Style: Freeride, Freestyle, Slalom, Speed
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Good, Specialist
Karpathos is famous for its wind guarantee. It is considered the windiest island of the Mediterranean! In summertime the “Meltemi” northern wind blows full force through the high mountains of Karpathos, creating perfect conditions for windsurfing. The island also often enjoys steady winds in spring and autumn as well.
The small Chicken Bay or Makris Gialos beach, lies on the south east coast on the Bay of Afiartis.
Medium Months: April, October
Best Direction: N, NW, NE
Main Direction: N, NW, NE
Wind Factor: 11-16 knots (4 bft), 17-21 knots (5 bft), 22-27 knots (6 bft), 28-33 knots (7 bft)
Main Wind Direction: Side Offshore
Wave Tack: Port (from the left)
Numerous windsurfers who have found this spot, go back year after year, to benefit from the extreme conditions almost assured here. It is a perfect destination for those who like hardcore conditions and somewhere to relax at the end of each day.
The island in summertime is spoiled by the “Meltemi” and north winds offers strong wind conditions in the months between April and October. All directions are very safe here due to the almost closed bay.
In Chicken Bay "Meltemi" is a little bit lighter (1-2 bft less force), and a spit of land prevents beginners from drifting away. The wind blows cross offshore. Problem is it gets seriously busy in summer.
Depth: Shallow (walking several steps not to step on)
Lagoon’s extremely flat and turquoise water is ideal for freestyle tricksters and trainee gybers. Sail sizes for freestyle windsurf: 4.2-4.7. Also has a speed track. Beginners love this spot because of its 80-meter stretch shallow -warm- water area (standing-depth in places).
The more experienced can surf through a channel into the next bay, Gun Bay or further on into Devil's (Paradise) Bay. There they will find a wind swell of up to 1 m and slightly stronger winds, ideal for jumping.
Access to Chicken Bay:
Chicken Bay (or Makris Gialos) is located on the southeastern side of Karpathos, right next to the airport -just NE of it. The distance from Pigadia central port is 13 km.
Access to Karpathos: Karpathos is an island half way between Crete and Rhodes. Due to the long distance from Athens, it is difficult to travel to Karpathos by ferry. However, the island can also be reached by plane or by ferry from closer ports.
Arrival by Airplane: The airport of Karpathos (AOK) receives domestic flights from Athens and the flight time is 1¼ hour. Also it can be reached with direct flights from Kassos (15 min, daily flights), Rhodes (30 min, 1-3 flights per day) and Crete (1 hour from Sitia, daily flights) all year round. During the holiday period (April-October) there are also few charters and international flights from abroad, mainly from Germany and the Netherlands. The airport is located on the southern side of the island, at the region of Afiartis.
Arrival by Ferry/Boat: There are two ports in Karpathos handling several ferry itineraries. Diafani is the small port of the island while Pigadia the big and central port. Ferries to Karpathos depart from Piraeus 3 times a week. The trip is very long (between 18 and 20 hours) but connects Karpathos with many other Greek islands, including Milos, Santorini, Anafi, Kassos and Chalki. There are also ferries to Karpathos from closer ports, such as Rhodes and Crete 3 times per week. These trips are shorter: from Agios Nikolaos and Sitia to Kassos (3-5 hours) and Karpathos (about 6 hours). The boat then goes to Rhodes (another 5-6 hours).
If you plan to travel during July and August, it’s best if you have booked several days or weeks earlier to avoid hitches. You should also know that round-trip/return ferry tickets come with a considerable discount.
Local transportations: In Karpathos you can easily travel by buses, which have itineraries from Pigadia towards almost all the island, but also by taxis available on the island. You can always rent a push bike, a motorcycle or a car for easier and more comfortable travelling during your stay in Karpathos. There are several rental agencies on the island but you can book the car or motorbike of your choice online before your arrival at the island.