The Greek Islands
What better way to have a taste of authentic Greece than by embarking on an island hopping adventure? Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades, is one of Europe’s top windsurfing destinations. It is exposed to the full force of the local Aegean winds called Meltemi, which create ideal sailing conditions during summer.
The nearby island of Paros benefits from the same Meltemi winds and has been hosting the Professional Windsurfers Association World Cup for several years.Rhodes is a haven for beginners in the morning and a playground for freestylers in the afternoon, when the winds pick up. North of Rhodes, Kos is another popular windsurfing destination, where the best conditions can be found at Kefalos Bay.
The picturesque fishing village of Vassiliki on Lefkada Island has plenty of windsurfing schools to choose from and is more suitable for beginners thanks to its softer winds coming from the Ionian Sea.
Best time to go: Mid-May through mid-October
Windsurfing entered Spain in the 1980s and became an instant hit. On the southern tip of Spain, Tarifa is exposed to strong winds passing through the Strait of Gibraltar. It offers choppy water and some neat waves that are just begging to be ridden.
Add to that the 300+ days of wind a year, year-round friendly climate, an impressive number of surfing schools and rental shops, and it’s no wonder Tarifa is is referred to as Europe’s wind capital.
Valdevaqueros Beach is ideal for intermediate and advanced windsurfers. To the west, Las Dunas is more suitable for beginners, especially in the morning when the winds are milder.
Best time to go: March to November
With over 2,200 miles (3,500 km) of coastline, warm waters, friendly Atlantic coastal climate, and steady winds, Morocco offers an unparalleled year-round windsurfing experience.
The lively and laid-back ancient fortified town of Essaouira has been a go-to destination for windsurfers for decades. While it is possible to go windsurfing in Morocco all year round, the best time to go for intermediate riders is between April and October. when powerful winds blow from the Atlantic. Beginners will find good conditions between May and September on the flat water close to town.
Between September and May, Dakhla becomes the best spot in the country for slalom and freestyle windsurfing, all thanks to the flat-water surface and consistent winds. Stronger winds usually blow in the afternoon, which is why lessons are usually held in the morning.
Best time to go: All year round
Portugal’s coastline is one of the windiest places on the planet, exposed to powerful trade winds that blow constantly during summer months. Near Cascais, Guincho is Portugal’s windiest spot and a windsurfing paradise.
Just north of the famous big wave surfing spot of Supertubos near Peniche, Baleal is a favorite among tricksters.
With over 300 days of sun per year and the warmest European climate, the Algarve region is a great place to learn windsurfing. During summer months, Portugal’s south coast picks up the northerly Nortrada winds, which create top-notch kitesurfing and windsurfing conditions.
The warm and shallow waters between Albufeira and Sagres provide safe conditions for beginners, while the steady winds in the region offer something for experienced riders too. Mornings are best for windsurfing lessons, and advanced riders can take advantage of the strong winds in the afternoon to gain some serious speed.
Best time to go: May to October
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Did you know that Fuerteventura literally means “strong wind?” The second largest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is also the least developed.
Blessed with reliable trade winds that offer excellent conditions for slalom, Fuerteventura is home to the Windsurfing World Championships, held each year in July on Sotavento Beach. Throughout the year, this wide and long beach welcomes all water lovers to try and tame the winds.
Other excellent spots for windsurfing in Fuerteventura are found near Corralejo, to the north of the island, where Flag Beach and El Cotillo have plenty of surfing and windsurfing schools for beginners and advanced riders alike.
Best time to go: June to September
When thinking of Namibia, the Etosha National Park and stunning wildlife are among the first things that come to mind. But for surfers and sailors, the Skeleton Coast is on top of their bucket list.
Luderitz is home to the annual Luderitz Speed Challenge, a month-long speed sailing event that sees the world’s fastest kitesurfers and windsurfers compete. This is the world’s premier speed sailing event, held against the stunning backdrop of the rugged Skeleton Coast.
Swakopmund is another famous windsurfing spot in Namibia, where riders can battle against the feisty Atlantic Ocean, with its choppy waters and strong winds. South of the picturesque coastal city of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay is an excellent spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing, and the only place in Namibia with surfing infrastructure – schools and rental shops.
Please take note that the ocean is cold on the Namibian coast and a wetsuit is required throughout the year.
Best time to go: September to March
The small island of Boracay in the Philippines is renowned for its turquoise waters, palm-fringed beaches, and laid-back atmosphere. But did you know that it also has some world-class windsurfing to offer?
Between December and April, wind speeds reach 30 miles per hour (50 km/h), offering outstanding slalom conditions. This is precisely why the Boracay International Funboard Cup is held here each year, one of the biggest windsurfing competitions in the world.
Bulabog Beach is one of the leading windsurfing destinations in Asia. The beach is home to an inshore lagoon protected by a reef that keeps the choppy water at bay, which makes it perfect for beginners. Advanced windsurfers can go beyond the reef and charge the rolling waves.
Best time to go: November to April
Red Sea, Egypt
The Red Sea gets almost 300 days a year of windy conditions thanks to the surrounding mountains that deliver powerful gusts of wind, which become even stronger in the afternoon. Blessed with crystal-clear warm water and constant thermal winds, the farther north you go, the better the windsurfing conditions will get.
Hurghada, Egypt’s first windsurfing resort, is one of the best locations to learn windsurfing and kitesurfing on flat water. The old town on Egypt’s north coast sees stronger side-onshore winds between April and October and milder winds between November and March.
Thanks to its shallow water, Marsa Alam is a great spot for beginners. At the same time, the flat water and chop make it suitable for intermediate windsurfers. With turquoise lagoons, flat water and reliable wind, Safaga and Soma Bay are also favorites.
Best time to go: April to October
Maui, Hawaii, USA
For many, Maui is a windsurfing mecca. With water temperatures above 80°F (26°C) throughout the year and strong, reliable trade winds between May and October, how can it not be?
On the north coast of the island, Ho’okipa Beach is perhaps the most photographed windsurfing destination in the world. Waves here can get as high as 20ft (6 m) during winter months. This is the best time of year for extreme windsurfing.
For beginners, Kanaha Beach is a deep bay with a sandy bottom, protected from chop by an offshore reef, just perfect for learning the basics.
A picturesque backdrop and consistent winds and waves are not all that Maui has to offer windsurfers. Perhaps the best attraction is the fact that you can sail alongside whales! Whale watching season is between mid-December and mid-May, but whales can sometimes arrive earlier and leave later. Please remember that you should stay at least 200ft (60 meters) away from them. Never sail towards a whale or you might face a fine and possibly even jail time!
Best time to go: All year round. There are two windsurfing seasons in Maui: the windy season (May through October) and the wavy season.