Very few things in life come close to the fun experienced when skimming across the glittering water and the sense of freedom when being lifted high up into the air. Harnessing the power of the wind and combining elements from numerous other board sports and paragliding, kitesurfing is an exhilarating water sport that is relatively easy to pick up.
Kiting does not require waves, although those certainly do add to the fun. With a long list of tricks and maneuvers, new ones being discovered as we speak, there are no limits to this sport and, therefore, you will never stop improving.
What is the recipe for a perfect kitesurfing trip? A picturesque setting, dreamy beaches, a mix of flat water and waves to cater to everyone’s needs, warm climate, and, of course, great wind conditions. World-class venues are not reserved for experienced riders only. Beginners are entitled to the best there is to offer too, and we’re here to show you the top kitesurfing destinations for your next adrenaline-fuelled vacation:
1. Tarifa, Spain
Without a doubt the best kitesurfing destination in Europe, Tarifa is a paradise for beginners and advanced riders alike. Located on the southern tip of Spain, it is blessed with consistent winds, warm water, amazing Mediterranean food, and a vibrant nightlife.
With 300 days of sun and wind per year, it’s no wonder that it earned itself a reputation as Europe’s wind capital. Be prepared from some crazy strong winds, though. The Levante, as the locals call it, is a warm and strong wind that makes its way through the Strait of Gibraltar from the Mediterranean. The Levante is more frequent between July and October, when it creates perfect conditions for kitesurfing in Tarifa, producing some breaking waves too.
Best time to go: If you’re a beginner, then the best time of year to learn to kitesurf in Tarifa is between April and June and September through November, when the beaches are less crowded.
2. Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka
Photo credit: Kodev Surf Camp
On the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka, only two hours north of Colombo, Kalpitiya is not as popular among tourists as other beach destinations in the country. Still relatively uncrowded, with reliable winds and warm tropical waters, it is, however, quite famous among kitesurfers.
Separated from the Indian Ocean by a long and narrow sandbar, the Kalpitiya Lagoon is a great place to try kitesurfing for the first time. This shallow flat-water lagoon is wide and long enough to accommodate plenty of beginner riders. If you’re looking to take it up a notch, then you can head out into the Indian Ocean, where the reliable cross onshore winds, clear water, and breaking waves will leave you begging for more.
Kalpitiya is the best spot in Sri Lanka to surf with dolphins, as large pods often come close to shore. The best time of year for dolphin and blue whale watching is between December and April.
Photo credit: avpr.lk
Best time to go: There are two kitesurfing seasons in Kalpitiya – between May and October and from December through March.
3. Essaouira, Morocco
Who hasn’t heard about surfing in Morocco? It is on every surfer’s bucket list! But the country is also famous for its world-class kitesurfing. On the Atlantic coast of Central Morocco, Essaouira is a bustling fishing harbor and one of the best kitesurfing destinations in the world. While the town is well-developed and has a great surfing infrastructure, it managed to retain its authentic charm.
The bay of Essaouira is protected from strong winds by the small island of Mogador, but some fun waves do manage to make their way through. The sandy beach is just huge, which allows for beginners to learn how to launch more easily. The long gentle waves here are great for first-timers, as well as for those looking to step up their game.
Essaouira is considered the best beginner spot in the country, both for kitesurfing and wave surfing. While here, don’t forget to also check out the popular beginner-friendly beaches at Sidi Kaouki and Imessouane, located just outside of town.
Photo credit: kiterr.com
Best time to go: Between March and October.
4. Boracay, Philippines
Photo credit: freestyle-boracay.com
One of Southeast Asia’s premier kitesurfing spots, Boracay is well-known for its postcard-perfect white sand beaches. With reliable winds, flat water, and the perfect tropical climate, this is the go-to destination for beginner kiters looking for a place where adventure and relaxation go hand in hand.
Bulabog Beach is the main kiting venue on Boracay Island, a stunning lagoon protected by a reef, which offers calm waters and steady onshore winds that are just perfect for beginners. The winds are usually stronger in the morning, which is also when the lagoon is the least crowded.
Photo credit: Kullez via Flickr
Best time to go: During the dry season, between November and May.
5. Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Margaret Bourne via Flickr
The north shore of this geographically diverse Caribbean island has year-round windy conditions. Cabarete is the longest and windiest beach in the Dominican Republic, offering the perfect combination of flat water and waves in stunning turquoise waters.
Kitesurfing in Cabarete is mainly practiced on two beaches: Cabarete Kite Beach and Cabarate Bay. They are only 15 minutes apart along the main beach, which is protected by a long reef. At Cabarete Kite Beach, beginners are advised to stay close to shore, where there is plenty of room for everyone. Further offshore, the reef produces some nice breaking waves and, when the swell is big, this is where advanced riders go to play.
