Strong, consistent winds make windsurfing in the Canary Islands a year-round activity. Winds are at their strongest in summer, but winter brings some challenging ocean swell for wave-sailors to enjoy.
Daytime air and water temperatures rarely dip below 20 degrees, even in mid-winter, making the islands a comfortable and pleasurable place to enjoy a windsurfing break.
Conditions are varied, with some spots offering world-class challenges for the more advanced, but beginners also being able to find their place in the more sheltered spots.
The Canary Islands are also a fabulous all-round holiday destination. You’ll be able to choose from big, bustling resorts with plenty of nightlife and quaint Canarian villages with whitewashed houses and narrow streets.
Wherever you go, you’ll enjoy stunning scenery and a friendly welcome. And endless, sparkling blue ocean to explore.
Corralejo has a huge stretch of wide sandy beaches, with several windsurfing spots and varied conditions to suit all. Flag Beach is the main spot, with a reliable cross-shore wind from March to September each year. Winter can be wavy, but the summer months from May onwards tend to be flat: good for beginners and freestylers.
Several wave spots for the more advanced can be found just along the coast. They include the notorious ‘Shooting Gallery’, with its fast reef break. The resort itself is Fuerteventura’s largest, but despite that has a lovely, laid-back feel and a relaxed social scene.
El Cotillo, Fuerteventura
El Cotillo is a short drive along the coast from Corralejo. It is a quiet, working fishing village with huge beaches and some good windsurfing conditions, especially for beginners and intermediates.
Windsurfing schools based in Corralejo sometimes bring their beginners to El Cotillo to take advantage of some nice, easy lagoon sailing. Those looking for something more challenging won’t be disappointed.
The stretch of coast between El Cotillo and Corralejo is a windsurfer’s paradise, with beach after beach to explore.
Sotavento is the best windsurfing location on Fuerteventura, with good sailing all year-round, depending on what you are looking for. Everything from the calmest of lagoons to the fiercest of waves can be found at different times of year and in different spots. At high tide, a sand bar keeps the water just off the beach flat and protected. Past the sandbar there are waves and good jumping conditions.
Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura
Caleta de Fuste is an attractive, family-oriented resort, which offers perfect conditions for beginners to learn windsurfing. Its bay is shallow and protected, but it still benefits from reliable, strong winds for most of the year. While conditions in other resorts can be too much for beginners and many intermediates, Caleta de Fuste is the perfect place to learn or improve.
Playa de Vargas, Gran Canaria
Playa de Vargas is a legendary windsurfing spot, attracting the world’s best and hosting an annual windsurfing festival. There is a large sand bar that helps keep conditions near the beach safe for beginners, with plenty of waves on the ocean side.
Vargas is not your typical windsurfing holidays resort, so you’ll probably need to stay elsewhere, but plenty of windsurfing schools will run trips to it. Part of the reason this beach is used almost solely by watersports fans is that it is mainly pebbles: the sand gets blown away!
Bahia de Feliz, Gran Canaria
Bahia de Feliz is close to the large resorts of Maspalomas and Playa des Ingles, and easily accessible from them. Conditions are varied, with everyone catered for. In the summer, waters in the bay are mainly flat, with a side-shore wind. Those looking for waves will find a gentle swell just beyond the bay: perfect for wave novices. Stronger waves for the more advanced can be found in winter.
Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria
Pozo is not a place for the inexperienced, or the faint-hearted. The winds are high, as are the waves: it’s an extreme spot that attracts the world’s best, and hosts the World Championships. Waves reach up to three metres, but rarely fall below one metre high. If you are not yet up to the challenge, it’s worth heading to the beach to watch.
Costa Teguise, Lanzarote
Costa Teguise offers the windiest conditions in Lanzarote, in a large resort that attracts tourists booking windsurfing holidays and those after more leisurely activities. If you want to combine world-class windsurfing with a world-class holiday, Costa Teguise might just fit the bill.
Las Cuchuras beach is the place to head. The shallow, sheltered bay offers perfect conditions for beginners and improvers. Outside the main bay, things get windier and wavier with a good offshore break challenging intermediate and advanced wave-freaks.
Famara offers great conditions for those who want to ride waves. Beginners should give it a miss, as waves reach up to five metres at times, having rolled in uninterrupted all the way across the Atlantic. There can be some strong currents too. Famara itself is relatively undeveloped, with a bohemian feel that suits the laid-back, surf-loving crowd that stay there.
El Medano, Tenerife
El Medano is yet another world-class Canarian windsurfing destination, playing host to various competitions. Winds are generally strong all year-round. There is not much for beginners, but plenty for intermediate and advanced windsurfers.
There are two main bays, north and south. At the North Bay, there is a nice area of swell just off the main beach, ideal for jumping. Along the coast a little is the beach of El Cabezo, which has waves reaching between one and three metres high.
At the South Bay there is a shorebreak with waves of between one and two metres. El Medano itself is an attractive, non-commercial resort, which attracts a mixed crowd of watersports fans and families.
For more windsurfing blogs and guides, check out: Windsurfing Gear: How to buy a wetsuit / Windsurfing Equipment: Choosing new sails for your board / Top Ten Windsurfing Locations in Egypt / Windsurfing Equipment: Buying your board and gear
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