Despite the recent financial challenges of the Greek economy, it’s still a great time to visit and enjoy all the hot spots that Greece has to offer. Greece is near and dear
our hearts here at EPIC, so we took our Greek Limited Edition Screamers back to Greece for some sun, fun and moon light. Read our ride guide to get the details on our favourite riding spots.
Our trip begins with a flight into Athens, and as you descend into a sea of olive groves and blue sky you’ll understand why Greece truly is the land of the Gods. It provides world class kiting with
legendary scenery, warm water and strong winds from May until late September. Opportunities abound to immerse yourself in the culture and history of ancient Greece before hitting the
kitesurfing hotspots around Athens, such as Marathon, Loutsa and Korinthos. “When I go to Greece, I make sure to be there in late July to late August due to the ‘Meltemi wind’, which is a jet-effect increase of wind caused by channeling between the islands and mountain valleys”. The Meltemi’s are at their strongest in the afternoon and often die down at night. Sometimes Meltemi winds last for up to 10 days without a break and produce 14-30 knot winds depending on location and time of day.
Paros is located in the central Aegean Sea and is part of the Cyclades island group. It lies just west of Naxos, and is where the team spends a good deal of time. It’s the backdrop to several photo shoots, including a famous cliff-jumping scene from a recent ad. Dimitri says, “Greece offers so many different locations, conditions and scenery, that capturing stunning photos is easy”. The morning starts with an early 7:30 am session lead by steady strong winds. The morning is the best time for some serenity before the crowds move in since everyone is asleep from the late night parties. Afterwards, it’s off to lunch with his wife and business partner Helen, before resuming demos in the early afternoon. “Before letting people demo the kites, I usually go in and put a show so people can notice the kites and that gets everyone excited to come out and try them. This is when everything starts. While I’m on lunch I leave the kites with people to try and when I return I’m always excited to hear what they have to say. The kites do all the talking for me, and the feedback has been really impressive. What I love the most about this job and process is the interaction with the riders. I thrive on the comments and the look on their faces after trying a kite or board”, he said. After an exciting day of riding and hosting demos, the group retires back to their home for some R and R and a check of emails and other work tasks before dinner. Greece is covered in hot spots and vibrant nightlife is everywhere. Dimitri says, “Usually we go out for dinner around 10 pm and then return around 1 or 4 am depending on what’s happening in town. If it’s going to be a really windy morning I make sure to get back earlier though, so I can be the first one on the water”.
To the west is Naxos, a neighboring island to Paros and equally as beautiful. “Naxos is a very nice place and you can actually kite to Paros from there in 22 minutes! I’ve done it.” Dimitri claims. You can expect choppy kickers and some gusty conditions making it ideal for some great boosting sessions, but you have to work at it given the variable conditions.
Another hot spot is the island of Rhodes, which is in the eastern Aegean Sea and is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population. There are a few options at your disposal – One is to take a 15 hour ferry ride or take a short 2 hour trip by plane. Dimitri says “Personally I would recommend the ferry boat because of the gear you will be carrying plus you can sleep on the boat all night and arrive around 9 am the next day fresh and ready to ride. For comfort, be sure to rent a cabin if you have a party of four or more.” Prasonisi is positioned on the southern tip and is one of the most famous windsurfing and kitesurfing centers in Europe as strong wind always fires one of its two beaches. The western side of the point is the predominant side for kiting while the eastern side is more calm and popular with families and beach goers. Prasonisi is an ideal spot with aqua marine colored waters and good waves. On this leg of the trip, Jeoren Tump, Epic’s graphic designer joined in to listen to rider feedback and to discus the look and feel of future kite and design needs. Dimitri says “Jeoren loved Greece, he didn’t want to return home!”
Korfos beach on the island of Mykonos usually sees great 20-30 knot on shore wind and is a popular spot. There is a great kite club and lesson center (Kite Mykonos) on the beach that can provide location details, lessons and any other assistance. With the proximity to town, you can enjoy a short ride to do some site seeing or push your limits before relaxing after your session.
Also, not to be missed on Mykonos is Ftelia beach, but will require a 30 minutes drive from the town of Mykonos. You’ll be rewarded with big waves and strong winds which makes it less ideal for new riders, but quite attractive to kite surfers. It’s a large beach with very little around it making it a great day trip spot. Plus there is a nice restaurant right on the beach if you need to refuel. While in Mykonos, make sure to check the very small island of Delos, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece and only 30 minutes by ferry. It has historical significance and is uninhabited. Dimitri says “Kiting there is breath taking but you have to be very carful because of the tourists going in and out on boats visiting this very small rock island. And while kiting there you can look down and see an ancient submerged city under you!” Getting there requires a private boat if you want to kite and Paros Adventure can provide this to you for a fee. But if you are an Epic kite owner, join the group for free – personal guide included.
If you’re a rider looking to travel to Greece, there are a few words of advice to be shared. Plan your trip around the windy season, but be sure to take some time to immerse yourself in historical sites such as the Acropolis, Korinthos, Poseidon temple, new Athens museum and Olympic stadium in Athens to name a few. When you’re ready for the kite adventure of your life, you can board the ferry from the Port of Piraeus or Rafina, but be sure to rent a car first. Car rentals on the islands are considerably more expensive. You can also fly from Athens to the islands, but there are restrictions on kite gear, and renting a car will give you more freedom to explore various spots. While the Greek food is amazing, most restaurants don’t accept credit cards, so be sure to have cash on hand, and beware of additional items on your bill that weren’t ordered. If you don’t have room for your kite equipment, why not drop Dimitri a line and test all the Epic products and avoid the baggage charge altogether.
Greece and the islands are loaded with amazing riding spots, but don’t expect anyone to offer up the secret stash. “Hmmmm. There are lots of beautiful, secret and secluded spots… If you’re an Epic customer I’d be happy to share that information, or even take you there with me”, Dimitri explains.