KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - LAKE COMO, ITALY
ALL PHOTOS: KTS40 WIND REVOLUTION
Just an hour from Milan and home of the Italian Freestyle Champion, Stefano Martinelli, you can be sure you'll pack in the riding time on Lake Como. Mix your kitesurfing trip with beautiful food, historical site visits and there's also a cable park filled with kickers and sliders just a ten minute bike ride from the spot of Colico.
Third inline to Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, Lake Como is next biggest expanse of inland water in Italy. Imagine the lake is in the shape of an inverted 'Y'; Colico town sits at the far north, Como at the southwest point and Lecco at the southeast point.
There is a kite beach in Colico where you can kite directly off the beach. The water is fairly flat but the wind isn't as consistent and clean as in the middle of the lake. It's still good for riding, but the KTS40 guys will take you out to the centre of the lake for the best wind with their 'lift' service.
The wind varies in different areas of the lake, so taking a lift to the centre of the lake where the wind is best and there's loads of space for practicing your tricks is great. The lift service also allows you to concentrate on your riding without having to worry about staying upwind or getting back to the beach, and the day ends with a nice 7 - 8 kilometre downwinder before getting picked up.
WIND, WEATHER & WATER
Lake Como holds a huge heritage in windsports thanks to the incredible regularity of its thermal wind, known as the 'Breva'. Blowing from the south, the Breva kicks in around midday through to the evening. Varying in intensity, you can expect an average of 15 - 18 knots almost every day from spring through to early autumn. Stronger in spring and decreasing slightly in the height of summer, the general rule is that as the wind is thermic, if the sun's out and the wind direction is from the south, the wind will turn on and you'll be in business.
Spring air temperatures are between 15 - 25°C / 59 - 77°F, rising to 20 - 30°C / 68 - 86°F in the summer. Expect the evenings to get a little colder, and even in the summer a light sweatshirt would be good for a stroll around the city.
Spring water temperatures are 17 - 20°C / 63 - 68°F, rising to 23 - 24°C / 73 - 75°F in the summer. You'll need a 5/3 wetsuit for the spring and just a shorty in the summer.
If you're staying in Colico you can reach everything you'll need on foot or with a bicycle. The town centre is just 200 metres from the KTS40 school and the beach is close to the hotels and restaurants. The cable is a little further, but still only ten minutes on a bike. If you want to visit the bigger towns of Como, Lecco or the other lovely towns around the lake you can use the ferry boat that passes through Colico each day. KTS40 also organise a boat service visiting different towns around the lake when there is no wind.
Currency: Euro (€): £1 = €1.2 / $1 = €0.7
There are plenty of options, from apartments and hotels to B&Bs and camp grounds. You'll find an extensive list of options in Colico on the www.kts40.com website. For apartment rentals visit: www.labreva.com
FOOD & DRINK
Colico is one of the most pleasant areas of the lake and the KTS40 centre has a good restaurant and a nice beach and is a great place to sit out of the wind... or to wait for it. Colico is a decent sized town with a population of 8,000 and you can find everything you'll need while on holiday, including four different supermarkets, a wide selection of restaurants and there are pubs and clubs in the town. In the summer the area is busy with tourists and there's a great holiday atmosphere. The restaurant food is typically Italian, such as pasta, pizza as well as good meat and fish. Some of the really local restaurants cook beautifully typical local food styles. It's also worth noting that the KTS40 cable park is open until midnight and they often host barbeques and parties there.
KTS40 teach all levels every day from April to October with fully trained IKO level 2 kitesurfing instructors as well as VDWS windsurfing instructors. An official test centre for Best and Airush, they offer a full rental service and collaborate with the Kite Tech shop for gear sales, also selling ProLimit accessories alongside Best and Airush. The KTS40 boat will take you to the best wind spot on the lake on the day.
Click here or the tab above for contact details of shops and schools
As well as visiting Como and Lecco there are popular tourist spots all round the lake, including Bellaggio, Menaggio, Varenna and Tremezzo. All are linked to the north by ferry connections and very much worth a visit. KTS40 also run their own boat tour service as we mentioned. Ride the KTS40 cable park filled with kickers and sliders (open until midnight!) or rent canoes or SUPs from them. Colico also has a go-kart track and if it's a more peaceful past time you're seeking, then the surrounding area is rich in historical sites like Fuentes and Montecchio forts as well as architectural gems like the Abbey of Piona in Colico.
Colico is an hour from Milan and its airports: Malpensa (MXP), Orio al Serio (BGY) or Linate (LIN). KTS40 offer airport transfers with reservations.