I’ve been on quite a few Kitesurfing holidays all around the world. In fact, every holiday I go on is focused around Kitesurfing. Most of the time the location is either really great for kitesurfing, but the tourism aspect is lacking. And at other times the Kitesurfing conditions haven’t been great but there were a lot of other things to do like shopping, going out to restaurants, exploring and sightseeing. Greece was the perfect combination of both!
I specifically chose the small island of Paros because after extensive research, it promised daily strong wind and flat water – just what I was looking for! I have been on long holidays before where I’ve only ended up getting 1 or 2 days of Kitesurfing due to lack of wind. So this time, I made sure there was going to be wind every day, and lots of it! It was my first time visiting Europe so I really didn’t know what to expect, besides what I had read online. The moment I arrived I realised I was not going to be disappointed!
Paros has a small airport but we decided to take the Ferry from Athens, which is something fun to experience if you have never been on a Ferry before. There is plenty of space on the Ferry for all your luggage and kite bags, and even your vehicle if you wish! The Ferry from Athens (Piraeus Port) to the Port of Paros takes more or less 4 hours.
Pounta Beach is the Kitesurfing beach. It is situated right across from another smaller island called Antiparos. This allows the North West wind to funnel through between these two islands causing somewhat of a Venturi affect. The wind gets really strong between the two islands, but it is important to note that the wind is stronger on the Paros side of the island, and you can’t really kite from any of the Antiparos beaches. We went during the busiest, windiest time which is in August. This meant that the wind got up to 20 and 30 knots every single day, throughout the day. But it also meant that it got extremely crowded, particularly with beginners. So launching/landing on the beach and kiting close to the shore could sometimes be tricky with all the beginner kites crashing all around! But the kitesurfing area is so large that one can very easily find a quieter spot away from the beach. If you want to kitesurf/windsurf during a quite time then I would recommend early in the morning or during sunset. Pounta is a long, open stretch of beach so you can easily kite as far upwind or downwind as you please, providing you don’t get in the way of any of the Ferries travelling through the upwind section! The road to the beach runs right along shore so you can park your vehicle right next to the beach. There are also two Kitesurfing centers on the beach where you can do lessons, buy or rent gear and store your Kitesurfing or Windsurfing equipment. Paros is a also a great place to learn kitesurfing as there are plenty of instructors teaching throughout the entire day and jet skis that can rescue you if you can’t come back to land. The water and the air temperature are both really warm so you don’t need a wetsuit unless you are a beginner spending a lot of time lying in the water.
Most days in Paros we would wake up at our beautiful Hotel – Hotel Petres and have a big Greek buffet breakfast there. Then we would get on our scooter and head to Pounta beach for a kite session. Once we were done kiting we would drive down to main town for a late lunch. We would always go to the popular and affordable Zorbas restaurant for a huge delicious Pita. Since we were in the town area we would often get some groceries or do some souvenir shopping. Then we would slowly make our way back to Hotel Petres. We would often go relax in our room or at the pool and if we weren’t too tired from the kiting then we would go to the beautiful Kolymbithres beach down the road.
The sun only sets after 8pm in Paros, so most people only have dinner after that. So just before sunset we would make our way to the town centre of Naoussa which is very close to the hotel to have dinner and walk around the harbour and beautiful boutiques. Each restaurant has a large selection of authentic Greek foods, drinks and desserts. I would recommend trying the Greek salad, zucchini balls and moussaka. And of course you need to try the local drink, Ouzo! But if that’s not your thing, most restaurants also have local seafood, pastas and pizzas or burgers. There is also some Greek beer and you can order wine by the glass, 0.5 litres or even 1 litre!
Paros is definitely a place I would love to travel to again! Not only is the wind consistent and predictable, but the water is warm, the beaches are beautiful and there is plenty to do when you are done Kitesurfing.
Tips for your Kitesurfing holiday in Paros:
- Rent a scooter or quad bike
- Stay at Hotel Petres (www.petres.gr / firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Rent storage space at the kite centre well ahead of time as it gets booked up quickly (email@example.com)
- Pack lots of sunblock! (Check out My Sunscreen Faves)
- Pack small kites but be prepared for softer wind in the early mornings and middle of the day
- Travel during August for the best wind conditions
- Pack spare gear / repair kit in case a beginner crashes into you and destroys your kite (I know it sounds dramatic, but we saw it happen every single day)
Keep a look out for the video of our trip coming soon!
Let me know if you are interested in visiting Paros, I would be happy to give you more tips or answer any questions you may have!