How did Paros become a popular destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing, and where are the best spots to enjoy these sports on the island?

Paros is a beautiful island in the Cyclades, Greece, that attracts thousands of visitors every year. But Paros is not only famous for its picturesque villages, sandy beaches and rich history. It is also a paradise for windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts, who come to enjoy the steady and strong winds, the turquoise waters and the diverse spots that suit all levels and preferences.

But how did Paros become such a popular destination for these sports? And where are the best spots to enjoy them on the island? In this blog post, we will explore the history, the conditions and the locations that make Paros a windsurfing and kitesurfing heaven.

The history of windsurfing and kitesurfing in Paros

Windsurfing and kitesurfing are relatively new sports, compared to other water activities. Windsurfing was invented in the late 1960s by two Americans, Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer, who combined a surfboard with a sail. Kitesurfing was developed in the late 1970s by two French brothers, Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux, who attached a kite to a board.

Both sports spread quickly around the world, especially in places with consistent and strong winds. Paros was one of them. The island has a long tradition of sailing and fishing, thanks to its strategic position in the Aegean Sea. The locals were familiar with the power of the wind, especially the Meltemi, a seasonal northerly wind that blows from May to October, reaching speeds of up to 40 knots.

The first windsurfers arrived in Paros in the early 1980s, attracted by the ideal conditions and the natural beauty of the island. They found several spots that offered flat water, waves or choppy conditions, depending on their preference and skill level. The most popular spot was New Golden Beach, on the east coast of Paros, where the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) held its first World Cup event in 1993. The event put Paros on the map of the international windsurfing scene and attracted more visitors and media attention.

Kitesurfers followed suit in the late 1990s, when the sport became more accessible and safer. They discovered that Paros had even more spots to offer for kitesurfing than for windsurfing, thanks to its shape and orientation. The most famous spot was Pounda Beach, on the west coast of Paros, opposite Antiparos island. The narrow channel between the two islands created a venturi effect that amplified the wind speed and direction, making it perfect for kitesurfing. The flat water and the sandy bottom also made it ideal for beginners and freestylers.

Since then, Paros has become one of the top destinations for windsurfing and kitesurfing in Greece and Europe. Several schools, clubs and shops have opened on the island, offering lessons, rentals and equipment for all levels and budgets. Many events, competitions and festivals have been organized on Paros, attracting professional and amateur riders from all over the world. Some of them have even settled on the island or visit it regularly, forming a friendly and vibrant community of wind lovers.

The conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing in Paros

Paros is blessed with some of the best conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing in the Mediterranean. The main factor is the wind, which is consistent, strong and reliable throughout the summer season. The Meltemi is the dominant wind on Paros, blowing from north to south with an average speed of 20-25 knots. It usually starts in May and lasts until October, peaking in July and August. It can be gusty or steady, depending on the spot and the weather.

The second factor is the water temperature, which is warm enough to enjoy these sports without a wetsuit most of the time. The average water temperature on Paros is around 23°C (73°F) in summer and 16°C (61°F) in winter. However, some spots can be colder or warmer than others, depending on their exposure to currents or sun. A thin wetsuit or a rash guard is recommended for protection from sunburns or jellyfish.

The third factor is the variety of spots that Paros offers for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The island has a coastline of about 120 km (75 miles), with many bays, beaches and capes that create different conditions and challenges for these sports. Depending on the wind direction, the wave size, the water depth and the crowd level, there is a spot for everyone on Paros, from beginners to experts, from freestylers to wave riders.

The best spots for windsurfing and kitesurfing in Paros

Paros has dozens of spots for windsurfing and kitesurfing, but some of them stand out for their popularity, accessibility and quality. Here are some of the best spots to enjoy these sports on the island, according to their location, wind direction and level of difficulty.

West coast

The west coast of Paros is the most exposed to the Meltemi wind, which blows side shore from left to right. It is also the most crowded area, as it hosts the main port and town of Parikia, as well as several hotels, restaurants and bars. The west coast has two main spots for windsurfing and kitesurfing: Pounda Beach and Parikia Bay.


  • Pounda Beach

    : This is the most famous spot for kitesurfing on Paros, and one of the best in Greece. It is located opposite Antiparos island, about 10 km (6 miles) south of Parikia. The spot has a long sandy beach with a shallow water area that extends for about 300 m (1000 ft) from the shore. The wind is strong and steady here, thanks to the venturi effect created by the channel between Paros and Antiparos. The water is flat and smooth, ideal for beginners and freestylers. There are several schools, clubs and shops on the beach, offering lessons, rentals and equipment. The spot can get very busy in high season, so it is advisable to respect the rules and regulations of the area. Pounda Beach is also a popular party destination, with bars, clubs and events that attract many young people.

  • Parikia Bay

    : This is a good spot for windsurfing on Paros, especially for intermediate and advanced riders. It is located in front of Parikia town, about 2 km (1 mile) north of Pounda Beach. The spot has a wide sandy beach with a deep water area that extends for about 500 m (1600 ft) from the shore. The wind is strong and gusty here, blowing side shore from left to right. The water is choppy and wavy, with some swell coming from the open sea. There are some schools, clubs and shops on the beach, offering lessons, rentals and equipment. The spot can also get busy in high season, especially with ferries and boats coming in and out of the port. Parikia Bay is also a lively place to hang out, with many cafes, restaurants and shops in the town.

East coast

The east coast of Paros is less exposed to the Meltemi wind, which blows side offshore from right to left. It is also less crowded than the west coast, as it has fewer settlements and facilities. The east coast has two main spots for windsurfing and kitesurfing: New Golden Beach and Golden Beach.


  • New Golden Beach

    : This is the most famous spot for windsurfing on Paros, and one of the best in Europe. It is located about 20 km (12 miles) south of Parikia, near the village of Drios. The spot has a long sandy beach with a deep water area that extends for about 800 m (2600 ft) from the shore. The wind is strong and steady here, blowing side offshore from right to left. The water is flat near the shore and wavy further out, with some swell coming from Naxos island. There are several schools, clubs and shops on the beach, offering lessons, rentals and equipment. The spot hosts many events and competitions every year, including the PWA World Cup since 1993. New Golden Beach is also a beautiful place to relax, with clear water and stunning views.

  • Golden Beach

    : This is a good spot for both windsurfing and kitesurfing on Paros, especially for beginners and intermediate riders. It is located next to New Golden Beach, about 22 km (14 miles) south of Parikia. The spot has a long sandy beach with a shallow water area that extends for about 400 m (1300 ft) from the shore. The wind is moderate and gusty here, blowing side offshore from right to left. The water is flat near the shore and choppy further out,