Style: Freeride, Freestyle, Slalom, Speed
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Good, Specialist
Karpathos must be considered the windiest island of the Mediterranean! It is famous for its wind guarantee. Come during the summer months and you will find everything your windsurfer’s heart wishes for. The “Meltemi” blows full force from the north down through the high mountains of Karpathos, creating perfect conditions for windsurfing. But the island often enjoys steady winds in spring and autumn as well. Chichen Bay 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)
All directions are very safe here due to the almost closed bay. The island in summertime is spoiled by the “Meltemi” and north winds offers strong wind conditions in the months between April and October.
In Chicken Bay the wind blows cross offshore. Meltemi is a little bit lighter (1-2 bft less force), and a spit of land prevents beginners from drifting away. Problem is it gets seriously busy in summer. 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.
Depth: Shallow (walking several steps not to step on)
This turquoise lagoon’s extremely flat water (standing-depth in places) is ideal for freestyle tricksters and trainee gybers. Sail sizes for freestyle windsurf: 4.2-4.7. Beginners love this spot because of the 80 m wide shallow water area. Also has a speed track.
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.
Kid Friendly: Yes
The small Makris Gialos beach, or Chicken Bay in Afiartis, amphitheatrically is located in the middle of the bay (which has an 80-meter stretch of shallow water). The spot is best for both beginners and freestylers. With its warm, shallow water area, protected by a spit and a sandy beach, the bay offers ideal conditions for kids.
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.