The Ultimate Guide to Surfing in Greece

by Nuno D'Angelo

Surfing in Greece is mainly for those with a sail in tow, but there is a growing scene around a few key spots when the winter months bring windswells and the odd groundswell. You just have to know where to look.

An introduction to surfing in Greece

Surfing in Greece

Garlic-filled tzatziki, stacked moussaka, old Mythos beers on the beach – these are the things we come to Greece for. Surfing in Greece? Surely not! But there is, you know. There are waves in this famously calm corner of the Mediterranean Sea, where the usually name of the game is topping up the tan on idyllic islands and eating so much that you can’t move.

It’s true that Greece isn’t going to offer the same barreling shore and point breaks you get in other European gems like Portugal or Spain. But, with over 2,000 islands and endless swathes of mainland coastline on its roster, there’s certainly something here. The main trick is to wait for the winter months, which is when powerful westerly winds can kick up swells for the west-facing beaches.

This guide to surfing in Greece will take a look at all the ins and outs of the top locations, outline where you can go to score some waves, and even show some of the best hotels for those chasing waves in the home of feta and filo pastry.

We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This guide is a part of our larger ultimate guide to surfing in Europe

Surfing in Greece at a glance

The good:

  • Spots are virtually deserted
  • Food, culture, history – there’s loads more after the surf is done

The bad:

  • Very inconsistent indeed
  • It’s mainly winter season
  • Hard-to-reach surf locations

What will I find in this guide to surfing in Greece?

The top surf spots in Greece

More than 2,000 islands and upwards of 15,000 kilometres of shoreline help to make Greece one of the most blessed coastal nations in Europe. Sadly, much of the country lies in a complete swell shadow cast by Spain, Malta, and Sicily further west in the Med. Only a few select locations get enough wave action to be considered genuine surf spots. They’re listed below…

Crete

Crete is the largest and the most southerly of the Greek islands. It’s so far south, in fact, that it just about manages to escape the swell shadow that’s cast by Sicily, and manages to pick up some very limited power from due-west swells through the Marsala strait. More than that, big westerly winds in the Chania region help to create winter waves on beaches like Falasarna, making this one of the better spots to go surfing in Greece. It’s also got great weather well into November, which means you can holiday and surf if there’s something going on.

Read our complete guide to surfing in Crete right now

Tinos

Tinos has one beach that’s often said to be the home of the best surfing in Greece as a whole: Kolymbithra. What’s great here is that it’s a north-facing horseshoe bay (a truly stunning one at that!), capable of hoovering up the dominant northerly windswells that come through the Aegean in the summer months (thanks to a phenomenon known as the Meltemi winds). The upshot? You can surf here May to August. Expect very small waves that you need a boat-sized foamy to ride. Thankfully, they’re on offer at the beachside rental!

Check out our complete guide to Tinos surfing

Ikaria

There’s a fantastic surf school – the aptly named Ikaria Surf School – making the most of the light summer windswells that hit Messakti Beach on the northern shore of the island throughout the summer months. Again, it’s beginner stuff, but perfect for family holidaymakers who want to give the kids something to do. The break is a sand-bottomed beachy with very mellow rollers and crumbly shore breaks.

Karpathos

Karpathos is already well known for its world-championship kite surfing spots. They’re mainly around the south side of the island, around Agios Nikolaos Beach and Arkassa Beach and are also pretty good if you’ve not got the sail in tow, especially when the northerly winds are blowing and there’s a little bit of winter storm swell.

Check out our full guide to the surf in Karpathos right now

Costa Navarino

This is the prime place for surfing in Greece if you ask us. Home to a big resort on the remote southwestern edge of the Peloponnese, it’s got some great exposure to the open Ionian Sea. When windswells come through in fall and winter, there are loads of beaches here that offer some of the best waves in the Med, including famous Lagouvardos Beach. It’s where the most serious surfers go to, in search of aforementioned beach breaks but also a few select hidden spots that have slabby points over rock reef.

Vouliagmeni

Vouliagmeni is a part of the so-called Athenian Riviera. It’s a short bus south of the Acropolis and all those other awesome wonders in the Greek capital. By summer it’s best known as a haunt for the city’s jet setters. By winter, it can bring in wind swells that see a lineup of 40+. The waves are usually small and choppy but it’s surfing close to Athens!

Top places to stay if you’re going surfing in Greece

There aren’t any dedicated surf camps in Greece. However, the hotels below are the ones that will get you close enough to walk to some of the country’s best waves and surf beaches…

Falasarna Village

Surf-hotel-top-pick

You WILL NOT be disappointed with one of the deluxe villa rentals at Falasarna Village. Even if there’s no surf in the bay below – one of Crete’s most reliable spots – you can laze by the infinity pool soaking up views of the tomato plantations and mountains. My god they are fantastic!

The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, Costa Navarino

The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, Costa Navarino is all about the five-star service. You get pools, you get massage rooms, you get grand suites and Ionian Sea views. But you also get proximity to some of the most reliable and advanced surf breaks in the whole country!

Erofili Beach Hotel

Erofili Beach Hotel offers a classic family Greek seaside stay. That, but in close proximity to the Ikaria north shore, where surf schools offer lessons throughout the summer on Messakti Beach.

When to surf in Greece?

The best time to surf in Greece is during the winter months from November to March. That’s when windswells and the occasional refracted groundswell from the Atlantic far away can push through the strait south of Sicily and power up Crete and the western Peloponnese. Temperatures in the sea get to nearly single figures, so rubber will be needed then. That said, there are some spots in our guide to surfing in Greece that work better in the summer – Tinos, Ikaria. The reason? They face due north, which means it’s the Meltemi wind systems in June-October that help them get waves. Those places are beginner only though to be frank.

Be sure to check out our gear guides:

What to do when you aren’t surfing in Greece

hiking in Greece

We would probably never recommend planning a dedicated surf trip to Greece. Portugal, France, the UK – Europe has no shortage of destinations for that. However, Greece can be a doozy if you want a holiday with sun-kissed beaches, amazing food, and ancient history with a bit of surfing on the side. Here’s just a taster of why we say that…

Athens

If you’re coming to Greece in the winter (top time for surfing) then the chances are you’ll fly into Athens first as many flights to smaller islands stop for the season. That’s a gift, because this is one of the world’s most incredible towns. Check out the Acropolis Museum, wander under the Parthenon, and step food in the ancient Agora. It’s bucket list stuff!

Samaria Gorge

Adventurers will LOVE the Samaria Gorge of Crete. An epic UNESCO site that carves through the south side of the island, it’s a five-hour hike under soaring cliffs in the company of mountain goats. You end on a paradise beach too!

Epidaurus

A place where we always feel really relaxed and meditative, Epidaurus is another UNESCO spot that showcases a 2,500-year-old hospital complex, a great amphitheatre, and more. It’s also conveniently on the way to the superlative surf breaks of the western Peloponnese – about halfway from Athens, in fact, so great for a pitstop!


We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This guide to surfing in Greece is just one part of our guide to surfing in Europe!