The best 13 surf spots in the Canary Islands
Vacation break with a wave break!
Surfing in the Canary Islands is a must for water sports lovers! If you’re planning a surfing trip to the archipelago, discover the top 13 surf spots in the Canaries and read all the info about traveling around the island group.
In this guide, you will find out:
- Why the Canary Islands are the best for surfing?
- Best 13 surf spots in the Canaries
- Bodyboarding and kitesurfing in the Canaries
- Surfing tips for the Canary Islands
- How to get around the Canary Islands
Wooden surfboard on a sandy beach in the Canaries
Why are the Canary Islands perfect for a surfing trip?
The archipelago has ideal conditions for surfing, with great weather all year long, it has been a staple for surfers around the world since the ’70s. Temperatures rarely fall below 20°C in the coastal areas, the sun is almost always shining and the waters are warm and inviting.
The islands’ location in the Atlantic Ocean means that they are exposed to strong off-shore winds, which create some of the best surfing conditions in the world. Powerful swells generated in the North Atlantic Ocean are very common and there are more than 100 great breaks around the islands!
The diverse natural landscape of the Canary Islands means that anyone can surf there. There are perfect surf spots for beginners, as well as more demanding spots with impressive waves for pro surfers!
The famous surf spot ‘El Quemao’ in La Santa with impressive wave breaks
Best 13 surf spots in the Canaries
There’s a multitude of perfect surf spots in the Canary Islands. Each surfer has its own favorite beach and wave! We recommend that you visit as many as you can and see for yourself. Here are the best 13 surf spots in the Canary Islands, according to Ferryhoppers.
When you think about surf islands, Fuerteventura surely comes to mind! In the north alone, there are more than 20 different peaks. Whether you are in the east or the west, there are waves every day! So, read on to discover some of the best spots on the island.
- The Bubble, located in Majanicho, is a very popular spot for advanced surfers. The most impressive waves are in El Hierro Beach, where the lava reef works as a fantastic breaking point. The best time to visit this place is during weekdays.
- The Cotillo wave is one of the most popular among beginners. Although the conditions are not very consistent and can vary quite a bit, the sandy bottom of the beach makes it safe even if you fall.
- If you want to go on a day trip, you can take a 20 min water taxi from Corralejo and explore the islet of Isla de Lobos. If you are lucky enough, you will see the longest wave in the Canary Islands, reaching up to 500 meters! However, keep in mind that only experienced surfers can ride this wave.
- Close to Corralejo, you can find the wave of Punta Elena, which is ideal for intermediate surfers. The lava reef usually creates two waves with different characteristics. The first one is short and fast while the second one is longer. Depending on the weather conditions, your surfing skills, your surfboard, and most importantly, your will to ride some big waves, you can try the first one near the coast or go for the longer one further away.
Tip: avoid peak hours since some spots can get crowded.
Nice swell at the Puerto de Los Molinos in Fuerteventura
The island of Lanzarote offers some incredible places to practice surfing. In fact, it has one of the strongest surf waves in the world. With plenty of surf spots to choose from, we will share with you which are our favorite ones!
- The surf spot of El Quemao near the village of La Santa has some of the strongest waves in the world. Therefore, it is only suitable for experienced surfers and it produces strong and fast tubes. It is one of the most popular and frequented surf spots on the island, perfect for thrill-seekers that want to have fun!
- Famara beach is perfect for surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing! There are several waves, each one with particular characteristics and a sandy bottom to protect you from harsh falls. There, you can find many surf schools to take some lessons or simply rent a surfboard!
Gran Canaria is also called the “Miniature Continent” due to the different climates and the vast variety of landscapes found on the island. Waves are no exception as you can find many different types of breaks, from fast and short to long ones! So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular places to surf on the island.
- The west side of Las Canteras beach, also known as “La Cícer”, welcomes surfers from dawn till dusk. In a short distance, you can find different peaks with waves for all levels. Those who have just stepped into the new world of surfing stay on the shore, catching foam. Beginners usually head towards the wave of “Los Muellitos,” and advanced surfers prefer “El Bufo” or “El Lloret”.
- El Confital beach is just 10 minutes walking from Las Canteras, in the capital of Gran Canaria. The beach is considered on of the top surf beaches in Europe. There are strong and fast waves that break over a volcanic ledge. This spot is suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers but there are usually locals, so there can be a lot of competition to get in.
- If you are looking for a less busy spot to enjoy the silence (and the waves), you should visit the town of El Roque. It is only 15 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus from Las Palmas and it has some of the most beautiful natural pools on the island! Keep in mind that the currents are strong, so it is not a suitable place for beginners.
Tip: there are many surf clubs, hostels and camps in the Canary Islands. You can meet other surf enthusiasts, explore the best waves as a group and learn from locals!
Tenerife was one of the first places in the Canary Islands where surfing became popular back in the 1960s. There are many amazing surf spots to practice both in the south and in the north so keep reading to discover them!
- Martiánez beach is located in El Puerto de la Cruz and it is one of the few places in the north of the island where beginners can surf. There are several schools available.
