Popularity: Very High
Style: Freeride, Freestyle, Wave, Slalom, Race/Formula, Speed
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Good, Specialist
Vassiliki is one of the best places in Europe and among the best places in the world as far as practicing in windsurfing. It truly is an extraordinary windsurfing destination with a unique wind phenomenon that offers a range of conditions to suit all levels. Vassiliki bay, located on the South coast of Lefkada Island and measuring a good 2 kilometers across, is considered by many to be the perfect place to have all-round fun on the water.
In this windsurf spot there have been many competitions. The most recent is the freestyle championship EFPT in 2010 and every year are more to come. Many windsurfing tourists are attracted to come for speed, slalom, freestyle and freeride events.
Medium Months: April, May, September, October
Wind Type: Thermal Winds
Best Direction: N
Main Direction: N
Wind Factor: 11-16 knots (4 bft), 17-21 knots (5 bft), 22-27 knots (6 bft)
Main Wind Direction: Side Shore
Blowing at: Midday, Afternoon
Wave Tack: Starboard (from the right)
The summer here is the best time to go windsurfing. When it is sunny it is always windy. The best months for wind are June, July, August, but May and September can also be good with cool temperatures and less people.
The bay is known in the windsurfing fraternity for its extraordinary local wind phenomenon. Early in the morning until noon there is a light onshore breeze blowing with flat calm water, which is perfect for the beginners and those who want to improve their technique, and light wind freestyle. So, you can practice sailing back and forth across the wind, upwind, as well as downwind, and the conditions make it easy for you to get back to the beach. There is plenty of time before lunch and before the wind (called "Eric" by the surfers) starts to blow.
At around 13:00 o’clock "Eric" gradually changes direction and gets stronger and stronger. Most of the times the wind is about 4-6 bf and sometimes up to 7-8 bf, because of the strong northern-southern winds blown in the Ionian Sea. The wind is most of the time cross shore, diagonal offshore from the right, and due to the high hills very gusty. Onshore winds are rare. The water remains flat - ideal for blasting and pulling off your advanced flat water maneuvers. Offshore wind days are also very rare here, but when they happen, the water is mirror flat.
Although the shipping lanes into Vassiliki follow the Eastern side of the bay without crossing it, beginners should be especially cautious of the changing wind direction around noon, as there is a risk of being carried into the harbor by the side shore current.
Forecasts don’t predict correctly thermal winds. Strong north winds in Aegean Sea usually affect negatively Vassiliki’s thermal phenomenon.
Quality: Crystal Clear
Depth: Shallow (walking several steps not to step on)
Attention: Lots of windsurfers
Once in the water, you will find a nice fine, golden sandy bottom with no rocks or any other obstacles. The water near the shore is very shallow, and the bottom has a very gradual slope, so you will have to walk out quite a bit to be able to launch without burying your fin in the sand.
The beautiful, clear turquoise water is predominantly flat, especially right under the mountain so perfect for speed and smooth gybes. The chop tends to increase downwind but it is generally regular. As the fetch is so short, there is no swell so the water conditions stay fairly flat even during high wind periods. There are no waves. It gets gradually deeper and as result the beginners feel safe and self-confident there. In the peak season, especially in August, the beach and the bay itself can get overcrowded with swimmers, windsurfers and sailors struggling for space, especially before noon when every school along the shore runs several group lessons for beginners simultaneously. Since the beach has no designated swimming areas, always keep a safe distance from others and obey the rights of way to avoid collisions!
Bathers Period: July, August
Kid Friendly: Yes
The village of Vassiliki itself is on the Eastern side of Vassiliki Bay -the Western side of the bay is called Ponti). All the fun here is to be had on a roughly 1,5 km stretch of shingle beach, located between the towns of Vassiliki and Ponti. While the area closer to Vassiliki town is mostly occupied by swimmers, the further away from the center you go, the more windsurf-friendly you will get. 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 a pool. It is friendly and safety spot to kids, suitable for children courses.
Access to Vassiliki: The beach of Vassiliki is situated on a wide bay on the south coast of Lefkas, 38 km (about 40 minutes by car) south of the capital of the island. The bay faces south towards Kefalonia and Ithaca Islands which can be seen in the distance, and has a small port from which you can take a ferry to both of the islands. The nearest airport Action-Preveza, is approx. 58 km from Vassiliki (80 min. by car).
Access to Lefkada: The Island can be reached not only by sea or by air, but also by car! Arriving with your own vehicle Lefkada is the only island in Greece which is connected to the mainland, as it is linked by a bridge.
