domestic Flight from Reyjkavik to West Fjords and back

� Meals as noted on itinerary

� Four-nights accommodations in guesthouses/hotels

� 5 days kayaking/sailing including kayaks, paddles, PFDs, and spray skirts

� Accommodations on the sailboat and all meals while on the kayak/sailing trip

 

 

What?s Not Provided 

� International airfare 

� Meals not specified on the itinerary 

� Excess baggage charges or insurance of any kind 

� Alcoholic beverages 

� Items of a personal nature (snacks, laundry, etc.) 

� Fees for any optional activities such as horseback riding or other sightseeing options 

� Airport departure taxes; additional hotel nights that may be incurred due to airport schedule changes or other factors

� Gratuities for guides 

 

 

NOTE: We try to be as accurate as we can with our itineraries but certain factors out of our control can cause the itinerary to change.  We appreciate your flexibility and trust in us to provide you with a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience.

Sea Kayak Sardinia
May
19
May 29

Sea Kayak Sardinia

The Crown Jewel of the Tyrrhenian Sea

We're looking for a few good men and women, adventurous paddlers who would like to join us on an exploratory journey to one of the Mediterranean's island treasures, Sardegna. Also known as the island of Sardinia, it is located just west of the Italian coastline midway to Majorca and the Bealeric Islands, and has served as a stopping off point for invaders, travelers, and explorers over the centuries.  Our roles will be more of the latter, as we focus our exploration on the Maddelena island archipelago at the northern tip of the island.  This will be a paddler's trip, not so much for the cafe and cappuccino crowd, although that opportunity will most likely present itself while we are there.  Conditions could be rough with wind and waves, but the rewards will be great as we lose ourselves in the adventure, finding some real gems off the beaten path.  Expect to establish some long-lasting friendships with the people we meet as we share exceptional food and sustenance at the table.

Although part of Italy, Sardinia is in-and-of itself, a world apart.  The native dialect, Sardo, has been identified as the closest living language to the Latin spoken by the ancient Romans.  The island was once controlled by Rome's greatest enemy in the Mediterranean, Carthage, whose armies threatened Rome itself under the leadership of their famous general Hannibal Barca.  The Bronze Age Nuraghic civilization left their mark on the island as well; these ancient builders constructed countless stone towers scattered through the countryside, an archaeological mystery waiting to be solved by those of us with the Indiana Jones-gene!  Even the rock formations have an other worldly appearance, shaped by the Mistral, that harsh west wind that accelerates down the Rhone Valley, across Provence, and then out to sea sculpting the island's coast line into organic shapes. The result reminiscent of the smooth, flowing, carvings of sculptor Jean Arp if one uses some imagination.  This is a place not to be missed!!

The clear azure sea that offers us breathtaking ocean-bottom-views 60 or more feet below our kayaks will be the stage upon which we become the actors in this dynamic drama of ebb and flow.   Lots of paddling to be found, secret places to explore, hidden sea caves, secluded beaches and the opportunity for some lively surf will be part of the action too. For land lubbers there will be opportunities to hike or bike instead, and of course time can be taken to find a cliff-side perch and simply watch the ever-changing sea.

Don't forget, as an exploratory trip we'll be checking out inns and restaurants, and with your input, selecting the choice locations that we will offer in the future to H2O clients.   So overall we'll have some fun, some thoughtful work, some serious paddling, and an unequaled sampling of food and wine prepared in a traditional manner.  Could be just the ticket for a great getaway!

But that's not all, before we depart for our ocean voyage to Sardinia, experience a traditional Italian luncheon where you'll have the chance to participate in the preparation of the meal from the selection and picking of fresh vegetables in the garden, to the hands-on rolling of the dough as you make delicious gnocchi, which will be shared by all. How about running down to the cellar to fill a carafe with fresh olive oil out of the cask, the incredibly fruity green-gold liquid produced by the same family just a short drive away in their 800 year-old workshop, now serving as an artisanal production facility. We will experience the essence of slow cooking, selecting local ingredients that are in season, and be part for a hands-on slow food workshop where we can enjoy the "fruits" of our labors.


May 19* - 29*, 2016

* Travel days

$5500 per person based on double occupancy; singles add $500

The Price includes 9 night accommodations in Inns or hotels, meals as noted on itinerary, in-country transportation once you have arrived at our first night's Inn as outlined on the itinerary, ferry to Sardinia, kayaking gear and safety equipment, Slow Food workshop, and highly qualified & trained guides

Click here for detailed itinerary

Click here to registration details

Kayaking the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre
May
19
May 29

Kayaking the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre

Join us for an unforgettable kayak adventure along the soaring coastline of Cinque Terre, an enclave of five villages perched precariously above the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Also known as the Italian Riviera, this region of Italy boasts not only incredible kayaking but an intricate network of hiking trails between the villages allowing visitors to experience the beauty from both sea level and a bird's eye view.  Accessible only by boat or train, the five villages remain untouched by the encroachment of development, which changes the character and charm of such special places.  This is a destination that offers an authenticity, a slower pace, yet, provides a diversity of activity that truly sets it apart.

