Kitesurf at Lake Garda - Malcesine & Navene

Wind, scenery and good food

  • Overview
  • Good to know
  • Getting there

Overview

Driven by the constant thermal winds, beautiful mountain scenery and good food, Garda Lake in Italy is long known as an excellent location for all watersports (kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUP, sailing etc.) enthusiast further away from the Italian coast. In Garda, winds are thermal and highly dependent on the weather conditions in the mountains, valleys and the heath of the water and land in the surrounding areas. In the mornings the wind comes from the North of the lake and accelerates between the mountains, providing the most reliable winds for the day, and in the early afternoon, wind swings to blow from the south. The best wind is considered in the middle of the lake, at its narrowest strip between Malcesine (in the east) and Campione (in the west coast of the lake). All of the kite schools offer a boat shuttle service (costing around €35 per day), and that is a mandatory service for less advanced riders. So to kite here without supervision, you will have to be proficient in launching and landing from the boat (could be thought by the kite school providing the shuttle), deep water pack-down and be comfortable in swimming/staying in the deep water for more extended periods till the rescue service is available. There are few spots around the lake where, if the wind is right you can launch your kite from the beach, however, to do that you will have to join the club and be more than just an independent rider. If the wind is not playing ball, there is plenty to do around the Garda lake, and the scenery will take everyone's breath away in this natural outdoors playground: rock climbing, hiking, downhill or mountain biking is just a main few. Also, be sure to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine and head to the top of Monte Baldo for stunning views of the lake.

Good to know

VISAS: Generally not required for stays of up to 90 days; some nationalities will need a Schengen visa. Contact the Italian embassy or consulate before travel for more details. CURRENCY: EUR PRICES: Beer: €1-2 Food: Lunch €3-10 Accommodation: €15-80 pp Kite Lessons: 6H €200 Kite Gear rental: €80 per day (boat service included) LANGUAGE: Italian INTERNET: Wifi freely available TRAVEL ADVICE: Consider the costs of the boat transfer or a membership fee to the local clubs in your holiday expenditure. TEMPERATURE: Water temperature is around 20°C/68°F from June to August, and at least a shorty or a light wetsuit is required. For the months in either side of the high season, a warmer wetsuit is recommended. For the windy days, a windbreaker jacket and booties/gloves may be needed. You will also be asked to wear a floatation west, due to the deep waver in the lake. The air temperature can reach 24-30°C/75-86°F and more in the summer months and can drop to 12-27°C/53-80°F in the early season. There is plenty of sunshine through the European summer, but a sweater and a pair of jeans may be useful in the windier days and after sunset.

Getting there

NEAREST TOWN: Malcesine NEAREST CITY: Peschiera del Garda NEAREST AIRPORT: Verona Airport [VRN] If flying to from other European destinations, you will most likely fly to Verona Valerio Catullo airport, which is around 60km away from Malcesine. The easiest way to get to the kite spot would be to get a taxi transfer (~€85 return) or by renting a car at the airport. The journey with the car should only take just over 1.30H. Additionally, you can travel there by bus (with the change in Garda), that should take 3,5H. GETTING AROUND: If you are staying directly in Malcesine and closer to the starting point for any of the schools, you will easily reach everything on foot. You can also rent a bike or use public transport or a taxi if you want to visit neighbouring towns. If you are travelling to Garda Lake by car or a Camper van, you will find many Caravan parks around the lake, with few also based very near watersports bases. Please note that there are not many parking options available near the access to the lake, and especially in the summer months you should book stay in caravan parks in advance.

  • Beach
  • Wind
  • Rules/Hazards

Beach

Malcesine and the nearby kitesurfing locations at the Garda Lake are famous for the accelerated wind and proximity to the windiest parts of the lake. However, doesn't have a large enough beach space to launch and land the kite at all wind directions safely. Therefore the main kitesurfing action happens with the help of water shuttle service, bringing you to the middle of the lake and launching from the boat. Kitesurfing Club Malcesine in Navene (East from main town Malcesine) offers a small beach strip where you can launch your kite from if you are at the sufficient kitesurfing level, but you will have to join the club. It cost €10 to join, and you will be expected to prove proficiency in handling extreme kite launch and land skills and riding level. For less experienced riders or beginners, it is essential to take lessons or shuttle services, that is included in most rental packages. You will find kite schools dotted around in all the northern coast of Brenzone, Malcesine and Navene, therefore when looking where to go try to find one closest to your accommodation as parking is hard to find around the coast. Additional beach to launch your kite in Garda is at the west coast in Campione (from Navene you can reach it by ferry). Kite Campione Association launch area is for Club members only, same as the Malcesine club. AMENITIES: Kite School, Gear Rental, Rescue Boat, Beach Assistance, Gear Storage, Kite Shop, Kite/Gear Repair, Parking, Accommodation.

Wind

In Garda, winds are thermal and highly dependent on the weather conditions in the mountains. The ‘Peler’ wind from the North - starts building up at night and lasts until morning around 10:30 - 11 am. It provides the stronger16-25 knot winds for the sunrise and morning sessions. With the stronger forecasts, this wind can often increase in the summer months to 25-35 knots and can get quite gusty. When the wind from the North dies down, and after a short break the wind from the South kicks in, you will find perfect larger kite or hydrofoiling conditions. The 'Ora' is calmer and more regular wind usually starting from 11 am or later and lasts until sunset and usually reaches to around 12-17 knots and more on the sunnier days. Depending on the day, you can be using anything from a 6/7m in the morning and a 12/15m in the afternoon. We suggest to get advice from a kite school, club or check with locals for more insight into the conditions. The general rule in Garda is that conditions can change very fast, look for clouds in the distance: if you see on the horizon clouds in a black line, the wind is coming; the darker the line is, the more wind you can expect. WIND DIRECTIONS: N, S WINDIEST MONTHS: High Season - June, July, August, September. Mid Season - April, May, October.

Rules/Hazards

Due to the launch and land from the boat, you will have to be proficient in upwind body dragging and riding, also be able to do a self-rescue and deep water pack down. If you are not sure, you will be asked to take lessons. If joining one of the clubs and launching from the small patch of land, make sure that you are extremely good in launching the kite and don't bring it to the zenith at any cost; be prepared to dive into the water as soon as possible. Also, be very helpful to the locals as the launch and landing always have to be assisted. You will be required to have a flotation west, and we highly recommend to get the boat service from a school as there is a high chance that the wind will switch or die off in the middle of the session and you will have to be picked up. *If you need kite related service like kite repairs, lessons or beach assistance please contact with the local kite centre or camp. ** We always recommend seeking additional knowledge about the spot from local Kite School or qualified instructors.

Info

Rider Level:
beginner, intermediate, advanced
Discipline:
freeride, foiling
Spot Type:
Flat water, Choppy, Lake
Launch area:
Rocks
Tidal:
no
Windiest Months:
Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct,

How it measures up

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