The Ultimate Guide to Corralejo Surf

by Surf Atlas

Corralejo surf is the piece de resistance of Fuerteventura. Come to find a good set of beach breaks in a traditional Canarian town, along with a host of hidden spots stringing along the east coast of the island and beyond.

Corralejo surf

Corralejo surf at a glance

The good:

  • Great for beginners – lots of surf schools
  • Beautiful beaches in the area for when you’re not surfing
  • Good after-surf scene

The bad:

  • Can be windy
  • Beautiful beaches in the area for when you’re not surfing
  • Pros might get bored because of summer flat days

An introduction to Corralejo surf

We think Corralejo is best viewed as a gateway to the whole of the island of Fuerteventura. Yes, there are surf spots right on the doorstep, but it would be a shame not to pack up the board and venture out to everything else that’s on offer here (it’s one of the best Canaries for wave riding, no questions).

The Corralejo surf options that are within reach of the town are the mainstay breaks of the Fuerta east coast. They string along miles and miles of beachfront within the jaw-dropping Corralejo Natural Park. The locals call this area the Grandes Playas and it’s riddled with fun beach breaks and little reef point breaks to suit a mix of levels.

Atlantic weather systems dictate that N-NE winds are the best on Corralejo’s corner of the island, which predominantly swing by in the summer months. If you’re holidaying between May and August, that could mean flat days. Don’t despair. El Cotillo – out on the west side of the isle – and the separate Isla de Lobos have more consistent surf. Corralejo iswithin easy reach of both by ferry or car.

As a town, Corralejo has plenty of life. Whitewashed Spanish casitas and salt-washed fishing shacks still roll down to the harbour. There are quaint tapas bars with al fresco tables overlooking the ocean. You’ll see bobbing boats and palm-speckled promenades. It’s just an all-round lovely place to base a Fuerteventura surf holiday.

Where is Corralejo?

Corralejo sits on the far north-eastern side of Fuerteventura. The town hugs a sort of natural harbour that looks over a narrow strait to the small Isla de Lobos. The smaller Canary Island of Lanzarote is situated to the north. Meanwhile, the main FV-1 roadway (the main roadway on the whole of Fuerta) runs southwards, linking up lots of the top Corralejo surf spots and, eventually, the airport past Puerto del Rosario.

Corralejo surf waves

A guide to the best surf spots in Corralejo

El Bajo Medio Beach

Intermediate+

Point break

The closest surf spot of all to Corralejo proper, El Bajo Medio breaks on the bay just south of the town. It only really works on heavy N swells (so it’s one to watch in the height of the winter). It’s a pretty fun right-hand wall that can get hollow on sections when it works. El Bajo also includes a left that’s harder to reach on the paddle out but is a cruisy longboard spot that can rival any on the island. Downsides here include big line ups (most other places will be blown out when Bajo is working, remember and reef bottom).

Flag Beach

Beginner/Intermediate

Beach break

Flag beach is one of the first ports of call for surf schools in Corralejo. It’s a couple of kilometres to the south of the town, but still easy to access. The main problem here is wind. Kiteboarders won’t complain but if it’s just you and the fibreglass a lot can be blown out. Winter is best when the prevailing offshores kick in. Also – wear booties! The ground is rocky and quite sharp at points.

Playa Los Matos

Beach break

Intermediates

So long as you can judge a rip and check the tide, there’s a chance you’ll catch a wave down on this section of the Grande Playas. Generally speaking, this area is less busy than the options closer to Corralejo town. Mix reef and sand bottom with stunning views of Los Lobos in the distance.

El Burro

Beginner/Intermediate

Beach break

Lending itself mainly towards improving beginners, but also decent for intermediates on a bigger day, El Burro (also called Glass Beach) is a great spot at the end of the Grande Playas strip. The great thing here is that easterly kick up some decent waves in the summer months, so it’s a regular with Corralejo surf schools and surf guides. The wave itself is a wedge with left and right sections, although the left is the longer and main ride. Best on a lower tide. Always watch out for the reef underfoot.

Playa del Moro

Beginner

Beach break

One of the best-known spots on any surf map Fuerteventura can muster, Playa del Moro brings us right to the end of the main beach strip south of Corralejo. Needs big N-NW swells to get kicking, so winter is usually flat. Summer it’s a hubbub of surf schools who enjoy the little chest-high breakers with their lefts and rights and lots of whitewash. Few hazards underfoot and a gorgeous view to the north-east looking over the Isla Lobos. Basically, if you’re starting out surfing in Fuerteventura, this one’s a great pick!

Los Lobos

Pros only

Point break

Pros on the search for a little surf guiding Fuerteventura style might want to ask about Los Lobos. It’s easily the most challenging break in the region, but boy is it worth it if you’ve got what it takes. The day will start with a ferry over to the Isla Lobos from Corralejo (they go a couple of times each morning and get you there around 10am). Then, you make for a paddle out at a point on the north-west side of the island. That’s the take off for what’s considered the longest wave in the Canaries. It can run for half a km or more down the side of the isle. Sectiony and very fast with parts that wall and barrel. Again: Pros only!

El Cotillo

Beach break

Beginner-Pro (depending on the season)

There’s some serious moxie in this beach break on the far western edge of Fuerta. It stretches southward from the (rather pretty) town of the same name to offer a series of welcoming peaks that are typically waist to chest high in the summer months. So, it’s hardly a wonder that oodles of surf schools make their way over to give lessons. Winter swells might be more inviting to more advanced riders but rips do occur because of shifting sandbanks.

