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Getting out on the water, whether it’s windsurfing or SUP is an amazing way to experience a new destination.

Gary Sinclair, watersports activity manager for Neilson holidays shares where in the world, from the UK to the Caribbean, is best to visit for an aquatic adventure:

Lake Garda, Italy

credit: agustavop

Gary says “A stunning location to sail in.  Lake Garda boasts great consistent winds, with plenty of options to get lessons and hire dinghies”. The mountain scenery is simply epic, it’s a very special place for beginners to learn the basics of dinghy sailing. 

The Solent, UK

Gary says “A stretch of water between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, The Solent is peppered with a many great sailing clubs and places to sail from. With the Isle of Wight acting as a windbreak, this area generally gets calmer waters and is great for beginners up to advanced sailors. Another area with incredible scenery, including some great rugged coastline and then throw in bags of history and you can see why it’s one of the best sailing locations in UK.”

Venice Canals, Italy

Whilst gondolas rule the waterways of Venice, stand up paddle boarding is taking off too and offers a unique new way to discover the sites of this Italian city. Gary says “Stand up paddle boarding is a bit of cooler way to see Venice and avoid the crowds. Tours are available to book with local operators such as SUP Venice.”  

Maui, Hawaii

credit: FatCamera

 Gary says “Some say Maui is the windsurfing capital of the world. Pro windsurfers are based here and with some bays getting strong winds and huge waves it’s always great for spectators too. Stand, watch and admire the professionals in action from the safety of the beach. Stunning scenery and temperatures around 26 Celsius for most of the year make Maui a huge draw for many windsurfers.”

Lefkada, Greece

Gary says This is a European windsurfing mecca. Stunning location with mountains either side of the bay. It can get very windy in the afternoon when the famous wind “Eric” arrives. The conditions make it easy to launch and land from, plus there are flat, warm waters and no tides. The Vassiliki Neilson beachclub is based here and you can quite often see 100+ windsurfers out on the water on a windy afternoon.”

Bonaire, Caribbean

credit: ajansen

Gary says “A Caribbean island close to Venezuela, Bonaire has been the latest great spot to head to for windsurfers. It first hit the headlines when teenagers with amazing freestyling skills hit the scene and started cleaning up at all the pro events. Think white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and lots of options for beginners through to advanced windsurfers to sail from.”

Burgh Island, UK

Gary says At this beautiful place in the south of Devon you can circumnavigate the island in either direction in just over an hour on a stand up paddle board. There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore, as well as stunning scenery and history landmarks. Options to rent equipment available at Bigbury Beach discoverysurf.com/stand-up-paddle.html.”

Lacanau, France

Gary says “This place has a great holiday vibe, and is popular with surfers, but it’s also brilliantly set-up for waterskiers too with drivers and boats available to hire to give you a tow.”


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