Fuerteventura (Canary Islands, Spain)
Fuerteventura is a mecca for Windsurfers & kitesurfers with warm turquoise blue water and year-round reliable wind.
Fuerteventura is a 100kms (60 miles) long island situated amongst the Canary Islands. It is located about 100kms west of Morocco in north west Africa, and is the second largest of the islands and the most easterly situated.
Fuerteventura is blessed with the warmest weather of any European country, with winter temperatures rarely falling below 20 degrees centigrade, year round sunshine, and most importantly, plenty of wind. Indeed, the translation of its name into English reads ‘strong wind’! It offers some of the most reliable windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions in Europe. The water is also very clear with a beautiful turquoise colour at many of the beaches.
The island itself is the least developed of the Canary Islands. It is arid, with vast sand dunes and volcanic scenery within the interior. The west of the island consists of rugged and rocky coastline, battered by the swells from the Atlantic Ocean. The east coast has vast long sandy beaches, and is very much more protected. It is this side where most of the popular kitesurf and windsurf locations are found.
The island is easily accessible from the major European cities with flight times about four hours in duration. As there are so many flights, there is a lot of competition amongst the airlines and flights can be found relatively cheaply.
The islands attract a lot of northern Europeans searching for sun on package holidays. Therefore there is an abundance of accommodation for all budgets. There are two main areas where the tourist resorts are concentrated, of which the most developed is Corralejo in the north, followed by Costa Calma which is located in the south on the east coast.
Car hire is also cheap compared to other top wind and kite locations.
The winds are the most reliable between April and October, particularly between June and August when there is a 90% chance for wind over 15 knots (force 4 beaufort).
- Year round sunshine and warmth
- Reliable winds
- Great kitesurfing and windsurfing locations
- Some of the best equipped kite and wind centres in the world.
- Wide range of accommodation
- Many sporting options
- Spanish Culture
Sailing Locations in Fuerteventura
The island has two main areas for wind and kite surfing, the Corralejo area in the north, and the Costa Calma/Sotovento area to the south of the island and on the east coast. During the windiest summer months between June and August, the winds in the north are generally between 20 - 30 knots, where on the same day in the south they could be 30 – 40 knots.
Flag Beach and Cotillo are the two popular locations in the north. Flag Beach is a huge sandy beach that is very popular in the summer months with both wind and kite surfers. It is only 2kms from the hotels and other accommodation of Corralejo, and therefore very easy to get to. It is ideal for both intermediates and advanced kiters and windsurfers.
Cotillo is the wave spot in the north of the island, and although gustier than Flag Beach, there are almost always waves. There is also a lagoon for teaching windsurfing, where a number of windsurfing schools drive the 20 mins from Corralejo or Flag Beach with their students.
If the wind is funnelling from the NW between the Corralejo and the small island of Lobos just a couple of kilometres out, sailing from the main beach near the harbour at Corralejo is a blast! There are several windsurfing & kiting centres in Corralejo however we used Ventura Surf as it is located right at the launching area and they have some reasonably good gear.
See more information about Corralejo here.
Costa Calma is the second largest tourist hub after Corralejo. With all the hotels and busy nightlife, there is also an excellent beach for wind and kiting. There are a number of kite centres, as well as an Ion–club windsurfing centre.
Matas Blancas is a beach with very flat water ideal for both kiting and windsurfing, and is 3kms north of the main beach at Costa Calma. The location has been selected for the Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge such is the flat water. Matas Bay Watersports hire both kiteing and windsurfing gear.
Sotavanto is a legendary location, with the Rene Egli Windsurfing Centre and Rene Egli Kitesurfing Centre being the largest in the world. Famous for its howling cross offshore winds, the water can be anything from flat to two meter high waves. Entry level kiters and windsurfers learn the basics on a large protected lagoon that fills with water at high tide, whilst those that are more advanced launch from the beach onto the open sea. Each August the Windsurfing and Kitesurfing world cup comes to Sotovento for freestyle and racing.
Risco del Paso
The beach at Risco del Paso is essentially that of Sotovento, but 3 kms further south. It is suited to both kiting and windsurfing of all levels, and is quieter and arguably more beautiful, with conditions similar to Sotovento.
Best Sailing Season
All year round! In April to October there is a 60% chance of wind over 15 knots (force 4 beaufort), with an 80% to 90% chance in June to August. During the remaining winter and spring months there is a 50% chance of wind, and considering that the air temperature remains above 20 degrees, makes Fuerteventura very attractive for winter windsurfing and kiting. The table below illustrates the percentage days of winds 15 knots or more.
