Spots reviews

We received this engaging review from Marco Bastianelli, which leads us to discover a very interesting spot for Windsurfing and Surfing: the bay between Isola delle Correnti and Punta delle Formiche, near Portopalo, in the province of Syracuse, in Sicily. Marco's story makes us really want to go and try this destination!

 

Windsurfing, spot review: Isola delle Correnti - Punta delle Formiche (Portopalo, Syracuse, Sicily)

Like every year, we took advantage of the Immaculate Conception feast to leave in search of warm climate, and of course of wind.

This time, once checked the forecast, we have decided not to go abroad, and head to Sicily. We have loaded the van and taken the ferry. As soon as we have arrived in Palermo, with the myth of Puzziteddu in mind (on waterwind you have the italian language review), we have left for Mazzara Del Vallo.

Given the not very reassuring forecasts, halfway through we have decided to ask a friend of ours, Christian, for an opinion. Christian is a windsurfing instructor from Catania, who has been living and working in Marzamemi for years, and whom we met a couple of years ago in Maui. In a few minutes we receive the reply from Christian, who invites us to join him in the southern tip of Sicily, where we would have found better conditions, and with very little rain, since the direction from the west and the rain, made Puzziteddu very at risk.

On arriving, we have felt immediately at home; the locals were thrilled to meet us, and welcomed us as if we were old friends. We have felt this warmth not only when we were introduced by Christian, but every time we met a new windsurfer in the water or on the beach. Even when not windsurfing, we have perceived this warmth and tranquility, not only for the hospitality typical of Sicilians, but because this part of Sicily, especially in winter, is really very quiet, and many like us slept, inside their vans, in the parking lots near the beach. We have spent a wonderful week windsurfing, taking dinners, aperitifs, and lots of laughs.

Anyway, coming back to the place review, the spot we are talking about is the bay near Portopalo, between Isola delle Correnti and Punta delle Formiche. Here, we spent a whole week between wind and waves. We went out with Libeccio (SW), Ponente (W) and Mistral (NW). The Libeccio blows a little too on-shore, and it's not the best, especially for windsurfing, but luckily for us it only lasted one day. The Ponente and the Mistral, on the other hand, enter with a Side / Side-on direction, starboard tack, a bit gusty near the shore, but then they spread out better. The sea conditions are not very simple, especially in the center of the bay, where the waves are a bit messy, but going upwind towards Punta delle Formiche, with only a couple of upwind rides, the waves get cleaner and grow. In any case, along the entire bay the sandy bottom allows everyone to try safely.

 

Windsurf Portopalo Sicilia 010

Windsurf Portopalo Sicilia 015 

 

 

For those who do not consider themselves expert enough to deal with the "bombs" so loved by the locals, on the other side of the coast (east side), near the port of Portopalo (see our map), it is possible to go out with side-off wind inside a gulf, which is completely safe. Furthermore, the area is also good for surfing. Since you have coasts that face both South and East, you can go out with any wind and waves conditions, especially in the mid-seasons, and in winter; while in summer, you find small waves, because only the thermic winds blow: Ponente (W) with flat / choppy water, making the spot excellent for freeriding and slalom.

After a week, we still remain with Puzziteddu dream, which, according to Christian, remains one of the most beautiful spot in the area, but we do not regret even a second of this wonderful week, in one of the most beautiful places in Sicily with conditions sometimes a bit difficult, but epic!

Hang Loose. Marco Bastianelli

PS. If, like us, you want to go and discover these still quite unknown spots, but want more information and advice, you can contact Christian (FB profile, o website of the windsurfing and surfing center, with bases in Noto and Catania).

 

Logistics

Marco reached Portopalo by van from Milan, making part of the journey by ferry. On the way to go there, he reached Palermo, embarking in Livorno. On his return, he took the ferry from Palermo to Genoa. Alternatively, the Portopalo area can be reached by plane, landing in Catania. For any equipment rental, you can contact Christian's Prowaveschool.

To sleep, if you are not in a camper van, we have been told the following possibilities:

- Pensione "Scala" (small hotel) in Portopalo, with adjoining excellent fish restaurant;

- Hotel "La Rosa dei Venti", in Portopalo.

For any other accommodations, please try to contact Christian.

In the map inserted above in the article, you will find convenient parking spaces for the spots, where it is also possible to camp with the van.

 

Below, a short slidegallery of the conditions offered by the spot (credits: Roberta Spinsanti and Enrico Leuzzi).

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