Who knew you could surf in Crete?

Yes, you heard me right, there is surf in Crete! Who knew? For those of you who think that the Greek island is just a summer holiday destination – then think again.

Admittedly I was on a traditional TUI family package holiday with my parents staying at the Atlantica Kalliston Resort & Spa in the north west of Crete in the Nea Kydonia region & wasn’t even really thinking about surf.

The Line Up
The surf line up, on the beach opposite my hotel!

By chance I was messaging the lovely Sophie Everard from Mad to Live. Who you may remember last summer I had to cancel my surf trip to Portugal with Mad to Live as I broke my arm & had an op, yep that was all quite traumatising.

Anyhoo… randomly I saw Sophie mention on Instagram @sophiemadtolive she was coming out to Crete around the same time we were on the island. A few excitable DMs later, & with encouragement to go find some surf, I found out the beach (Glaros Beach or Kalamaki spot) in front of our hotel had a surf hut.

Off I trotted down the beach to Surf Island to get the low down on the surf. And, thankfully the next few days we were due to have waves for days. Which made me feel both excited & nervous as the last time I surfed was two years ago in Portugal with Tiny Whale Lodge & lost my confidence surfing trying to get out back as I kept getting pummelled by the waves & actually gave up surfing after a few days & went SUPing instead. As a competitive sportsperson, I really don’t like giving up that easily, but just knew I’d have more fun on the board SUPing rather than falling off every few minutes in the surf.

I booked a group surf lesson with the lovely Thomas, & within minutes found my surf mojo again & was catching consistent white waves & even green waves. Just like riding a bike, right?!

First day catching Greek waves with Thomas from Surf Island Crete
First day catching Cretan waves with Thomas from Surf Island Crete
Fun little waves for days.
Fun little waves to surf for days.

And guess who was there during those surf sessions to get some snaps – my long-suffering Dad! Who I think enjoyed trying to photograph surfers rather than horses for once.

With my newfound surf chica confidence, the next day there were still some beaut waves & the lovely Sophie from Mad to Live was in town. We managed to have a cheeky surf together, catch some great waves, put the world to right on our boards & grab Greek frappe. Little does she know that when she first surfed out back like a sleek gazelle, I tried to follow behind elegantly, but managed to be more like a bambi on water nearly stacking it – standard Becky!

Putting the world to right with Sophie from Mad to Live
Putting the world to right with Sophie from Mad to Live

Sunsets in Crete were mesmerising & I loved having a drink on the balcony watching the surfers catch the last of the waves. They made it all look very easy.

Prime viewing of the evening surfers from my hotel room balcony
Prime viewing of the evening surfers from my hotel room balcony

I did get a bit greedy & go for one final surf on our last day, but spent most of the time getting thrown around washing machine style. I think I was just tired & wanted to make the most of the waves as I didn’t know when my next surf would be. But then those negative little gremlins started creeping in & bit me on the bum making me think what if something bad happened… so I got out. I managed to ride one decent wave at least. It’s all about mindset.

Eyes shut, bum out - but Im up, thats all that matters - right?!
Eyes shut, bum out – but I’m up & riding a wave, that’s all that matters – right?!

So, my advice to anyone who is going on holiday & loves their water sports – do some research. Check out the Magic Seaweed website or app to see if there are any surf spots or any places to go SUPing.

And if you’re going to Crete – check out Surf Island Crete for Surf, SUP & Wind Surf lessons & equipment. They have 3 spots in Crete – Kalamaki & Falasarna in the north west & Elafonisi in the south west.

Have you ever surfed in Crete? What did you think? Or have you ever surfed on holiday when you least expected to find waves. Would love to hear your stories.


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  1. March 6, 2020 / 11:19 am

    Good article, the small waves get my attention and it sounds like a flat day here in south of Morocco but still good to have some fun

    • countrybumpkinchic
      March 7, 2020 / 7:55 am

      Thank you Jacques. Small waves are definitely fun, although you have to work a bit harder for them. Have fun in Morocco, I have been to Taghazout for a few years. Becky

  2. Jim
    June 26, 2023 / 9:23 am

    Great read, I’m heading out to Crete at the end of July and until I stumbled across your blog I had no idea there was surf there – I’ve now been in contact with Surf Island and will be hiring some kit when I get there – North winds prevailing I will be in the water in Bodies and rashy for the first time in 20 years… Can’t face it in the North Devon water lol!!

    • countrybumpkinchic
      September 10, 2023 / 5:20 am

      Hi Jim – that’s great to hear. Hope you had a wonderful time? I went back to Crete beginning of July this year to the same place & loved it. Sadly the surf wasn’t great, but was perfect for paddleboarding.

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