Three windsurfers sail across Agios Georgios Bay near Naxos Town on Naxos
Still, if you don’t have either the inclination or the budget for tube rides, wakeboarding or parasailing (all of which cost money to participate, of course), the number one holiday sport in Greece — swimming in the sea — is always available. And best of all, it’s free.
Below are photos of sea-focussed activities on some of the islands in the Cyclades, along with information about watersports centres and activities available at several specific destinations. See my 3 fun ways to cool off at a beach in Greece post for videos I shot in May of kitesurfing on Naxos and tube riding on Ios, as well as my Hit the sea to beat the heat album on the MyGreeceTravelBlog Flickr page for photos of more watersports on different islands.
Sea kayakers enjoy unparalleled views of and close proximity to the dramatic rock formations at Kleftiko on the southwest coast of Milos. This photo is one of many on the Sea Kayak Milos Facebook page.
As I recently described in my post Island sail tour is a must for Milos visitors, no trip to Milos would be complete without an excursion to view the superb coastal scenery. Although most tourists take sailboat tours or round-the-island boat cruises, sea kayaking is an alternative that provides better up-close views and lets participants get some healthy exercise in the process.
Sea Kayak Milos offers a variety of guided day trips between April and October each year, as well as an “Explore Milos” package with six days of kayak experience plus eight nights’ accommodation in a B&B. Check their website and the Sea Kayak Milos Facebook page for further information and dozens of photos showing the incredible scenery that can be enjoyed from the unique vantage point of a kayak.
If you’d rather see some of the Milos coastline while standing on your feet and moving at a rapid speed, wakeboarding might be just the ticket. Visit the Pits Watersports Facebook page for photos, or watch the YouTube video below.
Tube riders hang on tight during a spin around Mylopotas Bay on Ios
Ios is one of the top places to party and play in Greece, so it’s not surprising the island has at least three major watersports facilities offering a wide and diverse range of activities people can enjoy on, in and out of the water.
Mylopotas — the island’s notorious party beach — is where you’ll find the biggest selection of activities. There, Meltemi Watersports offers windsurfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, paddle boarding, tube rides, banana rides, flying fish rides, scuba diving (including instruction and divemaster training) canoeing and boat rides — as well as beach volleyball for people who would rather play on dry land. Their website and the Meltemi Watersports Facebook page have photos and lots of information.
Mylopotas Watersports has three separate stations on Mylopotas beach, along with one at Manganari beach, where people can sign up for windsurfing, sailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, barefooting, wakestaking, wakesurfing, tube rides, and banana rides. Pedal boats, kayaks and stand up paddle surfing are available, too, along with boat tours that will take you to scenic coastal locations for cliff jumping and diving. If you’re a Facebook member, you can join the Mylopotas Watersports Facebook group page to view plenty of photos.
Also at Mylopotas is the New Dive Scuba Diving Centre. This family-run firm offers a range of programs for all levels of experience, from a Discover Scuba Diving course to PADI Divemaster training. Facebook members can check the New Dive Facebook group page for further information and photos.
Yialos Watersports has locations at the Yialos port beach as well as at Theodoti beach, and offers windsurfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, tube rides and banana rides. Canoes and pedal boats also are available. Check the Yialos Watersports Facebook page for information, photos and videos.
Rugged cliffs dwarf three stand up paddle boarders in Mylopotas Bay ….
… as they pass Cape Kokovolo on their way toward open sea
A group of tube riders enjoy a spin around Mylopotas Bay …
… but a few of the participants lose their grip and wind up in the drink
Another group takes a tube ride on the turquoise waters of Mylopotas Bay …
… while these fellows are content to cool off closer to shore
Promotional poster for the Hellenic SUP Cup 2013, from the Stand Up Paddle Surfing Facebook page for Greece. Meltemi Watersports will host a 2-day SUP race at Mylopotas the weekend of August 24 & 25. On October 20, the cup competitors will cross the historic Corinth Canal on the Greek mainland.
