Dublin-born and well-versed with the world’s oceans, Nicky Kelly is the founder of surf travel website Surfholidays.com
A company that are proven experts in sending surfers of all abilities to great waves and good times.
There are not many better equipped to get you inspired for your next adventure.
We’ve gotten Nicky to inform us all about Corralejo in the Canary Islands, its waves and everything else you need to know.
The question I get asked most by people wanting to go to Fuerteventura to surf is whether it is full of British & Irish bars and people on booze holidays. Over the years the Canary Islands have got a bit of a reputation for this and I can understand why, in Puerte del Carmen in Lanzarote alone there are over 60 British & Irish bars along a 3 mile stretch of road!
We all like a drink or two but sitting down for a week to watch sky sports in the sun in The Auld Times pub is not my idea of a holiday. That’s not to criticize Lanzarote as it too is one of my favourite surf destinations and outside of that strip there are some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and great surf spots.
Fuerteventura does not have the same set up as the Spanish government never marketed it as a party island. While it does have a handful of bars where you watch Sky Sports and have a fry up, the town of Corralejo has much more to offer and with its surrounding beaches on the north part of the island. It truly is one of the world’s best places to spend a week surfing.
1. Main economy- Tourism, fishing, agriculture (cereals and vegetables) Majorero goat cheese
2. Island population – 103,167 (2009). Corralejo town 13,600
3. Fuerteventura is known as the “Hawaii of Europe” for its climate and numerous surf spots
4. Corralejo pronounced “Kora-leko”
5. Corralejo is approx. 2.5 square kms in size and is at the North East corner of the island, 40 minute drive from the airport.
6. The town is made up of a main street full of shops & restaurants with roads set off from it where the different accommodation and housing are. Parallel to this road is the coastline with a harbour and two beaches with a promenade along it full of cafes and restaurants.
7. The island receives 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, and only rains for about 2 hours every week!
8. The average day temperature is 28°C in summer (20°C at night), 22°C in winter (15°C at night)
9. Sea temperature 23°C in summer, 18°C in winter.
For beginners: In the summer months the north east trade winds produce the waves on the east coast sandy beaches which are perfect for beginners.
Palya Morro aka Drop Beach – Sandy bottom beach which picks up the swell from a NE wind. Left and right hand waves, there are rip currents at either end of the beach which are clearly marked by flags. A good beach for non -surfing partners to enjoy the sunshine on!
Playa Blanca – The first beach you will see as you travel to Corralejo from the airport. Not the best looking of Fuerteventura’s beaches but does provide some good fun waves which are perfect for learning on.
El Cotillo– Can be a powerful beach break that is unforgiving, but in the summer months or on a small swell in the winter it can provide good waves for learning and improving on.
Punta Blanca aka Shark Bay -A mellow reef break on Fuerteventura’s North Shore, which is good for those looking to surf a reef break for the first time. Easy entry and nice long rides. It is more suited to longboarders and best surfed from mid tide up.
Inside La Caletas aka Boneyards – Good intermediate reef break just before the fishing village of Majanicho. Mainly left hand waves but there is a faster right…just remember to kick out before it gets too shallow! Best surfed mid to high tide.
Punta Elena aka Rocky Point or Bajo del Medio – A reef break in the bay of Corralejo, it gets big on the outside for those thrill seekers and then forms into lefts and rights on the inside. A walk over rocks to get into the action, so make sure you have your booties to hand. Good for when the North Shore is too big, best surfed mid to high tide or low tide if you’re looking to get barrelled!
The small island that can be seen 3k from Corralejo. A world class right hand point break, which is known as the “Longest right hander in Europe!” The point gives fast barrelling waves which are only for advanced surfers, whereas further down the line the take offs are a little more forgiving! Access is via ferries which run on the hour and then a walk across the island to the break or via a jet boat which will drop you at the point of your choice, the jet boat will normally pass by every 1 or 2 hours so just give a shout when you want picking up.
El Hierro– The Bubble
Probably one of the most famous waves on the Island. The Bubble is a fast Barrelling right and left hand wave, definitely not for the faint hearted! It is just past the fishing village of Majanicho, even if you don’t intend to surf the Bubble it is worth going to watch the action when the swell is pumping!
Best places to eat & drink:
On the beach: Beleten Restaurant on Waikiki beach – One of the local’s favourites which obviously makes it worth a visit. Great place to sit and enjoy a drink looking out to the sea view – Spanish & International menu including Tapas, Fish & Steak (and Pizza!)
Town and Harbour:
Citrus Surf Café – Situated just off the main street around the corner from the “corner rock bar”. The perfect place to chill after surfing. A wide variety of food with plenty of options for vegetarians or for the meat lovers the home made burgers are the top choice. John the owner has lived on the island for 20 years and has a vast knowledge of all things surfing!
Bugaloo is another great spot, a chilled out bar with a great terrace to watch the sun go down. Live music on a Tuesday and Friday.
La Taberna Restaurant (just up from the Bugaloo) is famous for their steak and fish. Miguel the owner always ensures you are well looked after and you will leave feeling like you have known him for years!
Late Night: Kiwi Bar situated in the Atlantico centre at the bottom of town, a European style bar which pumps out the tunes until the early hours! Also can’t forget Waikiki Night Club right on the beach in Corralejo. For those that literally want to stay out all night, Waikiki goes on until 6 am (sometimes later!) Not the best option if you’re planning a dawnie surf!!
A few tips…
Accommodation: There are a few large holiday complexes that offer very cheap deals but be careful as you can often end up staying in a resort with 500 plus apartments surrounding 2 or 3 swimming pools and they can often be a bit too “cheap and cheerful”. You are better off in one of the smaller places even if you pay a bit extra. The good news is that accommodation options are cheaper than mainland Europe.
Clothing: You can travel really light as it is a very casual place, no need for high heels! Swim suit gear, flip flops, a few t-shirts, shorts, pairs of jeans and a jumper or two and you will be all set. It doesn’t get too hot at night either, the sea breeze cools the island down nicely.
Water: Don’t be expecting long showers, it only rains a few hours each week so water isn’t always in large supply and you may have to wait a while between showers, as in 3 of you travelling may not be able to have long showers one after the other.