Pat Hyland - Jun 12, 2007

The Greek island of Naxos has its disadvantages for tourism. Firstly, it is one of the few remaining islands in the Mediterranean without an airport catering for large charter flights. To make the situation worse, there are no plans to introduce a new airport or to widen the runway at the current one. This makes Naxos very difficult to access. However, the island is famous for a sport almost unknown and unpracticed amongst Greeks: windsurfing. Most Greeks tend to play football and water sports are considered to be foreign luxuries. Naxos provides a notable exception.


It is perfect for windsurfing. Naxos is the largest of the Aegean islands ion the so-called Cyclades, covering an area of 428m2. What makes it perfect for windsurfing is the fact that its wind direction is mostly ‘side shore’ or parallel to the shoreline. This provides the perfect wind situation for surfers. The island also boasts a huge lagoon, shallow enough to stand in yet with waves large enough for beginners and more advanced surfers to practise. There are now schools on the island dedicated to all levels of windsurfing competence. The lagoon is mostly used by amateurs whereas the more professional surfers tend to take advantage of the Meltemi, a northern wind with a force high enough to create ideal waves. Reef flats which break the waves make the surfer’s experience all that more pleasant. Let’s not forget that the town is lively too, as surfers to inland to relax after a day on the waves.


Naxos is not totally and utterly devoted to windsurfing yet it makes up a large part of the island’s income and certainly makes it famous in the Aegean region. Some even take advantage of the lack of direct flights to Naxos by enjoying a boat ride to the windsurfing capital of Greece.

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