Tenerife is Spain’s largest Canary Island sitting off the west coast of Africa. The island is recognized worldwide for its rugged landscape with the largest peak in Spain, the Carnaval de Santa Cruz, beautiful white sand beaches, and wonderful holiday resorts.
However, there is one thing often overlooked, and that is Tenerife’s fantastic surf.
Point breaks, reliable swells from the Atlantic, and reefs combine to offer locals and tourists some pretty gnarly surfing conditions in an impressive setting.
The awesome variety of surf in Tenerife has led to surfers from all over the world visiting the island to catch the waves but knowing the best spots to surf, finding the best lessons, and knowing the best places to stay can be tricky. That’s why we’re here to help.
If you’re looking to plan a surf holiday to Tenerife or simply want to try surfing out for the first time on your holiday, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created the ultimate guide to Tenerife surf providing you with everything you need to have an amazing experience.
In our guide, we look at the best surfing spots, the best surf camps, the different surf seasons, where to stay, and so much more.
If this all sounds good to you, make sure you stick around!
Where Is The Island?
Before we start looking at where to go surfing in Tenerife it’s probably a good idea to look at where the island is. Officially a part of Spain, Tenerife is actually found off the west coast of Africa.
Strangely it is much closer to the Sahara and Morroco than it is to Spain. Tenerife sits right in the middle of the Canary Island archipelago.
How To Get To Tenerife
Normally we would be able to suggest a number of ways to get to a surf location we are discussing, but in Tenerife’s case there is only one option that makes sense, and that is to fly.
Tenerife has a large enough airport to accept flights from all over the world so your best and easiest bet is to simply catch a flight.
You could feasibly drive to Tenerife if you were travelling from Europe, however, it wouldn’t be easy. You would have to drive to the bottom of Spain and catch a large ferry. This would be a lot more time-consuming and nowhere near as easy.
Let Us Introduce You To Tenerife Surf
Now we’ve got a good idea of where Tenerife is and how to get there, let’s start looking at the more exciting parts of this guide. To put it simply the surf in Tenerife is marvellous.
There is an amazing variety of incredible surfing locations on offer for both beginners and more experienced surfers. You probably wouldn’t expect anything less from the largest Canary Island.
Tenerife’s exposed north shore and westerly volcanic reefs combine perfectly to create the perfect surfing cocktail. Thanks to the cross-Atlantic currants, waves break consistently throughout the year, providing surfers with a vast collection of different rides.
You can expect to find great surf all over the island but it is the top of the island you should head for. Large beaches with rock bottoms and reefs are the perfect area to head to if you want to avoid the crowds.
With so many different crevices in this region, you can almost guarantee there will be some form of a good break no matter when you visit.
The more popular resort areas of Tenerife also offer brilliant barreling breaks, but localism has been an issue in the past. Therefore, we recommend you instead surf at the top of the island or towards El Medano.
El Medano is an awesome option if you want to immerse yourself in a surfers holiday once you’ve left the water too. Here you will find some of the best surfing hostels, surf shops, and an array of surfing spots better suited to beginners.
The Best Surf Spots In Tenerife
Tenerife is blessed with two large surfing areas. These are the north and south. The reason they are two separate areas is that both are quite different.
One typically gets very busy because of its location in regards to the popular resorts. The other tends to be a lot quieter with more impressive swells in the winter.
As you can imagine both areas are made up of a huge variety of different surfing spots so to give you a good idea of the best ones to visit we will take a look at both individually. Below you will find detailed information about both areas and the best surf spots on offer in each one.
The north of the island has a rugged landscape with plenty of coves, sheltered beaches, and high cliffs. These beaches get the most exposure to the northwesterly winter swells whilst also having decent protection from easterly swells coming from West Africa.
The result of this is conditions that suit more serious surfers. You will find big point breaks, waves well overhead, and plenty of fast barrels. If that wasn’t enough to excite you, you’ll also be pleased to hear these breaks are a lot quieter than the surfing spots down south.
Playa Del Socorro
Playa Del Socorro is one of the local favorites on the island. It is here you will experience the wild power of Tenerife’s north shore.
This volcanic black sand beach offers excellent conditions for surfing all year round. Breaking far from shore, the waves at this beach range from 3 to 6 feet in height.
They are suitable for all levels of surfer no matter what their ability. We will say though that the surf here can get pretty heavy with some fast drop-ins and intense rips so if you have never surfed before consider taking lessons first.
This surfing spot is a huge favorite of most surfers that visit the island. Almáciga is a little more remote than Playa Del Socorro but it is definitely worth a visit. The beach is exposed and has reliable surf all the way through the year.