One of many windsurfing photos on the Paros Surf Club website
Paros is perhaps the best place in the Cyclades — and one of the best locations in all of Europe — for windsurfing and kitesurfing. That’s thanks to the northern Meltemi winds which blast the island up to 80% of the time during the summer — steady gusts that are intensified as air is pushed through the channel between Paros and Naxos. The wind conditions are ideal for sail-based sports, and Paros’s Golden Beach — the windiest place on Paros — has been hosting professional windsurfing competitions each summer since 1993. Naturally, Paros boasts a good number of top-rate watersports facilities.
Several centers that operate at Golden beach include:
Paros Surf Club, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. It gained recognition around the world for hosting the Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) World Cup events on Golden Beach from 1992 to 2000. The Club offers instruction for all ages and abilities, and is a recognized Pro Center. See the website for prices for equipment rentals and lessons, or visit the Paros Surf Club Facebook group page to view photos.
Force7 Surf Center is a big windsurfing club but also has kayaks, catamarans and stand up paddle boarding. Force7 began providing kitesurf equipment and lessons in 2012, and offers a range of instruction programs for beginners and advanced enthusiasts. Lesson prices are listed on the center’s website.
Sun Wind Surf Club, owned and operated by Theo Fisilani from Paros, offers a range of watersports including windsurfing, sea kayaking, water skiing, tube rides and stand up paddle boarding. Windsurfing clients craving bigger wave challenges can take their rental equipment to a wave site near Tsoukalia, 20 minutes from Golden beach. Rates, booking information and photo galleries are available on Sun Wind’s webpage.
Pounta beach is the island’s hub for kitesurfing, and is considered one of the top kitesurfing areas in Europe. Facilities at the beach for that sport — and other activities — include:
Paroskite — The Paros Kiteboarding Center. Owned by former Greek windsurfing champ George Georgoudakis and his family, Paros Kite celebrated its 20th anniversary just this month. The Paros Kite resort is the official Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) and Kiteboard Pro World Tour (KPWT) beach in Greece, and is used year-round by athletes training for kiteboarding competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Besides kiteboarding, the facility offers stand up paddling, canoeing, kayaking, wakeboarding, scuba diving and boat rides. Extensive information is available on the Center’s website, while the Paroskite Facebook page features hundreds of photos.
Paros Kite Pro Center, which was established by George Prounjos and Petros Kaparos in 2002, typically has 10 teachers instructing more than 600 students during high season. Besides kiteboarding services and lessons for all levels of experience, Paros Kite Pro Center offers wakeboarding, water skiing, stand up paddle boarding and canoeing. In 2010, the Center expanded to nearby Antiparos island, opening the PKPC Wake Center at Psaraliki beach. Besides wakeboarding and waterskiing, it offers a variety of tube and banana rides as well as kayaking. There’s plenty of good action photos available for viewing on the Paros Kite Pro Center Facebook page as well as on the PKPC Wake Center website.
Awake Paros Watersports & Outdoor Activities offers water fun at Pounda and at Faragas beach, as well as dryland activities, including mountain biking, at Lefkes village. Available watersports include water skiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, stand up paddle surfing, canoeing, kayaking, and tube rides. See the company’s website as well as the Awake Paros Watersports Facebook page for photos, prices and additional information.
This kitesurfing photo is one of many on the Paros Kite Pro Center website
Another kitesurfing image from the Paros Kite Pro Center website
Two guys get an adrenalin rush on a highspeed tube ride off the coast of Paros. The photo is from the Awake Paros Watersports & Outdoor Activities website.
A Flying Fish ride in the sea off Punda beach on Paros. The photo appears on the Awake Paros Watersports & Outdoor Activities website
A kitesurfer carves a turn in the sea off Agios Prokopios beach on Naxos
Kids have a blast on an exciting water ride at Naxos. This photo by Savvas Evangelos appears on the Plaka Watersports Naxos Facebook page
A full range of watersports activities is offered on Naxos from at least three major facilities with operations at popular beaches around the island.