Enjoy five days of paddling from village to village, our lodgings wonderful Inns and hotels with panoramic views of the Mediterranean.  A special addition to the trip is an exploration of Porto Venere which was a major trading center throughout Medieval times. Its wide quayside offers a multitude of cafes and quaint shops and, with some careful wandering, you may discover the most delicious pesto to be found anywhere in Italy.  We'll leave that discovery to you!

What makes this trip especially interesting is that it offers so much more than just the paddling. The spectacular vistas of the Ligurian Coast are complemented by the food, the wine, and the subtle play of light on the colors of the landscape. These are all qualities that contribute to the essential nature of what Italy has to share.  Participate in an authentic Slow Food cooking class, a full day of gustatory comeraderie with hands-on preparation, involved cooking, and the resultant feast by mid afternoon, a fitting culmination to the day's "work".

There is no better way to create a memorable journal of your experience than a photographic record of where you have been and those with whom you have shared your adventure.  Our uniquely structured photography workshop lends itself to just that... a process that develops a sense of effective composition rather than technical complication.  Our instructor and Tuscan guide, is a noted photographer in the region.  His approach is positive and reinforcing and provides you with the opportunity to grow and test your skills whether you are looking through the viewfinder of a high-end DSLR camera or framing your shot on the screen of a point-and-shoot.  Photo opportunities abound from ancient Roman baths and hidden Etruscan ruins, to the day to day activity and commerce in the local butcher shop, Macelleria, a place where our group will have a chance to feast on a sampling of meats, cheeses, and wines that will constitute our late day picnic lunch in the field!  This will be a "full" day excursion in more ways than one.

So come join us on our maiden voyage to Cinque Terre.  "Piano, piano, piano", as the Italians say, "slowly, slowly, slowly" enjoy life, perhaps as it should be.


Cinque Terre Itinerary

DAILY ITINERARY

Day 0, Friday - depart US (overnight flight)

Day 1, Saturday - Impruneta

After arriving in Florence, transfer to our Inn 30 minutes outside of Florence, settle in to your room, and explore the village as you unwind from your travels. This evening we'll all come together for our "welcome dinner" at the Inn and official kick off to the trip.

Day 2, Sunday - Florence & Impruneta

A day to discover some of the hidden treasures of Tuscany by wandering the country roads past wineries, olive groves, and terra cotta family-run businesses as well as visiting local artisan shops. We are excited to introduce you to our friends from Sagittario, a small family-run olive farm on the outskirts of Impruneta.  You'll have a chance to visit their facility and see how the olive oil process works at a small scale operation and then be treated to an authentic family meal with them at their home.  Pitch in to gather the vegetables and herbs from the garden, get involved with the chopping, mincing and mixing prep, and enjoy the lively banter that soon begins in the kitchen as the meal is being prepared..  Shortly thereafter, sit down to enjoy the delicious meal, colorful conversation, and gracious hospitality of our friends. A wonderful ending to this day in Tuscany! (B, L, D)

Day 3, Monday - Southern Tuscany

Today we'll experience the magical light, texture, and color of Tuscany as we traverse much of the southern part of the region with noted Tuscan photographer, Duccio Nacci. With Duccio's guidance and coaching we will be able to take the images we see on this Tuscan canvas and create a photographic portrait that reflects our individual vision of what we see.  Duccio's instruction is non-technical and based on composition and the relationship between eye, camera, and subject.  There will be an immediate improvement in your picture-taking ability, the way you look at a vista, a subject, or a scene and transpose that vision into a picture.  We'll visit areas that only a local would know, small country churches, medieval hamlets with unique architecture, traversing dusty little roads, hiking up rolling hills reflecting the shimmering shades of autumn, places where you'll meet the local people. Part of our journey with Duccio will include a visit to the local Macelleria and artisanal brewery.  Here we'll taste, (a 2-hour culinary excursion), and collect supplies for a picnic lunch amidst the scenery of the Tuscan hills, a splendid vista opening before us as we wait for the light to be just so. (B, L, D)

Day 4-Day 8, Tuesday-Saturday - Cinque Terre

We'll take the train from Florence to Monterosso (about a 3 hour train ride) where we'll begin the kayak trip along the Italian Riviera. Throughout the 5 days we will travel by kayak from one village to the next, sometimes with side trips to nearby islands, of course depending upon the weather and the group's abilities and desires. Each night we will stay at family-run hotels/Inns and enjoy fresh fish of the sea complemented with local wines, the grapes of which have been harvested right from the surrounding hillside vineyards. There are walking trails between the villages as well and optional hiking trails that offer some great panoramic views from up high. (B,L,D).