Waves near Corralejo

Where to stay for Corralejo surfing

Corralejo Surfing Colors Hotel&Apartments ($$)

Close to the heart of the town but also near the main surf beaches of the Grand Playas, this lovely hotel has its own outdoor pool. It’s got rooms suited to both couples and families, along with a gorgeous sun terrace. The best part? There’s surf rental available right on site!
Booking.com

Apartamentos Dunas Club ($$)

You can hardly get closer to the sea than at this stunning set of apartments. Some of the doors open onto sweeping views of Atlantic blue. From the studios to the multi-room suites, each option gets a spacious living area and kitchen facilities. The attached club also offers access to the swimming pool and a pool bar. The beaches for surfing are accessible a little to the south.

Booking.com

AVANTI Lifestyle Hotel – Only Adults ($$$)

Luxury ahoy. Sunbeds overlooking the ocean. Walking access to the beaches. Excellent tavernas on the doorstep. Deluxe suites done in a sort of Greek-Spainish mashup. Oh, and hot tubs on the roof. Nice.

Booking.com

A guide to the Corralejo surf season

The good news is that there’s usually waves in Corralejo all year round. You only need to take a glance at the orientation of the surf beaches Fuerteventura has to see that some face west, some face east, others point north and south. That means there’s usually a swell direction that’s working. As a general guide:

Summer (May-August)

Summer swells tend to be smaller and more manageable across the whole island of Fuerteventura. Trade winds coming from across the Atlantic out of Africa kick into action, creating steady streams of swell in the N-NE direction. That’s why the Grande Playas beaches directly south of Corralejo are at their best in this season. Meanwhile, the protected beach breaks of Cotillo on the west coast get way smaller and more suited to beginner schools.

One warning for pros: Summer might be great for starters and improvers, but there are flat days. If you’ve been drawn to this corner of the Canaries by the promise of seeing Europe’s Hawaii in action, it’s not the time of year to do it. Hold off for the powerful northerlies of winter instead.

High summer surfing

Winter (October-March)

The winter months are actually considered the high season in the Canary Islands. Pleasant daytime temperatures in the 20s and hardly a speck of rain mean that the Spanish archipelago is a doozy for snowbirds fleeing the mainland Europe winter. It’s also a great time to plan a Fuerteventura surf holiday if you’re a seasoned surfer.

The reason? The winter gets good dominant swells from the North Atlantic. The winds, meanwhile, switch to southerlies, relieving the onshores on both coasts of Fuerteventura and adding a little extra shape to the waves. The ocean can be a tad cooler, so we’d usually recommend a 3/2mm for this time of year. Locals will often wear shorties throughout.

Summer surfing

Surf shops in Corralejo

Because Corralejo is one of the main points on the surf map Fuerteventura, it’s hardly a surprise that there are plenty of places to bag some gear. A few of the top picks would be:

Paradise Surf

On the north side of Corralejo’s downtown is the excellent surf emporium of Paradise Surf. Visitors are greeted with several racks of fibre and epoxy boards that go from high-volume to nifty fish-tail shorties. Sandals, flipflops, boardshorts, rash vests – the whole lot is there. Pretty nice selection of surf wear to boot!

Homegrown Surfshop

Funky colours and funky folk await at the Homegrown Surfshop. Honestly, the spot looks more like a jerk shack on Jamaica than an outlet for gear and surf lessons – check out that mural of waves and hibiscus out front! Inside it’s wall to wall with gear. Home-printed surf tops and aloha bags all stack up next to skate gear and some crazy tie-dye boards. Cracking place.

Where to eat in Corralejo

Casa Manolo ($$)

Once you’re done with the Corralejo surf, why not reward yourself with a hearty meal that’s real Canaries. Cue Casa Manolo. This lovely little joint just back from the promenade serves spicy rice and potato croquettes, huge steaks and uber-fresh seafood. Still, it’s the family service that really makes it what it is!

Citrus Surf Café ($)

Start or end a day on the waves at Citrus Surf Café – both are a doozy (although it’s not for dawnies with that 11am opening time!). Fare is filling and casual. We’re talking big burgers with chips and Tex-Mex. In the earlier hours are some great breakfast deals that offer coffee and croissant at speed. Limited outdoor seating.

Things to do when you’re not surfing in Corralejo

There are loads of ways to break up your Fuerteventura surf holiday. In Corralejo, you’ve got shimmering beaches (some of the best in the Canaries) and rugged mountains. Take a look at what to do when the waves aren’t pumping…

Isla de los Lobos

Regular boats leave for the Isla de los Lobos each morning. Aside from being the home of one of the most gnarly Corralejo surf spots of all (see above), it’s a beautiful place to explore for the day. Hiking trails crisscross the entire isle and you can discover some azure natural rock pools next to isolated lighthouses. Pretty cool stuff.

Isla Lobos

The beaches in El Cotillo

Corralejo has its own top beaches, true. However, they tend to be among the most popular on Fuerteventura. To escape the crowds and see something special, head over to El Cotillo. It’s a small whitewashed clutch of tavernas and cottages in the west. And boy does it have some beaches! The best of them are right in the town centre, sporting cotton-white sand and water that’s pure turquoise blue.

El Cotillo

We’re always looking for more info on the Corralejo surf and lifestyle. If you want to add anything to this guide or think we’ve got anything wrong – be sure to get in touch!

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