Flisvos Watersports has operations at Agios Georgios (St George) beach right on the edge of Naxos Town. It offers pedal boats, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, bodyboarding, skimboarding, windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, wakeskating, kneeboarding, water tubing, banana boat rides and manta ray rides. See the Flisvos Sportclub Facebook page for photos. The firm’s Flisvos Kite Centre has a full-service program for kitesurfing and windsurfing at Mikri Vigla beach.
At Plaka beach, Plaka Watersports gives guests their choice of windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, wakeskating, kneeboarding, stand up paddle surfing, pedal boats, water tubing and banana boat rides. See the Plaka Watersports Facebook page for photos of some of their happy clients in action.
A windsurfer sails across Agios Georgios Bay on Naxos
This photo from the Elia Watersports Center Facebook page shows two people soaring skyward as they parasail at Elia beach.
Several centers offer a variety of watersports activities at major beaches on Mykonos. Here are just a few for which I was able to locate websites and Facebook pages:
At Platis Gialos beach, Platis Gialos Watersports offers canoeing, snorkeling, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, wakeskating, wakesurfing, boat rides, banana boat rides and tubing. See the Platis Gialos Water Sports Facebook page for photos.
At Kalafatis beach, Dimos Pappas runs the Mykonos-Kalafatis Watersports-Skischool, with waterskiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, banana rides and tube rides among the sports available. See the firm’s website and the Mykonos Watersports at Kalafati beach Facebook page for photos. Also located at Kalafatis is Pezi Huber, which offers a full range of instruction for all levels. They also offer windsurfing at Ftelia beach. See the Windsurfing Mykonos Pezi Huber Facebook page for photos and full information.
At Elia beach, the Arte & Mare Elia Suites Watersports Center provides jet skiing, tube rides, banana boat rides and parachute sailing. Photos can be viewed on the Elia Watersports Center Facebook page.
At Kalo Livadi beach, H2O Sports offers waterskiing and wakeboarding, along with pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, jet skis and tube rides. See the H2O Sports Facebook page for photos and additional information.
And at Korfos beach, Kite Mykonos offers a kitesurfing school for people of all ages and abilities. Their website as well as the Kite Mykonos Facebook page contain extensive program details, photos and videos.
Sofa surfers catch a bit of air on their turn around Platis Gialos Bay, as seen in this photo from the Platis Gialos Water Sports Facebook page
This photo from the Platis Gialos Water Sports Facebook page catches a rider just as he is tossed off his tube at Platis Gialos beach
35-knot winds challenge windsurfers at Kalafatis beach Mykonos in this photo from the Windsurfing Mykonos Pezi Huber Facebook page
This image from the Kite Mykonos website shows a kite surfer getting airborne near the famous seaside buildings in the Little Venice area of Mykonos Town …
… while this pic, also from the Kite Mykonos website, catches a kite surfer turning upside down with the row of iconic Mykonos windmills in the background
A family enjoys a Crazy UFO sofa ride at sea near Perissa beach in Santorini. This photo is from the website for Wave Sports on Santorini.
Santorini is famous around the world for the breathtaking caldera views and scenery visitors enjoy along the island’s spectacular western coast. Although sunset cruises and boat tours to the volcano island and hot springs are the most popular “watersports” on this side of the island, tourists have a wilder time with tube rides, parasailing and windsurfing on the opposite side of Santorini.
Wave Sports operates at Perissa and Perivolos beaches, and offers jet skiing, canoes, pedal boats, stand up paddle surfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, parasailing and a variety of tube rides. See the Wave Sports website as well as the Wave Sports Facebook page for further information, photos and videos.
A Wave Sports video from YouTube shows what it’s like to go parasailing off Perissa beach on Santorini
Parasailers make a splash in this image from Santorini’s Wave Sports website