Watersports and Activities in Greece
Some popular beaches in the Greek islands and in top mainland destinations offer watersports centers with many fun games. These watersports in Greece are great for an adrenaline day in the sun with friends and family. Greece watersports centers have sports for all ages and preferences, from typical turbo rides and bananas to jet ski, wake boarding, kite surfing, wind surfing and stand up paddle.
Watersports centers in Greece can be found in popular islands, such as Santorini, Naxos, Rhodes, Corfu and many more. There are also centers in smaller islands, run usually by hotels or beach bar owners.
Scuba diving :
The Greeks have long had an intimate relationship with the sea and it continues today. With more than 240 inhabited islands and a significant coastline, you’ll find a wide variety of diving that includes wall, wreck, cavern and reef. Most of the PADI Dive Centers and Resorts are scattered throughout locations off the Aegean and Ionian Seas, both on the islands and on the mainland. On just about any dive, there’s a chance you’ll come across some artifacts. You get to observe (not touch) and must report your finds. There is absolutely no taking. It’s like an impromptu archeological adventure every time you slip into the water. And, like most of the countries with a lengthy seafaring history, wrecks tend to dominate the scene. There’s also considerable life in the seas, particularly if you slow down and think small. On land, the blue roofs and whitewashed buildings that form the skyline of almost every seaside village make this part of the world unmistakably breathtaking. No matter where you go, you’ll leave with a much better understanding of local Greek mythology and the rich history that defines this unique corner of the world.
- Prasonisia, Mykonos – This dive site has the best of both worlds. You can immerse yourself in a whirlwind of wrasse and other fish or connect the dots with a hoard of antiquities pointed out by your guide.
- Dragonisi Island Caverns, Mykonos – With stunning rock formations and caverns that glitter with glassfish, this dive packs a punch for underwater photographers. The biggest surprise of all is the chance of encountering a rare monk seal that hangs out in the area.
- Arado 196 German Seaplane, Naxos – This is a beautiful, dramatic wreck in 20 metres/66 feet of water. You’ll find the fuselage and wings mostly intact, although the plane sits upside down.
- The Dome, Naxos – This large cavern dive sports a good variety of marine life, but the marquee experience is an air-filled dome that seems to be lit with an ethereal blue light.
- Nea Kameni, Santorini – Roughly translated to mean New Volcano, this site has a small wreck that adds drama to the volcanic substrate.
- The Caves, Santorini – This pathway of canyons, swim-throughs and caverns make this site a unique experience for your logbook.
- Kelifos Island, Ionian Sea – Off the Kassandra Peninsula in the Thessaloniki region is a combination of three sites that are rich with marine life, including seahorses, octopus, conger eels, small cuttlefish, some large groupers and large shoals of fish.
- HMS Perseus, Ionian Sea – The top dive off Kefalonia Island, this intact and upright submarine hit a mine and sank in 1941. Now, the artificial reef hosts a number of jacks, wrasse, sea bass and groupers. The conning tower is a great photo opportunity.
- Messerschmitt Wreck, Crete – Step into history with a unique dive on a German fighter plane from World War II. It’s upside down, but the cockpit, fuselage and wings are intact. You can see the machine guns and the wreck is frequented by groupers and eels.
- Daedalos, Crete – This is a great spot for new divers and is loaded with crabs, octopus, cuttlefish, show-stopping trevally, fat groupers and toothy morays.
- Visibility – You’ll be able to see from 6 metres/20 feet to more than 50 metres/165 feet, depending on area and time of year.
- Water Temperature – From 16-23°C/60-74°F depending upon the site, sea and island. You’ll want to research your particular destination so you come prepared with the proper thermal gear.
- Weather – In this Mediterranean climate, expect hot and dry summer weather from July to September, with average temperatures of 27°C/80°F. Winter temperatures drop to an average of 6°C/43°F.
