Simple Ways To Become A Sustainable Traveller

Here at Platinum Sun, we have a passion for nature. We always do what we can, when we can to protect the planet we live on. We hope you can share this goal with us.

You have probably heard the words ‘Sustainable Tourism’ and ‘Sustainable Travel’ thrown around the Internet these days. It can be difficult to make sense of it all so we have decided to break it down for you.

Sustainable tourism is the act of enriching or maintaining a location we travel to, not destroying it. It can be easy to turn the blind eye and continue with old habits, especially when you are in holiday mode. However, being a sustainable tourist doesn’t have to be hard work at all! In fact, it’s a piece of cake! You will be wondering why you didn’t think about this before.

So what can I do you ask?

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Simple things go a long way.

Start with the first step of every holiday, packing. When planning your trip you will have an idea of what you want to do so being smart with what you put in your suitcase is key. Planning on visiting some food markets? Packing a few reusable cloth shopping bags is a fab way to reduce single-use plastics, plus they weigh virtually nothing! Other ‘must-have’ sustainable items to throw in your suitcase could be a reusable water bottle and a reusable metal straw. You can even get ones that clip to a key ring these days. If you expect to drink your body weight in mojitos, you may as well save the fishies in the process.

When visiting stunning beaches or nature reserves, challenge yourself and friends to pick up at least 2 pieces of trash. Leave the beach cleaner than when you arrived. When others see your act of goodness, it will hopefully encourage them to do the same.

Enriching a place isn’t always about reducing your plastic use or saving the environment. Sustainable travel is also supporting the economy, the community and the people of the places in which we find ourselves. Buying from the local markets and family-run businesses goes a long way. We all want to have an authentic experience when we adventure to a new place so try living like a local. Talk to locals. Attempt to learn some of their language, it won’t go unappreciated (most of the time). By doing this we are confident you will earn their respect and you may even get some inside tips on secret spots no other tourist would know about. Give it a go, we dare you!

One last tip, again simple but effective.

When you go on trips or excursions and you are given a map or information leaflet, don’t throw it away after. Return them to where you got them from ready for the next person to use. We know this isn’t always easy but it is a great way to save paper.

We hope this article has been useful to you and you will try at least one of our ideas on your next trip.

Happy travels!

9 Things You Need To Know About Kitesurfing In Lo Stagnone, Sicily

If you’ve never thought about kitesurfing in Italy then you clearly haven’t heard about Lo Stagnone, Sicily. It is kite heaven! Imagine a huge, shallow lagoon with the flattest of the flat waters and steady winds all year round.

Most US kitesurfers aren’t familiar with this popular European destination and they’re missing out on some incredible riding.

Here are 9 Things you should know before booking your trip.

1. When should I go?

There is a long season here running from March- November. Between these months the area is thriving with people and the winds are consistent. You’ll need a light wetsuit in the beginning and end of the season, otherwise its board shorts and bikinis the rest of the time!

2. Where is it?

Lo Stagnone is located outside of one of Sicily’s largest cities, Marsala. You can be in the center of this beautiful city in just a 20-minute drive from the spot. The lagoon is situated among vineyards and pink salt Salinas. The location is truly stunning. Besides the kiting, there is so much to do in this part of Sicily. Explore some of the ancient ruins and rugged hills or even take a cable car up to the ancient town of Erice.

3. How to get there.

It’s quite simple to get to the Lo Stagnone. There are two airports close by. Trapani Airport is just 10 minutes from the spot. If you land here you can get a taxi to the spot for cheap. Palermo Airport is a little further approximately 1 hour, give or take. You can catch a bus or a train from here which is inexpensive, or organize a transfer for around 80euros if you don’t want to haul all your kite gear around public transport. On holidays we like our comforts, right?

Tip- I would highly recommend you rent a car during your stay. It will make these transfers stress free and you will have a lot more freedom on no wind days to explore the 10km of untouched beachfront.

4. What is the spot like?

La Stagnone, Italy

One word. FLAT.

Lo Stagnone is the Meccah to flatwater kitesurfing. The lagoon is 2000 hectares of flat, shallow water perfect for any level be it freestyle or a complete beginner. It is so safe to learn the sport here. Beneath the surface is a muddy material that softens any crash. The fact you can stand up everywhere is a huge bonus for those learning to stay upwind! On another note, these soft crashes can be dangerous to those freestylers wanting to get ‘sendy’. Know your limits, remember you’re not invincible!

With different wind directions, the lagoon presents different spots with their own unique characteristics. You can take a ride behind the island and kite in a secluded ‘secret spot’. Or go a bit further to the wall of the pink salt salinas and experience mirror flat water. No matter how busy this spot gets, it’s so huge you can always find an area all to yourself.

5. What kites do I bring?

In Spring and Autumn pack your small sizes, 8-10 meters. The wind is, without a doubt stronger during these months. However, it is worth knowing that the wind can be a little light in the high season. Definitely pack your 12m for the months of June-September (even a bigger size too if you’re lucky to have it).

6. Where can I stay?

There are 2 hotels, Santa Maria Resort and Prokite Alby Rondina. Both are located right on the beachfront, 20 steps from the lagoon. We would recommend looking on Air B&B for accommodation. There are many nice places you can stay in close proximity for affordable prices.