Day 9- Saturday, - Lucca/Florence/Impruneta

Departing the Cinque Terre region, we'll make our way back to Impruneta stopping along the way at the walled Medieval city of Lucca, birthplace of Pinnochio. Explore the back alleys and small streets lined with local artisans, cafes, and historic buildings, enjoy a relaxing meal in the heart of the village, a unique circular piazza, or stroll along the wall surrounding the village to see the area in its entirety. Later in the day, we'll return to our Inn in Impruneta, have some time to relax, and then enjoy our final dinner at the Bellavista, recounting tales and stories of the week's adventures.. (B, D)

Day 10 - Sunday, - Depart for US

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change.

Japan's Inland Sea
Apr
19
Apr 30

Japan's Inland Sea

Sea Kayaking Japan's Inland Sea

The island archipelago of Japan is a land of contrasting harmonies, and this ever present quality becomes a prevailing condition of our journey. The juxtaposition of nature and tradition against technology and development presents the backdrop for an adventure for a lifetime.  From the busy seaport of Osaka to the sacred island precinct of Miyajima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, our group of paddlers will come to understand firsthand the complexities of this island nation.  This is a voyage we have been taking since the late 90's and we have formed long lasting relationships with the local people, businesses, and the areas in which we paddle.  Our group will participate in a traditional tea ceremony, relax at the end of the day in thermal Onsen hot springs, and indulge in gustatory delicacies unique to each region we visit. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is at once humbling and spiritual, sending a clear message of our ability to destroy, while leaving a lasting impression for hope.  The ancient cities of Nara and Kyoto are on our agenda also, providing a clear view into Japan's past.  All this is connected, appropriately, by in-country travel on the country's Shinkansen high speed bullet trains!  And so, the principles of Wabi-Sabi apply as we venture from one realm to the next...

$5950 per person double occupancy;
singles add $500

Price includes 10 nights accommodations in Japan, meals as noted on itinerary, all transportation once in Japan, kayaking equipment and guides, entry fees to other points of interest as noted on itinerary.

Costa Rica
Jan
28
Feb 5

Costa Rica

The lush greens of the tropical rainforest, miles of sparkling white sandy beaches, reflecting the intense equatorial rays of the sun, simmering volcanoes and misty crater lakes�.

Belize
Jan
14
Jan 23

Belize

Belize Sea Kayaking Adventure

While everyone else is talking about pristine sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and the Caribbean sun, we want to take you on a complete and total escape experiencing not only the obvious but the sublime. Paddle with us to the lush tropical rain forests and jungles of Belize. Drop down into second gear as you encounter the colors of the Caribbean, the fabric of people, places, and Creole culture that make this small country so unique. Live the life of a beach-comber, take a week away from the hectic bustle and relax with us beach-side in your own private Cabana. Paddle the Cayes of Belize, indulge in the food of the islands, step back into the primordial world of the rain forest where you'll see flora, fauna, and become part of this tropical delight. You may even have the opportunity to stumble across a Mayan ruin. Join us on this journey of discovery that will lead us down paths we can only imagine.

We'll embark on this adventure with a stay at the Tropical Education Center at the Belize Zoo, home to 170 different animals, most of which are native to Belize and have been rescued or rehabilitated. Wake the next morning and we're off to the underworld of Belize with a tour of Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave, with Mayan remains and historical significance to the Belizean culture.  Soon we depart the underworld and head to the glorius Tobacco Caye and Glover's Reff for four magical days of kayaking, snorkeling, and relaxing.  Delving deeper into the Belizean way of life, we then head to the lush tropical jungle staying at an eco-resort surrounded by the thick jungle canopy supporting diverse flora and fauna.  Here you'll have the oportunity to choose a tour of your choice or simply relax.  To round out our trip, we fly to Caye Caulker, an island paradise with a feel of stepping back in time.  Its laid-back atmosphere provides the perfect enviroment to finish off our trip.  There will be time to snorkel, rent a paddle-board or sit-on top kayak and wander the dirt "main st" meeting the locals selling their hand-made goods, sipping a tropical drink seaside, or kicking back in a hammock under a swaying palm tree.Moving on from Placencia we'll fly to Caye Caulker, an island Paradise.

So escape with H2Outfitters to the warmth of this paradise, its people, its climate, and its hospitality. Without a doubt, this will be an Adventure for a Lifetime and one you will savor for months afterward.

