The beaches on this gorgeous Canary Island are said to be some of the very best in Spain. Fuerteventura surf ain’t bad either, with some super-secret expert spots and more easy-going breaks for beginners.
Fuerteventura surf at a glance
- Surf spread over some seriously pretty beaches.
- Looking for a surf school in Fuerteventura is easy – there are lots!
- Nice secret spots for intermediates.
- Swell drops off in summertime.
- Can be busy at the most popular spots.
This is a part of our greater guide to surfing in Canary Islands.
What will I find in this guide to surfing Fuerteventura?
An introduction to the surf in Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura has a reputation for being the beach-lover’s Canary. That it certainly is. From the glimmering sandbanks of Sotavento Beach on the east coast to the emerald waters the Grandes Playas up north, there are oodles of stunning coastal spots. But Fuerteventura surf has also put this island in the spotlight in recent years…
There’s a lively, burgeoning surf scene with plenty of start-up schools and private instructors who simply love showing off the local breaks. You’ve got beaches and reefs with all sorts of waves, whether you’re searching for a fast peeling barrel or a technical point break. And there’s a great vibe all round, with nice bars and some enticing surf camps to boot.
Where is Fuerteventura?
Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands. Just a smidgen to the south of Lanzarote, it gazes eastwards to Africa and westwards to the rest of the Spanish islands. You can arrive straight by plane into the capital of Puerto del Rosario, which is midway down the east coast. Or, you can get a ferry across the strait from Playa Blanca.
A guide to Fuerteventura surf spots
One of the things that makes Fuerteventura one of the top surfing hotspots in the Canaries is the variety of breaks that cover its coast. There are long beaches up north that have coves with points and beach breaks for beginners. There are gnarly barrels that feel the punch of the Atlantic groundswell on the west coast. And there are hidden coves and things for others to discover.
- Beach break
The El Cotillo surf report in the summer usually reads beginner-friendly and downright fun. It’s the go-to place for most surf schools Fuerteventura has. It’s really a classic Canaries beach break: Hard work from September to March, easy-going from June to August. A-frame waves with both lefts and rights over a white sand bottom when things pick up to a metre or so. Can’t really handle more than that and can also be crowded. Gets pretty rough during winter because there are dominant N-NW swells that pull all the sandbanks to pieces. Better to wait for those to return – otherwise it’s rips and unpredictable sets.
- Rocky sand and reef
The farthest-from-town of the Grandes Playas around Corralejo, El Burro is a left-hander with a little right if you’re looking to practice. The level really depends on the wind and the size of the swell. Big days mean you might need the experience to stop yourself from bailing over the shallower sections of reef. But on smaller sets, it’s a decent place for progressing beginners and intermediates. Expect glassy, clean waves when the wind is down. Sadly, that rarely happens – strong easterly trades coming from Africa can really hack El Burro to pieces. Dodge the kitesurfers.
Playa del Morro
- Beach break
A doozy of a choice for local surf schools, Playa del Morro is a lovely looking beach break that can suit all levels. Mainly powered by wind swells that drift N-NE off Africa. That makes it a reliable choice in the summer months, without very many too-big days. Expect simple take offs with lefts and right and a lot of whitewash. The biggest problem might be the crowds during the main seasons.
- Point break over shallow reef
The western side of the small island of Los Lobos is a surfing haven. There are waves here that roll for hundreds of metres off rocky points to create some of the longest rides in all of the Canaries. They go right and can be chopped into several peaks when the summer easterly winds are pumping. When they aren’t, you might be blessed with a Los Lobos day – AKA Christmas has come early for regular-footed shortboarders who want to rip up walls of Atlantic water and drift in and out of barrels. Expect localism. And remember you’ll need to get up early for the ferry (there are no hotels on Los Lobos!).
- Volcanic reef
El Hierro is also known locally as The Bubble. You can see why. Ignore the shallow reef and you get a gliding A-frame wave that barrels beautifully to offer a capsule of water with zippy rides inside. Fast. Demanding take offs. Lots of reef. Something like that is obviously reserved for experts. However, when this one’s working – usually in the winter – there’s often a crowd of spectators to boot. Look for it smack bang in the middle of the north shore.
- Reef break
Don’t know what you’re doing? These one’s will pick you up and spew you out! Faster than you can say Las Lagunas, the waves here roll right and left over some pretty spiky reef. They can be misleading because there are nice dashes of white sand framing the lot. But don’t be fooled. This is rock underfoot the whole journey. What’s more, with stronger swells, the local slab hunters will come out. It’s really only for the weathered local.
A guide to the Fuerteventura surfing season
One of the great things about choosing this Canary to surf in is the long Fuerteventura surfing season. And by long, we mean pretty much the whole year. Yep, there’s often 365 days of waves here, not to mention plenty of sunshine and warmth to keep the wetsuits nice and thin.
October – March
Calling all big-wave hunters hitting the Spew Pits and beyond – this is the season for you! Strong groundswells originating in the out-at-ocean Atlantic storms mean there’s usually plenty of wild waves to contend with down the west coast. That filters through into the east, too, where you’ll find the Grandes Playas usually suited to intermediates. It’s still warm in the Canarian winter (it’s rarely cold here), but you’ll want to bring along at least a 3/2. We’d also recommend booties, but only because you’re more likely to be surfing the reefs in the cooler months
April – September
The lighter summer swells bring smaller waves to the western beaches. There also some strong wind swells to be had on the east coast thanks to blustery currents coming in off Africa and the Atlantic. On the whole, this is the top time for beginners to head to the sheltered bays of El Cotillo and the Grandes Playas, where the breaks will be much less hard work. That’s not to say there aren’t big days. There can be, especially towards the shoulder season months of September and early on in April.
