The complete guide to one of the most popular summer windsurfing destinations.
|Windy Season||May to September|
|Water Temp In Summer||20-22 degrees centigrade|
|Air Temp In Summer||25-31 degrees centigrade|
|Wet Suit?||Only ever a shortie down to shorts|
|Average Wind Speed||Force 3 to Force 7 (May-Sept)|
|Flight Time (From UK)||2hrs 40mins|
- How To Get There
Vassiliki is situated at the Southern tip of Lefkas. The island is attached to the West coast of mainland Greece by a bridge.
Flights are to Prevesa on the mainland. There are tour operators offering “package’ holidays to the resort:
The package holidays start at around £400 for a week in May and rise to around £700 mid season. Look for the special deals early and late season for the cheapest holidays. These prices include flights, transfers and accommodation.
I know there is nothing like “sailing your own kit” but the windsurf centres have brand new kit every year surely cutting out the need to lug yours all the way to Greece.
Flying with equipment is fairly straight forward and charter flights will normally charge £30 per bag. Some Taxis at Prevesa do have roof racks but it can be pricey to get to Vass, sometime upwards of €90! Always agree the price before you get in.
- How The Wind Works
The wind in Vass has been a mystery to scientists for years. No studies have been conclusive of how this amazing occurrence materializes on most afternoons.
The morning will see a Force 1 – 2 onshore breeze fill in at around 10am, perfect for the beginners, skills training for higher levels and those who fancy their chances at taking on the instructors at light wind freestyle.
The afternoon will bring cross shore winds, anywhere between force 4 and 7. The best months for wind are June, July, August, but May and September can also be good with cooler temperatures and less people.
Visit the club vass web site for daily wind stats here.
- The Sailing Spots
The bay faces South, a real sun trap, perfect for that non-windsurfing other half who wants to read their book on the beach or by the pool.
The afternoon wind generally works when there is a light NE prevailing wind, between 8 and 15 knots which is most days in the Ionian. This brings perfect cross shore from the right (starboard tack out) from force 4 to 8.
There is no tide and no hidden obstacles under the surface and although the beach is pebbly, the sea bed is sand with a bar stretching the length of the beach to around 50m out. It is waist deep and provides an excellent opportunity to learn how to beach start, safety for kids and a perfect coaching platform for the instructors to work from.
Safety cover is provided by the various centres. There are many eyes checking the water at all times keeping the bay super safe. If sailing on you own kit and you do get stuck (the wind sometimes drops completely in the evening) you will always get a lift to the beach although it may cost you a few beers. You will obviously have to wait for the specific clients to be rescued first.
- Instruction And Kit Hire
At Club Vass, included in the holiday as standard is instruction from one of their highly talented coaches (!) This means you get the most out of your windsurfing. The groups are tailored to your ability and in the summer months the kids arrive in force learning water skills supervised by an instructor, leaving the parents to chill out or enjoy their own windsurfing.
Club Vass are available for walk ins, now other clubs require previous booking. Club Vass also have brand new equipment every year for you to use.
Local hire starts at around £125 for beginner kit for a week and £150 for all others.
Kit hire on a daily basis is as follows;
> 20 Euros/hr
> 40 Euros/morning
> 60 Euros/afternoon
> 25 Euros for 1hr private tuition & kit hire.
The windsurfing rental is fairly abundant along the beach but don’t just expect there to be availability as it does get busy.
Kit storage is around £50 for a week.
Club Vass has 3 main places to stay:
The Hotel, right on the beach overlooking the centre with excellent child care facilities, pool, air conditioned rooms and of course right next to the beach.
Andromeda, 500m from the club, slightly set back from the beach making it quieter and slightly more picturesque. It is also self catering with a fridge, dual hob and sink.
Neilson has its own hotel with a bar and a pool.
The camp site is situated further down wind and there is no need to drive to the beach. Most campers have their sails rigged next to their tents and walk them to the water from under the shade of the many trees. This camp site also gets very busy so book to avoid disappointment.
Tel: 26450 31308 or 26450 31335. Add 00 30 if calling from Europe and 011 30 if calling from USA/Canada.
Eating in Vassiliki is easy, there is an abundance of options!
The town itself is situated at the far down wind corner of the bay and has many restaurants lined up on the harbour edge all reasonably priced as well as being very good quality. The town is within walking distance of most places being at the end of the bay. The best snack in town has to be Gyros. It will cost about €2 for a pita filled with meat, chips, onion, tsatsiki and tomato. Eating 2 was recommended for a filling meal although going overboard after a long day on the water has been known. Big Will still holds the record of 5!!
There are many supermarkets dotted along the road and are a mixture between large commercial ones and small local shops providing everything you need. There are also butchers and places to buy fish being a fishing village so eating in is also easy.
The nightlife of Vassiliki has been known to go off. The local bar, the Zeus Bar, generally houses all the instructors form the various centres until the early hours. There is also the Tunnel Bar and Vass Bar which can be slightly quieter. They all stay open until the last person leaves, are all in town, near the restaurants and are within easy walking distance of all the accommodation.
There are some European beers, namely Mythos, Amstel and Heineken. They are all reasonably priced at around €2 a bottle. Ouzo is obviously a Greek speciality, only for aniseed lovers.
- Bored Of Windsurfing
The terrain on Lefkada is fabulous for mountain biking, walking, day trips in a hire car or moped. Club Vass and Neilson provide mountain bikes as part of the package and have guides to take you on varying difficulties of routes.
There are dinghies and catamarans in the bay at various centres and waterskiing and wakeboarding is offered in the morning glass. There is diving, sea kayaking, snorkelling and rib safaris are a great way to explore neighbouring islands and coastline.
The town is a typical Greek waterside settlement with a harbour full of restaurants and souvenir shops.
The Greek people are really friendly but are often mistaken when having a conversation with each other, it sounds like a full-blown argument. You would think a terrible indecency has been committed but they’re only saying good morning. They all speak good English and seem to tolerate our behaviour. But with the local people its best not to push your luck.
The electric sockets are standard 2 pin European.
If you have your own kit, check out North beach for some wave/bump and jump action.
Look for the signs: Light onshore with no clouds in the morning, a length of cloud appearing on the mountain after lunch and then what ever you do, don’t let your other half drag you away from the beach, it might get windy even after 5 or 6 in the evening.
Listen to the instructors, especially the ones who have been there a long time. Their wind forecasting is normally pretty accurate.
The sort of permanent tourist was…..Simon Hurrey