SEA SPORTS
IN GREECE

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Sailing past Greek islands with the sea breeze in your sails, scuba diving in the deep and waves for wind- and kite-surfing

Are you a sea sport enthusiast? Do you love sailing, scuba diving or kitesurfing? With the power of the wind, the magic of the deep and the energy of the waves, the Greek sea will spoil you with a plethora of opportunities for holiday adventures on and under the sea.

The natural landscape in Greece has a place for every outdoor sport and activity. Ready for holiday action? Slice through the waves on a windsurfer or fly over them as you kitesurf. Dive down to wrecks and into underwater grottos. Hire a yacht and island hop in the Aegean and Ionian seas at your own pace, enjoying your own private beach and the fish you’ve caught with your speargun.

In every corner of Greece, you’ll get that rush that comes from a new sea sport experience. Top of the list: beach fun at the watersports centres at Lefkada, Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete and the ‘Athens Riviera’; scuba diving in the sea caves of Skiathos, Zante and Corfu, off the Pelion coast and down to the wrecks off Santorini. Majestic landscapes against a backdrop of the big blue are ideal destinations, from spring until autumn, that invite you to come and challenge yourself. Will you succeed?

Sailing in Greece
With the meltemia (the prevailing north winds that blow every summer from about 5 to 7 Beaufort) in your sails, you’ll start your own Odyssey. The Cyclades, the Dodecanese, the Sporades, the islands of the North Aegean, Crete – wherever you may go in the Aegean – a sense of relaxation, vitality and wellbeing will flood over you. If you competition’s your thing, there’s the Aegean Regatta, the Cyclades Regatta, the International Aegean Sailing Rally, the Cretan Cup and the Rhodes Cup. Each event lasts from five to nine days and is an adventure, filled with fun and action. At the end you’ll celebrate with parties on the Greek islands

The Ionian may not have the meltemia, but you’ll be awed by the exotic landscapes and hidden beauty. From Paxi and the paradisaical Antipaxi, to Lefkas with its Pringiponisa and the islets in its inland sea, the images and beaches you’ll encounter compete with each other for splendour and charm. If you’re an active competitor, you’re welcome to take part in the rally held here every July/August.

Diving in Greece
And while the wind guides you through the pure beauty, underwater a seabed full of secrets invites you to explore its mystical world. Scuba diving into impressive shipwrecks, underwater caves, reefs teeming with dozens of species of fish – from Skiathos to Lefkas and Zakynthos and from Santorini to Corfu. If you’re a beginner diver, specialised training schools with certified instructors are available, providing you with equipment and guidance, so that you can enjoy the underwater world of Greece in all its glory.

Surfing and Water Skiing In Greece
On the breaking waves, things are equally exciting. For surfing and kite surfing, you’ll head to Paros, Lefkas, Crete, Rhodes, Karpathos, Kos, Limnos, Samos and Lesvos. You’ll find water skiing and wakeboarding at organised beaches throughout Greece. From the Athens Riviera to Mykonos, Paros and Crete, from Rhodes to Lefkas and the Peloponnese, there are waves to be caught. Almost everywhere, there are facilities, trainers, equipment and certified schools where you can take surfing and water ski lessons.


Popular destinations for sea sports in Greece


Surfing, kitesurfing, sailing, wakeboarding, water ski: for sea sports enthusiasts, Greece knows how to deliver adrenaline-inducing experiences

Ideal conditions and unparalleled Greek natural beauty have made Greece one of the most popular destinations for sports activities at sea. Sailing, scuba diving, kitesurfing and wakeboard. Which are the most beloved destinations for water sports in Greece? Discover them here!

Scuba diving: the most popular destinations in Greece

Discover impressive underwater caves with stalactites, shipwrecks (that date back to the Byzantine period and earlier), rock walls, breathtaking reefs, ancient amphoras, Mediterranean coral, fossilised plants, sponges and a multitude of fish. Scuba diving in Greece, where the water provides superb visibility, is a journey through natural underwater worlds and a search for treasures left behind by ancient civilisations.

The areas of underwater discovery in Greece are many, with the stars being the Greek islands. Specialised centres operate at each, with qualified and certified divers on hand for training, equipment to rent and speedboats to drive you out to the most interesting spots. 

1. Cyclades
In Santorini, you’ll discover exceptional diving locations are the Taxiarchis shipwreck, Palia Kameni and Cape Tripiti on Thirasia. In Mykonos, you’ll find the haunting wreck at Kalafatis, the reefs at Paradise and Super Paradise, the well-preserved sunken ships Peloponnisos and Anna II. You’ll be in heaven exploring the seabeds surrounding the nearby islet of Rhenia.

In Paros, you’ll admire the shipwrecks of Marianna, Beaufighter and the underwater beauty of Frouros, Tourlitis, Vryokastro and the bay of Santa Maria. And finally in Kea/Tzia, you’ll witness one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world, the hospital ship HMHS Britannic (a sister ship of the Titanic), that went down in 1916 from an explosion caused a German mine, at a depth of 120m near the port of Kea. There are plans in place that will give divers access to the famous sunken ocean liner in the near future.



