As well as enjoying sailing, the sea around the Canary Islands offers numerous nautical leisure options. Stand Up Paddle, kayaks, diving, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing… The mild climate provides the makes it possible to practise any water sport, all year long. Activities within reach for everyone and on all the islands in the archipelago. The perfect surroundings for people who love the sea and the wind.
The water sport paradise
Sports and leisure activities can be practised outdoors and at pleasant temperatures all year round in the Canary Islands. The 23ºC average in summer and 19ºC in winter, with numerous hours of sunshine a year and scant rainfall, means the archipelago is a perfect destination for enjoying the sun and the wind. Sailors who visit the islands with their boats can combine sailing with a host of activities involving the sea as a protagonist.
Anyone who likes sailing loves the sea in all its modalities. Sailors usually practise water sports or enjoy activities related to the sea, the wind and the waves. Many vessels visiting the Canary Islands transport surfboards or paddle boards, as well as diving or snorkelling equipment. The crews enjoy these activities in the destinations they visit with their boats.
But they also have the opportunity to hire equipment or book activities offered by the companies whose business revolves around water-based leisure. Stand Up Paddle, kayaks, diving, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing too, are just some of the nautical leisure options we find in the Canary Islands.
The advantages of learning to sail in the Atlantic
The trade winds that affect the Canary Islands guarantee excellent sailing conditions throughout the year. This has made the archipelago a world leader in top-level competitive sailing, thanks to the continuous training of regatta sailors in its sailing schools. Learning to sail in the Atlantic Ocean is another of the attractions offered by the sea of the Canary Islands.
On each island one can find at least one sailing school or centre. Although there are numerous alternatives now, the fact is that yacht clubs or island sailing federations have for many years been the great forerunners of this sport. Learning to sail in one of these centres gives you the chance to continue with the activity after completing the initiation course.
Although ideally children would start sailing at the age of 8, a first sailing experience can take place from age 6. This is a good way for children to gain their first contact with sailing. But courses for adults are also available. Any age is good for starting out in this sport.
Sailing schools and nautical centres
In Gran Canaria, as well as summer courses organised by the Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria, the Club Marítimo Varadero and the Real Club Victoria, the Federación Insular de Vela, or island sailing federation, offers two possibilities. Learning in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, at the venue located in the Muelle Deportivo, or going to the Puerto Rico Sailing School, in the south of the island. This is one of the oldest schools in the archipelago, founded in the 1970s by Joaquín Blanco Torrent, who is seen as a pioneer of Canarian sailing. Puerto Rico has produced numerous national and international figures, world champions and Olympic medal winners.
Many of the options for learning to sail in Tenerife can be found in the clubs’ section on the website of the Federación Territorial. In Lanzarote, meanwhile, there are several alternatives, starting with Arrecife, and the range proposed by the Real Club Náutico. Puerto Calero is home to the Código Cero sailing school, Playa Honda has the Centro Insular de Deportes Náuticos which depends on the Cabildo de Lanzarote, and in the south of the island we have the sailing school of the Club de Regatas 4 Vientos.
The Real Club Náutico de La Palma, the oldest yacht club in the Canary Islands, also runs beginners’ sailing courses in its facilities. And in Fuerteventura, the activity is linked to the Escuela de Deportes Náuticos del Cabildo, located in Puerto del Rosario.
The Hawaii of Europe for windsurfing and surfing
The Canary Islands are seen as the Hawaii of Europe for surfing and windsurfing. The large number of beaches, variety of waves and presence of constant, high-intensity winds supplies everything these sports need. There are numerous spots for practising both modalities, each with its own particularities and suitable for either beginners or experts. As a result one can either start out in these sports or venture out into more demanding areas, for advanced surfers or windsurfers only.
While one can surf in the archipelago all year round, windsurfing is more seasonal, because it depends on the wind. The best time for surfing is autumn-winter. And windsurfing becomes more important in summer, when the trade winds blow harder. As a result, sea lovers can combine these sports, because they complement one another, offering endless options to those who practise them.
Each island has its own surfing and windsurfing spots, with numerous specialist centres offering courses for beginners, if required, or where one can hire equipment. Sharing waves with numerous local riders or surfers of other nationalities is quite the experience for the more adventurous sailors who visit the Canary Islands.
Diving in warm, transparent waters
The seabed of the Canary Islands conceals a world of diversity all visitors should discover. Diving in the islands is a privilege for several reasons. The excellent visibility, the rich marine life, the possibility of dives of all levels of difficulty, the warm water temperature and the depth of the dives, between 10 and 50 metres. The volcanic nature of the islands gives rise to incredible rock formations on the seabed and a biodiversity to rival that of anywhere in Europe.
As a result of these excellent conditions, diving is a very popular sport on the islands, both for tourists and for locals as well. On all the islands it is easy to find diving schools offering initiation courses or specialist centres for hiring equipment and taking part in more complex dives, always with the supervision of instructors.
Although the easiest - and often the most rewarding - experience can be had by donning some goggles and a snorkel and observing the marine life that invades the coastal areas. The rock formations of volcanic origin attract a wide diversity of extremely beautiful marine life at depths of just a few metres.
At the stroke of an oar
Kayaks, canoes and paddle boards are some of the rowing-propelled water activities that can be practised in the Canary Islands all year round. Exploring the coastline of the islands is an unforgettable experience. Hiring these vessels or boards to discover the impressive natural habitat, beaches and hidden coves or sea caves of volcanic origin is possible in many places in the archipelago.
These modalities offer one the chance to come close to the coast and observe it in a very special way. Discovering the volcanic origin of the islands, gazing on the cliffs from close up and observing the seabed through transparent waters are just some of the experiences to be had. Moreover, numerous companies offer this service, which is perfect for enjoying as a family or with friends. We do, however, advise you to follow the recommendations of the specialist companies, because the sea and the wind around the islands can complicate these trips.