Home Europe Spain The 5 Best Fuerteventura Surf Spots For Beginners

The 5 Best Fuerteventura Surf Spots For Beginners

Fuerteventura surf spots for beginners
Photo by Paul Treubrodt/Unsplash

This guide to the top Fuerteventura surf spots for beginners will scour the whole island – the second largest in the whole Canaries chain, no less – with the hope of revealing the best places to sample the sport of surfing in these balmy, sun-kissed waters. It’s got five key beaches and breaks to watch out for, offering some of the more mellow waves on an island that’s got all sorts, from chilled longboard breaks to crashing gun bombs for the XXL crew.

We’ve managed to pick out five that are up there with the crème-de-la-crème of learner surf beaches in the whole of the Canary Islands. They are beaches that aren’t only easily accessible but also places that do well to tame that dominant NW and W swell off the vast Atlantic Ocean into something a little more forgiving for first-time riders.

Remember that the best time to surf in Fuerteventura as a learner is during the summer months between May and August. Yes, it’s hotter then, but you’ll probably find that the windswells that originate in Africa offer plenty in the way of smaller waves, while good offshore conditions on the west coast help to shape up the beaches of del Castillo and Playa del Aljibe de la Cueva.

Playa del Castillo – probably the most famous of all Fuerteventura surf spots for beginners

Fuerteventura beaches
Photo by Michael Baccin/Unsplash

Playa del Castillo is probably the jewel in the crown of the beginner surf in Fuerteventura. It sits under the cliffs just below the town of El Cotillo, which has really established itself as the top place to go to learn to surf on this Canary. It’s a little like Caleta de Famara up on nearby Lanzarote. There’s a good exposure to W and NW swells, along with a wide sweep of sand that means you should have lots of room to spread out.

The main downside here is that things can get busy, particularly in the high season months of midwinter, when surf schools will be making the most of the stronger swells. That said, early morning sessions can help you avoid the crowds and get you back to the main plaza for that morning coffee and pastry by 9am if you play it right.

The wave here is a beach break that can get pretty big on heavy winter days. When it’s larger there’s a tendency to close out. Smaller days – when it’s chest high or even waist high – means there’s more of a chance that the offshore easterlies will keep it all in shape and offer up those glassy noserider longboard waves that the Canaries get in the brochures for.

Don’t be surprised to be shuttled this way if you sign up to a surf camp on Fuerteventura. This is one of the most common stomping grounds of crews looking for waves untainted by localism. The upshot? The vibes are usually pretty nice in the water and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about irritating a Canarian ripper.

Flag Beach

A wave in Fuerteventura
Photo by Chris Bemmerl/Unsplash

Flag Beach is perhaps best known as the top place on all of Fuerteventura, and arguably in the Canaries as a whole, to get on the kiteboard. It picks up very good N and E wind directions, from both the mid-Atlantic and Africa, helping to keep folk whizzing across the turquoise waters of the big bay.

The spot is located just south of the town of Corralejo. That’s good news on the hotel front, because that’s the spot with arguably the biggest array of accommodation options on the whole island. You can pick low-cost hostels, fun-filled surf camps that offer on-site board rental and whatnot, and a whole bunch of family hotels. Whichever you opt for, Flag Beach will be about a 10-minute drive down the shoreline.

The beach itself is usually pretty calm. Throughout the summer season, it hardly gets a breath of groundswell, mainly thanks to the shadow that’s cast by Fuerteventura itself. However, strong midsummer gusts can offer small, mushy waves created by the onshore wind swells, which can be perfect for beginners looking to sample the sport for the first time.

It is mostly sand bottomed at Flag Beach, although there are a few pockets of rough volcanic rock reef that have cut plenty of feet in their time. It’s best to wear booties for the extra protection if you’ve got them in the kit bag.

Playa del Aljibe de la Cueva

Photo by Janosch Diggelmann/Unsplash

Playa del Aljibe de la Cueva is actually just an extension of aforementioned Playa del Castillo. However, it’s worth a mention here because it’s a pretty different sort of wave, and it doesn’t get quite the same level of crowds as its next-door neighbor. The good news is that it’s still within walking distance of El Cotillo, although that will be a 30-minute romp with the fiberglass along the coastal road. So, it’s still better to have your own car if you want to get here.

