Corralejo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Moderately sheltered open water, tidal venue. Corralejo Harbour has a working boat park, ferry terminal and manmade breakwater to the left as you look across to Lobos Island and Lanzarote. As this is the case the main sandy launch is flat with minimal shorebreak. It can get wind, and reef break style waves aren’t too far away. For beginner stand up paddlers, however, it’s a safe bet if visiting Fuerteventura.
As mentioned above the harbour launch of Corralejo is super flat. And sandy! Fuerteventura means windy isle in Spanish so be prepared for those (sometimes) strong Trade Winds to puff north to south making the water choppy. Upwind and downwind are typical Canary Island lava reef breaks. The closest to Corralejo Harbour requires a significant swell to break. That said it can still get a lump forming and the rocks lie just beneath the surface. Rocky Point, further south, is a noted surfing and windsurfing wave spot. It’s highly visible though. The further out to deep water you paddle the less shelter you get so the water becomes ever more lumpy.
As part of the Canary Island Fuerteventura is a deep water island made up of (mostly) volcanic rock. That said Fuerte is the sandiest of the Canaries but still has its fair share of sharp, hard rocks to take fins out, ding boards and scar flesh if you let it. Waves can also be large at some spots with even Corralejo Harbour getting wrap around swells if the pulse is large enough. And with this being a harbour there’s a degree of boat traffic to keep clear of. Passenger ferries in particular are coming and going regularly.
Care and a wide birth should also be given to other water uses like windsurfers and wing foilers (kitesurfing isn’t aloud). And watch out for lobster pots, fishing lines and buoy markers that you can get your SUP snagged on.
Wind is a significant part of Fuerte’s makeup. The Trade Wind generally blows left to right (NE to SW) and get quite gusty. This is great for mini upwind/downwind runs. The inexperienced, however, could get blow into the corner next to Rocky Point where getting ashore is tricky along the rocky shore.
Getting on the sandy beach at Corralejo is (in theory) pretty easy. Roads lead directly to the spot although parking can be tricky with limited spaces and restaurant/bar delivery trucks blocking narrow routes in and out. (An abundance of eating and drinking establishments dot Corralejo’s beach front. It’s possible to park further away but some residential streets require permits to park on the road. And be aware not to leave any valuables or belongings on show.
Corralejo’s Harbour beach (often referred to as Waikiki because of the same name bar/restaurant situated here) can get extremely busy. General sun worshipping holiday makers, watersports nuts (including stand up paddlers), SUP schools and general numbers of tourist visitors can really bomb the place out. Likewise you may get lucky with quieter periods. Cooler, winter days can often be much less hectic. It becomes even busier the more you head towards the centre of two where you’ll find a smaller stretch of sand. Although getting a spot here is even less guaranteed!
Everything you want/need! Corralejo has loads of bars, restaurants, shops, clubs, supermarkets and the like. Plus, all manner of accommodation options are right there. Some digs may require a small walk but it’s all accessible.
The windy island of Fuerteventura has been attracting watersports enthusiasts for decades. The strong Trade Winds (often stronger than its neighbouring islands) have lured many a windsurfer to ‘the rock’. Nowadays kitesurfers, foilers, surfers and stand up paddle boarders all occupy much of the same space around Corralejo, Rocky Point and Flag Beach (another popular spot further south).
A former traditional Canarias fishing village Corralejo is now the focal point for all things in the northern part of the island. Holiday makers looking for sun and fun tend to end up here whereas watersports people also make the same beeline. This can make for a very diverse mix.
The main sandy beach in Corralejo is pretty sheltered from open ocean Atlantic swells. That said a big pulse can swing in waves at some points lighting up some of the smaller, much lesser known reefs which are just a stone’s throw away from the beach. Head further to the right and eventually you come upon Rocky Point. This can be a playful wave or serve up some massive whompers – particularly if you position yourself out back. A few paddlers launch at Corralejo and paddle down, as long as the wind isn’t blowing too strong.
Back in the harbour and the port’s busy with ferries taking passengers across to other islands. A moderately sized fishing fleet also makes the scene buzz. If you’re an experienced paddler then it’s possible to time it with passing ferries and ride the boat wake. If you do this it should go without saying not to get too close!
If you have the cojones and/or skill the other side of the harbour wall (north) features a full power surfing wave breaking over shallow lava reef. It can get pretty busier though being such a quality set up close to town. Further afield you’ll find quieter peaks, although you may wish you had company at some! The island’s infamous Northern Track is the host of numerous world class waves that require, guts, determination and skill.
Already mention Flag Beach, 10 mins away from Corralejo, is a more exposed but still quite mellow location. You may find a more doable wave here although this is also kitesurfing heaven. So if there’s a blow you’ll definitely have company.
Carry on along the coastal road and you’ll spot plenty of point break set ups that can work infrequently. Mostly these are dominated by windsurfers who head to these set up during summer when they’re more likely to work – albeit with wind.
Right down south at the bottom of Fuerte you’ll find a much flatter water coastline. Although the breeze can be even stronger here as it accelerates off the land. For lighter wind days, however, there’s plenty of stand up paddle board exploring opportunities and a number of big watersports hire complexes are based here.
Fuerteventura can be heaven for SUP – depending on the conditions. It can also be super mellow if you time it right. Corralejo itself is a good place to base yourself and you may never need to venture further afield. If you do fancy checking out other locations on the island then do so but make sure you can handle the conditions you choose.
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