Photo credit: cisc1970 via Flickr
Best time to go: There are steady winds all year round, but the best conditions can be found during summer (June to August).
6. Zanzibar, Tanzania
Photo credit: imke.sta via Flickr
Experience Africa at its best by mixing a safari in Zanzibar with some fun in the sun! The crystal-clear waters of this charming African island have made the front covers of magazines for decades. When it comes to kitesurfing in Zanzibar, the best spots are located on the southeast coast of the island, where a coral reef runs for the entire length of the coast.
On the southeast coast of Zanzibar, Paje is the place to be – a world-class kitesurfing spot with consistent side onshore winds and flat-water lagoons. Less touristy than the northern half of the island, this virtually untouched paradise with palm-fringed white-sand beaches and boats of local fishermen anchored to shore has protected lagoons as well as choppy waves outside the reef.
Photo credit: Michele Testini via Flickr
Best time to go: Zanzibar has two kite seasons – between mid-June to late September and from December to late February
7. Mui Ne, Vietnam
Photo credit: kiterr.com
In southeast Vietnam, about a four-hour drive north of Ho Chi Minh, Mui Ne is a palm-fringed sandy beach that is widely considered to be the best kitesurfing destination in Asia, if not even the entire world. Opening up to the South China Sea, Vietnam’s kitesurfing and windsurfing capital is usually packed with kite schools and riders of all levels, from first-timers to pros. Luckily, this long beach offers plenty of room for everyone.
Mui Ne has around 230 days a year with strong winds over 12 knots. The wind tends to get stronger in the afternoon, so beginners are advised to head out on the water in the morning, when the wind speed is between 10 and 15 knots.
A famous destination for water sports enthusiasts and tourists alike, Mui Ne is mandatory stop if you are planning to take a road trip in Vietnam. What else can you enjoy here? Yoga is very popular on Mui Ne Beach and the Vietnamese food is to-die-for.
Photo credit: Marc oh! via Flickr
Best time to go: Between November and March for the strongest winds, which can sometimes reach 40 knots.
8. Cumbuco, Brazil
Photo credit: Otávio Nogueira via Flickr
In northeast Brazil, the region around Fortaleza is one of the top kitesurfing destinations in the world. Brazil’s kiting capital, Cumbuco gets consistent cross-shore trade winds and plenty of sunshine all year round. The shallow and flat-water lagoon close to shore is just perfect for beginners, while the breaking waves further offshore will challenge even the most experienced of kiters.
Cumbuco is a vibrant fishing village located only a 40-minutes’ drive from Fortaleza. Its coconut-fringed beaches and idyllic lagoons are a preferred training spot for pro kitesurfers. But worry not, as beginners are more than welcome in these warm waters too. In fact, Cumbuco is considered one of the best places in the world to pick up this sport.
Cauipe Lagoon is the most famous kitesurfing venue in Cumbuco. The south of the lagoon is reserved for beginners, while the north is where all the heavy action is at. It can get quite crowded during the day, so the best time to kite here is in the early morning or late afternoon. Wind speed tends to drop in the evening, providing some relaxing sunset sessions.
Best time to go: Between July and December.
9. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Literally meaning “Strong Wind,” Fuerteventura has long been on the kitesurfing radar. On the southeast coast of the island, Sotavento is probably the best beginner beach. It is also the windiest, with the advantage of offering both flat and choppy water, which makes it suitable for first-timers and more advanced riders alike.
On the northeast coast of Fuerteventura, in the town of Corralejo, Flag Beach is another popular spot for beginners thanks to its flat water and gentle winds. Located in a protected bay with a sandy bottom, the entry in the water and launch pose no problems at all.
Best time to go: The wind is strongest during summer months, with the peak kitesurfing season lasting between May and September.
10. La Ventana, Baja California, Mexico
Photo credit: Francois D via Flickr
In the southern Baja Peninsula, only 30 minutes south of La Paz, lies Mexico’s very own Tarifa. La Ventana is a small coastal town with warm turquoise waters and excellent winds. Never too crowded, the wide beach with side onshore winds and easy launch is perfect for beginners as well as advanced kiters.
Opening up to the mesmerizing Sea of Cortez, winds pick up speed starting late morning and get stronger around afternoon. Early mornings and evenings are generally calmer, offering good conditions for beginners. And if you’re looking to throw in some surfing in Mexico while you’re here, then you should know that Baja California Sur is quite narrow and the world-class waves at Todos Santos are only a stone’s throw away.
Photo credit: ozonekites.com
Best time to go: Between November and March for the best wind conditions.
Are you up to the challenge? Now’s the time to step out of your comfort zone and give the sport a try on a kitesurfing camp for beginners!