We find that there is something very peaceful about windsurfing. Nothing seem to sooth the soul quite like a strong sea breeze and the flapping of a sail. Others take pleasure in the more gruelling side of the sport, tackling bigger waves and stronger winds in a quest to achieve big air and rapid speeds.
Whatever your preference, everyone can agree that the key to a great days windsurfing is ideal conditions and stunning surroundings. With this in mind, here we take a look at the five most renowned windsurfing spots in Europe.
Spain – Tarifa
This beautiful stretch of coastline is considered by many to be the crème de la crème of windsurfing hotspots.
Snuggly nestled at Europe’s lowest point (where the Strait of Gibraltar and the African coast align) this scenic area is the playground of two potent winds: the Levant, from the east, and a Poniente, from the West. It is not unusual for these winds to reach speeds of up to 40 knots, but fear not, the strong winds are always accompanied by clear skies and warm water. Some call it the wind capital of Europe, so beginning our list with this spot was a no-brainer.
Although quite famous with the windsurfing community, its typical Andalusian feeling remains intact. With adorable white houses, flamenco, tapas and a great night-life, it is also an ideal family destination.
Italy – Torbole, Lake Garda
Italy is home to over 7000 KM of coastline. With the islands of Sardinia and Sicily perfectly placed to receive great, year round, winds, you might be surprised that our next choice isn’t even on the coast.
The postcard perfect Lake Garda, situated between Mount Baldo and the Sarche plain, is a frequently talked about Mecca for windsurfing fans. The protection offered by the mountains and the thermo-regulation of the lake ensure a Mediterranean micro-climate, while the Ora and Peler ensure gentle propulsion across crystalline water.
Greece – Paros, New Golden Beach
Who wouldn’t want to spend a week on a Greek island? Renowned for clear water, perpetual blue sky, and white-sanded beaches, Greece is ever popular with holiday makers because it is a living vision of the “perfect” beach holiday we all hold in our minds eye.
For a regular holiday, you can’t go wrong. Is it in Greece? Is it a beach? Then it’s going to be great, we promise. But, if you’re looking for a great windsurfing spot (which, if you have made it this far, we can assume you are) then we would have to recommend Paros, one of the Cyclades islands.
The constantly-hot temperature is mitigated by the Meltemi, a strong wind that makes this island our destination of choice when windsurfing in Greece during the summer period. This area even hosted the 2000, 2003 and 2010 international windsurfing championships, so you know that even the pros approve.
Turkey – Alaçatı
Next we have Turkey, and there really is no better place to surf here than Alaçatı
Also known as the “St. Tropez of Turkey”, you will be captured by this town’s great architecture and by the turquoise waters that lap its beach, Alaçatı Plajı.
Shallow waters, light winds and sandy seabed make this perfect for beginners, or those looking for a more Zen experience on the water.
UK – Gwithian Beach, Cornwall
Cornwall is a great place for windsurfing as it enjoys all the oceanic might of the Atlantic – and it is warmer than the rest of the UK because of the influence of the Gulf Stream.
A big hook for windsurfing enthusiast is the variety offered by the ocean: if you are a beginner, there are calm waters where you can safely practice you newly-found passion, while more experienced riders can find powerful winds and challenging waves nearby.
Among numerous beaches, Gwithian Beach is probably the most established one and is characterized by long stretches of sand surrounded by dunes which end abruptly in 30 foot cliffs. Dramatic!
BONUS! Windsurfing road trip!
You might have noticed that the first four locations on this list plot a course across mainland Europe, starting from the south west and moving east until the most easterly location mentioned, Alaçatı. For those of you that love a driving as much as you love surfing, or for those who simply want a great excuse to see Europe by car, this 5371KM route winds through 10 European countries. And the best part? The countries you visit will be some of the hottest in Europe!
Finally, we spoke to the motoring experts at JT Hughes to find out if they had any advice to give to those of you for whom one windsurfing paradise simply isn’t enough:
“The best bit of road trip advice we could come up with between us is to make sure that you come up with a foolproof plan… and then deviate from it. The best part about a road-trip is spontaneous adventures (or misadventure), as long as you know which cities you will be resting in each night, and plan 9 hours of driving each day, then anything else that comes your way you can tackle with reckless abandon.
