With year round sunshine, warm waters and some of the most consistent winds on the planet, a kitesurfing holiday in the Canary Islands offers conditions that are pretty close to perfect. There’s also a ready-made tourism and sports infrastructure, adding to the Canary’s already substantial kiting appeal.
Humid north-easterly trade winds batter the islands throughout the year, meaning across the archipelago there are a number of top kiting spots. The topography also means there’s a selection of sheltered beaches for beginners on the southern sides of the islands, with advanced riders enjoying the more exposed northerly parts. With so much to choose from there’s definitely a kitesurfing holiday in the Canary Islands for you.
Here’s our quick guide to five of the top kite sites, as well as a few suggestions about companies offering holidays and tuition in each destination.
Situated on the north of the island, Flag Beach consists of around seven kilometres of white sand (about three kilometres of which can be kited safely). A consistent cross shore wind and clean turquoise waters are the real draw here. Conditions are at their best between March and November, with winter months being a little choppier.
Getting here is easy, with Fuerteventura being one of the Canary’s major islands and the tourist town of Corralejo is just a few minutes from the beach. Flag Beach Watersports Center is the established kite school here and has been on Flag Beach since 1988. Initially providing windsurfing they are now a world renowned centre for kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUP, body boarding and surfing – they teach it all in 6 languages.
During the winter months wind direction is less regular and it can become quite wavy on Flag Beach, so they use a boat to ensure all courses can be taught by moving around the island to the best spot for the conditions. For piece of mind Flag Beach operates rescue facilities throughout the day in case you get in trouble. To book with Flag Beach visit their website www.flagbeach.com or contact them by email: [email protected] or phone: +34 928 866 389.
Also one of the more famous of these volcanic islands, Lanzarote is home to Lamara Beach on its north-eastern side. The six kilometres of sandy beach is best to kite – and safest for beginners – at low tide. Calima Surf Camps are based just a few yards from the beach and have been operating here since 1996.
They offer pick ups from the local accommodation centres at Costa Teguise, Puerto Del Carmen, Arrecife and others. Calima offers kite instruction or the chance to combine a kite holiday with surfing, windsurfing or yoga.
Another Fuerteventura-based holiday but this time on the south of the island. It’s a huge wide-open tropical beach where you can ride the warm shallow lagoons or head out to the deeper blue for some more bumpy action. There’s a funnel effect wind which keeps it pretty gusty all year round, plus a four kilometre sandy beach. The René Egli Windsurfing and Kitesurfing centre is located just off the beach and offers various tuition packages for all levels.
With the exception of September and October the chances of great wind conditions at El Medano on Tenerife are always well over 50%. It’s strongest in July and August, which are also the warmest months of the year here. Winds come from the north east and normally range between 10 and 30 knots. The Red Rock Surf and Kite Academy run three-day teaching courses with certified, multilingual instructors.
One of the smallest and least developed of the Canary Islands, you won’t find any big hotels or pub crawls on La Graciosa. With only 525 inhabitants the island is essentially a small national park just off the northern tip of Lanzarote. But it’s this unique identity that makes it a top, and unusual, spot for kitesurfing. Wind is funnelled down from the Los Riscos mountains, sometimes creating force eight or even nine gusts.
At just 27 km square the island is small enough to find great kite spots all along its shoreline, with the Passat trade wind is at its best between May and August. Zoco Travel is one of the few companies running camps on La Graciosa, offering the chance for a unique kitesurfing holiday in the Canary Islands.