Posted on 23 septiembre, 2017 · Posted in Todas las entradas

Surfing in the Canary Islands: 13 Staggering Waves to Catch all Year Round

Europe’s answer to Hawaii, the Canary Islands are a place of endless summer. The Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa consists of seven major islands, two minor islands and several islets. Each of them has warm weather and consistent surf all year round!

The islands have been on the surfing map ever since the 1970s, with over 100 top-notch breaks to surf in the Canary Islands, from point breaks to reef and beach breaks. Thanks to their strategic location, only a few degrees north of the Tropic of Cancer, the Canary Islands are exposed to big swells generated by the North Atlantic and strong offshore winds. This translates into epic conditions for all water sports including:

With a laid-back vibe, historic old towns and vibrant nightlife, each of the Canary Islands has its own unique personality. There are fun and mellow waves as well as many fast and powerful waves. There are also sharp rocky reefs and urchins, which may make some breaks not as beginner-friendly as you’d expect. But worry not! While the larger islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are indeed the main surfing hubs, there is high-quality surfing on all islands, suitable for all levels and tastes. So, follow me as we take a look at the best waves in the Canary Islands:

 

When to surf in the Canary Islands?

 

Tenerife

The main surf season in the Canary Islands lasts from September through April. The consistent swell and the warm, sunny weather during these months attract a large number of tourists, which means the beaches can get crowded. But don’t worry, there are plenty of surf spots for everyone.

The best waves hit the Canary Islands between November and February. Summer months, from May through August, do see occasional swell but there can be long periods of flat surf.

The water temperature in the Canary Islands is much warmer than the surf in the UK or France and varies from 71 °F (22 °C) in summer to 64 °F (18 °C) in winter. If you plan to surf in winter, then you should pack a 3/2 mm wetsuit as well as board shorts for the hotter days. You should also bring your booties to protect your feet from the jagged rocks on the bottom of most breaks.

 

Surfing in Gran Canaria

 

SURF HERE, YOU WILL NEVER FIND WAVES DOWN IN PUERTO RICO

SURF HERE, YOU WILL NEVER FIND WAVES DOWN IN PUERTO RICO

 

Photo by Peter Visser

According to research by the Syracuse University, Gran Canaria’s capital of Las Palmas is the city with the best weather in the world.

The best surf can be found on the north coast of the island, where the most popular surf spot is Las Canteras, near Las Palmas, which offers a variety of quality beach and reef breaks. Las Canteras is also popular for SUP, bodyboarding and other outdoor sports.

 

Surfing in Las Palmas – Photo by El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video

Best time to surf on Gran Canaria: autumn and winter; there are good waves on all coasts at any given time of the year.

 

El Confital

Surf el Confital Photo credit: hellocanaryislands.com

Surf el Confital Photo credit: hellocanaryislands.com

 

Photo credit: hellocanaryislands.com

Suitable for: advanced surfers.

Without any doubt of the best waves in the Canary Islands, El Confital is also considered one of the best breaks in Europe. This fast and powerful right-hand reef break is extremely hollow, allowing for some awesome barrels.

 

Located within the capital city of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, this long wave breaks over a volcanic ledge and is recommended for experienced surfers. Being so popular, El Confital beach can get very crowded, especially during weekends. But, thanks to the multiple take-off points, you can easily find your way around the crowds.

Consistent throughout the year, the best conditions to surf El Confital can be found between September and May at high tide.

 

Surfing in Tenerife

 

Photo by anpalacios

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. It is also home to the busiest Spanish resorts, welcoming over 5 million tourists each year. This rugged volcanic island with black sand beaches and a year-round warm climate is a favorite winter escape among European surfers.

 

 

Best time to surf on Tenerife: there is reliable surf all year long, but the best time of year is during winter months. Between October and February, the north coast of Tenerife receives powerful waves. Water temperatures range between 66-73 °F (19-23 °C) throughout the year.

 

The Spanish Left (La Izquierda)

Photo by Glen.Meye

Suitable for: experienced surfers.

An internationally renowned break, this awesome left-hand wave is better known by the name of ‘La Izquierda’, meaning ‘The Left’ in Spanish. Located right in the heart of the largest tourist resort on Tenerife, Playa de las Americas, the Spanish Left is not recommended for beginner surfers. Less experienced surfers will find some excellent bodyboarding and stand-up paddle boarding spots along the coast.

Photo credit: hellocanaryislands.com

La Izquierda breaks on a lava platform, with an unforgiving sharp reef on the bottom, as well as urchins. On the bright side, it does offer some sweet barreling sections, some of the best in Tenerife. It works on all tides and offers good waves throughout the year. However, the best conditions are between October and March.

Billboards

Photo by Victor Morell Perez

Suitable for: intermediate to advanced surfers.

In front of the Metropolis bar on Playa de las Americas, Billboards is a classic right-hand reef break. Hollow, fast and powerful, it comes with a few dangers of its own: sharp reef and urchins on the bottom, as well as buoys. This spot can get crowded, especially on weekends, and works on the same conditions as La Izquierda.

La Fitenia

Photo credit: wetstuff.wordpress.com

Suitable for: intermediate surfers.

Another great surfing spot in the heart of Playa de las Americas, La Fitenia offers excellent rights and lefts that break over a sharp reef. When it is firing, it offers some excellent log rides, over 500 ft (150 m) long.

La Fitenia is recommended for intermediate surfers, and produces a variety of waves, from fast to mellow. It is a fairly consistent spot, especially during spring and summer, and works on all tides.

