Kitesurfing Holidays in Greece Greece, the birthplace of democracy, the home of the Acropolis, and you tell me there’s a bit of kiting to be had as well?
Indeed. Wind actually played a big part within the Ancient Greek Empire, enabling them to trade effectively and to move stuff around more quickly and efficiently than anyone had previously. In fact, around 2500 years ago they would probably also have been sat around waiting for the breeze to kick in to get their day started …
Wow, there’s a thought. I guess a lot has changed since then, but the wind still kicks in?
Yes for sure, the Meltemi – the result of high-pressure to the west and low-pressure to the east of the region – STONKS in throughout summer time… In basic terms the further south you go the windier it is, and the closer to the height of summer you are – you’ve guessed it – the windier it is. There are also local effects which can add a few knots. But you probably won’t need them to kitesurf Greece.
Nice. So, let’s get down to business: where should I head?
Well, more than perhaps any other kite region in the world, you really are spoilt for choice. You could probably spend your 2 weeks here every year for 30 years and still manage to turn up some new spots each summer (there are over 1400 islands)… You can be in the water within half an hour of the center of Athens and mix it up with the great and good of the Greek kitesurfing scene, or you could take yourself off to one of the lesser known islands and ride at your own private beach for days on end without seeing another kiteboarding soul…
Nice idea, but not very helpful to be honest.
No, fair enough. Okay, so the most popular places to kitesurf in Greece are Limnos, Kos and Rhodes. You'll also do well in Mykonos, Paros and Naxos. But by not naming another 30 islands we have probably offended 95% of the Greek kiting population.
Okay, and what is the best way to get there?
You can fly into Athens or you can fly direct to some of the bigger islands… From there the best bet for getting around is via the extensive and efficient ferry network. All of the islands are linked up and relatively easy to navigate by ferry. And the ferries are pretty chilled and a nice way to pass a morning, plus there are no issues with bringing on as much kitesurfing kit as you need.
And what’s on the menu?
You’ll be glad to hear that they’re a pretty healthy bunch and that Mediterranean diet does them no harm at all… So a lot of tomatoes, a lot of good quality olive oil. Oh, and a lot of feta. And Ouzo. True, a bit less healthy, but if you are going to embrace Greek culture then it would be rude not to indulge…
And I guess that with the absence of any kind of significant swell-generating ocean we’re just talking freestyle?
Actually, not entirely the case… A few days of 35+ knot breeze can actually kick up some pretty respectable surf. Although your average Greek’s ‘2 meters’ is probably a little more like ‘shoulder high’, you can get some very slappable surf at a lot of spots… Odds on you’ll be sharing the waves with a few windsurfers though so you’ll need to keep your wits and your ‘generic swear words of Europe’ about you.
Sounds like a winner. Anything else I need to know?
Not really – Greece is a classic place to head for kitesurfing. And odds on you will end up as one of the many kiters who return every year for the winning combo of kiting and laidback culture that Greece delivers again and again…
Getting there: It depends where you’re heading. You can fly to Athens, or Rhodes or Crete or Mykonos or… you get the picture… There are 16 airports with international options. Best bet is to check the map.
Best season: July and August provide pretty much guaranteed wind… Spring and Autumn and you’ve still got a good chance of getting in most days.
In the bag: Summertime you’ll need a 9 and a 7 for sure, maybe a 5. Winter and a ‘big kite’ is worth having. Then a couple of twinnies and a surfboard. And a roofrack.
Not in the bag: Any particularly strong opinions about the EU.
Rubber: Maybe a shortie or a rashie. Nothing more.
Beer: €4. Or more if you want a view of the sunset.
Most likely to hear: Yes, it comes with feta.
Least likely to hear: I’ve been on better trips…