7. Food Glorious Food

It’s Italy, you can’t NOT dream about the food. The restaurants nearby are full of authentic Italian goodness. Pizza, pasta and if you’re a seafood lover, this is your heaven. The seafood linguine is to die for! And of course the wine, made from the vineyards on your very doorstep. Got a sweet tooth? You have to try the local ice cream from Oasi Bar just 10/15 minutes drive from the spot. They serve the ice cream in a brioche bread bun instead of a cone. You will definitely be taking a bigger kite by the end of your trip to Sicily. Guarantee if you’re not on the water you’ll be stuffing your face!

8. Nightlife

The spot is kind of in the middle of nowhere so it’s not too close to any big bars or nightclubs. You have to go into the center of Marsala for those. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a buzzing nightlife around the lagoon. There’s always something happening from movie nights to BBQs. You just have to look for it! A highlight of the week is most definitely the Sunday parties at one of the kite school bars ‘La Vie Del Vento’. They have awesome local DJs that play every week. The party starts at sunset and goes all night. Don’t miss it if you’re around. Sunday Funday!

In the center of Marsala, there is a fish market that transforms into a cluster of bars on the weekend. It’s buzzing with a cool vibe, lots of live music and dancing. It’s just a shame someone will have to be the designated driver, depending on where you stay.

9. The Cons:

  • The lagoon has a kind of seagrass that gives you a sting. Guys don’t get it as much as they tend to have a protective layer of hair on their legs but the girls will mostly wear long leggings in the water for protection. You can get yours from Platinum Sun!
  • The spot is pretty secluded. If you want to go to the supermarket to stock up on water (or beer) you have to drive 10 minutes. If you come here without renting a car, you can be pretty stuck.
  • There have been new rules implemented after a couple of unfortunate, tragic events in the lagoon. The coastguard has made it mandatory for all kiters to wear a helmet and life vest on the water. When you come here, you realize that nobody actually follows these rules, only instructors and students during lessons. There are rumors of coast guard showing up and fining people so it’s your call if you want to risk it for a biscuit.

Wind, Waves and Wisdom: A Week of Adventure and Unity on the Shakti Side

Located along the Dominican Republic’s north shore, Cabarete has some of the best wind and wave conditions in the world. Kite Beach is the area’s go-to destination for kiteboarders who want to build up their boarding abilities within a Caribbean seascape of golden sand, sapphire waves and colorful kites. Platinum Sun’s friend and brand ambassador, Kiteboarding Cabarete, has announced an adventurous retreat to do just that and more. 

Yoga, Kite, Eat, Sleep, Repeat takes place May 25 through June 1, 2019. Designed as a girls’ getaway, you’ll focus on yoga and perfecting your kiteboarding skills while enjoying wholesome and healthy food along the beautiful sands of Kite Beach. You might even meet a few new friends along the way. 

Yoga

Let out a victorious Ujjayi, or “ocean,” breath as you awake to the sounds of the sea. Whether you’re a beginner at bending or experienced at vinyasa and chaturanga, you’ll fit right in. Two daily yoga sessions allow you to prepare, focus and relax. Wake up to beachfront sun salutations and end the evening with sunset asanas. 

Kite

The kiteboarding portion of the retreat allows you to progress from a confident beginner to intermediate and advanced levels. Sessions are two to four hours a day for six days. Two expert instructors from Dare2Fly Cabarete Kiteboarding School work with you to build on existing skills, develop new maneuvers and gain confidence. You’ll receive personalized coaching, tips and in-depth reviews from session videos. 

Just a few of the skills taught include jumping, front and back rolls, upwind progression and how to unhook. The excellent wind at Kite Beach will teach you to gauge the wind’s lulls and gusts like a pro. You’ll be boosting, carving and going from heelside to toeside in no time. 

Eat

Breakfast and lunch are provided by Vitamin D Café, which is located on the same property as your accommodations at Aqualina Kite Resort. In-house menu items include gluten-free eggs Benedict, seasonal fruit bowls with homemade granola, raw zoodles with almond pesto and a variety of other organic and locally-sourced items. Dinner is not provided, but it will be organized for the group each night. Arrangements can be made for allergies and special food requirements. 

Sleep

Aqualina Kite Resort sits right on the suntanned sand of Kite Beach. Open and airy rooms have private patios, balconies or terraces with gorgeous views of the swimming pool or beach. Shared and private rooms are available. Amenities include air conditioning, mini fridges, beach chairs, beach towels and Wi-Fi. Lockers for gear storage are available at Dare2Fly Kiteboarding School. 

Repeat

Get up and do it all again the next day. 

Included in the Yoga, Kite, Eat, Sleep, Repeat Retreat 
• Transportation to and from the airport 
• Seven nights at the beachfront Aqualina Kite Resort 
• Daily breakfast and lunch at Vitamin D Café 
• Two daily yoga sessions 
• Professional kiteboarding instruction 
• Off-the-water skills workshops 
• Activities such as SUP and surfing 
• Photos of your adventures and kiteboarding sessions 

Not Included in the Yoga, Kite, Eat, Sleep, Repeat Retreat 
• Airfare to Cabarete, Dominican Republic 
• Kiteboarding gear – Gear rental is available at discounted rates at Dare2Fly 
• Yoga mats 
• Dinner and alcohol 

Please visit KiteboardingCabarete.com for more information and to book this adventurous retreat.

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