If you're into windsurfing and cycling then you simply must go to the Cosmos Beachclub in Vassiliki. For reliable wind and flat water, Vassiliki is hard to beat.
The Cosmos Beachclub couldn't be more perfectly situated. It has a great location at the windward end of the bay, so you get the longest sailing hours. Best of all, whether you're windsurfing or relaxing, you're only metres from the beach and the turquoise Ionian Sea.
We've been windsurfing from the Cosmos Beachclub for 30 years, it's part of our history and we love it here.
Activities on the water
Vassiliki is known as one of the places to go for speed and freestyle windsurfing, it's still great for beginners though. The day's start gently with light on-shores and a calm flat sea, all of which make for easy learning.
The afternoons are all together different. That's when ‘Eric' arrives. Eric is the nickname given to thermal winds which arrives with a solid consistency throughout the summer. The mountains overlooking the bay accelerate the cross-shore wind and the sea state tends to stay pretty flat, even on very high wind days.
Windsurfing: we select the kit to match the prevailing conditions, all sails up to 6m are rigged on 60% carbon rdm masts, 6m plus are rigged on 75% carbon standard masts. Expect an extensive range from the best manufactures around including beginner boards, shortboards and Tushingham sails.
Dinghy sailing: Laser Pico; Dart 16
Kayaking and stand up paddle boarding - Gemini single and double sit on top kayaks; wave kayaks; Red Paddle Co stand up paddle boards (10'8") and XXL stand up paddle board (8 man).
A standard day in Vassiliki starts with a gentle onshore breeze (force 1-2), this coupled with a shallow sand bar off the beach creates perfect conditions for beginners and an ideal learning environment for developing skills.
In the afternoon the thermal wind 'Eric' arrives producing a strong cross-shore breeze, the ideal flat-water playground for the advanced sailor. Due to the size of the bay and the cross-shore winds there is a small amount of fetch so conditions stay fairly flat, even in very high winds. Typically any forecast over 8 knots blowing in a westerly direction will give good planning conditions in the bay. The wind comes from the mountain on the right side of the bay, giving our location next to the mountain the best flat-water conditions with the wind coming through first and lasting the longest. Wind conditions are most consistent during the peak months of June through to early September. May and late September are more likely to see 50/50 for planing conditions in the afternoon.
Activities on the shore
It's hard not to get excited about the mountain biking and road cycling, the mountains surrounding the bay mean there's some great on and off road riding. Choose your level; shady olive groves and coastal rides, off road, single track and long road rides are all available. Join a guided ride or buddy up and head out free riding.
Back at base, if you've been pushing it hard, there's a fitness programme with stretch classes down by the beach...and relax.
Mountain bikes: TREK X Caliber 9 in a range of sizes (15", 17", 19", 21")
Road bikes: TREK Emonda ALR 4 in a range of sizes (47cm to 60cm)
If you've got cycling shoes with cleats and are planning on bringing them with you, we advise that you should also bring your own pedals. That way, they are guaranteed to fit.
Food and drink
A simple cold buffet breakfast is included. There is a family run restaurant and bar at the beachclub where you can buy lunch and dinner.
You're also free to head into Vassiliki for dinner. There's no shortage of restaurants and tavernas overlooking the harbour and colourful fishing boats. Whether you want to go with traditional gyros or sit down to a Greek feast, you're in for a treat.
The local bars can get pretty lively or you can head back to the Cosmos Beachclub for a nightcap at the bar.
With just 32 rooms there's a warm and friendly welcome. The rooms are simply furnished and most have a balcony. Some also have sea views, so you can watch for ‘Eric' the famous thermal wind to arrive.
Each room has a shower, air conditioning, fridge and safe (local charge). Choose from double, twin, triple, interconnecting and family rooms (perfect if you need more space).
Free Wi-Fi is available in the restaurant and reception.
Families and kids
There's a handful of interconnecting and family rooms, plus a small kids' pool. Families will also be able to make the most of the activity packed kids' clubs for children from two to 13 years. There's also evening care on two nights per week. For our very youngest guests (four to 23 months) we have the Starfish crèche, which is available for a supplement of £300 per week. Make sure your children don't miss out, pre-book before you go to secure a space in the club they want.
The main draw for visitors to Vassiliki is the windsurfing but if you can tear yourself away, Lefkas Island is definitely work exploring – it's a real hidden gem.
At the other end of the island and just a local bus ride away, Lefkas Town is a simple, small Greek Town, full of family run tavernas and bars. Head to the marina for seafood restaurants where the fish is super fresh. In the mountains you'll discover some great little unspoilt villages, where time sometimes appears to have stood still.
It's been said that the island has some of the best beaches in this part of Greece, there's plenty to choose from and many are quiet and hidden away.
Part of the beauty of Vassiliki’s setting stems from the white cliffs, which extend all the way to Cape Lefkatas. The easiest way to admire the cliffs or to visit the beautiful, remote west coast beaches is on a boat trip. Local boatmen ferry tourists by day to Agiofili, a peaceful beach to the south of the resort and around Cape Lefkatas, to Porto Katsiki. They also offer evening trips to watch the stunning sunset off the Cape Lefkatas or to Sivota for a meal in a local taverna.
Cephalonia and Ithaca
Frequent ferries from Vassiliki port access the nearby islands of Cephalonia and Ithaca. Infamous for their role in the legend of Odysseus and more recently in the book and movie ‘Captain Correlli’s Mandolin’.
Vathi, the capital of Ithaka, is a small, colourful and busy town, set in a steep sided bay. Fiskardo on Cephalonia is also well worth a visit. As the only village not devastated by the 1953 earthquake, it has retained its attractive Venetian architecture.
Departure airports: London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Manchester Departure day: Sunday Arrival airport: Preveza (PVK) Flight time: approx. 3 hours 35 minutes Airlines: British Airways (BA) / Germania (ST) / Thomas Cook (TCX) Transfer time:approx. 1 hour 15 minutes
First 7 night dept: Sun 7 May / Last 7 night dept: Sun 24 Sept
First 14 night dept: Sun 7 May / Last 14 night dept: Sun 17 Sept
Heathrow (BA) outbound dept: 11:20 / inbound arrival: 19:15
Gatwick (ST) outbound dept: 15:55 / inbound arrival: 23:50
Manchester (TCX) outbound dept: 08:00 / inbound arrival: 22:35 (7 May only)
Manchester (TCX) outbound dept: 14:10 / inbound arrival: 22:35 (14 May - 17 September)
In-flight meals and drinks are not included with British Airways, Germania or Thomas Cook, all offer a buy on board service. Flight timings are provisional and will be submitted for approval by UK and overseas scheduling committees and are therefore given for guidance only are are subject to alteration and confirmation. Your ticket will show the final timings of your flight and luggage allowances.
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