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Surfing Fuerteventura, and why it could be the right place for you this winter.
The days are short, the weather grey, and going out feels not the same anymore. Well…maybe it still does, but we’re just getting older. We don’t feel like spending all our money in drinks, and the few days off from work, in bed the next day. Reason enough to swap your winter jacket for a wetsuit, and to get away for a few days.
As I told you in my last winter get-away, Morocco or Senegal could be a good option, but last Christmas, I decided to find out about surfing Fuerteventura.
The Canary Islands are easy and quick to get to, from various places all over Europe. Wake up at home, train, plane, watch a movie, rental car, and before it gets dark, you’ve had already your first surf session.
It isn’t Africa, but only around 120 Km into the Atlantic Ocean from the winter surf destinations I talked about last time. And the flights are often much cheaper. Rental cars don’t cost much, and my chosen place to stay, Planet Surf Camps in Coralejo, was surprisingly cheap too.
It was my first time surfing Fuerteventura, so I decided to see the South as well. Many of the surf spots down South are far apart, and you spend a lot of time driving. Some of them are great with small swells, other only with really big swells, but with medium swells, it’s kind of difficult to find the right place to surf. I don’t say you can’t, I’m only saying it isn’t all that easy.
The South feels unbelievably touristy. Many of those “tourists” are actually residents, who moved here from Germany 20 years ago or longer. And sadly, most of them don’t speak any Spanish! But they DO speak German with such a taken-for-grantedness that it hurts!
The North feels touristy too, but in a somehow different way. I liked it straight away. The new Surf House of Planet Surf Camps is right in the center of town. It’s only a two minutes walk to the supermarket, and a few more minutes down to the beach. There you’ll find perfect little waves for Stand-Up Paddelboarding, as well as some beach-bars and restaurants. If you keep walking around the edge of the reef, you’ll reach within minutes “Rocky point”. It’s a relatively easy wave over a lava shelf. It’s always crowded, but still a lot of fun. (Check the cover picture. It’s Rocky Point in front, plus Los Lobos and Lanzarote in the background, as seen from the center of town).
The small island of “Los Lobos” is worth a trip as well. If during your stay on Fuerteventura a big West swell comes in,
Los Lobos provides one of the longest and best righthander in Europe.
You can take a ferry to get over there, but make sure to bring a big board, and a set of big balls, to ride the fast barrels!
If this is too much for you, just keep walking along the beach after rocky point. And as soon as the coastline bends, and the actual East coast starts, the waves are getting much smaller and friendlier. There are some reefs and beaches, inviting intermediate surfers to improve their skills, without too many other people or hustle.
North Shore! Sounds heavy! I’ve never been to Hawaii, but North Shore has something colossal in its name!
Europe’s North Shore is around 20km long, and has everything to get you excited! Surfing Fuerteventura raw!
Lefts, rights, mellow, or heavy, and everything in between. Along the whole coast is a fairly bad gravel road, with which you’ll torture your rental car many times. Most of the spots are only good with a certain tide, or wind. As soon as it changes, you have to find a bay that faces another direction and where it blows off shore. But this makes this stretch of coastline so unique. Countless bays and reefs, that absorb the raw power of the North Atlantic in such a diverse way.
But it would off course not be the “North Shore” if it wasn’t crowded.
The best known and easiest surf spots are packed with surf schools and beginners, while the heavy waves are dominated by the locals. But most everything in between is waiting to be discovered and surfed by you.
This is where local knowledge comes into play. Something that is worth a lot here, but hasn’t to be expensive. If you get to know some of the local surfers, they probable share their wisdom of tides, winds and swell directions with you. Otherwise your surf-teacher/guide certainly will.
Surf different breaks with crystal clear water every day. Eat delicious tapas and fish at night, while you drink good and cheap beer and wine, before you go to bed early, to do the same thing again the next day. The same thing, just a little bit better.
So… If you have a few days off this winter, find a cheap flight to Fuerteventura and make sure to book a rental car. Most of the breaks are relatively close together, but difficult to get to if you don’t have a car. Or if you don’t feel confident enough, go to a surf school or take a surf guide. They can drive you to the best surf spots on every given day, and make sure the tide is right. There are many different schools and guides in Coralejo and around. But check out the page of Planet Surf Camps. I really liked their house. And their prices are often hard to beat. Most of the guests in Planet Surf Camps are relatively young, and not afraid to party hard at night. A good place not only to surf, but to meet other people, and have a great time in and out of the water. And if you feel like you really want to make to most out of your surf-time here, go to bed early (as I usually do ) and wake up while everyone else in the house is still asleep.
Make sure you’re fit, and make sure you know what you’re doing when you get into the water. Even if it looks small, this here is real Atlantic power in wintertime. The waves, rips and currents might be stronger than they look.
But enough of telling you what to do! Only one last thing…
Enjoy your time, enjoy the food and wine, surf as much as you can, and if you can’t no more, or have to celebrate the best wave of your life, you’ll find enough people to have a big night out in Coralejo.