Paralio Astros, Greece
Live like the Greek!
Our Greek friend George invited us to visit his hometown and kite with him last summer. We couldn’t resist and jumped on this amazing opportunity. For me, kiting in Greece means warm weather, steady wind, Greek food, ancient civilization, and tons of new friends. My friend spends his summer vacation in Paralio Astros, inland Greece, which is about 3 hours from Athens. Paralio Astros is a small touristy town for the Greek but unknown to international tourists. It has a little bit more than 1,000 inhabitants and it’s absolutely charming. It has everything to be expected from a Greek village such as pretty beaches, harbor, cafes, taverns, shops, and a castle at the top of a hill. It’s also close to more well-known Nafplio.
Paralio Astros, Greece
We visited the place during the high season – end of July 2016. Because we booked last minute, we couldn’t find a place to stay directly at Paralio Astros. We stayed instead at the village just north called Xeropigado, which is a short 10 min drive from my friend’s favorite kiting spot. Believe it or not, even if the town is not well-known for kiting, you will find a great scene and some excellent kite surfers (foiling and mostly freestyle). All the kite spots we tried have spacious and uncrowded beaches with a consistent thermal wind starting around 3 pm every day – a flat/clean water paradise. As the Greeks are very welcoming, we made many new friends!
On the downside, we had pretty much lighter wind (13-15 knots) most of the time, but I do enjoy those light wind days to practice stuff with bigger kites. The locals have some secret kite spots that I am not allowed to talk about, but we were lucky enough that our friend showed us those locations. Basically, you can kite everywhere!
Since the wind started around 3 pm, we spent the beginning of our days at my friend’s coffee spot (Wet Seaside Bar) and lived like the Greek! We relaxed, drank tons of ice-coffees (freddo cappuccino) and went for swims in the ocean, which was right in front of the coffee joint. It was the best way to wait for the wind in that heat (it was probably 40 degrees Celsius).
We made the drive to Napflio which is where Radical Kite Center is based at. It offers a long beach south of Nea Kios village with very shallow water and good wind, which could have been ideal for beginners. This spot is mentioned in the Lonely Planet. To be honest, I couldn’t kite there more than 5mins: the water was brown and smelled extremely brown. I can’t recommend that place until I go back and see clean water with my own eyes. It was not bad luck either, because another friend who went this year (2017) confirmed the brownness in color and aroma. I think it comes from the port nearby.
Paralio Astros kite spot 1: 37.437408, 22.751992
Paralio Astros kite spot 2: 37.394955, 22.752365
Wet Seaside Cafe: 37.413078, 22.762102
Nafplio: Radical Kite Center: 37.590844, 22.769273
Where we stayed: Booking.com ONIRO Appartments in Xeropigado
Closest Airport: Athens (#ATH)