Greece watersports
Waterskiing (Credit: Alexander Lesnitsky από το Pixabay)

The 12 most exciting watersports all over Greece 2024

Waterskiing, kitesurfing, rafting, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, SUP, wakeboarding, windsurfing, jetskiing, parasailing

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With more than 6,000 islands (227 inhabited), 13,676 kilometres of coast and crystal clear waters, Greece is a paradise for watersports lovers. The climate allows you to enjoy the sea and the sun from May to the end of September, so indulge in the various adrenaline-pumping watersports and treat the adventurer in you. Most watersport clubs and schools are located on the islands while others can be found at many seaside resorts of the Greek mainland. We have hand-picked below the best 12 watersports and propose some Greek destinations where you can practice them. Like any other sports or form of exercise, water sports are a true concentrate of benefits and well-being due to their anti-stress effect on our body and mind. Adrenaline helps us to put aside the problems and tensions of everyday life and strengthens the immune system.

Waterskiing

The most renowned water sports activity, waterskiing, has captivated adventure enthusiasts for decades. The individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation over the surface of the water, skimming the surface on skis. From speedboats to jet skis, waterskiing can be enjoyed behind a wide range of watercraft, catering to different preferences. There are many ski schools and clubs on the islands, in Halkidiki, the Peloponnese, the Athens Riviera and on some lakes, offering lessons and programs catered to different age groups and skill levels. A plethora of options awaits you.

Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing
Kitesurfing (Credit: Wikimedia image by Stefanvanderkamp10)

How about riding and gliding across the water while holding onto a large hand-controlled kite that is powered by the wind? Also known as kiteboarding, this relatively new sport, with its origins dating back to the late 1990, quickly gained popularity around the world and Greece could be no exception. Although the name includes surfing, kitesurfing does not need waves, the wind is the only force needed to power you along. The top kitesurfing spots in Greece include Peloponnese‘s Cape Drepano, the islands of Naxos, Paros, Kos, Rhodes, Lemnos and Karpathos in the Aegean Sea. The Ionian island of Lefkada and of course Crete are also ideal destinations for beginners and professionals alike. Vouliagmeni and Vari, Anavyssos and Lavrio are top spots in the Athens Riveria.

Rafting

Rafting (Credit: Trekking Hellas)

Maybe your summer calendar is already overbooked with beach trips but how about sneaking in a whitewater rafting trip? Most parts of rivers, usually the most beautiful parts, are hard to reach on land. Rafting allows you to enter these special places. Imagine dens forests, nature, great views and much more. From Epirus to the Peloponnese, the are wonderful water routes to follow. Voidomatis (Zagori), Evinos (Mountainous Nafpaktia), Arachthos (Tzoumerka), Kalaritikos (tributary of the famous Arachthos), Venetikos (Grevena), Tavropos (Evrytania) and Aliakmonas (Greece’s longest river), Lousios (Arcadia), Erymanthos (also in Arcadia) are all scenic Greek rivers to descend.

Kayaking

Kayaking in Kefalonia (Credit: odysea.gr)

This fun water sport involves the use of a kayak, a narrowboat with a double-blade paddle to move on water (rivers, lakes, and even sea). Whether you’re a beginner seeking a tranquil experience or an adrenaline junkie craving an exhilarating rush, kayaking is the answer. You can find a great choice of locations. The sea in Lefkada, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Santorini, Evia, Sounio, Small Cyclades is suitable for kayaking and the conditions are ideal. The rivers Voidomatis, Arcoudorema, Aoos, Arachthos, Acheron, Kalaritikos, Acheelos, Langafzas, Erymanthos, Nestos and there’s much more to paddle in Greece which offers several rivers in all grades.

Sailing

Sailing (Credit: Flickr image by easysailing9)

Αnchors aweigh! With its consistent winds and stunning selection of beautiful islands, the sailing options in Greece seem inexhaustible. The Cyclades, made up of thirty larger islands and approximately another 190 islets, are generally very close together so you can go to a different one each day. The Dodecanese islands are also a great choice. On a single sailing trip you can explore several ports and bays in a very short time, as the islands are not too far apart. If you are visiting the east region of Greece such as Pelion then you can enjoy some sailing around the islands of the Sporades. On the west side of Greece, the Ionian islands are another sailing paradise due to their calm waters and multitude of secluded bays. Relatively close to Athens are the Saronic Islands. Creta should also be on your list. Whichever part of Greece you decide to sail to, you can be sure of stunning seascapes, exquisite natural attractions and a memorable experience.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving Santorini (Credit: Volcano Dine Center Santorini https://scubagreece.com/)

