Dreaming of Greek windsurfing holidays? There are thousands of windswept islands, warm Mediterranean water, and countless coves, bays, lagoons, and beaches in Greece. So we decided to share with you the best windsurf spots in Greece.
Windsurfing exploded in Greece in the mid 1990’s and has been very popular ever since.
Especially strong throughout the summer months, wind in the region is the product of recurring opposing pressure systems over Turkey and the Balkan Peninsula. The resulting Meltemi (aka Etesian) winds create some of Europe’s best windsurfing locations.
Of course great wind, lovely beaches and warm water are only part of the appeal. You also have the friendly Greek hospitality, delicious food and a well established tourist infrastructure. In Greece you have destinations ranging from quiet to lively, family to romantic and secluded to very busy.
To help you decide where to go, here are the 10 best windsurf spots in Greece:
So we start of our list of the best Greek windsurfing holidays with Naxos. The Cycladic Islands are renowned for their windsurfing conditions. Naxos, the largest one, has fantastic accommodation just metres away from a shallow lagoon and reef ledge. The wind is mostly on-shore here and blows consistently, with few lulls or major gusts.
The large lagoon is great for beginners to learn on flat water, while more advanced riders can enjoy waves beyond the reef ledge. The lagoon remains exposed even in off-peak months so windsurfing is enjoyed year-round here.
Mikri Vigla is just 12 kilometres from Naxos town and is one of the finest windsurfing spots in the Mediterranean. The entire island of Naxos is also less touristy than other popular destinations in this list of the best windsurf spots in Greece.
Just east of Naxos, the smaller island of Paros is still large enough to be the Mecca of Greek windsurfing holidays. The tradition of the annual world cup run by the Professional Windsurfing Association began at New Golden Beach on the northern coast of Paros.
This strip of shoreline still hosts events and competitions. Quintessential white-washed façades, crystal blue waters, and the entrenched windsurfing culture at Paros makes it one of the best windsurfing spots in Greece.
The island of Rhodes is perhaps the most popular and notable destination for serious Greek windsurfers today. Ixia Bay, also known as Surfer’s Paradise, is found on the northwest coast and is a popular choice for windsurfing holidays in Greece.
Steady cross-shore wind flow and choppy waters create a playground for windsurfers and kitesurfers. Several rental companies are present here, as are a variety of accommodation options. There is also ample opportunity for sailing. The island of Rhodes is perhaps the most popular of all windsurf spots in Greece.
At the southern point of Rhodes is Prasonisi beach. It is here that two seas collide: the Aegean and the Mediterranean.
Windsurfers will find water swept flat by prevailing winds on the Mediterranean side and thundering waves just around the bend on the Aegean side. Those who wish to surf fast and max out their gybes will be just as content as those who wish to carve up waves or boost huge airs.
While the Aegean Sea dominates this list of destinations for Greek windsurfing holidays, Lefkada is found on Greek’s west coast, in the Ionian Sea. It is a peninsula, that’s connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Lefkada’s windsurfing pride is the tiny town of Vassiliki.
Winds here shift direction and strengthen throughout the day to make it a great destination for families and windsurfing groups of all abilities. The mornings enjoy relatively light on-shore breezes while the afternoons host stronger cross-shore wind and chop for throwing tricks.
Another Ionian representative on the list of Greek windsurfing holidays lies just west of the Albanian/Greek border. The ever-popular tourist destination of Corfu attracts sunbathers, wine connoisseurs, history buffs, and honeymooners alike.
Since the 1990s windsurfing has steadily grown, especially at Issos Beach and St. George. Wind conditions vary throughout the day, gaining strength late in the afternoon. There’s cross-shore wind that’s optimal for free riding plus the local shops are known to set up slalom courses.
A few hundred metres offshore you can find steady chop and even decent sized waves with a large swell. Corfu’s beaches, hotels, and wind make it one of the best windsurf spots in Greece.
The narrow island between Rhodes and Crete is a magnet for Meltemi wind energy flowing south over the Aegean. Its reputation as the windiest Greek island is well deserved and respected. Expect non-stop wind from late April through late September.
Chicken Bay is a favourite spot of beginners as water depth never rises overhead. Gun Bay is optimal for more advanced riders using smaller boards and sails as the wind speed is high. Another selling point making Karpathos a great windsurfing destination is its relatively small local population.
Representing mainland Greece on this list is Loutsa, just east of Athens. While the beach here gets crowded due to its proximity to the sprawling metropolis, windsurfing conditions are as good as those found elsewhere in the Aegean.
Rental shops and lessons are abundant, perfect for the visitor who doesn’t have time to island hop. Waves are small, but they do arrive to the excitement of locals and tourists alike.
Visitors will find rental shops, lessons, and accommodation here. But windsurfing isn’t the only aquatic activity to experience on Ios. There is world class diving and being submerged is sometimes the only way to escape the incessant wind!
Just south of the channel between Paros and Naxos, the tiny island of Ios is battered by the wind that escapes its Cycladic neighbours to the north. Ideal for freestyle and slalom sailing, Yialos Beach is the epicenter of windsurfing on the island. Ios is a welcome addition to the best windsurf spots in Greece.
Birthplace of the ancient mathematician Pythagoras Samos sits in the eastern Aegean a stone’s throw from the Turkish mainland. It has garnered the reputation as the “Emerald of the Aegean” providing ample opportunity for recreation. But Samos has avoided geographic and cultural erosion of excessive tourism.
The town of Kokkari on the northern side of the island is the hotbed of windsurfing activity. There are several places to rent gear. The long sandy beach is perfect for freestyle sailing.
Friendly Meltemi winds increase in strength throughout the day making Samos agreeable to both novices and experts. And if you ever tire of the sea, check out the breathtaking hiking and mountain biking trails. Samos may not be touristy, but deserves to be considered when planning windsurfing holidays in Greece.
We hope you have found our list of the best windsurf spots in Greece useful. What would you suggest for Greek windsurfing holidays? Let us know your top spots in the comments, and be sure to check out our windsurfing holiday discounts as you could save a packet.