The very best Fuerteventura surf villas and surf stays
One of the best things about surfing in Fuerteventura is the sheer wealth of accommodation options that are on the menu. Before this island was even on the radar for wave hunters, it was a popular holidaying destination. That means you’ve got all sorts, from family-sized Fuerteventura surf villas to chilled hostels close to the breaks…
Surf Riders Fuerteventura ($)
With an 8-shaped pool and a graffiti-scrawled solarium, ping-pong tables and a breezy outdoor BBQ area, Surf Riders Fuerteventura ticks all the boxes on the surf hol front. You’ll be staying and mingling with likeminded surf travellers from the start. Commenters note the good vibes and the social evenings. There’s also an on-site massage service, while the breakfast is a good way to refuel after dawn patrols on the beaches south of Corralejo. Isla Lobos is also within sight!
Corralejo Surfing Colors Hotel&Apartments ($$)
You’ll get a little extra space at these private rental apartments. Light and bright, they’re painted blue and white like a Greek cottage. The whole complex is super-close to Bristol Beach, and you can even organise surf lessons from an on-site outfitter. Each rental unit has its own kitchenette, while most have a private balcony. There’s a communal pool to boot, for those post-surf dips.
Casa Yerida ($$$)
This fully-fledged complex of Fuerteventura surf villas on the edge of the bay at El Cotillo is a great option if you want to stay just a stone’s throw from what is arguably the best beginner break on the whole island. Visitors can rent multi-room apartments that have bunk beds and doubles. There’s also a lovely pool overlooking the Atlantic. What’s more, pretty La Concha Beach is just up the road for those days you want to relax off the waves.
Surf shops in Fuerteventura
Searching for fins? Need a rash vest? Below we list some of the top-rated and most trusted surf shops on the island of Fuerteventura.
One of the original surf shops on the island is Paradise Surf. Find it – actually them (there are two locations) – nestled into the backstreets of lively Corralejo. There, it’s got stacks of goodies. Huge racks of boards both long and short adorn the back walls. There are rails and rails of surf gear from well-known brand names. There’s also one huge collection of rental boards on offer.
Riders Surf’N Bike
A mix-and-match store that serves cyclists just as much as wave riders, Riders Surf’N Bike sits on the southern end of El Cotillo. Inside are a few racks of mainly shortboards, but you can also find the basics – wax, rash vests, sun cream. Look out for the resident golden retriever.
Where to eat in Fuerteventura
L’Oca Blanca ($$$)
Sleek, Italian cooking in the heart of Corralejo makes L’Oca Blanca a standout on the Fuerteventura cooking scene. Carpaccio plates with zesty dressings meet seafood dishes and handmade ravioli to create a menu that really plays to the essence of Latin cooking. The setting is also romantic, making it the perfect spot for an evening on a Fuerteventura surf honeymoon!
H2O Juice Bar & Vegan Cafè ($)
Make a pitstop at this lovely little Vegan eatery in the main resort to get your healthy breakfast/brunch before/after hitting the waves. They’ve got a tight-knit little venue with a menu that reads poke bowls, meat-free burgers, fresh veg soups and more.
Pika Surf ($-$$)
Stacked burgers, chilled beer, and a smile with service – what more could you want? This surfer’s joint in the heart of El Cotillo is the place to be for lunch and dinner. The menu is broad and varied, with a little something for everyone, provided you don’t mind casual eating. Prices are reasonable.
Things to do when you’re not surfing in Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is a fun and enthralling place to be, whether you’ve got your sights set on the waves or not. A Mars-like landscape of volcanic cones meets sweeping bays and beaches topped by geological protrusions in this land. Oh, and there are some fun-filled resort towns for partying and chilling to boot.
Prepare to be stunned as you drop down on the eastern stretch of shoreline that’s known as Sotavento. This really is a stunning length of beachfront. Wild and gleaming white, it runs for several kilometres, past sandbanks and shallow inlets that turn the Atlantic Ocean a pale shade of Caribbean turquoise. Some areas here are fully nudist, so watch where you tread if you’re not going au natural.
Lobos isn’t only famed for its long, peeling right-handers. It’s also a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Rare creatures and plants meet on the salt-washed volcanic fields that roll in from the coast. There are some awesome hiking paths to tackle, along with lookout points and pretty little lagoons for swimming and snorkelling.
Charm oozes from the cobbled streets and white-painted churches of Betancuria. A small village on the western slopes of the island, it’s steeped in local history. In fact, the place was once the capital of the whole Kingdom of the Canary Islands. It’s got the first convent on the isle and comes wrapped in tales of Norman invaders. Expect to find lovely craft workshops making local cloth – a favourite Canarian souvenir.
How to get to Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura has its own airport: El Matorral Airport. Find it right in the middle of the east coastline, around 30-35 minutes’ drive south of the main surf resorts on the northern shores. Regular flights serve the destination, with plenty of low-cost carriers offering links from the UK. There tend to be more departures in the high seasons, which are around the midsummer and at Christmas.
How to get around Fuerteventura
The very best way to get around on your Fuerteventura surf holiday is by car. Rental companies are used to travellers bringing their boards in tow but be sure to contact them ahead of time. You might need to pay a little extra for a roof rack and a larger hire. In our experience, these are cheap – around €300 for a full month isn’t unheard of!
This The Ultimate Guide to Fuerteventura Surf is always being updated and changed. If you think we’ve missed something or gotten something wrong, we’d sure love you to get in touch. You can use email or just drop a message in the comments below.