Words: Olli Anderson
Pics: Florian Ragossnig
Greece’s infamous Meltemi wind is a constant attraction during summer months when it really ramps up. With clockwork consistency it blows across the warm waters of the Aegean Sea, buffeting the assorted islands and making them an enticing prospect for many a windsurfer looking to get away for a spot of salty escapism. Kefalos, on the island of Kos, is a long established location but possibly missed by many in the UK. Yet it offers great conditions for all windsurfers, whatever your level. Instructor Olli Anderson runs us through what to expect should you decide to hit up the resort.
The low down
From pro freestylers to beginners, families, groups and single travellers looking for the perfect relaxing, or action packed holiday Kefalos Windsurfing is the place to be! Situated on the southern tip of Kos in the small traditional harbour side village of Kefalos boasts glistening turquoise water, bright blue sky and strong, reliable thermal winds. It’s a short four and a half hour flight from all major UK airports via Jet2, EasyJet, British Airways and Thompson, to name a few.
Conditions and when to go
Kefalos relies on strong northerly thermal winds blowing down the Aegean, called the Meltemi. Due to the geographical structure of the southern tip of the island, the wind is funneled through towering hills behind the village giving strong, consistent and reliable winds from the end of May right through to the end of September. Since the wind is a thermal it builds in strength throughout the day, starting light in the morning before hitting full power around lunchtime. It’ll then last into late evening. This makes it a great family destination, as the light morning winds are ideal for beginners, before the afternoon winds turn on suiting more experienced windsurfers. For those improving the excellent safety boat cover makes it a friendly spot that suits those looking to crack waterstarts, gybes and beyond.
Generally the best month for breeze is July, with last year’s (2016) wind stats showing 100% (force 4 or above.) During the off season, such as early May and late October, strong south winds can provide onshore bump and jump sessions – perfect if you fancy some air time. The south west coast of the island boasts the best wave spot; Agios Theologas. Cross shore breeze and large rolling waves break onto a sand bar providing some excellent ‘real world’ wave sailing. It might not have the power and glassiness of say Ho’okipa, but it’s no less fulfilling. If you get chance to check it out then I can’t recommend it enough.
Kefalos is a traditional Greek village with extremely friendly locals and a mellow/laid back vibe. Down in the harbour are several bars and restaurants to make use of. Sydney’s Bar and Grill for top-notch food, Dolphin Rock Cafe for drinks and 70’s music or Riverside Cafe for delicious sandwiches – these are just a couple of my faves!
Many Greek restaurants are located around the bay selling the freshest fish – caught on the same day – homemade Tzatziki and the finest Souvlaki Greece has to offer (in my opinion). These establishments are easily accessible for wheelchairs, and the recent opening of Kos Mobility Hire means there’s no need to carry them around the airport either.
Excursions are always arriving and leaving the harbour under the experienced hands of Captain Yannis. These trips come in many forms. Jaunts to the neighboring volcanic island of Nisyros, fishing trips with an astonishing/captivating views while Kefalos Windsurfing offers a BBQ boat trip every Tuesday around the headland to a secret beach – the star gazing is amazing due to the beach being untouched by any light pollution from Kefalos. Furthermore, regular buses and many car hire places allow easy access to other parts of the island such as Kos town. Now the capital of Kos, located on the north east of the island, it offers retail shops, a variety of restaurants and more diving trips, boats to Bodrum, Turkey and Gyros than you could imagine.
Kefalos Windsurfing and Sailing Centre provides the highest quality instruction from both RYA and VDWS certified instructors. And with such a range of languages spoken by staff – from English to Italian, Greek to German – there are no barriers. Kit rental is one of the cheapest in Greece with a week’s tarif of standard boards and sails in peak season costing only €245. Top gear from North and Sailloft rigged on 75% carbon masts, with 60 boards to choose from containing a mixture of F2, Fanatic and Patrick, means there’s kit for all conditions.
The centre also offers a V.I.P range for the speed freaks out there; Sailloft Ultimate’s rigged on carbon booms and 100% masts paired with Patrick’s slalom and speed range, F2’s and Fanatic Falcons, and a range of fin sizes to choose from. Then there’s dual hulled catamarans and RS Pico’s which are great for getting kids onto the water.
SUP is also popular on light wind mornings. While Tuesday and Thursday sees Lynn from Lynn Yann Yoga bringing her highly trained skills for anybody keen to try Yoga with a difference. Always very popular with the ladies, but it’s also seen dads getting involved, who are just as impressive. Even the staff are keen, as manager Florian Ragossnig has shown beautifully.
Other activities include fishing, snorkelling and rock jumping – only for the brave! The centre’s shop is fully stocked with Kefalos Windsurfing tee’s, rashvest’s and Mystic board shorts as well as other essentials.
Where to stay
Many hotels are located along the bay. Royal Bay is a stunning 4 star hotel located directly next to the centre and offers beautiful views across the water, a restaurant, swimming pool and play area for the kids. There are also many self-catering apartments up in the village itself, and several supermarkets located in Kefalos including Oasis and Jim’s – both of which supply everything from fresh fruit and veg to daily cooked pastries and even sunglasses and luggage bags in case you have any airport disasters.
To summarize, Kefalos is a unique location, with constant strong winds, turquoise blue water and is complemented by an astonishing landscape and lovely locals. Come see what it’s all about for yourself!
For any enquiries please email the centre manager, Florian Ragossnig at: [email protected] or alternatively check out the website at www.kefaloswindsurfing.com for exclusive offers and booking prices.