KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - SANT PERE PESCADOR, CATALONIA, SPAIN
Forget the Costa Brava's reputation for hustle, bustle and mass tourism - either side of peak season the coastal area of Sant Pere Pescador is a
very relaxing place for a kite-based holiday. The sea breezes remain good and there's lots of beautiful beach space, making this a superb lower intermediate kite spot. Great value accommodation, excellent dining options plus an abundance of outdoor activities - including= one of the busiest sky diving centres in Europe - are all closely available.
CAPTION - Come late spring or early autumn and share conditions like this with just a few others
Sant Pere has a long, sandy seven kilometre beach. The afternoon sea breezes of high summer months offer virtually guaranteed 15 knot onshore kiting in the bay, meaning it's very, very popular, so think about booking in late spring / early summer or late summer / early autumn when there's still a good chance of sea breezes and the southern winds (side-on, from the right) are kicking in with the occasional 25 knot all-dayer. The best spots are at the northern part of the bay near Sant Pere town and where you'll find a safe place to park and set up your gear, kite shops, cafés and the most constant winds. Conditions are lakeside safe, there are no currents and bump 'n' jump chop a bit further out. It's a freeride paradise for intermediates and anyone who just enjoys getting on the water, hence the great atmosphere. If you're lucky, maybe you'll get a session with mushy chest-high waves, too.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER
Sea breezes peak at 14 to 18 knots on a hot July afternoon for about three or four hours. So relax or do something else until after lunch. For semi-deserted beaches and an assortment of sea breezes and southerly force fives and sixes visit in April, May or September through October. Bring your 12 - 8 metre kites (include your 14 and you will kite every day). Spring suits in the low season for wind chill. Summer temps get up to 30 - 35°C / 86 - 95°F. Spring and autumn highs in the twenties and an average of 15°C / 60°F. You may need a hoody / jacket at night in the spring and autumn. The water temperatures are around 20°C / 68°F for most of the summer.
Hire a car if you want to see the artistic and cultural sights,however if you're staying on a campsite you'll find almost everything you need a short walk away at most, from SUP, kite, surf shops, beach bars, natural parks, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. All campsites hire bikes. Buses are very infrequent but there are plenty of taxis. In summer you might trip over the odd drunk teenager sleeping it off on the beach, but that's about as gnarly as it gets. It's very safe, but like anywhere use common sense, keep valuables out of sight. Mosquito repellent can be useful, too.
Currency: Euro (€) - £1 = €1.2 / US$1 = €0.7 VISA, Mastercard, etc. accepted.
ATMs charge varying amounts - check with your bank.
Tipping is optional but it's recommended to leave a polite amount.
Luxury hotels, family hotels, rental apartments and houses plus there are excellent rural options - from downright classy to extremely modest. Most kiters opt for local campsites, offering comfortable bungalows, peace and quiet, a 100 yard (max) walk to the beach and a wide range of modern facilities.
CAPTION - Relaxed and friendly kite crowd
FOOD AND DRINK
Culinary levels are high, quality is excellent and portions are generous without being Texan. This area has two famous Michelin star restaurants and their influence shows in town and more rurally. Local wines are excellent and for local cuisine think French quality plus Italian flavour with Spanish ingenuity and then take 30% off what you thought the bill would come to. Campsite restaurants are usually of a pretty decent standard, too. For lunch most restaurants offer a three-course special, including cheap plonk for €9. The 'gourmet' version will run up to €25. The local campsites have supermarkets as do nearby towns. This is a Mediterranean country where non-meat eaters are still regarded with suspicion. Go for cheese and seafood if you can or you might end up with a boiled egg.
Walk or bike 15 minutes into the hinterland or drive 20 minutes north or south for country scenes like Tuscany or Sardinia. The Pyrenees are just 50 kilometres away and the rugged bays and hills of Cap de Creus are much closer and more like Scotland's west coast than most people's idea of Spain. Other alternatives: vineyard wine tasting, watersports, horse riding or visit the new wind tunnel at nearby Empuriabrava, the biggest skydiving centre in Europe. There's a Dali museum in Figueres 20 minutes away / the sophisticated walled city of Girona is 45 minutes. For music there are highbrow open air festivals in the summer as well as beach parties and a range of nightclubs for all tastes and styles.
CAPTION - Stunning bays and crystal clear waters
ALL PHOTOS - Kite Experience
Girona Costa Brava (GNA) is 50 minutes by car (confusingly known only to Ryan Air as Barcelona-Girona). Hire a car if you cannot arrange a taxi or pick up. Barcelona (BCN) is 90 minutes away - catch a train to Girona or Figueres before arranging taxi/pick up or car hire. Driving through, near or past Barcelona is not a good way to either start or end a holiday. The AVE high-speed rail link will run you from Barcelona (Sants station) to Figueres in 40 minutes, leaving you a 20 minute taxi ride to Sant Pere.