“From a technical point of view, respect your car. Treat it to a full service before you leave and ensure you tell your mechanic what sort of climates you might be encounter along the way. If you’re visiting extremely cold areas then there are certain products which can be applied to prevent freezes.
“On the other side of the coin, bringing a car that isn’t used to the heat into a very hot climate can highlight issues which may not have arisen back home. In this case, be sure that your mechanic pays special attention to cooling mechanisms (especially the radiator), changes the oil filter and tops up all the fluids with top of the line products.”
After a long summer of carting you and your family across counties, countries and maybe even continents during your summer vacations, your poor caravan or RV is probably in need of a good holiday itself! Luckily for tired leisure vehicles everywhere, most owners take a break from touring for the winter months, preferring to take their holidays in far-flung and sunnier climates if possible. Although your leisure vehicle might appreciate this time off of the road, it isn’t unusual for faults to develop caused by a combination of the harsher weather and the months spend stationary.
From creeping damp and rusting components to more simple issues like excessive dust and grime, many leisure vehicle owners come back to their prized machine once the winter has thawed only to find that it has fallen into a sad state since they last wheeled it out of the drive. For the lucky amongst us, the solution to this problem could be as simple as keeping the vehicle in a garage or storage facility for the winter. However, for those of us without monolithic garages or enough disposable income to spend on rented storage, there are still certain things you can do to ease your vehicles suffering during the dark winter months.
A Caravan Cover
The first thing you will want to invest in for your caravan is a good quality cover. Although you can cover your caravans exterior with practically anything (we have even seen people draping old duvet covers over the exterior of the vehicle), a real caravan cover will be made of material specifically designed to stop moisture from coming into the caravan while still allowing that which is already inside the cover to escape.
A specifically designed caravan cover will also be made of material which is unlikely to scratch the exterior of your van, while still providing a snug fit. They also have the additional benefit of being easy to get on and off, helping you avoid having to throw sheeting over your mobile home to an unprepared accomplice waiting on the other side.
It may also be worth investing in wheel covers. Although most would be over the moon to catch some UV rays during the winter months, your caravans tires would not be so pleased as these rays are known to increase the speed at which tires degrade. Tire covers will also help to keep them nice and shiny, ready for next summers outings. For more about the effect of UV rays of tires and further tips to protect them, follow this link.
It might seem like a good idea to keep your caravan under natural shelter for the winter months, beneath a tree for example. This however, isn’t advisable. Bird poop, tree sap, leaves and branches all come together to damage or permanently stain the roof of even the most well protected or regularly washed caravan.
Honeydew, a waste product created by insects who live in treetops, is mostly comprised of natural sugars and is a blight on motorists who are forced to park under trees all over the world. This substance has been known to strip the paint clean off of vehicles when it comes to scraping it down.
If you do find that your caravan has been coated with honeydew or tree pitch, a generous application of rubbing alcohol should help to unset the coating, but be sure not to use any abrasive materials to rub away the excess.
Drain the system, empty the interior.
The last thing you want is to return to your caravan at the start of the spring and find that pipes have burst due to freeze. To ensure that your caravan is as “dry” as possible, ensure that all mixer taps are left wide open and that all drain points are opened. It is also vital that you empty the toilet flush tank and cassette, you definitely don’t want to be leaving that sat for six months unattended. It is also important to remember to clear out all food and provisions from inside the caravan. Not only will this prevent smells developing, but will also stop creepy crawlies or rats from taking up residence.
Tips from the pros
As an added bonus, the good folks at Salop Leisure sent us a couple of their best tips. Many of these we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves, so kudos to them!
“One tip that people often don’t think of is to put the plugs into the sinks and to cover up the ventilation below the gas appliances (only if the gas is disconnected of course). This will stop insects from moving in while your caravan is unused and will save you having to shoo them all out once the summer comes.
“Disconnecting the battery is something that many people forget to do, but the consequences can be grave. Batteries which are not used for a long time and are left exposed to the cold or damp are quick to corrode. If you know you wont be using the interior of your caravan for a long time, it might be best to disconnect the battery and bring it inside. It is best to keep it in a garage though, as even disconnected batteries can occasionally spring leaks.
