European destinations for a water sport holiday

Are you planning an active holiday this summer? After several years of disrupted travel plans due to the pandemic, you might still have some pent-up energy to release. Water sports offer spectacular ways to do it, from high-octane surfing to the more relaxed and often scenic paddleboarding.      

A recent survey shows water sports participation is on the up in recent years. It makes sense, then, to plan your trips early, making sure you get the best deals and giving you plenty to look forward to.  

We’ve rounded up some of the best water sports and settings to experience them below.   


Windsurfing combines the arts of sailing and surfing into one tough but rewarding activity. You’ll need plenty of practice, discipline and humility to master it, but you’ll get plenty of joy in return! 

Top destinations to add to your list include:  

  • Lefkada in Greece: Ideal for beginners and advanced windsurfers 
  • Sardinia in Italy: A beautiful destination in its own right with perfect coasts for windsurfers 
  • Fuerteventura in Spain: Famed for its windsurfing credentials, incredible climate and desert landscapes 


A trendy, less physically demanding alternative is stand-up paddleboarding, commonly known as SUPing. It’s accessible too; you can pick up a beginner board relatively cheaply, though you may still want to research how paddleboard insurance could protect it.   

Great paddleboarding spots include: 

  • The Lake District in the UK: Offering several famous waterways surrounded by stunning mountains 
  • Lake Bled in Slovenia: A picturesque spot not far from Slovenia’s cool capital of Ljubljana 
  • Amsterdam in the Netherlands: A capital famous for its quaint waterways and hedonistic culture 


Perhaps another step up from windsurfing, kitesurfing can offer even greater thrills as you zip and jump through the water. Take care, as misjudging one gust of wind could send you flying several feet in the air!    

  • Lake Garda in Italy: Offering strong winds inland and famously beautiful surroundings 
  • Tarifa in Spain: Boasting reliably windy but sunny conditions almost all year round 
  • Leucate in France: A famous destination among experienced kitesurfers and ideal for exploring the French Riviera  



Surfing is one of the most iconic sports around with a culture all its own. While big-wave surfing is perhaps best enjoyed as a spectator, there are plenty more accessible spots around the world, such as:    

  • Cornwall in England: A long-famous holiday destination now firmly the UK’s best for surfers 
  • Algarve in Portugal: Another famous holiday spot with plenty of secluded coasts for surfing purists 
  • Donegal Bay in Ireland: Offering excellent conditions and water quality thanks to its location and funnel shape 

Do any of these sports and spots suit your style? Offering thrills and chills alike, a water sports holiday could be just what the doctor ordered this summer.   



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