Surfing on the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of Africa. Made up of seven large islands and some smaller islands, the Canaries offer tourists of all kinds an exciting and relaxing holiday.
The individual islands have distinct landscapes and vegetation. The eastern islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote have very sparse vegetation and a rugged, desert-style landscape. Gran Canaria and Tenerife are much more lush and covered in green. Thanks to good ferry connections, visitors can explore multiple islands.
The Canaries are the ideal destination for a beach and sports holiday because of consistently excellent weather and reef breaks that will keep surfers active.
The Canary Islands experience an eternal state of spring. The change in temperature over the year does not vary by more than 6 degrees. The monthly average temperature is between 18-24 degrees. This mild and subtropical climate is a result of the Canaries’ geographic location.
The diverse landscape consisting of high snow covered mountains close to exquisite beaches is a further plus. La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canary are known for their occasional tropical rainfall, whereas Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are extremely dry and guarantee non-stop sunshine.
The rainiest time of year is in winter, although there are usually only an average of 8 rainy days per month.
Lots of surfers come to the Canary Islands each year to take advantage of the fantastic wave conditions.
Because this is a prime surf destination, there are many spots that have become too popular and overcrowded. Some locals may even be unwelcoming to foreign surfers at some locations. In reality, there are more than enough spots on the islands for everyone to surf without problems. You will mainly encounter reef breaks as well as some waves that will roll over sandbanks.
The winter season, lasting from September until May, is the best time for surfing as the water is warm at around 18-20 degrees and there are powerful winter swells.
All major European airports have regular flights to Gran Canary, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Palma.
Deals from charter airlines and low budget airlines vary depending on the season. There is only one direct ferry route from the Spanish mainland to the Canary Islands. This operates once a week from Cadiz in the south of Spain to Tenerife, which takes approximately 22 hours. Multiple ferries operate between the individual islands several times a day making island hopping easy.
The two Canary Islands with the highest population are Tenerife and Gran Canary, which are ferry hubs. While the ferries are quite reliable and delays rare, they are operated by different companies so there is no standard timetable. Ferries typically depart from the harbour areas as opposed to the inland cities. There is an abundance of taxis and buses on the islands.