2. Ionian islands
In Kefalonia, scuba diving will be an experience of a lifetime. You’ll discover the wonders of the Melissani Cave. In Zakynthos, in the area around the Keri Lake, you’ll explore the caves, while at other spots on the island, if you’re lucky, you’ll swim with Caretta caretta loggerhead turtles and the famous Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus.

3. Sporades
It’s just a matter of time before supervised, organised diving is allowed in the National Marine Park of Alonissos. Within its boundaries, and very near the island of Peristera, there are two of the most important shipwrecks in the world.

The classic wreck of Peristera at Pethamenos changed scientific opinion about the shipbuilding capabilities of the ancient Greeks. Additionally, at Vasilikos Bay you’ll find the largest Byzantine shipwreck in the world. The number of amorphae here exceed 4,000. 

4. Crete
You’ll be impressed by the underwater caves at Agia Pelagia, near Heraklion.

5. Dodecanese
The waters off Leros have been likened to an underwater museum and boast vibrant and colourful seabeds, while Kalymnos is famous for its long tradition of sponge diving.

Sport Sailing: the most popular events in Greece

What is it that makes sailing destinations in Greece, in the Aegean and Ionian, so unique? The often perfect conditions that prevail in the Greek seas make sailing an exciting but safe activity for both beginners and experts? The close contact with nature at its finest, the deep blue of the open sea joining seamlessly with the azure of the cloudless sky? The singular beauty of the islands, the hospitable islanders, the secluded bays and the local festivities that always accompany rallies?

All of the above, not to mention the fact that summer starts here early and ends late, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius, warming the wind and the waters. For all these reasons, many rallies take place in Greek waters each year and every time their organisers set a different course.

The Aegean Rally: the oldest and largest sailing competition in Greece, has been held annually since 1964. Organised by the Hellenic Off-shore Sailing Club (POIATH), it attracts boats from the world over and from every corner of Greece. It’s a demanding race that consists of four legs of 100 nautical miles each.

Aegean Regatta: The Aegean Regatta takes place in the Northern Aegean, with easy courses and lots of evening fun.

Ionian Rally: Organised along the same lines as the Aegean Regatta, it takes place in three different Greek islands in the Ionian Sea each year.

Attica: For those who arrive in Attica by boat, you’re sure to find a race to your liking, since hardly a weekend exists without a sailing event of some kind on the calendar.

Wind in the sail


Surfing, water ski, wakeboard: the most popular destinations in Greece


Surfing and Kite-surfing in Greece:

From spring to late autumn, Greece is the destination for surfers and kite surfers. The best wind- and kite-surfing spots in Greece:

• Vouliagmeni and Vari
• Anavyssos and Lavrion (Athens Riveria)
• Horefto in Pelion
• Halkidiki: Sarti, Sani Beach
• Peloponnese: Kalo Nero, Voidokilia, Elafonissos
• Crete: Kouremenos, Falassarna, Elafonissi, Paleohora
• Lefkas: Myloi Agios Ioannis, Vassiliki
• Corfu: Halikounas, Acharavi
• Lesvos: Sigri
• Limnos: Keros, Gomati
• Mykonos: Kalafatis, Korfos
• Paros: Pounda
• Naxos: Mikri Vigla
• Tinos: Kolymbithra
• Rhodes: Prasonissi, Faliraki, Lardos
• Karpathos: Chicken Bay

On most beaches you can go windsurfing, and if you’re a beginner many beaches have schools and instructors on hand so you can take lessons as well as rent equipment. Vassiliki and Agios Ioannis on Lefkas provide special accommodation options where both you and your equipment are welcome.

Kite surfing in waves


Water ski in Greece:
If you love to water ski, you’ll find a plethora of options in Greece. You can water ski at all the organised beaches of the Greek islands, in Halkidiki, the Peloponnese, Attica and on some lakes, such as Ioannina and Kaiafas. Water ski is a favourite sport of Greeks as well as foreign visitors. For this reason there are many clubs, among them the Water Ski Federation that organise annual world-renowned competitions.


Wakeboarding in Greece:
Wakeboarding, although a relatively new sport, also has a fanatic following in Greece.
The most popular wakeboarding locations in Greece are the following:

• Athens and Attica: Anavyssos, Lavrion, Varkiza, Galazia Akti
• Paros: Chryssi Akti, Nea Chryssi Akti, Pounta, Agios Ioannis (which organises the Panhellenic Wakeboard Championships)
• Naxos: Agios Georgios, Mikri Vigla
• Mykonos: Ftelia, Kalafatis
• Rhodes: Trianta, Fanes, Prasonissi, Theologos
• Lefkas: Vassiliki
• Ios: Mylopotas

Diving in South Pelion
TIPS
DIVING IN SOUTH PELION by Nicholas Samaras

"My favourite place in South Trikeri is “Agia Vaso”, a diving spot. We dived there for three consecutive years discovering orange gorgonies the first time, precious purple gorgonies the second time and precious black coral the third time!"


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