Spots reviews

Gera Lario, together with the beach of La Punta at Sorico, is a good spot for windsurfing in the Northern Lake Como, where you can ride with the Breva, the typical thermal breeze that blows in the afternoon. Below, we provide a description of the spot, with many useful tips.

 

Windsurf spot reviews: Gera Lario (Como Lake)

Coming from the South (Milan area), you reach Gera Lario taking the SS 36, passing Lecco, and following the signs to Menaggio, once in Colico. You cross, then, the so-called "Pian di Spagna" north of Lake Como, and then you head south, after passing the bridge over the river Mera. Or, again coming from the south, you can pass from Como and Menaggio (if coming from Lugano), along the SS 340 (much longer way from Milan). Coming from the North (e.g. from Engadin, Austria), Gera Lario is reached via Valtellina, or Chiavenna valley.

Mainly, the spots for entering into water are two (see map below): the so-called "pratone" at the mouth of the river Mera, near the windsurfing school Tabo Surf (equipment rental possible here), or from the beach at San Vincenzo torrent mouth.

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Gera Lario (Co) - il

 

In the first case, if you do not rent from the school (with a right to use their handy slide with rubber mat), you enter into the water from a slide of stone, just to the south of the school, which is insidious because covered with moss (risk to fall over), or from the ladder just to the south of this slide (less insidious, but not comfortable anyway). Once in the water, you have shallow waters for 50 meters, and sandy bottom (rare for the lake). Be careful, however, to enter barefoot, because some rocks, and other objects, are always present, here and there, on the bottom (south of the ladder up to the mouth of the harbor, the bottom is almost entirely of stones).

In front of the stone slide, there is a small island formed by the sediments carried by the river Mera, which, when you beachstart, is to be circumvented at the north side (with the Breva, you have lull in the wind downwind to the island), or at the southern side (upwind, with the Breva). 

 

Gera Lario - lo scivolo in pietra davanti al pratone

 

You can park in the parking site (payment, except during working days) in front of Gera's harbour, or in the street in the surroundings (some parking areas further away are free on Saturday and Sunday, but in this case you need a trolley for transportation of equipment). The "pratone" is a great place for families too, and for taking sun, or to make a picnic, and to play with the children in the area (playground, grass football and basketball court free). Lots of food suppliers here.

The other point where you can enter into the water is located at beach near the mouth of the river San Vincenzo (at south of the village). You reach the beach from payment parking in front of the harbor of Gera, taking the pedestrian street (via al Pontile), which begins south of the park (in such a case you need a trolley to transport equipment); or you can drive along the SS 340 up to the south end of Gera, and taking, with your car, the road (Via San Vincenzo, picture at side), which originates from the SS 340 and goes steeply down towards the lake, just south of the bridge over the river (on the right side of the street you have the Romanesque church dedicated to San Vincenzo). Just down the road that reaches the beach, there is very little chance of free parking, usually only available for those arriving early on the spot. Otherwise, download stuff to the beach/on the lawn behind, and then go to look for a car park (free) at a hundred meters, around the church of San Vincenzo, or in parking just behind the church.

 

Via San Vincenzo, Gera Lario

The entrance into the water from the beach (pebble) is convenient (there is no risk of slipping ....). Here, bottom gets soon deep. The beach at the river mouth is also a lovely place where to take bath during summer time (while at "pratone", because of sandy bottom and Mera river, water is turbid). Just to the south of the beach at the mouth of the river, there is another pebble beach of 50 meters, which is also good for swimming or sunbathing, though often ashore gather a lot of material carried by the wind which invests it from the south. Here, there are no bars, except for a kiosk in the middle of summer; however, there are a bathroom and a public shower, and bars in the port area are within 5 minutes walking from here.

Gera Lario - La spiaggia alla foce del torrente San Vincenzo

 

Between the two exit points, there is also an additional very short beach, just north of the Gera Ferry boat wharf (disused), near a lawn at the side of Via al Pontile, which is used by a few surfers, and not very comfortable. 


Gera Lario, la spiaggetta a Sud della foce del San Vincenzo

 

In water, the spot gives satisfaction. Breva here enters well (starts to blow around 13 in general, reaching its peak between 15 and 16), and even, in the best days, around 15-18 knots, if it is not reinforced by the winds blowing from East on the Po Valley, then turns North and run up along the lake, and can make the Breva exceed 20 knots, and on special occasions even 30 (the day of August 14, 2013 will be remembered).

Since Gera is at the North end of the lake, here you have a discrete chop with Breva, which can reach one meter, fun to jump when riding to off shore direction, and to surf (but we're not at sea!), on the way back to beach.

It should be well kept in mind that, especially for those who start from the "pratone", the wind tends to come from the South West, more and more during the afternoon, as, especially nera the coast, a wind that comes down from the valley of San Vincenzo (which is oriented south-west / north east) adds to the Breva (typically coming from the south). The overall direction of the wind can make it difficult to return to the pratone, as you almost have the wind in your face. However, you have not serious problems, 'cause you finish you ride into the mouth of the river Mera, where you have low and sandy bottoms; then, the only problem is that you have to walk with your equipment, in the water or in the land, up to the starting point. To avoid this, especially in the ride to off shore, you have to go upwind well and earn water, and point the port of Gera, or at least the island, when you are in the middle of the lake, not be too "low" with respect to the exit point, on the way back.

At the beach at the mouth of San Vincenzo, and in the middle of the lake in front of the spot, in our opinion, the wind is often better. The Breva bounces against the mountains, that borders the lake to the west, just at south of this beach, and is, therefore, a bit stronger. In addition, there is not the influence of the wind from the valley of San Vincenzo, described above, as this reaches the lake, just to the north of the beach.

The beach of "pratone" is also good to experience the maneuvers that require shallow waters and sandy bottom, like the beachstart and the waterstart, as here you can try gradually the various stages of the maneuvers.

The spot in general does not work well with the winds from the north (mountains to the north are too high and too close to the lake), except for, maybe, the bad San Vincenzo, coming down almost from the homonymous valley (when high in the sky winds are oriented from north/Northwest), which is very gusty, and not suitable for beginners, because here it is side off.

Here below, some pictures and some movies filmed on the spot.

Good wind.

Waterwind staff

 

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