Looking for a memorable time underwater? Whether you’re a novice or a experienced diver Greece has a fascinating variety of scuba diving on offer. The island of Chios in the North Aegean with its astonishing underwater caves, large colorful reefs, breathtaking shipwrecks, impressive vertical seawalls and spectacular, underwater rock formations, is often cited as one of best places to scuba dive in the Mediterranean. The Cycladic island of Santorini boasts volcanic underwater lava formations, colorful sponges, sea caves and masses of marine life. Other islands offering exquisite diving are Amorgos, Mykonos, Naxos, Lesvos, Crete, Zakynthos and Corfu in the Ionian Sea, Thasos, Pavlopetri in Peloponnese and last but not least Alonissos due to the ancient shipwreck of Peristera, dubbed “the Parthenon of shipwrecks.” The seabed of the peninsula of Halkidiki in Northern Greece is also a great place to explore for all scuba divers levels.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling (Credit: Tobias Spitaler, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped breathing tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. Use of this equipment allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods with relatively little effort and to breathe while face-down at the surface. Greece’s sea waters are teeming with fascinating marine life, offering some of the most fascinating snorkeling in the Mediterranean. Zakynthos, in the Ionian Sea is one of the only places in Europe where snorkelers have good chances of encountering sea turtles (loggerhead turtles).

SUP

Standup paddleboarding (SUP) (Credit: A.belloc, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Standup paddleboarding (SUP) with modern roots in Hawaii, is one of the world’s fastest-growing water sports. It is a cross between kayaking and surfing. It’s suitable for virtually any water environment, from lakes, rivers to the sea and for athletes of any age, fitness condition, weight and size. Nature and the water around the athlete have an enormously calming and balancing effect, which makes SUP provides relaxation for mind and soul. The crystal clear transparent waters of Evia, the coastal town of Parga, the peninsula of Halkidiki and the Aegean and Ionian islands are only few of the top places in Greece to embark on a SUP adventure. The list just doesn’t stop!

Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding Vouliagmeni (Credit: AstirSkiClub.gr)

This extreme sport is actually a combination of water skiing, surfing, and snowboarding techniques. The rider is fastened to a board and towed behind a motorboat at speeds of around 50 km per hour. It’s almost like riding an endless wave and it is suitable for a wide range of people in terms of age. Almost everywhere in Greece, you can find great places to wakeboard, both near Athens (Vouliagmani, Anavyssos, Lavrion, Varkiza, Galazia Akti) and with a trip to the islands: Paros (Chryssi Akti, Nea Chryssi Akti, Pounta, Agios Ioannis) Naxos: (Agios Georgios, Mikri Vigla), Mykonos (Ftelia, Kalafatis) Milos, Rhodes (Trianta, Fanes, Prasonissi, Theologos) Lefkada (Vassiliki) Ios (Mylopotas), Crete, Corfu, Rhodes you name it!

Windsurfing

Windsurfing Vassiliki, Lefkada (Credit: windsurfvassiliki.com)

Popular since the 80s in Greece windsurfing is an exciting sport with the sun-kissed country offering some amazing locations and conditions. Blessed with “meltemi” (strong summer winds which often reach 7, 8, and even 9 Bft especially in July and August) the Cyclades islands are the mecca for windsurfing: Pounda on Paros, Mikri Vigla on Naxos, Chicken bay on Karpathos. In the Ionian Sea, Lefkada’s small fishing village of Vassiliki and Corfu’s Halikounas, Acharavi are also well known among the windsurfing community. Other top windsurfing spots in the country include Kouremenos and Elafonisi in Crete, Prasonisi on Rhodes, Keros and Gomati on Lemnos, Sigri in Lesvos, Sarti and Sani Beach in Halkidiki, Horefto in Pelion, Vouliagmeni in Attica.

Jetskiing

Jetskiing (Credit: Chanh Nguyen on Pixabay)

A jetski is the motorcycle of the open waters providing you with the opportunity to enjoy thrilling water adventures. Considered one of the most popular sea activities, jetskiing (also known as personal watercraft (PWC) riding) is also a wonderful way to work out and keep in shape. The thrill of speeding across the water, the splash of the waves, and the freedom of the open sea make it a popular choice for water enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there are a variety of Jet Skis available that cater to different needs and preferences. Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Milos, Athens Riviera, Halkidiki, are just a few of the places in Greece where jetskis are readily available for those who want to try them.

Parasailing

Parasailing in Prasonisi, Rhodes, Greece (Credit: Ввласенко, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The recreational activity of gliding through the air wearing an open parachute while being towed by a motorboat, has gained popularity in recent years. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking to soak in breathtaking views from a unique vantage point, parasailing promises an unforgettable experience. On this flight, you are a passenger and do not need to do anything as certified crew makes sure you enjoy safely the entire ride. Parasailing in Corfu, Rhodes, Nafplio, Mykonos, Santorini, you name it, will allow you to soak up panoramic views of the charming landscape and the blue waters.