Maine Hut To Hut Kayak Trip
Oct
22
Oct 25

Maine Hut To Hut Kayak Trip

Join us as we explore the beautiful and wild western mountains region of Maine on this 4 day/3 night kayak adventure, utilizing the Maine Huts & Trails system, Maine's newest, year-round outdoor adventure destination.  During our four days we will stay at the beautiful Flagstaff Lake Hut, named "best Lakeside lodging" by the editors of Yankee Magazine, and also at the Grand Falls hut located on the banks of the Dead River.  We'll have a chance to experience the beauty of Maine's lakes and rivers as we make our way from Flagstaff Hut to Grand Falls Hut, hiking the last 2 miles through Maine's scenic woods to the hut.  This is a great trip for all levels of paddlers and an opportunity to enjoy some fresh water paddling.  Experienced kayakers, take advantage of the clear warm [img 3319] water of the lake to practice rescues, rolling, bracing or any other in-water skills that are less inviting to practice in the cold Maine ocean water.

Trip itinerary / details:

Maine Hut To Hut Kayak Trip
Oct
2
Oct 5

Maine Hut To Hut Kayak Trip

Join us as we explore the beautiful and wild western mountains region of Maine on this 4 day/3 night kayak adventure, utilizing the Maine Huts & Trails system, Maine's newest, year-round outdoor adventure destination.  During our four days we will stay at the beautiful Flagstaff Lake Hut, named "best Lakeside lodging" by the editors of Yankee Magazine, and also at the Grand Falls hut located on the banks of the Dead River.  We'll have a chance to experience the beauty of Maine's lakes and rivers as we make our way from Flagstaff Hut to Grand Falls Hut, hiking the last 2 miles through Maine's scenic woods to the hut.  This is a great trip for all levels of paddlers and an opportunity to enjoy some fresh water paddling.  Experienced kayakers, take advantage of the clear warm [img 3319] water of the lake to practice rescues, rolling, bracing or any other in-water skills that are less inviting to practice in the cold Maine ocean water.

Trip itinerary / details:

Maine Hut to Hut Kayak Trip
Sep
17
Sep 20

Maine Hut to Hut Kayak Trip

Join us as we explore the beautiful and wild western mountains region of Maine on this 4 day/3 night kayak adventure, utilizing the Maine Huts & Trails system, Maine's newest, year-round outdoor adventure destination.  During our four days we will stay at the beautiful Flagstaff Lake Hut, named "best Lakeside lodging" by the editors of Yankee Magazine, and also at the Grand Falls hut located on the banks of the Dead River.  We'll have a chance to experience the beauty of Maine's lakes and rivers as we make our way from Flagstaff Hut to Grand Falls Hut, hiking the last 2 miles through Maine's scenic woods to the hut.  This is a great trip for all levels of paddlers and an opportunity to enjoy some fresh water paddling.  Experienced kayakers, take advantage of the clear warm [img 3319] water of the lake to practice rescues, rolling, bracing or any other in-water skills that are less inviting to practice in the cold Maine ocean water.

Trip itinerary / details:

Day 1 - Meet at Maine Huts & Trails Kingfield Office (10am). Drive to put-in on Flagstaff Lake (about a 45 minute drive). Pack boats, paddle, and explore the lake stopping along shore for a picnic lunch. Continue on to the Flagstaff hut to check in, relax, explore the trails, and then sit down to a home-cooked dinner. (Paddling distance about 6 mile)

 Day 2 - Enjoy a full breakfast, and then we'll head out with our picnic lunches to continue exploring the lake, working on paddling technique as we go, and capturing great images of the Bigelow Mountain range that looms over the lake. (Paddling distance, flexible depending upon the group)

 Day 3 - Paddle 2 miles to Dam access road in the northeast corner of Flagstaff Lake. Shuttle boats and participants to the Dead River access on Dead River Rd. Paddle 6 miles down the lazy, meandering river to the dock on the east bank near island above the old dam. Stash the kayaks on the rack in the woods, grab our gear out of the boats, and proceed by foot to the Grand Falls Hut, stopping near Grand Falls to enjoy our lunch, the beautiful waterfall, and snap some photos. Check in. Enjoy another home-cooked dinner, relax and sleep. (Paddling distance 8 miles total)

 Day 4 - Enjoy breakfast. Hike 2 miles back to the kayak rack above the falls. Paddle 6 miles to the Dead River access point. Lunch break. Then shuttle participants back to the parked cars at Round Barn. (Paddling distance 2 miles total)

Package Prices:
MH&T members- $540 plus rooms & meals tax
Non-members -   $575 plus rooms & meals tax

Click here for Registration Information

Click here for a list of what you need to bring

Included: All kayaks, paddles, PDF's, kayaking instruction, 2 shuttles, 3 nights lodgingat 2 different hut locations, 3 dinners, 3 breakfasts & 3 trail lunches.