You are currently viewing McConks’ bitesize international SUP travel guides: Ammoudia, Acheron Delta, Epirus, Greece.

McConks’ bitesize international SUP travel guides: Ammoudia, Acheron Delta, Epirus, Greece.

Location:

Ammoudia, Acheron Delta, Epirus, Greece.

Spot type:

Partially sheltered (in the bay), open water Mediterranean location occupying part of the Northern Ionian Sea.

Conditions:

Within Ammoudia’s Bay you have partially sheltered flat to moderately choppy water stand up paddle boarding. In summer Greece’s Meltemi thermal wind can kick in around noon and blow onshore. This’ll turn morning glassy, calm conditions rather choppy and make it tricky for beginners to get off the beach. Over the course of the day small wind swell can ramp up and begin breaking as wavelets on the sand bar just offshore. It’s possible, with the right board, to enjoy a few fun glides on your SUP.

Paddling out of Ammoudia’s bay into the Ionian Sea you’ll be faced with deeper water touring options. It’s worth noting that sea swell can pick up significantly out here. And there are little to no get outs, other than paddling back into Ammoudia Bay. You’ll also be alone with sea caves and rock stacks the only company. The adventurous/experienced, however, could paddle along the coast to Agios Giannakis Beach, a few kilometers away to the north. Or further round to Parga.

SUP on the River Acheron, Ammoudia.

The River Acheron’s mouth runs horizontally next to Ammoudia. It’s along the river you’ll find all those authentic Greek Tavernas and bars. Plus the local fishing fleet. Stand up paddlers can navigate along the river and investigate all they can. Keep heading along the river and eventually you’ll reach Acheron Falls. This is actually a bit of a jaunt with some portages necessary. And you’ll also need to watch the flow, which can get extremely strong following rain. In a lot of cases it might be wise to turn back well before arrival at Acheron Springs.

Hazards:

In Ammoudia Bay hazards a few. There are a couple of rocks to watch out for, the breakwater separating the River Acheron and beach will puncture inflatables. And some rocks around the sheltered headland are sharp. Other than that it’s just your usual holidaymaker swimming and enjoying themselves in the warm water to keep clear of. Yachts occasionally come in to moor up as well.

Out of the bay, into the Ionian, the cliffs are steep, with more significant swell and current. Should you fancy a paddle out here then be aware raising the alarm, in the event of an emergency, will fall on deaf ears as you’re quite a way from the beach. And also out of sight once round the corner.

Heading along the River Acheron, Ammoudia.

The River Acheron flows directly into Ammoudia Bay. Right at the entrance you’ll discover a confused water state with a moderately strong current. Experienced paddlers could have some fun here in the standing waves that form. Be aware the temperature differences between the sea and river are very noticeable. Especially if you fall. Boat traffic and some marine/wildlife should be avoided whilst paddling along the river.

Access:

Access to Ammoudia comes from the main road running along the back of the village. Parking and beach/river access is super easy with plenty of room.

Popularity (1-10):

Ammoudia isn’t a headline Greek tourist spot. There are more popular locations further south. Instead, Ammoudia and The Acheron Delta area is a gem find. And great for SUP adventure!

SUPing outside of Ammoudia’s bay, along the coast.

Amenities:

There are a number of hotels, self catering lets and campsites dotted around Ammoudia. You’ll also find a bunch of eateries and bars along the river. A couple of other bars/restaurants lie on the northern side of the bay. Out and about you can head to Parga – a popular yacht mooring town. Although Parga gets very busy and contrasts Ammoudia significantly.

Overview:

Ammoudia is a fairly sleepy Greek mainland village that’s, by and large, away from the well trodden tourist path. This isn’t to say it doesn’t get its fair share of visitors. It does. Stand up paddlers boards, however, aren’t that common. In fact, you’ll probably be the only one SUPing here.

You can split Ammoudia’s stand up area into three. The bay itself, the outside section and the River Acheron. Paddling inside Ammoudia’s Bay gives flat water recreational conditions. Especially in the morning when it’s calmer. A small sand bar lies just off the beach and small wind blow chop can turn into mini wavelets after the Meltemi’s kicked up the sea state. On occasion these can be ridden SUP surfing style. Paddle into the far corner and navigate around the rocks for some adventure SUP lite antics.

Adventurers and experienced paddlers can venture out of the bay into the Ionian. Along the steep coastline you find sea caves and rock stacks jutting skyward. Swell and current increase out here. And the deep blue of the deep Ionian Sea can be eerie. There are some great views along the coast, however. And touring paddlers can keep heading north to get out at Agios Giannakis Beach. With favourable conditions getting to Parga would also be possible.

Ammoudia rock garden, Acheron, Greece.

Heading back into Ammoudia and riders are free to explore the River Acheron. At the river’s mouth paddlers will find some mellow to moderate white water conditions – depending of rainfall and river flow. Standing waves here can be fun. Just watch out for fishing boats and the water’s change in temperature.

Piloting along the River Acheron is like being in another world. The overhanging plant life, and river wildlife (sea snakes meander this area) give the impression of being somewhere else entirely. If you want advice and information there’s a local kayak touring company based just outside Ammoudia. They run paddle trips through the summer and can be a good source of info.

Paddling along the river towards the Acheron Falls/Springs area it’s possible to get all the way. But be aware the river decidedly white water like the closer you get. And if there’s been rain the river will be in flood. Only attempt this is you’re properly equipped with adequate white water paddling experience. Alternatively, switch 180 degrees and ferry glide back downstream with the current. Perhaps stopping off for a Mythos at one of the riverside tavernas.

Ammoudia really is a gem adventure SUP location that’s worth a look. It’s not so busy, like other Greek resorts. And the stand up paddle boarding opportunities – for such a small location – are diverse.

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