- Featured Creatures – The Aegean and Ionian Seas have a wonderful collection of nudibranchs, invertebrates, crabs, shrimp, eels, seahorses and other easily overlookable stealth critters. If you’re bent on seeing the big stuff, there’s a good chance you can get your fix off Galaxidi on the deep Gulf of Corinth, with dolphin and sea turtles. Night diving is particularly interesting because that’s when cuttlefish, conger eels and octopi venture out of their daytime lairs.
Wakeboarding in Greece is a relatively new sport in the country. Over the last few years, more wakeboarding clubs open and this sport is included in the program of existing water sports clubs. This sport actually requires a combination of water skiing, surfing and snowboarding techniques. Certain rules are certainly taught but it is more of a freestyle sport.
Some wakeboarding competitions are held in Greece, mostly in summer and early autumn. Most wakeboarding clubs in Greece are found on the Greek islands where other water sports are also developed, such as Mykonos and Crete, while some other clubs can be found along the mainland of Greece, in the seaside resorts.
One of the most famous areas for Greece wakeboarding is the island of Poros island and it’s ski club www.passage.gr . There is bay between the island and Peloponnese that offers calm waters, with any weather conditions. You can wakeboard in any area and islands where watersports are proposed.
You can practice canoeing in Greece mainland and do see kayaking on the island of Milos island, in the Cyclades. There are many organized areas to practice canoeing in Greece. The most common canoe boats in Greece are the two-paddled canoes. In Greece, conoeing can be practiced in Thessaly (Kremaston Lake and Plastira Lake), Thrace (Lyras Lake) and the Ionian Sea.
Milos Sea Kayaking Milos island
Kitesurfing in Greece and the islands is gradually developing. The sport is getting more popular than windsurfing (as it is easier to learn) and for this reason, many centers for kitesurfing Greece opened in recent years, attracting many tourists in research of sensations. The Greece kitesurfing centers are located in various beaches in the Greek islands and are renting the necessary equipment but also offering kite surfing courses.
The best spots for kitesurfing in Greece are the beach of Mikri Vigla in Naxos island, Pounta in Paros island, Agios Ioannis in Lefkada island and Prassonisi in Rhodes Island. Kitesurfing can also be practiced in other islands and mainland beaches.
Rafting sport is particularly popular in countries with wild rivers. As Greece has plenty of wild landscapes and rough rivers, many clubs organize frequent rafting excursions to these areas. The most popular areas to practice rafting in Greece are found in Northern Greece and the Peloponnese. Rafting areas and clubs in Northern Greece, the most popular areas to practice rafting in Greece are: Arachtos River (Epirus) and Tavropos and Megdovas Rivers (Evritania, Central Greece). In the Peloponnese, you can do some rafting in Loussios and Alfios Rivers (Arcadia). These rafting paths present various degrees of difficulty. There are some parts that require certain rafting experience and previous capacities, while there are also others that are appropriate for beginners. In any case, most clubs that organize rafting in Greece offer courses for novices.
Canyoning or canyoneering is a highly adventurous water sports in which a person travels through canyons using a variety of methods such as walking, climbing, jumping, swimming, etc. In Greece, you can find canyons that are very easy or others extremely adventurous. Canyoning in Greece is suitable for those who love danger and are in good health, since many misfortunes or difficulties may come in the way.
There are many gorges and mountainous areas in Greece where canyoning is organized. To name a few, particularly popular are Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, in the numerous gorges in Evritania (Central Greece), such as the gorges of Vothonas and Viniani, in Epirus (the most famous gorge of Epirus is Vikos), in Crete island and Thrace (the gorge of Xiropotamos).
The sport includes trekking, climbing and swimming along the river. In some cases, rock climbing, climbing on wet surfaces and a variety of other activities are part of exploring rivers and valleys. River trekking needs extreme skills to coordinate the body parts, to deal with the sudden climatic changes and to find the escape routes in case of typical dangers. The wild landscapes and rough rivers of the country offer great opportunities to practice river trecking in Greece. River trekking excursions in Greece are usually organized between May and October because this is when the weather is milder in Greece and thus more appropriate and less dangerous for the athletes. River trekking areas and clubs River trekking in Greece are held in many mainland areas, including Pantavrexi area (in Evritania, Central Greece), Neda River (Peloponnese), Geropotamos Gorge (Central Macedonia), Kosinthos and Kompsatos areas (Xanthi, Thrace) and in many areas of Crete.