- If you’re an advanced surfer, we suggest that you head towards the area of Anaga. There are several beaches such as Almáciga and Taganana that usually have strong waves and currents, as well as a rocky bottom.
- You know the saying “No waves, no glory”, right? If you are looking for challenging waves, the beach of El Socorro in the north, is the place for you. It’s one of the most popular spots on the island for surfers, with strong waves ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers.
- If you are a beginner, the southern area of Tenerife is more suitable for you. El Médano beach is the perfect spot as it has many surf camps where you can rent equipment or take surf lessons. Plus, it has very good conditions for kitesurfing so that you can try various water sports.
Kitesurfers on the beach of El Médano in Tenerife
Bodyboarding and kitesurfing in the Canaries
The Canary Islands are not only the perfect destination for surfing but also an ideal place to practice bodyboarding and kitesurfing.
Let’s begin with the island of Fuerteventura, which offers many great spots for kitesurfers. The beach of Sotavento stands out due to its impressive waves and strong winds. On the other hand, the beach of El Médano in Tenerife has the perfect conditions for practicing kitesurfing, so it’s a tough choice! The good news is that both beaches host international kitesurfing competitions.
As for bodyboarding, you can practice on the islands of Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and Tenerife. However, the best island for bodyboarding is undoubtedly Gran Canaria! The island has the best waves for this sport. The beach of El Confital has even a very “famous wave” that is perfect for bodyboarding!
Also, don’t miss the beach of El Frontón to the west of Gran Canaria. It is considered one of the best bodyboard waves internationally and it’s also the last stop in the bodyboarding world championship.
Surfing tips for the Canary Islands
Now that you know the best places to surf in the Canary Islands based on your level, read on to discover the best surf tips and useful information for surfing in the archipelago.
When can you surf in the Canary Islands?
The best period to surf in the Canary Islands is from September to April. The weather conditions are perfect and the sea is warm year-round. There are strong winds and the beaches are less busy, leaving plenty of room for exploration.
The winter months are ideal for large waves and experienced surfers, whereas during the summer, you will find some good swells, and a lot of relaxation.
Surfing for beginners in the Canaries
There are many spots for surfing amateurs in the Canary Islands. You can find surf schools and clubs to train and learn all about hitting the waves! Some of the best surf spots for beginners are: El Arenal in Tenerife, El Cotillo in Fuerteventura and Famara in Lanzarote.
Tip: make sure to always check the weather conditions, as there can be larger swells and waves occasionally.
Are there sharks in the Canary Islands?
There are only limited shark sightings in the Canary Islands. Although the archipelago is home to more than 50 species of sharks, it is quite rare for them to approach the shore.
We recommend that you stay vigilant, particularly if you’re in the open sea, but it’s perfectly safe to enjoy the waters and surf, swim or dive in the Canaries.
Waves crashing against a breakwater in Gran Canaria
How to get around the Canary Islands
The best way to get around the Canary Islands is by ferry. There are frequent ferry crossings between the islands, as well as from mainland Spain, so that you can visit the top beaches, surf at the best spots and explore the nature of each island with ease.
You can combine your surfing retreat with island hopping in the Canaries. Choose your favorite surf spots, plan your itinerary and book ferry tickets on Ferryhopper!
Here’s a list with some of the most popular routes for the Canary Islands:
- Ferry from Huelva to Lanzarote: there is 1 weekly crossing from Huelva to Lanzarote, arriving at the port of Arrecife. The route is operated by Naviera Armas and Trasmediterránea and the trip duration is around 27.5 hours.
- Ferry from Cádiz to Gran Canaria: you can get from Cádiz to Gran Canaria once a week with Naviera Armas or Trasmediterránea. The crossing takes aroun 37.5 hours including the stopovers in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
- Ferry from Tenerife to Gran Canaria: there are multiple daily crossings from Tenerife to Gran Canaria operated by Naviera Armas, Fred. Olsen Express and Trasmediterránea. The fastest ferry makes the trip in 80 min.
- Ferry from Lanzarote to Fuerteventura: you can travel from Lanzarote to Fuerteventura daily. There are around 140 weekly crossings operated by Fred. Olsen Express, Naviera Armas and Líneas Marítimas Romero and it takes between 25 and 30 minutes to reach the island of Fuerteventura.
- Ferry from Tenerife to El Hierro: there are several weekly crossings between Tenerife and El Hierro. The trip duration is about 2.5 hours and the route is normally serviced by Naviera Armas.
Tip: explore all island-hopping routes for the Canary Islands to plan your itinerary!
Waves striking the impressive lighthouse of Bajamar in Tenerife
Where to book ferry tickets to the Canary Islands?
On Ferryhopper, you can compare ferry companies, schedules and routes to plan the perfect trip to the Canaries. On our Map of ferries, you can find information on all routes for the Canaries with up-to-date fares. So, are you ready to catch some waves? Book ferry tickets on Ferryhopper with no hidden fees and enjoy the ride!