Thursday, 21 May 2009
Greece offers a wide variety of water sport. These are very popular in the many resorts by the sea. Especially during the summer season you will find many people on rented jet skis, enjoying the view while parasailing or falling from the banana when it makes a sharp turn. Other water sports include:
Water ski was “born” around 1900 from a group of young people who were having fun playing with the waters of a lake in the USA. The fashion spread quickly, and the stronger the boat engines became, the more the speed, the difficulty and the popularity of the sport grew.
In Greece, the Vouliagmeni Nautical Club (in the region of Attica) was the first club to found a water ski division in 1957; in 1963 the Hellenic Water Ski Federation was founded with the aim of spreading the sport all over the country.
Water ski is now one of the most popular modern water sports and no special training is needed when done by amateurs for fun. All over Greece there are private schools, which operate at organized beaches or at the facilities of big hotels.
Sailing is a sport irrevocably connected with the Greek people throughout the country’s long history and centuries of nautical tradition. Today, it is one of the most popular sports and thousands of Greeks practise it systematically (in competitions or as a simple sport) using all types of sailing boats.
Windsurfing is an exciting sport for everybody, irrespective of age and sex. No special body strength is needed, at least in the beginning, the most important part being played by correct technique.
Apart from being fun and an Olympic sport, windsurfing is a professional sport since 1985, as well as a demonstration and competition sport in indoor areas, where the necessary conditions are artificially created.
As the weather conditions in Greece are ideal (mild climate, appropriate strength of the winds etc), the popularity of the sport has increased spectacularly and more and more Greek people practise it systematically. Indeed, in recent years European and World competitions (tournaments), some of which rank among the most important international events, are held in various parts of the country during the summer. At most of the country’s organised beaches you have the opportunity to windsurf or attend lessons given by specialised instructors. Indicatively, some of the places where one can do organised windsurfing are listed below:
-Attica: Anávyssos, Várkiza, Lavrio, Loutsa, Rafina, Schiniás (Marathonas) and Galazia Aktí (Marathonas) beaches
-the Cyclades: Paros island (Chrysí Aktí, Nea Chrysí Aktí, Tsoukalia, Santa Maria and Pounda beaches), Mykonos island (Fteliá and Kalafatis beaches), Naxos island (Aghios Georgios and Mikrí Vigla beaches), Ios island (Mylópotas beach), Santorini island, et al.
-the Dodecanese: Rhodes island (Trianda, Fanés, Prasonissi and Theologos beaches), Kárpathos island (the Devil’s bay), Kos island, et al
-Patras (the Peloponnese): Drépano and Zacháro beaches
-the Ionian Islands: Lefkada island (Vassilikí beach), Zákynthos island
-the Sporades islands: Skiathos
-Macedonia: Thessalonica prefecture (Aghia Triada and Nea Michaniona beaches and on Volvi lake), Chalkidikí (Sunny Beach).
The particularly clean Greek seas and the huge wealth of the deep are a pole of attraction for those wishing to enjoy the magic of underwater exploration. Diving using only a mask is allowed everywhere, but scuba diving using compressed air tanks is forbidden in areas with underwater antiquities.
Scores of diving schools operate in Greece under special license of the Greek Ministry of Mercantile Marine. All scuba divers are obliged to comply with and adhere to the regulations and restrictions of L. 5351/32 on antiquities. Underwater activities with diving equipment are allowed from sunrise to sunset.
More specifically, interested parties should be aware that the following are prohibited:
-fishing with scuba diving equipment (spear fishing with the use of bottles);
-photographing, removing or transporting antiquities. In case you spot any antiquities, you must immediately report this to the nearest archaeological department of the Ministry of Culture (or the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities), or port or police authorities; and
-use or possession (on board of a ship) of special equipment for spotting antiquities.
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