The beach is narrow and small, tucked under a series of high cliffs. It’s mainly a beach break but there are pockets of reefs here and there that you’ll need to watch out for. We actually recommend a pair of surf boots if you’ve got em’ – there’s a fairly decent chance you’ll feel something underfoot after bailing at Playa del Aljibe de la Cueva.

That said, the wave itself is usually uber-mellow and very chilled. The main participants here are foam-wielding beginners, who compete for a wedgy little bump of whitewash in the middle of the bay. It’s a super-easy paddle out on small days and it’s all really for practicing the pop up – there’s no turning down the line and ripping it up at Playa del Aljibe de la Cueva. Sorry to disappoint. But you know…baby steps and all that!

El Burro

Beaches in east Fuerta
Photo by Michal Mrozek/Unsplash

El Burro is also known as Glass Beach. It’s located about a kilometer in all from the heart of the main town of Corralejo on the Grandes Playas strip that covers much of the east coast of the island. Talking of the east coast…the swell over here tends to be way more tempered than the big NW pulses that come across the Atlantic and hit the west coast, making this region pretty darn great for beginner surfers.

El Burro itself is technically a point break which sees the wave refract into a small bay off a sandbar of pebble and powder. Its main break is a left hander that peels mellow into the middle of the beach. However, there are also a few smaller shore breaks on offer for those who just want to grab some whitewash on the foam board.

One of the main pluses about coming all the way down to El Burro from Corralejo itself is that the crowds thin out a bit and you should find that you don’t need to share the beach with too many other surfers. That said, when there are big easterly winds on the charts, this beach will fill with kite surfers, and the waves can suffer big time to boot. Just try to avoid it when that happens.

Immediately behind El Burro beach is the stunning Parque Natural de Corralejo. That long sweep of undulating dunes and sand hills is a top place to explore, no matter if you’re traveling with the board in tow or not.

El Cotillo Beach

Beaches of Fuerteventura
Photo by Michal Mrozek/Unsplash

We’ll cut straight to the chase – there’s hardly ever any proper surf in the conch-shell bays of El Cotillo Beach. This one’s the urban beach of the town of the same name. It strings up the far northwestern shoreline of the island in a run of horseshoe sands that are famed for their white hues and impossibly turquoise waters.

It’s pretty stunning stuff, but when it comes to surf…this really is for the groms only. And we’re not talking groms that can rip either. We’re talking the groms who want to splash around on light little shore break rollers with a bodyboard in hand, because there’s really not much more than that on offer. Still, it’s a good one for the families made up of parents who crave a sunbathe and the little ones that crave a wave or two (albeit minuscule ones!)

On the plus side, the main center of El Cotillo is right behind. There are cabanas on the beach for romantic sunset viewing there, along with all sorts of Canarian restaurants that serve mojo sauces and salt-bake potatoes. It’s a lovely town, and also the hub of the surf culture of the island, which means there’s always somewhere to go when you want to up your game a little!

Fuerteventura surf spots for beginners – our verdict

This guide to Fuerteventura surf spots for beginners reveals just five of the top spots to hit the waves on this isle at the eastern end of the Canaries. They are the best places to try your hand at wave riding if you’ve not yet done it, either because they’re accessible and often used by the local surf schools or because they tend to pick up more relaxed swells than other places on the isle. Whichever you choose, be sure to pack a decent wetsuit (though it doesn’t have to be too thick!) and always check the surf forecast before paddling out!

Is Fuerteventura good for surfing?

It sure is. Fuerteventura has clear waters and great year-round swell. It has surf spots for pros, which lie right alongside Fuerteventura surf spots for beginners with mellower waves for all levels.

What’s the best season in Fuerteventura?

Fuerteventura usually gets quite busy around the Christmas period, when people head south to the Canaries in search of some mid-winter sun. However, the best time for hitting the surf as a learner is probably the summer, when the waves are generally smaller and less challenging.