I always search for interesting kitespots, preferably in Europe, and this time it was time for Sicily. My expectations were quite high, I wanted good kiting, good wind, good food, nice people, pleasant living and good side activities for no wind days. We found almost all of it and are happy. Here is the review of our kitesurfing trip to Stagnone, Sicily.
The kitesurfing in Sicily
Most of the kitesurfing in Sicily takes place in the huge lagoon in Stagnone (Birgi Vechi), between Marsala and Trapani. So of course we headed to that place. The kitesurfing is indeed great, it is one of the biggest lagoons I ever seen (Tarifa lagoons are way smaller), this is maybe as big as the one in Sri Lanka. The water is mega flat on several places (due to shallow water or small islands that block the waves), and the wind is quite good as soon as you get out from the gusts close to shore, that appears on the side-off winds that we had the days with wind. For practicing tricks or get comfortable with kiting, I would definitely recommend to go here for kitesurfing!
The beach for launching is not sand, neither grass, it is some kind of packed dirt with small stones. The beach is quite small, but on the other hand, there are quite many small beaches there to launch from. There are several schools and kite centers too, that occupied most of the beach in front of Birgi Vechi, and by staying at one of them you can use their (bigger) launch areas. We did not do that, since we did not need any storage when living really close to the beach, so we launched from one of the small free spots slash parking places. It was no problem for us that are used to small launch areas, but if you are a beginner or want a hassle-free experience I strongly recommend you to use one of the kite centres services.
Pro’s and con’s with kitesurfing in the Stagnone Lagoon
Mega flat, awesome spot.
A lot of space, it does not feel crowded even if there are a lot of people.
Good stable wind in the middle of the lagoon (even if gusty at shore)
Easy beach access with car.
Shallow water, you can reach the bottom everywhere if you want.
Possibilities for beautiful sunset sessions.
Small launch area if not going for a kite center.
Quite stinky brown water.
Awful bottom of the lagoon, filled with mud and seaweed that sometimes burned the skin a little.
We had wind 3 out of 6 days, which I think is quite normal in August, and we were kiteboarding until after the sunset every day. We stopped when we could not see anything anymore or the wind died, the flat water is so great! Once again, I recommend this spot for practicing tricks or becoming a better kitesurfer.
Staying in Stagnone / Birgi Vechi, Sicily
We rented a beautiful house with 3 bedrooms from Stagnone Kite Village (That’s basically a big house with two apartments). It worked really well, the house was just a few minutes of walking from the spot, and you actually saw the lagoon from the second floor balcony. The house was in good shape, with 3 bedrooms, 2 toilets, a big kitchen, a small garden, and possibilities to eat both inside and outside. We made our own food almost every day since there are not many restaurants around, and we liked to chill in the garden. We were 4 persons in the house, but it would easily host two more. If you go for kitesurfing to Sicily, I can really recommend staying there. You find them here, and see more pictures at booking.com:
Things to do in the area around Trapani / Marsala
You definitely need a car here. I was a little bit surprised and disappointed when the village was so small, there were not really any restaurants, bars or grocery stores in walking distance, and only a few houses. I usually want to hang out with other kiters and eat on restaurants (kite trips are often vacation, right), but on the other hand, I do not want to drive a long way after a long day of kiting. On the other hand, it is good that the area is not too exploited, there are very few normal tourists, and the price level seems acceptable still. Close to the lagoon, there is one restaurant though, that had quite good pasta.
When driving around, you find a lot to do. There are several awesome restaurants in driving distance, and the italian food around here is awesome. Then, you can easily visit both Marsala and Trapani too in under half an hour driving, and in these cities you find a lot to do. On one of the no wind days, we rented a boat in Trapani and visited two islands (Favignana) about 20 km outside of Trapani, which was really nice. We also visited the huge tourist beach in San Vito Lo Capo, we visited sea salt -“factories”, we did a lot of snorkeling in beautiful blue waters and we checked the old towns in both Trapani and Marsala. So with a car, you can easily get your normal tourist activities done too.
The thing I recommend the most for no-wind days is definitely renting a boat and going to the islands for swimming and snorkeling and cliff jumping in the most turquoise waters ever.
Feel free to ask if you have questions about staying or kiteboarding in this part of Sicily!
Now some pictures from the trip: