If you are about to surf the Canary Islands, this article will provide you with all the information you need. From general travel info, to surf seasons, surf spots, and everything else you need to know about surfing in the Canary Islands.
About Surfing in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands, also known as “The Fortunate Islands”, are a Spanish Volcanic Archipelago consist of 7 major Islands. Unlike other European surf destinations such as France or Portugal, this one is actually located in the Atlantic Ocean, much closer to the Coast of Morocco. Due to its location, it has warm weather 365 days a year, and it became famous as “the land of eternal spring”. For that reason, it is always packed here with tourists, mostly from Europe, who come to enjoy the summer, or to escape from the European winter.
As for the surf, the Canary Islands have a lot to offer as well. In fact, it is exposed to strong swells from the Atlantic Ocean, and therefore, the waves here are consistent year round. When surfing the Canary Islands you will find mostly reef breaks, but also points and occasional beach breaks. The waves here varies from Beginner’s friendly beaches, to massive barrels over a shallow reef. Therefore, whatever it is that you are after, you will find it here.
In short, the Canary Islands are a very special destination for a surf trip. With an “island vibe”, great night life, and huge diversity of surf spots, surfing the Canary Islands should definitely be on your travel list.
Surf Seasons in the Canary Islands
The summer, between May to August, receives the smaller swells. Actually, it is the perfect season for beginners. During this time the water temp is around 24°C (75°F), and the waves are soft and forgiving.
The winter, on the other hand, lasts from Septembers to April, and this is definitely the best surfing season in the Canary Islands. To clarify, you can’t really call it winter, as the sun is still up in the sky and you will probably wear T-shirt and flip flops. However, in Canary terms, this is what they call winter. During these months the water temp is around 18°C (64°F), and requires a 3/2 wetsuit. The waves are big and consistent, and if you wake up early, you will enjoy some offshore winds as well. If you want to Surf the Canary Islands when it is the biggest, come between Novembers to February. This is when the huge swells hit the shore and only the experienced surfers are paddling out.
Note- the reefs in the Canary Islands are full with sea urchins, so you better bring your booties as well.
Population- over 2 million.
Calling code- +34.
Time zone- GMT 0/+1.
Pros- variety of surf spots, great weather.
Cons- localism, sharp reefs.
Surf Spots in the Canary Islands
When Surfing the Canary Islands you will need to choose which Island to stay at. Even though we tend to look at them as a whole, each Island has his own characteristics, and offers a different surfing experience. In detail, these are the best surf spots in the Canary Islands:
Surf Spots in the Island of Tenerife
Tenerife is the biggest Island in the Canary Islands. It is extremely popular among tourists, and you will find here lots of fancy resorts and crazy nightlife scene. Due to its size, this Island offers many different surf breaks, and is probably the most crowded one of all the islands.
Those are the best breaks in Tenerife:
La Izquierda (The Left):
You will find this spot right in front of Playa de las Americas Resort, in the South part of the Island. This left hander produces some great barrels and breaks over a very shallow reef. Due to the reef and the localism in this spot, paddle out only if you are confident in your ability to deal with it. Definitely not a spot for beginners.
Playa de la Tejita:
This is a swell magnet, which you can surf 365 days a year. The waves here are powerful, but break over a sandy bottom.
In front of the Metropolis Bar, this is a right hand reef break, with a fast and hollow drop over a rocky bottom. Other than on weekends, this spot is not so crowded, and is suitable for intermediates.
This spot can pick up any swell, and it is extremely consistent. Therefore, you can count on it on the small days, and even in summer time. The waves here break equally to right and left, and on a good day this spot produces some very long rides.
Puerto de la Cruz:
This is a perfect spot for beginners in the North part of the Island, with a soft and mellow wave.
Just next to Puerto de la Cruz, this is one of the few beaches with no reef at the bottom.
Surf Spots in the Island of Gran Canaria
This island is known for its great weather 365 days a year. It is where Las Palmas, the capital of the Canary Islands, is situated, and it offers great surf as well. Along its 60 KM of coastline, you will find different breaks for all skill levels.