Many river trecking clubs around Greece organize this activity. To participate in such activities, you have to be in excellent physical condition and to know swimming well.
The different landscapes of Greece make walking and hiking an enjoyable and refreshing sport. In fact, the past years many trekking clubs have opened all over the country and have set paths for hiking. Walking in Greece is particularly popular in the mainland, where landscapes vary more and things are more organized.
Zagoria, Meteora and Central Peloponnese are the most popular places, while clubs usually organize hiking with other activities, such as archery or rafting. The difficulty of the walking paths in Greece differs depending on the landscape of each region and its weather. Usually, these hiking paths cross gorges, lakes, valleys, mountainsides and include visits to monasteries or archaeological sites. They are part of agrotourism, the new kind of tourism that is developed the last years. For successful walking in greece, you are advised to always have a good map of the area with you and a guide, if you don’t know the route well. Remember that cells usually do not work in the mountains and weather may change quickly, especially in winter. Special equipment is not required for hiking, except for an athletic outfit and trainers.
Walking tours in Greece and the Greek islands
One Foot Forward Hand-picked experiences and destinations in Greece One Foot Forward is about walking holidays, adventure travel, cultural activities, off the beaten path places and good food. https://onefootforward.gr
Santorini Walking Tours offers both guided or private tours for travelers who wish to explore the secret side of Santorini. Walk ancient paths, see villages forgotten by time and gaze the breathtaking view to the caldera. https://www.santoriniwalkingtours.com
Naxos Hiking is run by Stella, who lives permanently in Naxos and offers hiking tours in popular and less popular locations on the island. These tours pass through old villages, ancient monuments and secluded beaches to give visitors a true insight of local nature and culture. https://www.naxoshiking.com
Strata Tours offers walking and activity holidays in western Crete. The team has designed special walking trails in the region that go through traditional villages, beautiful nature and monuments. https://www.stratatours.com
Island Walks organizes walking tours in Ithaca Greece since 2004. In small groups of 10 people max, Ester van Zuylen, who lives permanently on the island, gives people the chance to see Ithaca from the inside. https://www.islandwalks.com
Pelion Experience is run by Mark Taplin, an Englishman who has been walking Mount Pelion for more than 10 years. Walking holidays in Pelion range from 2 to 9 days. https://www.pelionexperience.com
Climbing is an adventurous and extremely demanding sports activity. It demands a lot of physical skills such as endurance, agility and coordination of the body parts along with great mental control. Rock climbing in Greece requires a lot of training in climbing techniques and usage of climbing equipment. A lot of rock climbing clubs offer both equipement and courses.
There are many rock climbing spots in the Greek mainland and the islands. As the country has many mountains and gorges, it provides fantastic places for climbing. The mecca for Rock Climbing in Greece is the island of Kalymnos, Dodecanese. With huge limestone rock escarpments on the western side, Kalymnos has developed over the last years as a very popular Greece rock climbing destination. Many climbing clubs have opened there that organize climbing excursions in Kalymnos and the neighboring island of Telendos.
More particularly, Kalymnos has more than 2,000 established climbing routes, although still many rocks are unexplored. This means that climbs are pre-equipped with permanent drilled-in bolts, making these routes very safe. Even a climbing festival is organized on the island every October, attracting many climbers from all over the world. Another very popular destination for rock climbing in Greece is Meteora, located on the northern side of the Greek mainland. Meteora is actually a place with huge massive rocks on one side of a large valley. Climbing routes in Meteora are pre-established and do not include all rocks. As monasteries were built several centuries ago on top of some rocks, this place is considered a holy monastic community that should not be disturbed. This is why climbers are restricted to a designated area. Climbing and hiking trail festivals frequently take place there in autumn. Other spots for rock climbing in Greece are Zagoria in north western Greece, Karpenissi in central Greece and the island of Crete. Especially Crete has many gorges and canyons from one side of the island to the other, providing innumerable spots to practise this sports.
