Kitesurfing in Gökçeada, Turkey

Kitesurfing in Gökçeada, Turkey

Dan Baciu (kiteshots.ro)
263
Overview
  • Peak season: May - October ( August may be a little busy)
  • Wind: 8-30 knots (in peak season up to 35 knots)
  • Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced
  • Style: freestyle, freeride, wakestyle
  • Air temp: 20-32°C
  • Water temp: 20-24°C
  • Suitable for: Family, Group, Couple
  • Ambiance: Relaxed
Pros and Cons
+ Strong, reliable wind (Meltemi)
+ One of the few places in Europe were it’s still allowed to camp on the beach (for free)
- No nightlife
What makes this place special?
There you have 90% chances to get wind over 14 knots (up to 35 knots in peak season)

Besides this, Gokceada has a special charm because it’s one of the few places where you can still camp on the beach, allowing you to enjoy a nomad style of living, from a “billion stars hotel”
How to get there?
By car:
  • Drive to Çanakkale ( 500 km. from Sofia or 670 km from Bucharest)
  • Ferry Kabatepe to Gökçeada (1:15 h)
  • Drive from Gokceada harbor to Eselek (20 min)


By plane:
  • Fly to Çanakkale or Istanbul
  • Rent a car to drive from Çanakkale or Istanbul or you can go by bus (there is a very developed local buses network)
  • Çanakkale – Gökçeada distance is 47 km.
Summary
Named Gökçeada since 1970 (previous name is Imroz or Imbros) also known as “The island of winds” (this name should make you think about it right away!!!), Gökçeada and Bozcada are the only islands that revert to Turkey from Greece after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne concluding the Greek-Turkish war. Gökçeada is an island in the North of the Aegean sea in surface of 279 square kilometers and with a population of 8900 of persons.

The kite beaches are located in the South-East of the island.
Wind, Weather and Water
Gokceada is on Meltemi direction, which is strongest during summer months (may to september)

Meltemi is a reliable wind, you have 90% chances to catch over 14 knots and even up to 35 knots during peak season!

The stronger wind is early in the morning, decreasing a little mid day and picking up again till sunset.

It is also possible to do a 15 km downwind trip.

The weather is good, you can ride in boardshorts, you would only need a wetsuit if riding early in the morning.
The Spot
You have 2 main kitesurfing and windsurfing spots one with onshore winds and one with offshore winds with plenty of space to ride. The bottom of the sea is sandy and safe.

On shore kite beach: Eselek
It is a choppy spot, on a wild, sandy beach. People set their tents, caravans or motorhomes here and they have 20 steps to walk to get riding to the water. The only organised kite spot on this beach is Volkite, with toilets, showers, shadow and beach bar.

Off shore kite beach: Aydincik
It’s a flat spot, divided between windsurf and kitesurf area and it’s recommended to advanced riders. There is a rescue boat provided, which costs around 15E/per rescue. On this beach is a well organised windsurf & kite spot, with storage, shower, toilets, hotel, swimming area, sun beds, beach bar, restaurant: Gokceada Surf Egitim Merkezi.
Accommodation
You have a lot of offers for accommodation from hotels located in the Merkez and at the offshore beach to local guesthouses (ev pansiyonu) and camping on the beach in tents or bungalows or with your private caravan or motorhome.
Food & Drinks
As Gökçeada is a former Greek island, there you can enjoy a tasty and great selection of both Turkish and Greek cuisines. Plenty of local restaurants and terraces some of them as Poseidon located on the top of the hill with a stunning sunset view over the Greek Samothraki island.

In Eselek village (the closest to the on shore beach) there are only 2 restaurants, one is called “At Baba” and the other one is called Olive.

Baba restaurant is one of riders’ “meeting” point , people come there for delicious turkish pide or lahmacun (traditional turkish dishes made in wooden oven) but also for the relaxed vibes of the place.
Nightlife
The is no nightlife, meaning there are no clubs or pubs for partying.
The main entertainment in the evening is to gather on the beach to watch the sunset, share kite stories, some drinks and chill around the bonfire.

Stargazing is one of the main “nightlife” activities, Gokceada is one of the best place you can be during Perseids (the most visible meteor shower, which peaks on 12 august)
No wind activities
  • Cycling - is popular around the island with breathtaking landscapes and challenging hills. Mountain bikes, which are in pretty good order, can be hired in Merkez (center). Sometimes you can see flamingos in the Salt Lake (close to off shore beach)
  • Waterfall trip
  • Sightseeing: the main sights of interest are the Greek influence villages. Heading west from Merkez (Centre), you'll pass Zeytinli, Tepeköy and Dereköy. These villages are built on hillsides to avoid pirate raids.
  • Scuba diving and boat trips around the island
  • The port in Gokceada is a nice place to spend the evening, having a nice dinner by the sea serving various ‘meze’ and fish based dishes. Also, during the weekend there are places that play live music. If you are there, you need to try the specific turkish ice cream that will blow you away.
Good to know
Schedule ferry to Gökçeada:

Off season - September 15 – June 30:
  • - from Kabatepe to Gökçeada / daily
    9:00 7:00 13:00 11:00 17:00 15:00 21:00 19:00


High Season – July - August
  • - from Kabatepe to Gökçeada / Monday - Thursday
    8:00 7:00 10:00 10:00 13:00 13:00 16:00 16:00 19:00 19:00 21:00 21:00
  • - from Kabatepe to Gökçeada/ Friday - Sunday
    7:00 7:00 9:00 9:00 11:00 11:00 13:00 13:00 15:00 15:00 17:00 17:00 19:00 19:00 21:00 21:00
Useful contacts