Outdoors + Nature

Where the Weather's Always Perfect

by Sarah Tuff

Crete, Greece

The friendly skies: Planning a kiteboarding or windsurfing vacation is a breeze when you land upon a place with consistently wicked winds—like the island of Crete. Greek mythology credits such gods as Boreas, Zephyrus, and Eurus with the gales from every direction, but it's really Crete's position in both the Mediterranean and North African climate zones and the abundance of microclimate-causing mountains that do the trick.

On the ground: The gusty weather might not be good for the hair, but it's great for keeping summers cool and for learning how to master a jibe or a flip on a board. On the north coast, Crete Kite Kiteboarding Academy offers lessons for every ability level, from a one-hour test drive to a ten-hour intensive session, while Water Sports Crete will immerse you in the sport of windsurfing. After harnessing wind all day, you'll find a placid central courtyard with hand-laid mosaics at the 24-room Casa Delfino. This place has been around since long before David MacNeil Doren published Winds of Crete, in 1974: It's a 19th-century Venetian mansion, near the lively harbor of Chania (and near the kiteboarding school). Booking a body treatment at the spa is a good idea—all that wind can be harsh to the skin.

Crete Kite Kiteboarding Academy
Tel: 30 28210 79742

Water Sports Crete
Tel: 30 6944 367344

Casa Delfino Suites
9 Theofanous Street
Chania, Crete
Tel: 30 28210 87400
Doubles from $203.

Next: Blue skies and Blue Mountains in Australia >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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