Forget Hawaii, forget Indonesia; even forget Australia! The Canary Islands are a mecca for surfers around the world. Whether you’re a grommet or a pro, the beaches around Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are where you’ll find not only super swells but also some pretty unique places to kick back and relax when the waves have washed away. Here’s why you need to get on-board with surfing in the Canaries.
The conditions are perfect
There’s a reason Tenerife is known as the Island of Eternal Spring – it boasts a year-round climate of between 18°C to 24°C, meaning it’s a pleasant dip in the ocean any month of the year.
Due to the Canaries prime position off the coast of Africa, the waters are littered with coral reefs and rocky point-breaks, ideal for creating gnarly waves, while the cliffs and mountains bring in strong off-shore winds.
In general, October to March is the most popular time for tourists, although hard-core surfers should time their trip around November to February for the famous 6-8ft swells.
Scenic beaches everywhere you look
Ever surfed on a black sand beach? Or around the bottom of an old volcano? You can do all this and more in the Canary Islands. Los Lobos is a short ferry ride from Corralejo in Fuerteventura and is an ancient volcanic island, much like the rest of the Canaries, although the swells here are famous for getting over 10ft – a must for experienced surfers!
For other spectacular beaches, El Golfo in Lanzarote has a natural lagoon, tinged an incredibly bright green colour, which provides a beautiful contrast against the black sand. Los Cancajos in La Palma and El Bullullo in Tenerife also boast dramatic black rock coastlines and volcanic beaches. For the picture-perfect white sands and turquoise waters, head straight to the Jandia Peninsular in Fuerteventura for one of the best beaches in the world.
Breaks for all levels
Beginners should start in Gran Canaria, particularly around the eastern beaches, which are more protected from the strong winds.
Intermediate surfers can tackle some of the tougher reef breaks in Lanzarote, where you can find quality waves 365 days of the year. Playa de Famara and La Santa on the north coast are your best bet.
For the pros out there, the Canary Islands offer a multitude of challenging and difficult waves for you to conquer. Fuerteventura is home to many international competitions – try your hand at The Bubble, Hierro and Spanish Left, while Tenerife has the ever-popular Billboards and La Fitenia.
It’s like nowhere else in the world
Volcanoes, beaches, unique flora and fauna, endless sun and fantastic surf… the Canary Islands really are paradise on Earth. When you’ve got a day off from the waves, make sure you see all the rest that the islands have to offer. In Tenerife, stay on land and check out the view from the top of Mt Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, or visit Siam Parque for some man-made aquatic fun.
Gran Canaria is the ideal spot for biking and hiking, and its Palmitos Park is a fun day out where you can meet all of the Canaries native animals, exotic birds and tropical plants.
Lanzarote is known for its incredible landscapes, notably the Mountains of Fire and the Jameos del Agua, natural lava tunnels and caves.
Whether you come for the surf, the scenery, or the sun, there’s never a shortage of things to see in the Canary Islands!