Weather and Sea Kayaking in the Greek isles

Folbot Greenland II in rough seas

The normal paddling season in the Aegean Sea, and Paros in particular, is from April through to October. The summer has a settled weather pattern that is predictable from year to year. During summer it is extremely dry and hot. Also, in the summer the meltemi blows briskly down through the Aegean at anything from 15 to 40 knots. One should anticipate its maximum during July and August. Usually the wind starts in the early afternoon reaching 4-5 on the Beaufort scale and dies out at sun set.

The meltemi is a katabatic wind and the Aegean is full of acceleration zones that funnel the wind producing gnarly waves. It is not uncommon for this katabatic wind to reach force 6-7 gusting 8 (Beaufoft scale) during the day. In fact, some islands are notorious for funneling the Northerly to gale wind speeds. Although, the pattern is predictable , usually the meltemi blows over many days, sometimes even up to two weeks. If during this period paddling cannot be avoided, it can be very wise to start the trip before dawn and to cover most of the mileage before the fresh morning breeze.

In the spring and autumn winds are generally less but more unpredictable. Weather forecasts for Greece are good with 5 day forecasts available over the internet from official meteo services and other sources. You can get accurate 48 hour forecasts of the wind speed and sea state through the Skyron and Poseidon systems. Temperatures in the summer are in the 25C-35C range and the humidity is very low. In the spring and autumn temperatures are less and in the winter temperatures drop to 10C-18C except in the Ionian Sea where it can be a lot colder in winter. Check out the following websites for accurate weather forecasting:

Skyron National Weather Forecast
Monitoring, Forecasting, and Information System for the Greek seas
National Observatory of Athens Forecast
Hellenic National Meteorological Service
Windfinder wind forecasts for Paros
Windfinder - Wind & weather forecast map Mediterranean East