These are the best spots in Gran Canaria:
This is absolutely a world class wave, and one of the best ones you will surf in the Canary Islands. This reef break offers a long right hand ride with amazingly hollow sections to get barreled. Due to its quality and its location in the Las Palmas, it can get extremely crowded during weekends.
This is a right hand point break, with an easy access from the City. It produces long open rides and performs with great consistency.
An extremely powerful barrel over a rocky bottom. This spot is suitable only for advances surfers.
Playa del Ingles:
This beach break is actually located in the South part of the Island. It is soft and mellow, and therefore, a perfect beach for beginners.
Surf Spots in the Island of Fuerteventura
Located only 90 KM from the African Coastline, this is the second biggest Island in the Canary Islands, after Tenerife. Its name in Spanish means “strong wind”, and accordingly, the offshore winds blow here almost daily and create amazing surf conditions.
These are the best breaks in Fuerteventura:
Also known as “The Bubble”, this right hander breaks over a very shallow reef, and produces some great tube rides, especially during low to mid tide. Therefore, this spot is suitable for good surfers only.
You will find this spot on a small Island north of Fuerteventura. In order to get here you will need to take an early morning ferry, and other than surf, there is nothing here. So why bother? Well, this is the longest wave in the Canary Islands.
During summer, this is the place for beginners to take some lessons on the soft beach break. However, when winter comes, this beach can produce some very nice A-frame waves for advanced surfers as well.
This is the spot for the crazy ones, who are after some challenge. When a big swell comes this beach turns into a massive slab break. It is fast, hollow and dangerous. Therefore, if you are a beginner, or even an intermediate surfer who comes to surf the Canary Islands, this is not the place for you.
Surf Spots in the Island of Lanzarote
The small Island of Lanzarote is famous for its black sand beaches formed by volcanic activity. Many surfers who surfed the Canary Islands claim that Lanzarote is the best one. It is probably a matter of preference, but no doubt, the waves here are the best you can get.
These are the best breaks in Lanzarote:
This 6 KM beach strep is a perfect beginner’s spot. The waves here break softly over a sandy bottom. For that reason, many surf lessons take place here.
This wave is called by local surfers “The Canary Pipeline”. It is a pure barrel over a reef, and it is suitable for experts only.
This is a right hand point break. It requires a good swell in order to perform well, but once such swell hit, you can get here some very long rides.
In this reef break you will be able to surf both rights and lefts. It is powerful, hollow, and considered a very high quality wave. However, keep in mind that this wave is recommended for advances surfers only.
If you are new to surfing, and you are looking for beginner waves, check out our post about the best beginner surf beaches in the Canary Islands.
Surf Hotels in the Canary Islands
When coming to surf in the Canary Islands, you want to make sure you stay in the right place, which means, as close as possible to the best surf spots. These are some of the most recommended surf hotels in the Islands:
Sir Anthony, Tenerife– Featuring direct access to Camisón Beach in Tenerife’s Playa de las Américas, this stylish hotel offers a spa and an outdoor pool. Air-conditioned rooms include a balcony with ocean views and free WiFi. The rooms at Sir Anthony feature parquet floors and modern, elegant décor. Each one has a flat-screen TV, safe and minibar. There is a pillow menu and the private bathroom comes with hairdryer. Some rooms have a private plunge pool.
Seaview Famara Beach, Lanzarote– Situated in Famara, just 400 m from Famara Beach, Seaview Famara Beach features beachfront accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi. The property has mountain views and is 1.4 km from Playa San Juan and 14 km from Campesino Monument.
Agüita House, Gran Canaria– Set in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Agüita House offers beachfront accommodation a few steps from Las Canteras Beach and offers various facilities, such as barbecue facilities and a terrace. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Some units at the property feature a balcony with a sea view.
For more surf hotels in the Canary Islands check out our post about the best surf resorts in the Canary Islands, or simply look for deals on Booking.com.
Also, if you want to stay in a surf camp, visit our post about the best surf camps in the Canary Islands.
To sum up, if you want to escape the winter and get some sun and epic surf, you need to surf the Canary Islands. It doesn’t matter which Island you choose, they all produce amazing waves for any kind of surfer. With such diversity of beaches and breaks, you are guaranteed to get an incredible surf trip.
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Have an awesome day!