The break offers left and right rides with offshore winds from the south and swells from the northwest creating the perfect conditions. As this beach has a reef, watch out for submerged rocks as you surf. You can expect the best waves here to reach 6 feet.
La Caleta, easily confused with its doppelganger in Lanzarote is another exposed reef beach providing surfers with consistent surf that can be worked any time of year.
The waves at this beach are just as likely from the local wind swells as they are from distant swells and offshore winds from the south.
You can expect to find left and right-breaking reefs that are brilliant for surfers of all levels. This reef can produce waves up to 12 feet tall but commonly waves tend to be around 6-8 feet.
El Arenal is another great surfing spot on Tenerife’s north coast. One of the most accessible in the Bajamar region, this beach offers consistent surfing conditions all year round.
The northwest swell here helps produce the finest of waves that are easy to ride. Breaking from the left and the right, these 2 to 5-foot waves are ideal for intermediates.
If you want excellent breaks every day during your time in Tenerife then El Callado is the spot for you. Easily one of the most reliable surfing spots on the island, this beach is well protected from the easterly winds and has awesome access to northwesterly swells.
When the conditions are perfect at El Callado, the point at the southern end of the beach creates gnarly rippable breaks.
On big days El Charco beach is the perfect place for experienced surfers to catch extreme waves. The rest of the time this surf spot has a break with plenty of small wedges better suited to intermediate surfers.
Compared to the other surfing spots in the north of Tenerife this beach is probably the least reliable surf, but if you are lucky enough to catch the perfect conditions you’ll be in for a real treat.
The powerful northwesterly swell in winter brings the best chance of the greatest conditions.
South Tenerife has a good mix of surfing conditions that suit both beginners and pro surfers. As the south of Tenerife is where most tourist resorts are found beaches tend to be busier. They also tend to be the location in which more beginners try to surf for the first time whilst on holiday. Having said that pro Spanish surfers have also been known to train here.
A lot of the breaks in the south of the island are situated over shallow reefs right by Playa de Las Americas. Playa de Las Americas has experienced some localism issues in the past but you should be fine.
La Izquierda is arguably the most popular surfing spot in Tenerife. Located right in the heart of Playa de Las Americas, this spot is frequently reviewed as a paradise for surfers who want to catch fast-breaking, intense waves.
In Spanish, La Izquierda means “the left” which isn’t a coincidence. It is called this because the beach offers some of the greatest left-handed waves in Europe. Breaking over the volcanic coral and rock seabed, the waves usually reach 6 feet tall.
Situated on the south coast of Tenerife, this surfing spot is adored thanks to its long pristine beach and high-quality surf. Also popular with bodyboarders, this beach is nice and exposed to winds from the west-northwest.
During the spring and summer months, the breaks here come from an ideal swell from the southwest. You can expect to be able to ride left and right here all day long.
El Conquistador is one of the most well-known breaks along the south coast. It gets its name from a big hotel that stands tall above the bay. Despite this break being a reef break, the rock is broken up so much that the surface is pretty comfortable underfoot.
The waves here peak at approximately 5 to 7 feet with a swell coming from the south. As a result of these factors, this location is better suited to beginners and relatively inexperienced surfers.
La Derecha Del Cartel
La Derecha del Cartel is almost identical to the consistent break at La Izquierda. Not too far away this break has speedy left barrels that are consistent throughout the year. Having said that the surf is more reliable in the summer months.
The perfect conditions can be found here when the swell comes from the northwest and the waves break right.
Surfing Seasons In Tenerife
As the seasons change in Tenerife so does the surf. Unlike some surf destinations around Europe, the surf changes quite dramatically. Typically the winter months are more reliable and consistent.
Summer months are also good but they are less consistent and more appropriate for beginners.
During the winter months, the main swell comes from the northwest, running straight across the Atlantic Ocean. This is awesome for both the north and south of the island.
The north gets wall-like waves and even bigger breaks thanks to the oncoming currents shaping themselves nicely around the points. The south’s breaks improve because most of the reefs face west anyway.
Unfortunately, there is one downside to this time of year. Sadly the waves can be way too much for beginners who have never surfed before.
If you are a beginner visiting in winter get in touch with a local surf school. They will try their best to get you out on the water in a location where the breaks are a little friendlier.
Tenerife is a beautiful place to visit in the summer not just because of the surf. The warm weather and gorgeous scenery make it an incredible holiday destination. However, the surf is a lot more unpredictable. Swells from the north, south, and west can cross the island anywhere at any time.
Winds also vary massively. Strong winds from Africa can even blow out some of the surf spots on the east coast. