After a long snowy winter in the mountains, I jumped at the opportunity to meet up with friends in Europe to soak in the warm Adriatic Sea and refuel with hearty Italian cuisine. The plan was to kitesurf in the azure-colored waters along stretches of remote, cliff-bound coastline. The Gargano peninsula on Italy’s east coast is a gem of solitude away from the well-known touristy summer vacation spots. With 300′ cliffs punctuated by a couple of 2,000 year old cliff-clinging cities, the Gargano sits just seaside of a bazillion olive trees growing in the arid inland climate.You won’t find any YouTube clips of big wave kitesurfing in the Adriatic Sea. However, the choppy seas along with daily side-shore winds of 12-18 knots create perfect conditions for the sensational new water sport of foilboarding. Using a kite to power our foil boards in the 70 degree crystal clear water and 80 degree gentle breezes, we were literally flying along beautiful white cliffs and soft sand beaches. With few fishing boats or sea traffic at all, we had the Adriatic to ourselves. There are some kiteboarding schools in the area providing instruction and rentals to the near 100% Italian, arm-gesturing vacationers. By European standards, this place is un-discovered and by all standards; off the charts.Back on land, accommodations ran the typical gamut for a summer resort. However, beautiful campgrounds right on the beach were the choice of most holiday goers, including our posse. After a day on the water, warm friendships are made while preparing meals of fresh fish, bread, local fruits and vegetables purchased early each day as the food trucks come through the campground. Our campsite overlooking the serene waterscape also provided some food when we found a few escargots in the trees beside our tent. These foraged critters were added to the feast along with another bottle of local Italian wine as we became engulfed in another amazing sunset. La Bella Vita – the good life!
A blog by Ken Lucas
Chile’s got the best of both worlds: limitless big mountain snowkiting terrain and a coast of endless left-handed breaks. Read about Ken Lucas’ travels through Chile in the Tkb’s 2015 winter issue — Vol 12, No. 4.