MONTH JAN FEB MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JUL AUGUST SEVEN OCT NOV DEC Wind 40 40 50 60 75 80 90 90 65 65 50 50 Air 21 21 21 23 25 25 25 27 26 26 23 23 Water 19 19 19 20 20 20 21 22 22 21 20 20
Types of Windsurfing and Kitesurfing
- Beginner sheltered flat water lagoons
- Flat water/small chop freeride
- Flat water/small chop freestyle
- Flat water small chop slalom windsurfing
- Wave riding entry level
- Wave riding advanced
- Beginners – windsurfing and kitesurfing in protected locations
- World Class – Both the kitesurfing and windsurfing world cup come to visit Fuerteventura annually
Getting to Fuerteventura
All flights enter in Puerto Rosario Airport which is located about 25 minutes' drive south of Coralejo.
There are too numerous airlines that fly to Fuerteventura to mention.
There are also two other options to getting to Fuerteventura from European destinations
1) Via Lanzarote
a) Take a direct flight to Lanzarote and then another flight to Fuerteventura
b) Take a direct flight to Lanzarote, and then take a local 1-hour bus ride to the ferry port at Playa Blanca. There is a 25 minute ferry that passes Lobos island to Corralejo, Fuerteventura. This option allows you to see some of Lanzarote as well as enjoy the views of Lobos.
2) Via Gran Canaria
a) Take a flight to Gran Canaria and then another to Fuerteventura
b) Take a ferry from Gran Canaria to Morro Jable or Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura. This is quite a long journey.
Fuerteventura Activities & Culture
The attraction of Fuerteventura as a holiday destination does not extend only to its world class conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing. there are some fabulous sightseeing tours and activities for down-days or for non-sailing family members.
The island can be explored by all sorts of different 4wd offroad vehicles, with excursions operated by numerous tour companies. There are also boat trips that can take you exploring around the waters surrounding the island.
• Stand Up Paddle boarding
• Glass bottom boat tours
• Water Park
• Sunset sailing yacht cruises
• Lobos Island ferry cruises and snorkelling
• Day ferry trips to Lanzarote
Other Activities – non water
• Land sailing
• Land Kiting
• Road Cycling
• Electric E-bike cycling
• Four wheel drive offroading
• Quad buggy and Dune Buggy tours offroad
• Annual carnivals in February/March
• Music and eating
• Explore the beautiful Parque Natural de Corralejo, with the rolling dunes and stunning views looking over the sea to Los Lobos
- One of the top things to do in Costa Calma beyond kiting & windsurfing is scuba diving. Dive Pro Fuerte is a PADI dive operation offering a range of PADI dive course as well as guided dives around the island of Fuerteventura. The warm, turquoise blue waters of Fuerteventura have an abundance of sea life including turtles and spotted stingrays Read more...
Fuerteventura Travel Tips
You won’t need a visa if you’re staying for less than three months on a six-months interval, and you have nationality from any EU country or one of the following:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Chipre, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lithonia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Czech Republic, Korea, Romania, San Marino, Santa Sede, Singapur, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Macao.
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. This applies to the whole of Spain, including the Canary Islands. .
Staying for longer than 3 months:
If you’re planning to stay in the Canary Islands for longer than 3 months you must register in person at the nearest Office for Foreigners (Oficina de Extranjeros) which is normally part of the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), or at designated Police stations.
European Health Card
This document replaces the old E-111 form. With this document you have the right to receive free medical assistance in every country within the European Union. This is valid for one year counting on the date you obtain it. To request this document you should present you medical card at your local Social Services.
You can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in the Canary Islands, so talk to your doctor to see if the hepatitis A vaccine is right for you. Rabies is present in bats in the Canary Islands. However, it is not a major risk to most travellers.
Fuerteventura has 3G and 4G mobile coverage which can be accessed from most phones.
As Fuerteventura is part of Spain, it therefore counts as part of the EU for allowing UK and other European allowances for roaming in the EU.
You could also get a local phone number and the option of taking out a mobile Internet package.
Hotels provide WiFi which is accessible from the rooms. There is usually no extra charge. Many bars and restaurants now also provide guest Wi-Fi services good enough for you to check messages and emails or download/upload documents.
Electrical device compatibility
In Fuerteventura the power sockets are of the two pin type C. A power plug converter will be required to plug in your device if it has a different socket. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Appliances that have voltages ranging from 220V to 240V will be compatible.
There is car rental available from Puerto del Rosario airport
Spanish is the language of Fuerteventura. However, English is widely spoken in the tourist areas, as well German in the wind and kite hire centres.
All year round! In April to October there is a 60% chance of wind over 15 knots (force 4 beaufort), with an 80% to 90% chance in June to August. During the remaining winter and spring months there is a 50% chance of wind.
The summer air temperatures range from 25 to 27 degrees celcius, and winter from 21 to 22.
Transporting gear to/and domestically
Windsurfing and kiting gear can be taken on a number of airlines. However, airlines are getting ever stricter on the carrying of equipment, so check carefully the latest sports equipment carrying options with each airline.
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