Samos is included in the premium windsurfing hotspots in Greece, making Halcyon Hills a haven for adventure seeking holiday makers as well as those who prefer to relax in the sunshine.
With thousands of windswept islands, warm Mediterranean water, and countless coves, bays, lagoons, and beaches, windsurfing in Greece you’ll enjoy European destinations that are unmatched in terms of their beauty.
The sport exploded in the region in the mid 1990s and has really gained popularity 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 winds help create some of the most ideal windsurfing locations along the Greek coastline.
And here are the best 10 for you to check out:
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. Mikría Viglía just 12 kilometres from Naxos town is one of the finest windsurfing spots in the Mediterranean. The entire island of Naxos is also less touristy than other spots you might find when windsurfing in Europe, including others you’ll find on this list.
Just east of Naxos, the smaller island of Paros is still large enough to be the Mecca of Greek windsurfing. The tradition of the Professional Windsurfing Association’s annual world cup competition started on the northern coast of the island at New Golden Beach.
This strip of shoreline still hosts events and competitions. Quintessential white-washed façades, crystal blue waters, and the entrenched windsurfing culture at Paros make it a necessary stop on any windsurfing enthusiast’s itinerary.
Ixia Bay (Rhodes)
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.
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 accommodations. There is also ample opportunity for sailing.
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 and boost huge airs.
While the Greek Islands of the Aegean Sea dominate this list, Lefkada is found on Greek’s west coast, in the Ionian Sea. More accurately a peninsula, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, Lefkada’s windsurfing pride is the tiny town of Vassiliki.
Opposing the steady Meltemi wind pattern in the Aegean, 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.
Surf fast and max out your gybes.
Another Ionian representative on the list lies just west of the Albanian/Greek border. The ever-popular tourist destination of Corfu attracts sunbathers, wine connoisseurs, history buffs, and honeymooners alike.
Windsurfing has steadily gained attention here since the 1990s especially at Issos Beach and St. George. Wind conditions vary throughout the day, often gaining strength late in the afternoon. Preferable cross-shore wind direction is optimal for free riding and the local shops are known to set up slalom courses as well.
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 – there is literally non-stop wind from late April through late September.
Chicken Bay is a favorite 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 here is unparalleled. 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 experiences crowding from its close proximity to the sprawling metropolis, windsurfing conditions can resemble the perfection found further out 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.
Just south of the channel between Paros and Naxos, the tiny island of Ios is battered by the wind that escapes its Cycladic neighbors to the north. Ideal for freestyle and slalom sailing, Yialos Beach is the epicenter of windsurfing on the island.
Visitors will find rental shops, lessons, and accommodation here. But windsurfing isn’t the only aquatic activity to experience on Ios. World class diving spots are also a large attraction and being submerged is sometimes the only way to escape the incessant wind!
Birthplace of the ancient mathematician Pythagoras, the island of Samos sits in the eastern Aegean, just a stone’s throw away from the Turkish mainland. Although it has garnered the reputation as the “Emerald of the Aegean” and provides ample opportunity for recreation, Samos has avoided geographic and cultural erosion from excessive tourism.
The town of Kokkari on the northern side of the island is the hotbed of windsurfing activity – several equipment rental facilities are found here as well a long sandy beach 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 be sure to check out the breathtaking hiking and mountain biking trails.
Another Ionian representative on the list lies just west of the Albanian/Greek border. The ever-popular tourist destination of Corfu attracts sunbathers, wine connoisseurs, history buffs, and honeymooners alike. Windsurfing has steadily gained attention here since the 1990s especially at Issos Beach and St. George. Wind conditions vary throughout the day, often gaining strength late in the afternoon.
Preferable cross-shore wind direction is optimal for free riding and the local shops are known to set up slalom courses as well. A few hundred metres offshore you can find steady chop and even decent sized waves with a large enough swell. Corfu’s beaches, hotels, and wind make it great choice for anyone’s windsurfing holiday.