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Windsurfing in Vassiliki Bay

Vassilik Bay windsurders in Lefkas

Winds make Vassiliki Bay a leading centre for Lefkas holiday windsurfers

Surfing at Vassiliki in Lefkas
Vassiliki Lefkas waterfront tavernas

No holiday visitor to Lefkas island will be able to escape the reputation of Vassiliki Bay as one of the leading windsurfing centres in Europe.

Its peculiar microclimate, coupled with a wide bay of relatively shallow water, provides ideal conditions for the sport of windsurfing and both devotees and learners flock here in their thousands each summer.

The south-facing Vassiliki is a wide and sheltered bay located to the south-west of Lefkas island. The long thin pebble and sand beach is gently shelving and remains relatively shallow for some way out.

But it is the local wind and water conditions that have turned Vassiliki into a world-renowned windsurfing and sailing destination.

Sheltered by surrounding hills, the summer wind that blows across the bay is very predictable, creating the ideal conditions for both learners and for those looking for a testing windsurfing experience.

The wind (known locally as 'Eric') starts in the morning as a gentle on-shore breeze with a flat sea, perfect conditions for beginners, those looking to improve their basic skills or for experienced windsurfers experimenting with new techniques.

At lunchtime, the wind starts to strengthen and the waves begin to build. The seas get more choppy as the wind turns across the shoreline but by now beginners will be starting to get the hang of the sport.

Soon after lunch, the breeze turns brisk and thermal winds rise up the mountain slopes and the experts turn out in force to take full advantage of the cross-shore winds which can see surfers skimming across the bay.

On a good day, (which is most days throughout the summer) visitors on land can revel at the spectacular sight of hundreds of windsurfers speeding across the water.

The shallow water ensures that the sea remains relatively calm even when the wind gets quite strong. The conditions enable the most expert windsurfers to pull off some spectacular stunts.

Some of the more adventurous windsurfers will sail far out to sea towards the islands of Ithaca and Kefalonia in the distance.

The unique conditions have given Vassiliki an almost mythical status amongst windsurfers. Conditions are best in the summer months, with the season generally starting in April and running through to the first week in October.

But Vassiliki is not just for windsurfers, it is a pleasant Greek seaside resort in its own right. The village is small but picturesque with many old buildings among the modern apartments.

The harbour is a popular stopping off point for holiday yachts and flotillas as well as the embarkation point for ferries to Kefalonia and Ithaca in the main summer season.

The harbour area is quite pretty with harbourside cafes and tavernas as well as a few shops and several bars.

Although the hills rise steeply on either side of Vassiliki, the area around the village is quite flat, ideal for walking and cycling.

There are bus services to Lefkada Town. They run infrequently out of season but several times a day during the summer, except for Sunday when there are no buses at all.

But Vassiliki Bay is best known for its watersports, especially windsurfing and yachting and those looking for somewhere to learn while on a summer holiday in Lefkas need to look no further.

Surfing centres abound and most of them offer professional tuition and the latest kit with lessons for the complete novice to advanced master classes in fast planing, jumps, carve gybes and other waterborne tricks.

Many windsurfing schools are located around the bay in an area named Ponti where surfing conditions are at their best.

Here is a selection of windsurfing school and clubs at Vassiliki

Wind Club | Club Vass | Wildwind I Cosmos Surf