 

Surfing in Fuerteventura

The second largest of the Canary Islands, located only 56 miles (90 km) off the African coast, Fuerteventura’s lunar landscape and desert-like scenery is simply mesmerizing. Fuerteventura’s north shore has been called Europe’s Hawaii, which pretty much sums up the quality of the waves here.

Strong offshore winds generate awesome waves in the mornings and afternoons, offering some of the best surf in the archipelago. Even though the waves can be heavy, they are suitable for those are learning to surf as well as for surfers looking to take their riding skills up a notch.

Best time to surf in Fuerteventura: autumn through spring, though great waves can be found all year round.

 

The Bubble

Photo credit: casamaccaroni.com

Suitable for: advanced surfers.

A powerful right-hander in front of Majanicho, in the municipality of La Oliva, on the north coast of Fuerteventura, The Bubble is a fast, shallow and hollow reef break. On a good day (swell and offshore wind), it offers some world-class tubes.

The epic waves break over a sharp rocky reef and are the closest to Hawaii’s world-class waves you can get on the Canary Islands. The Bubble works on a north or north-easterly swell and puts on its best performance when waves are over 4-6 ft (1.2-2 m) tall. It works best at low to mid tides.

 

Los Lobos

Photo credit: SurferToday.com

Suitable for: all levels.

The longest wave in the Canary Islands, Los Lobos offers rides up to a third of a mile (500 m) long. These waves break over a sharp and shallow reef at the foothills of an old volcano on the small islet of Los Lobos, north of Fuerteventura. Beware of wiping out over the jagged reef. Also, sharks are known to frequent the spot.

Los Lobos is a versatile surfing spot, with right-hand waves that can reach 13 ft (4 m) and work best at low to mid tide. The break has a variety of sections, making it suitable for all levels of surfers.

To get here, you need to take a ferry from the harbor at Corralejo. Please be advised that this is a one day trip off the main island of Fuerteventura to a moonscape island where there’s virtually nothing except the waves and black-sand beaches. Pack all your essentials, including sunscreen and booties.

 

El Hierro

Photo credit: hellocanaryislands.com

Suitable for: advanced surfers.

The most famous surfing spot on Fuerteventura, El Hierro is a powerful left-hand wave found on the north shore of the island, right next to Majanicho Beach.

Due to its fame and the high-quality of the waves, it is one of the busiest spots in Fuerteventura. Luckily, there are two main peaks here, which make handling the crowds a bit easier. The left-hander is a fast, powerful wave, whereas the right-hander is shorter and offers some barreling sections.

Best time to surf El Hierro is between September and May. It works well on all tides, as it breaks over reasonably deep water. Booties are recommended.

 

El Cotillo

Photo credit: SurferToday.com

Suitable for: all levels of surfers.

One of the few beach breaks in the Canary Islands, El Cotillo is a fun, mellow wave suitable for beginners and intermediates. However, on a big swell, it can get pretty aggressive, producing some sweet tube sections that more advanced surfers will enjoy.

The long sandy beach offers both right and left waves, and the long white water waves are great for surfers taking their first steps on the board.

 

Surfing in Lanzarote

Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras

To the north of Fuerteventura, 78 miles (125 km) off the coast of Africa, Lanzarote is one of the smaller Canary Islands. It is no less popular and even has its own international airport – Arrecife.

The swell, weather and surf conditions on Lanzarote are almost identical to those found on Fuerteventura.

Best time to surf in Lanzarote: there are big, powerful waves from October through March; consistent swell throughout the year.

 

El Quemao

Photo by Thomas Frank

Suitable for: pro surfers.

A hardcore surfing spot, when El Quemao is firing you can literally see it breaking from miles away. Powerful and dangerous, only experienced surfers should tackle this one.

On the northwest coast of Lanzarote, across the fishing village of La Santa, El Quemao is considered one of the best waves in the world. These hollow waves powered by the Atlantic offer a thrilling succession of deep, fast tubes. Often regarded as the Canary Islands’ answer to Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline, waves reach over 16 ft (5 m).

The best conditions to surf El Quemao can be found between October and March at full tide.

 

Morro Negro

Photo credit: surfsanctuary.co.uk

Suitable for: advanced surfers.

North of La Santa, Morro Negro is a right-hand point break with a rocky bottom. When it is firing, it offers long rides up to 1,000 ft (300 m). It starts to work from 3 ft (1 m) up and can produce waves up to 16 ft (5 m).

There are two waves at Morro Negro: a barreling right-hander and a longer left-hander. Both produce some neat tubes. A popular surf spot among local and traveling surfers alike, Morro Negro is recommended for experienced surfers.

 

La Santa

Photo by Ronald van der Graaf

Suitable for: advanced surfers.

On the northwest coast of Lanzarote, La Santa offers both a fast and explosive right-hand reef break as well as a long and tubing left-hand wave. A dangerous and rather challenging surf spot, this one’s recommended for experienced surfers. Also, it is wise to go with a local or someone who knows the take-off points. The sea is strong and the bottom is steep. Booties are highly recommended.

La Santa Right – Photo credit: surfsanctuary.co.uk

La Santa works best on mid to high tides. The best surf can be found between September and May.

El Lloret

Suitable for: advanced surfers.

Close to Las Cantebras Beach, on the northeast coast of Gran Canaria, Lloret is an urban wave with an easy access. This right-hand point break is one of the most consistent waves on the island. The best time to surf El Lloret is between October and May. 

Playa del Ingles

Photo by Tobias Scheck

Suitable for: beginners and intermediates.

On the south coast of Gran Canaria, Playa del Ingles is a sandy beach with several mellow waves. The beach break is a summer destination, as the strong trade winds produce some fun waves for beginners to play with.