Arrival by Airplane: In the summer you can get a flight here directly with charter planes from almost anywhere. Winter is hard to get here. There are direct flight connections to the nearest airport Action/Preveza, approx. 20 km from Lefkada Town (15 minutes by car). Many travellers choose a flight to Athens. There are domestic flights to Aktion/Preveza Airport several times per week. There are regular bus routes from the Preveza Bus Station to Lefkada Town. Travellers arriving by plane in Athens and Thessaloniki can also easily reach Lefkada by bus. There are several busses leaving from Athens and Thessaloniki to Lefkada on a daily basis.
A good way also to reach Lefkada is by plane to Corfu, the neighbor island. Flights to Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport, located 3 km south of the centre of the island in the region “Kanoni”, are available from almost every European airport. There are daily flights from and to the airport of Athens, Eleytherios Venizelos, and the duration of the flight is round 1 hour. There is also air connection to Thessaloniki, 3 or 4 times a week. Ticket prices can be very low, if you make the reservation enough time before, or if you travel during low season. In summer it may have air connection with other Greek islands, such as Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Finally, during high period, Corfu is air-connected to a lot of European cities, with charter flights, mainly from Germany and England. The short distance (approx. 100 km) from Corfu to Lefkada can best be travelled by ferry boat from Corfu to Igoumenitsa.
Arrival by Ferry/Boat: For travelers arriving by ferry, the port of lgoumenitsa is 111 km away from Lefkada and is the first big gateway for Western and Central Europe. Ferry boats leave Corfu daily between 06.00 and 22.00 and it takes about 1-1,5 hours to reach Igoumenitsa. Next in line comes the port of Patra, which it’s also services visitors from Western and Central Europe. The ferries go to Italy and stop in Igoumenitsa and Corfu ports for embarkation. The sea connection Corfu-Italy is frequent and the main cities are Bari, Ankona and Brindisi. The trip to Corfu lasts 7 -8 hours, but it is very comfortable because the ferry boats are luxurious. Moreover there are small tourist boats that make routes in the nearby Ionian Islands.
Arrival by Car, Moto, Camper Van: A journey by car, motorcycle or camper van is therefore possible. There are some good highways, like the Corinth-Athens and the Athens-Larissa, Corinth-Tripoli and the Egnatia highway. Lefkada is about 360 km away from Athens and 180 km from Patra. The distance from Thessaloniki -Greece's second largest city- is 372 km through Egnatia highway.
Arrival by Bus: There are several buses leaving from Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Agrinio and Preveza to Lefkada on a daily basis. All buses of Lefkada's bus station are modern and comfortable. The journey is pleasant for the traveler, due to marvelous views of beautiful landscapes and it is comfortable as the new Rio-Antirio Bridge makes it quick and interesting for the visitors.
Arrival by Train: Train travel is not so much in fashion anymore due to the complexity of the journey through the Balkans. Rail services link Thessaloniki with Athens, Thrace and Patra. The line through what was once Yugoslavia provides connections with Central and Western Europe. The line through Bulgaria connects to Eastern Europe and the line through Istanbul, Turkey with the countries of the Near East.
Local Transportation: Lefkada is a large island with a great tourist infrastucture that provides various means of transport. Visitors have the chance to use the local buses, cars or motorbikes which are available for rent and the traditional boats for sea excursions.
By Rented Car: In a large island like Lefkada a car would be more convenient for sightseeing trips. In case you do not have your private car, there are many car rental agencies in the most tourist places of the island. Some locations in Lefkada can not be accessed with the public bus, therefore having a car is very important to discover its natural beauties.
By Bus: Buses leave daily from the central bus station of Lefkada, just above the port. Buses run on a daily basis connecting Lefkada Town with almost all villages and beaches on the island, certainly the most tourist places like Nydri, Vassiliki, Sivota and Agios Nikitas. This is the cheapest way to travel in Lefkada.
By Taxi: Taxis are extensively used in Lefkada. Taxi ranks can be found in the capital town and at the most popular tourist resorts of the island. Book your taxi online!
By Boat: There are many boats and locals ferries in Lefkada. From the port of Vassiliki, there is local ferry to Fiscardo in Kefalonia and Frikes in Ithaca. From Nydri, there are ferries about 3 to 4 times a day to Meganisi Island. Also there are small boats that go for excursions around the beaches of Lefkada and to close small islands. From Agios Nikitas, there are boats to Mylos beach. From Vassiliki, there are boats to Agiofili beach, while from Nydri there are many boats to Porto Katsiki, Scorpio, Kastos, Kalamos and other islands. Some boats from Nydri also go for day trips to Fiscardo Kefalonia and Ithaca.