“We have also heard good things about Fenwick’s Wintering Exterior Protector, a solution that repels mud, moisture and grime and can be used on all parts of the caravan exterior, including the a-frame, glass and tires. It is also wise to ensure you give the 7 or 13 pin connectors at the front of your caravan a good spray with WD40, this helps you avoid corrosion.
“Keeping your caravan secure from theft is also very important. Hitchlocks and wheel clamps are easy to fit and will ensure that your caravan cant be towed out from under your nose. It is also wise to keep the corner steadies down and the handbrake off. This makes it that little bit more difficult for thieves to remove your vehicle, while also ensuring that your handbrake doesn’t stick.”
Although a lot of the above advice is simply common sense, there is a lot to remember and failure to carry out even one of these bits of maintenance could result in costly repairs.
Weddings are unique celebrations that should be celebrated in the best way possible. Unlike several other celebrations that we have in our lifetime, weddings normally comes once and that is why every person should never compromise on anything when this day comes.
Nothing makes a wedding wonderful and amazing than holding it in the best place. Different people have different tastes and preferences and therefore no one can claim that a certain destination is perfect. For example, a person who prefers a beach wedding cannot convince a person who does not have a desire to hold a beach wedding. In that case, when giving advice on the best destinations to hold wedding, advisors should provide a mix of destinations so that a couple can get a chance to select basing on their tastes and preferences. Here is a list of award-winning wedding destinations that couple should always consider when planning their special days.
This is a Dutch island that has been endorsed by most persons as one of the leading destination. A part from facilitating the celebration of beach weddings, it also ranks the best tourist destination and thus it can form a perfect ground for honeymoon especially for those who do not want to travel for long distances for honeymoon after their wedding. It has the best resorts that are peaceful and secure.
2. The big island in Hawaii
This destination offers a diverse topography such as varying climatic zones. Its landscape is also unique. The landscape varies from one place to another hence it gives an opportunity to select the best site. For instance, the landscape in the Kona coast (to the west) is rather lunar-like while the east coast in super-lush and wet. Weddings in this destination can be hosted all year round.
3. Riviera Maya
This region is a perfect site for those who want to hold their wedding in a place that has an ecological diversity. The Mexican region has unique settings that range from amazing beaches, Maya ruins, lush forests and cenotes. Couples will definitely love the photo sessions here.
4. St. Maarten
St. Maarten, also called St. Martin is a duel nation island (Half-French and Half Dutch). Services are offered in different languages and surprisingly, it is a cosmopolitan and lively island. Couples can hold luxurious weddings in places such as La Samanna. Some can also choose beach destinations such as Cliff Cupecoy Beach for the best seaside weddings.
This is a destination in Norway that is ideal for couple who intend to half all-nigh-long weddings. Services in this destination are the best as evident in the number of persons who select it as their wedding destination of choice all year round. After wedding, the married couple can participate in adventurous and memorable events such as hiking and skiing –thanks to the destinations majestic mountains.
It is another state-of-the-art destination that is located in Turkey. It is a good place for holding natural weddings that are unique. There are plenty of indigenous foods (e.g. kabobs and dolma) and drinks to spice up your wedding here. It should also be remembered that modern delicacies are available so there is no need to worry about eateries. From this area, the couple can easily travel to famous sites such as the Greek island and the Tropez of Turkey.
7. Santiago de compostela
Perhaps you are wondering if there is a perfect church where you can hold your wedding. Santiago de Compostela is the perfect place. You will get a chance to celebrate your wedding in the famous Cathedral. Santiago de Compostella always hosts weddings for individuals of different personalities and in fact, it is said couple who intend to get married at the cathedral are required to book for the reservation of the place.
Dubrovnik in Croatia is an ideal place to host a wedding party regardless of its size. This destination, which is located on the coast between Slovenia and Bosnia, has been influenced by different cultures though it still upholds the adorable Croatian heritage. Couple who chose this place will have a lot to share with others as the destination is a leading tourist center too. After the wedding, the couple and their guests may spend time in pleasant destinations such as archipelago of Elaphiti islands. Generally, it is a beautiful place – thanks to its dramatic landscape.
There are hundreds of wedding destinations that a couple can choose from. What matters the most in the selection process in to investigate if the destination has the features that the quests desires, organize wedding catering and enjoy your special day.