With thousands of miles of coastline threading through three seas and islands clustered everywhere, Greece should be a surfing no-brainer. However, small fetches of open water inhibit this would-be surfing paradise.
Coming to the rescue are the Meltemi winds which blow down the Aegean Sea and deliver surf to the southern islands. Local weather disturbances in the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas will produce surf as well.
For Med-exposed surfing spots the best time of year is winter. Water temps will be in the 60s to 70s at this time (Fahrenheit). The summer surf-bringing Meltemi winds in the Aegean Sea rarely drop the air or the water below 70 degrees. Occasionally during chilly periods in Greece you’ll need a wetsuit to surf, but nothing more than a 3/2. By the way bet365 is coming to Canada, but take a break from sports betting bonanza and go travel.
Greece surfing spots and beaches
Costa Navorino in Pelloponisos is an a popular destination despite it’s lack of great surf. In winter low pressure systems churn up local windswell in the Ionian Sea that can dish out a few good rides on occasion. The best direction is from the west or southwest.
The bay at Kolibithra on the north shore of Tinos faces directly into the Aegean Sea and full fury of the Meltemi winds. The result is a crumbly left-hander that allows for long rides and a shorter right. While the swell producing winds blow hardest during July and August, shoulder seasons can see some good surf too. The beach is popular and can get crowded.
Crete sticks out into the Mediterranean and offers the most consistent surfing in Greece. The north side of the island pulls in surf from the Meltemi winds and the west and south coasts draw in anything the Mediterranean can throw at it. Chania beach is the focal point of surfing on Crete.
Greece surf schools and lessons
At Chania you’ll find Surfing Crete, a group of core surfers who will take you on personalised surf-aris around the island. One and four-day trips are available for individuals or groups up to 13. Surf lessons at the main break are available for individuals or groups. You must call for pricing.
On mainland Greece, Kyma Surf School in Bouka (Costa Navarino) offers lessons in surf, yoga, pilates and is a “health-centric” establishment. They also rent any equipment you may need for conditions that day, from longboards to SUPs. The camp is mobile, taking their lessons on the road to the best breaks. Private 1.5 hour lessons start at 50€ and group surf lessons go for 30€ per person.
Surf Lessons Tinos is the Big Kahuna of schools on Tinos. Their history goes back to the nineties and they are a core crew of surfers. 1.5 hour lessons start at 55€ for one-on-one instruction while a group lessons will set you back 35€ They also rent surfboards for 35€ per day.
Greece hotels and camps for surfers
At the Navarone Hotel, Rooms start at 50€ and go up depending on size and amenities. Great affordable accomodation for surfers and water sports enthusiasts who are heading to Greece. They also offer bungalows, apartments and almost anything in between except camping. Somewhat isolated, which can work for you if you want seclusion. Warm, remote beaches are a short walk away and the occasional surf session. Book through their website at hotelnavarone.gr
The Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare is budget deluxe with all the trappings of a high-end resort. Its a huge complex with 400 plus rooms and six pools. The prices are good for a place with a “resorty” feel. They have an aqua gym, beach volleyball and, in a throwback to Olympic Games of old, archery. A good central location to explore the many breaks on Crete. Rooms start at 80€.
Explore the surf on Tinos Island by staying at the Nostos, Tinos. This funky, 40€ per night hotel faces south into the mediterranean on a quiet little beach. From there it’s just a short drive along the coast to the north side of the island and the main breaks of Kolibithra Bay. The hotel sits in a small, slow town. Guests can enjoy breakfast and coffee on a terrace overlooking the Aegean sea.
Greece is a great vacation place for water sports activities.
Greece surfing guide and tips prepared by Bryan Dickerson (wavepoolmag.com) for Dailystoke.com’s surf guides.
Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler