The following guest article is written by Marita. She’s 27, works as a freelance journalist at a newspaper sports desk and always looking for adventures on our planet. Especially meeting new people is what makes traveling so special. Beside that her big passion is music, loves filming and the Spanish language, sun and surfing of course. A little “too much respect” was most likely always the reason for an excuse not to surf until a friend convinced me. Since then this is what traveling is about. While researching the internet for new surf inspirations she stumbled upon wavesnbackpack and now shares her knowledge on surfing in Lanzarote. Enjoy!
Exactly there it was when I caught the desire to surf, in Lanzarote. It has always been a dream of mine, but where in Germany can you find beaches and the possibility to surf? Exactly – nowhere! After travelling many times to European destinations and especially to Spain, I thought it would be time to start something new.
I guess that almost every traveller at a certain point may ask himself: „feels like I have been everywhere and seen everything, what can excite me anymore?“ That is the problem. Travelling, if doing it often, becomes a habit and a routine. It is not that exciting anymore as it used to be. That’s where surfing comes into the game. Who begins to surf, is planning differently. The best surf destinations are now the places to go. A welcome change in life. Because what is better than living the easy going surfers lifestyle?
Easy to explain. The Canarian Island serves best for beginning surfers. You can visit the island the whole year round. In spring the temperature is already pleasant, so that you can go out with shorts and shirts. The water is still a bit fresh at that time of the year. You will need to wear your wetsuit while surfing.
How to get to Lanzarote
After you have decided to visit this beautiful island, let me show you some possibilities how to get to Lanzarote. Of course, the most convenient and quickest way to reach the island is by airplane. Many German cities offer direct flights to Arrecife Airport, for example the airline Condor. The duration takes about four to five hours. The price depends on the season, the airline and the seats left. Lanzarote does only possess the airport in Arrecife, but you can reach all destinations Lanzarote has to offer from this point on.
Another chance to get to this island is by ferry. If you are coming from the mainland Spain, you can jump on the ferry in the harbours of Cádiz or Huelva. It is only recommendable to go by ferry if you have plenty of time as the transfer takes very long. Ferry service is also available between all Canarian Islands.
Once landed on the island of Lanzarote, it is advisable to rent a car. It is not necessary to have a car for the whole time that you spend on Lanzarote. But it would be too sad to miss out on the best locations, just because they are unreachable without a vehicle. Rent a Car stations are located at the Airport Arrecife or in Puerto del Carmen.
Accommodations on Lanzarote
What personally struck my attention was the picturesque look that Lanzarote offers. It is really fascinating for your eye to look over the landscape. Apartments and bungalows are held in white colours, with fences and shutters in green, brown or blue. This is the typical paint. And the swimming pool should not be missed. Big hotels and tourist places is what you won’t find on Lanzarote, except for Puerto del Carmen, which is a bit touristy. The inhabitants are anxious to keep Lanzarote natural.
In case you want to go to Lanzarote for surfing, it is definitely better to stay in an apartment or hostel close to your desired surf spot. The north west coast is a good place to be. Surf lessons as well as surfboards and equipment can be booked directly at the spots. Surf camps are available, especially in Caleta de Famara.
Feels like in Hawaii
Let’s get to the real stuff: surfing. The Canarian Islands are Europe’s answer to Hawaii. From October until March the waves can get very high and rough. They will reach from 1.5 until 4 metres (5-13 feet). This period of the year is more suitable for experienced surfers.
But when is the best time to go? This question is difficult to answer and also depends of the level of the surfer. As the waves in Lanzarote are very consistent, everybody will find their suitable spot and therefore will have fun.
La Santa – The surf mecca
I would like to show you some great surf spots. No matter if you are trying to stand up for the first time or are already fighting the three-metre-waves.
This beach break is one of the best in whole Europe. The beach of Caleta de Famara (Playa de Famara) or just called Famara is appropriate for beginners. But also more experienced surfers will get their fun. The six kilometer long beach has space for everyone. You can switch places, if the lineup is getting too busy. The waves are consistent, no matter if you are going in winter, summer, spring or autumn. Several surf schools and camps are located here. Those you will find rather on the edge of the town. You can come with or without your surf equipment. In Caleta de Famara you will get everything you need.
Another big plus is the fantastic scenery!
Next to Famara is San Juan. This spot provides constant waves. This reef break is only recommendable for experienced surfers. The World Championship has taken place here, because San Juan exhibits long left breaking waves. One of the best left waves on the island. The locals are keen to surf them.
Awell known fishing village, but the waves are nothing for beginners. Experts only! The quality of the waves is extremely good and you are able to surf the whole year round with almost the same conditions. It is a flat reef with powerful waves. There are left breaking as well as right breaking waves . The ones that break on the left side are used more often, as those run a longer path. Locals love this place. Here you can park your car directly at the beach.
Playa la Garita in Arrieta
You can find this little village on the north east side of the island. The waves are suitable for beginners. When the wind is blowing from the north, you will find short waves which break quickly. The conditions are very unconstant. Mostly of the time the water is flat. The beach itself is very long with few people.
Suggestion: this spot is okay if the other side of the island does not work.
Playa de Orzola
Orzola is the northest point of Lanzarote. The corresponding beach does not only offer surf activities, but also a special scenery. Isn’t it great to go surfing in a pleasant atmosphere? It is a beach break for experienced surfers.
Playa de Janubio
This is a place where only the local experts should go. The spot is actually too dangerous to surf.
This reef break is located on the west side of the island and borders with the Timanfaya National Park. Over lava flows you can make your way into the water. The waves are right breaking, the water is pretty deep. That is the reason why you won’t get any scratches. In contrast to other surf spots, El Golfo is not crowded and can be a very good alternative. Here counts the same: it is not only a spot but also a tourist attraction.
The one who wants to be exotic goes to Isla Graciosa. An excursion to this deserted neighbour island is definitely worthwhile. The line up only counts a few faces. However, the spots are also more difficult to find and reach. You will have to walk a little while. Cars are almost not existent on Isla Graciosa.
Places of interest in Lanzarote
Enough about surfing! Lanzarote has a bunch of things to offer for the “normal holidaymaker“. In the South you will find Playa Blanca. The name says it all: the beach has white sand. The tourists like going to this place. Directly alongside you will find Playa Papagayo with abandoned bays and idyllic beaches. The best way to reach them is by car. The beaches are still unspoiled, no restaurants or hotels make the place look nasty. You are here in poor nature!
The Timanfaya National Park is a place of interested that should not be missed. It is the “emblem“ of Lanzarote, as I would describe it from my point of view. This volcanic landscape is also known as “Fire Mountain“. Turquoise water you can find anywhere in the world. The Timanfaya National Park is special and nowhere else to be found.
Jameos del Agua is another favourite place. A cave with an artificial pool in it. In addition you can go to the museum next to the cave, which gives you a lot of geographic and historic informations about the Canarian Islands and especially about Lanzarote. Jameos del Agua is in any case worth a visit.
Does surfing in Lanzarote not sound promising? Why always flying a gazillion kilometres in the direction of Bali and Co. We often miss a lot of great waves rolling in the Atlantic ocean. Leave a comment!