Rock Climbing Clubs in Greece
Kalymnos Climbing Guide https://www.kalymnosclimbingguide.com
Climb in Crete https://www.climbincrete.com
Rodos Climb https://www.rodosclimb.info
Leonidio Climbing Community https://www.climbing-leonidio.com
Mount Olympus Climbing https://www.olympus-climbing.gr
Horse riding is a fun sport in Greece. There are few horse riding centers scattered in the countryside of the mainland and the Greek islands that offer riding courses and horse riding tours. Particularly amazing are the riding sunset tours on the beachside or up to hills to enjoy the breathtaking view to the sea..
Ηorse riding in Mykonos is not a particularly popular sports but it could be a nice experience if you are interested to do something very special on the island. Riding tours in Mykonos lead to secluded beaches, old sightseeing, small chapels and spots with breathtaking view. In particular, Mykonos riding tours can be sunset tours, family tours or even tours for therapeutic riding.
Naxos is a fantastic island for horse riding. With many beaches, traditional villages in the countryside and great nature, it is a fantastic experience to go horse riding in Naxos. The few Naxos horse riding centers actually offer courses for all ages as well as tours. These riding tours are addressed to both the elderly and children, and include sunset riding tours, beach treks or even therapeutic riding.
An island with lovely beaches and rich greenery, Skiathos is a great place for horse riding. In fact, there are few Skiathos horse riding centers and farms that offer courses for all levels and also organize riding treks, beach rides, tours for therapeutic riding and more. Horse riding in Skiathos is a very enjoyable experience as treks pass through nice forests and lead to beaches and old sightseeing.
The Greek wild mountain terrain offers great challenge to the riders and for this reason, the practice of mountain biking in Greece is getting more popular every year. There are plenty of clubs proposing mountain biking in Greece with organized excursions. The most popular Greek destinations to go mountain biking is Crete, Lake Plastira in Thessaly, Zagoria in Epirus and Evrytania in central Greece, as they are mountainous areas and offer nice cycling paths. But mountain biking in Greece can be practiced everywhere, even on some of the greek islands like Naxos island.
Flisvos Sportclub Agios Georgios Beach & Mikri Vigla, Naxos island
Bungee Jumping is an adventurous sports activity that has become particularly popular these last years all over the world. Bungee Jumping began on Pentecost island, in the south west of the Pacific Ocean, from a native tribe who use this process to choose their leaders. Bungee Jumping in Greece has become very popular over the last decade. Although at the beginning there was a terror in the sight of an audacious bungee jumper, today more and more people dare to try this extreme sports.
Famous bungee spots in Greece are:
- The bridge of Chalkida, about 100 km to the north of Athens.
- The Corinth Channel, a bridge 100m high.
- The Gorge of Aradena in Crete island, close to Anopolis Chania, the highest bridge in the Balkans.
Bungee Jumping clubs in Greece
Liquid Bungee Team Aradena bridge in Chania (138m high, the highest bridge in the Balkans) https://www.bungee.gr
Zulu Bungy Jump Isthmos Corinth Channel, Corinth Greece (Bridge 100 meters) https://www.zulubungy.com
In Greece, paragliding is a sport that has been much developed over the last years. Many Airclubs has been established and they organize paragliding courses and activities.
Most clubs for paragliding in Greece are found in Peloponnese, Epirus and Macedonia. They offer their members all the equipement they need and the paragliding activities are held with safety.
Some independant clubs are located in some Greek islands, like in Lefkada beach.
Paragliding Clubs in Greece
Olympic Wings Neos Panteleimonas, Pieria https://www.olympicwings.gr