Sunshine, shallow reefs, and an oceanic swell: the perfect surf combination. Add to that mild water temperatures (17-24°C), plenty of flight connections and a well-developed tourist infrastructure, and it’s easy to see why Fuerteventura is Europe’s winter surf destination.

A surfer in action at La Pared, Fuerteventura
A surfer in action at La Pared, Fuerteventura
There are a large number of surf schools up and down the island offering group classes, accommodation, private lessons and equipment hire. Corrralejo, El Cotillo and Costa Calma have the most surf schools and rental shops, though those staying in Costa Calma will need to travel across to La Pared on the west coast to find decent waves. Lajares, though 7km from the sea, has a large resident Surf community, as it is situated roughly equidistant to the reef breaks on the North Shore as well as Corralejo and El Cotillo.

Surfing follows almost the opposite calendar to the kite and windsurfers, with Autumn and Winter offering the best conditions for serious surfers. This doesn’t mean you can’t surf in the summer, just that the waves are a little less consistent. On the plus side, water temperatures are at their best between July to October. The Trade Winds (NE) also start to blow in the Spring and Summer which not only blow out the North-westerly swells but also bring with it, the kite and windsurfers. Luckily, Fuerteventura has so many large beaches, that the overlap of surfing sports does not appear to be an issue.

Corralejo is the surfing capital of the island and has the vibe to match. If you are looking to surf in the day and party at night, this is the place to stay. Surf areas around Corralejo include Flag Beach, Glassbeach (El Burro), Majanicho, El Hierro and Rocky Point (Punta Helena).

Further to the west the dusty coastal village of El Cotillo has a more chilled feel than Corralejo. The main surfer’s beach of Cotillo is just south of the town, with kite surfers tending to head to the southern part of the beach. Further on again, is the less-frequented Playa Esquinzo (not to be confused with the other Esquinzo in the South of the island).

Playa Blanca just south of Puerto del Rosario tends to be frequented by locals and can get quite crowded.

Loved by surfers, on the south west of the island is the community of La Pared. This is great for beginners thanks to long sandy beaches, though the rips can be really strong and Northerly winds head in by the afternoon.

Cofete is a remote jewel of a beach, but is very much weather and transport dependent: you really need a 4×4 vehicle to drive on the unsealed, but graded dirt road through the mountains from Morro Jable – this is a long day trip; especially if you are coming from the north.

There are many great surf locations in Fuerteventura. But be aware that there are many sharp and shallow reefs – a number of which should not be attempted by beginners. However, there are plenty of sandy places to learn the basics without leaving half your back on a rocky reef. If you are unsure, just ask at the surf hire shops, they are usually very friendly and happy to help.