Renowned for its sporting events held in honour of the gods, Greece is still a popular place to flex your sporting muscles. A large peninsula which is washed by three seas, many of the holiday sporting activities on offer are water-based. Greece has many destinations to choose from, but some of the best windsurfing, kayaking and diving can be found in the Ionian sea.
Windsurfing in Vasiliki
If you are a beginner or experienced windsurfer you can’t go wrong with Lefkada as a location for some great adventures. And Vassiliki on the south of the island is where you need to be. The beautiful bay is not reliant on the Meltemi winds like most of the other Greek watersports resorts. So thanks to its unusual geography it has a microclimate perfect for windsurfing. On a typical summers day, the light winds in the morning are perfect for beginners. Then the fun starts in the afternoon as the breeze is funnelled into the horseshoe bay over the surrounding mountains to reach up to an exhilarating six Beaufort. And if it’s too strong for the mere mortals the gods of the boards will be out flipping and twisting with ease. It is the perfect place to progress your level and attracts some of the best instructors in the world. Club Vass is the place to be if you want a chilled but professional vibe. But if they are full, Neilson or Ocean Elements is just a stone’s throw away.
Kayaking in Kefalonia and Ithica
Sea kayaking is great fun for all the family. Whether you fancy pottering around for a few hours of fun or venturing out for a full day of adventure, the Greek islands offer an aquatic paradise to explore. Amongst the best and safest coastlines to discover are Kefalonia and Ithica.
The west coast offers the dramatic limestone cliffs whose stones turn the water turquoise at Myrtos beach. Zola and Asos are just two of the gorgeous places to launch from for a jaw-dropping day of adventure. While at the top of the island, the sea caves of Dafnoudi bay and the tavernas of Fiskardo are well worth exploring. Venture further south to the gentle coastline of between Skala and Katelios and even as far as the Koutavos Lagoon in Agristooli and you stand the chance of seeing some Loggerhead sea turtles. Kefalonia is also famous for its monk seals.
For a quieter pace of life, Ithica is a mecca for mixing kayaking with a slower pace of life. At just 18 miles in length, it is the smallest of the Ionian islands and offers the mythical caves, castle ruins and secluded coves. Vathý sits in a protected lagoon and provides some easy kayaking and excellent taverna’s, but Kioni on the north is about as gorgeous as fishing villages get in Greece.
Diving in Corfu
Thanks to the marine restrictions zones of the Adriatic, the regenerating effect on the sea life has filtered into the Ionian sea aswell. So the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the northwest coast of Corfu, Paleokastritsa are ideal underwater playgrounds for diving enthusiasts. The large reef is known as ‘the wall’ is one of the best spots to witness undersea life. The myriad of caves, tunnels and archways are also lots of fun for both beginners and experienced divers as the reef drops to 40 meters (131 feet)
If you like the thrill of exploring underwater wrecks, then Corfu has quite a few. Just off the port of Kassiopi, there is the Nisopoulo, an ancient vessel which has scattered Amphora amongst its ruins and the sea bed. Little remains of the ship’s wooden structure, but its treasured artefacts encrusted with coral still provide enough entertainment for an out of the ordinary dive.
If you are a lover of modern history the wreck of a WW2 navy vessel between the coast of Agni and the Greek mainland will be of interest. It is one of the best in Greece, and closeby is a live navy sea mine, which adds a thrill to your day. Just don’t get too close!