With over 6,000 islands, Greece is home to some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches and kitesurfing spots, attracting water sport fans from all over the world. What’s more, the topography is ever- changing and depending on where you visit, you can go from arid, like Paros, to wooded like Skopelos, or from mountainous like Crete to some pretty flat plains on the Western Peloponnese. The mainland’s coast and the islands have always offered water sports, and windsurfing has always been part of the Greek beach experience. It’s a natural progression that those beaches now share space with the new generation of kite-surfers. Great temperature, beautiful beaches aside, the famous Meltemi winds (dry northern winds) of the Aegean hit the coasts during the summer months and get downright wicked in July and August. So for the adventurous travelers, who want to mix sports with natural beauty, here are our picks for some of the best kite surf beaches the country has to offer.
Marmari, Evia – Easy 3-hr drive from Athens
Image courtesy of www.kitegreece.com
If you want to drive somewhere close to Athens then this is the spot. Marmari is on the southern part of Evia, an island off the coast of mainland Greece but connected by bridge, which makes for an easy journey. Evia island has only recently been discovered by tourists, so in the summer months do not expect to be overwhelmed by the crowds. Marmari town is charming and because of the mountain and the small straight between Petali and Evia island, the surf spot offers 24/7 winds.
Milos Beach, Lefkada – Easy 4.30-hr drive from Athens
Image courtesy of Alessandro Tortora
Like Evia, Lefkada is an island connected to the mainland by bridge making it an easy destination from Athens. Lefkada is part of the Ionian islands and is known for its beautiful beaches. Milos beach located in the northern part of the island is where all the kitesurfers head for the maistros winds that blow consistently from the northwest. This is not a secret location, as many competitions take place here.
Mikri Viglia, Naxos – Ferry or flight
Image courtesy of dimitris polykandritis and www.kitejungle.com
Naxos, part of the Cyclades islands, known for the white houses and blue shutters, and strong winds (!!) is a perfect destination for the whole family. As for where to surf, Mikri Viglia, meaning small observatory in Greek, is a long and deep beach equipped with sand dune formations and enough room for beginners and experienced kite surfers.
Drive up to Apiranthos for dinner after a long day out at sea and you can have a little taste of Crete while on Naxos, as the proud inhabitants of this mountain town originate from Crete and make some of the most delicious food on the whole island.
Pounta, Paros – Ferry or flight
Image courtesy of www.spots-evasion.com
Right next door to Naxos is the island of Paros. You could literally surf to Paros from Naxos. As they are in the same grouping of islands they share the picturesque villages and famous “Meltemi” winds that pick up in July/August allowing for prime kite surfing conditions. Pounta beach on Paros, is more popular and established that Mikri Viglia, and attracts famous kite surfers as well as all-around kite surfing enthusiast. To avoid the crowds off Pounta Beach, we recommend surfing across to Antiparo where you will find more space to play.
Once the day is done, make your way to Taverna Tsachpinis (https://www.facebook.com/Tsachpinis/) for a delicious grilled fish meal in the quaint port town of Naousa.
Prasonisi, Rhodes – Ferry or flight
Image courtesy of https://uniquedestination.mitsishotels.com
Prasonisi is located in the most remote and beautiful part of Rhodes and is a famous destination for kite surfers. What makes this location unique is that it is divided into two sections thanks to a thin strip of sand linking the islet with Rhodes. One side is for kite and wind surfers that enjoy speeding through the sea, and the other side is enjoyed by those that like to get some serious air and do those tricks that leave the bystanders with mouths wide open.
Keros, Lemnos - Ferry or flight
Image courtesy of www.surfclubkeros.com
The island of Lemnos is located in the northern part of the Aegean Sea and due to its very strong winds in August, the island is known as "the wind-ridden one". Keros beach in Lemnos is truly a unique location nestled in the heart of a Natura 2000 ecosystem, a network of nature protected areas in the EU. Here you will find consistent meltemi winds!
Image courtesy of www.surfclubkeros.com
For an unforgettable experience, we recommend Surf Club Keros (https://www.surfclubkeros.com/) where you can stay in one of their luxury safari tents and indulge, thus giving your camper van a well-needed break!
Sailing the Aegean
Image courtesy of www.thethingaboutgreece.com
Another option, if you’ve got the time (and cash), is to rent a sail boat and island hop. Depending on how much time you have, you could hit most of these destinations. If you end up in the Cyclades we recommend Pori Beach on the island of Koufonissia. Pori beach is rustic, with ideal winds for some great surfing sessions, beautiful vistas and an out of this world taverna. This is what summer in Greece is all about! Just pick up your Anaskela towel and go!
contributing ideas by Marianna Grigoraki @marianna.surfwtheflow
If you’re looking for something a little more active than a mid-morning nap under the palapa, maybe some of these activities will inspire you to go off the beaten path.
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