Travel Italy Blog

paddle boarding

Your Guide To Water Sports In Italy

Posted by Megan DeAngelo on June 19 2016

With great lakes, rivers, islands and a long Mediterranean coastline, Italy is a popular destination for water sports.

In summer, people flock to its beaches and mountains to cool off in the blue waters and enjoy the sun. Many of Italy's beaches can be enjoyed year round.

Water sports enjoyed in Italy include water skiing, windsurfing, sailing, boating and kitesurfing. Paddle boarding is also popular in the south. There are a range of freshwater lakes and areas of coastline ideal for water sports, ranging from the mountainous regions in the north with enormous lakes to the island paradises in the south with tidal conditions enjoyed by surfers from all over the world. 

Italy's lakes are scenic, well-kept and offer many active things to do, if you've had enough sightseeing.

Sailing Is Just the Beginning

sailing lake garda

The largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda, is close to cities like Milan, Venice and Verona. It’s arguably the most popular lake in Italy and attracts many local and foreign tourists. The most popular water sports here are windsurfing and waterskiing. The windy conditions are particularly good for ardent windsurfers. The winds here are quite diverse with strong winds in the mornings for advanced windsurfing enthusiasts and softer, milder winds in the afternoons ideal for beginners or intermediate level.

Try renting a catamaran or a dinghy to sail and cruise around the lake. Or take a lesson from a sailing school to learn to windsurf. 

Lake Como is another lake located in northern Italy close to Milan, which is a good base for spending a day trip at the lake. It's approximately 40 minutes by train from Milan.

Popular water sports here also include waterskiing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Sailing is perhaps the most popular and there are often regattas and sailing championships held on the lake. Waters here tend to be most suited for sailing in the afternoons because that’s generally when the wind picks up. Also, its calm waters make Lake Como ideal for waterskiing.

Beaches that Attract Active Athletes

wind surfing in italy

The west coast of Italy, from Civitavecchia to Napoli, delivers the best conditions for surfing. You may not find the biggest waves, but you will enjoy the warm Mediterranean.

The island of Sardinia is a hotspot for all types of water sports in Italy. With an extensive coastline and regular mistral winds, Sardinia has a great deal to offer. For windsurfing and sailing, try Porto Pollo in the northeast, where you’ll find the windiest conditions in the entire island. You don't need to be an expert either. Plenty of schools in the area cater to beginners with rentals and lessons.

Putzu Idu at San Giovanni di Sinis is a popular surfing beach on Sardinia. Conditions here are also good for windsurfing and kitesurfing. 


If you’re looking for a bit of fun in the sun this summer in Italy then you won't have to look hard. You’ll find everything you need for a great water sports adventure in Italy. Get in touch with us today by calling 877-723-0802 to find out more.

Summer in Italy

Topics: Insider, beaches

Megan DeAngelo

Written by Megan DeAngelo

Travel Consultant BellaVista Tours