Well, let's face it. This summer is gonna be a different one in terms of traveling to our favorite kite destination, and I think we have to be a little bit creative when it comes to planning our kite holiday.
Pretty much every single person I know, and obviously myself, are more motivated than ever to get back on the water, but don't have a real clue of the date that it will be possible. Here in Spain, we are hoping for middle-end of May at our home spot (Tarifa) if the authorities allow it.
Things to analyze
Before talking about what to analyze, you should know I'm generally a very positive person and today it's a good day to feel like it since the number of deaths caused by this pandemic in Spain went down about 55% from it's peak 3 weeks ago. Also what I'm talking about here is just my opinion and no official data or recommendations.
Beach for sporting use?
As we saw in Australia, beaches are being re-opened for only sporting use. That means no massive crowds on the beach having rum and coke and dancing to their big speakers but a responsible amount of people kitesurfing (usually at least 20 meters away from each other), people running, surfing, swimming... makes sense right? In Europe we are also seeing countries opening up their beaches or lakes for sport activities which also include kiteboarding. Lucky you if you live right now in Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Croatia... (I'm sure I'm missing countries, let me know or comment please!), and in a few days it will be allowed in Portugal.
Where shouldn't we go?
After what I just said, it seems obvious my opinion is that we should just plan to stay in our countries or within Europe. I would personally disregard any trips to countries outside Europe and even more the southern Hemisphere, as they will have their winter during our summer and that could probably spike their restrictions and Covid cases. Here it should be the opposite, high temperatures in summer should lower even more the cases. So, as hard as it sounds, I would say no to Brazil, Dakhla, Egypt, Australia... for now, and leave those spots for the locals.
How about taking planes?
That is something I don't really know for now, but if it's possible and safe, I can imagine prices of flights going up as there could be restrictions on amount of people on planes, and less offer. If flying is a possibility, I'll tell you where I would go below, but my main bet would be to drive.
My Top 5 ideas for this summer!
It's a love and hate relationship we have here with mass party, now I'm more on the hate side, and it's now pretty safe to say that this year it won't be allowed. That doesn't mean Tarifa will be boring, it means we can enjoy more nature, spending time in small groups, cheaper accommodation, less people at the beach, more space for kiteboarding. Also the biggest problem we had was the amount of tourist that came in August only to party, so it seems we won't be getting that kind of tourism this year, which will make Tarifa incredibly special. The summer months will look like my favorite months of the year, June and September (if kiteboarding is allowed of course).
Also the good thing about Tarifa is the possibility to get here by car or van, it's easy to find kite gear, replacement parts, repairs, and since now until the end of October, there's wind almost everyday.
Road trip through Portugal
This is my second option as I love my neighbor country. It's easy to drive there from here, and there's a lot of different spots. You can ride waves, kite in different lagoons, surf if there's no wind, and the country is just beautiful.
I would definitely explore Lagos, Guincho if you want to ride waves, Lagoa de Albufeira, Peniche, Sagres and possibly Viana do Castelo. Portugal is a really good option if you have a van or camper van.
South of France: (Leucate to Hyeres)
It's still a bit early to say, but seems like the french government is making some big steps to gradually put an end to the lockdown, as it seems the situation is close to be under control there. I can imagine the french population being able to kite very soon and hopefully other Europeans that don't live too far too.
From my experience in the south France, looks like the best winds are just before summer, so if things go quick, would be nice to explore some of the spots from L'almanarre to Leucate.
We've heard a lot on the news about Italy having the most number of Covid infected people, but so as Spain, France, USA... But we've heard the South of Italy has been quite safe as population is not so dense, that could mean it's also a potential location for this summer. I don't know much about their spots but heard great things about Marsala, in the island of Sicily. If we can freely travel through Europe and. you live close by, could be a great spot for the summer.
Can we fly? Greece
It's the last spot on my list, but probably my second favorite spot in Europe. The reason it's here is because it depends on the flight situation as it's quite tricky to drive there.
Greece has a lot of flat water spots that work great during summer months. On the main land, the most famous is Drepano, about 2:30h drive from Athens (doesn't get that windy in August).
Other options are the Greek islands, Prasonisi, Paros... could be a great option.