In the next instalment of his ultimate year, Max Rowe talks you through taking a trip to Vassiliki, Greece.
As mentioned in my previous feature I will now bring you the ins and outs of one my favourite places to visit in the summer months. Ive spent enough time there that it almost feels like Im going home whenever the summer approaches. This is now my seventh summer out in Vass and I couldnt think of anywhere else Id rather be.
Situated on the island of Lefkas in the Ionian Sea just south from Corfu you’ll find the beautiful bay of Vassiliki. One of the reasons Vass has become such a Mecca for windsurfing is the mass appeal of the spot itself; this is much more than just an awesome spot with consistent wind. The lifestyle, the après and the scenery is what makes this spot great.
The closest airport is Preveza, which is situated just off the island on mainland Greece. You can fly directly there from most airports in the UK and a fair few across Europe. It’s only an hour away from Vass and it’s definitely the easiest options, most of the flights operate on a Sunday but you will find the odd one leaving on a Thursday. It’s also possible to fly into Kefalonia (the island south of Lefkas) which is a one hour drive, plus a short scenic ferry journey away. Athens is around six hours away, so not the easiest but still do-able. Of course the best way to arrange all this is to book an all in one package with Club Vass www.clubvass.com
In Vass (for the more experienced) it’s all about the afternoons, meaning you get to relax, mountain bike or just recover from the previous night’s activities the wind kicks in. The wind works in weird and mysterious ways in Vass, but most of the time there will be a gentle onshore breeze in the morning, which is perfect for beginners, then around 3:00pm the wind will start to blow cross-shore from right to left. No one’s 100% sure how the wind actually works but it gets accelerated down the mountain meaning the water stays relatively flat up close but gets gradually choppier the further away from the mountain you go. The wind is also more consistent the further from the mountain you are. This is strictly a local effect so when checking the forecast all you need to see is a North Westerly direction. I would say the average strength would be around a force 5/6 but we can have anything from Force 3-10. My most used kit is a my Fanatic Skate 89 and my 4.7 North Idol. Be aware that it can go from amazing planing conditions, to zero wind within a matter of seconds particularly when the sun goes down. However there are plenty of rescue boats to collect you if you end up stuck further out.
Club Vass operate their own hotel that is right on the beach just behind our centre, however they also offer rooms/studios/apartments around the local area including some self-catering apartments a few minutes from the club, but set back from the beach making them rather tranquil. If you’re looking for something different then there’s plenty of other options around.
Along with the reputation of the windsurfing, Vass is also world renowned for the nightlife. The harbour is lined with amazing restaurants and cafes that are buzzing most of the day. It’s at night however when the town really comes to life and what seems like an unsuspecting little bar can assure one of the nights of your life. Although the vast majority of the people in town are tourists it remains very unspoilt and still has that Greek charm about it.
What else is there to do?
There’s plenty of things to keep you entertained if there’s no wind or you just need a break. The island of Lefkas is pretty stunning and it’s well worth your time renting a car to have a better look around. Vass is also considered a world-class mountain biking destination and there are rides that will challenge even the best of them. The bay is also great for SUPing (Stand Up Paddle boarding); the calm glassy water in the morning makes for some epic paddling. If you’re lucky enough you might even come across a pod of dolphins.
Why Club Vass?
Club Vass has hand picked a team of highly qualified, talented, motivated, experienced and down to earth instructors to ensure you get the most out of you’re holiday. It’s also the only centre in the bay that has the latest state of the art equipment brand new every year. This includes a rack of over 300 sails rigged only on 100% carbon masts including skinnies on everything below 6m. The team also boasts a very high personal ability so you can get coaching on all the latest freestyle moves.
- The best restaurant is Stelios as you head into the harbour you cant miss it.
- Hire a car and check out the island.
- Don’t miss the Club Vass BBQ on a Friday night.
- Try a Gyros!
- Order a jug of blue then go dancing on the shelf in the Zeus Bar
- If you’ve got your own kit and it’s offshore in Vass then check the North of the island.
There’s no sign of any Greek economic crisis here in Vass so don’t let that put you off.
Next month I’ll be giving you the low down on my favourite freestyle spots in the UK.
Photos by: Globalshots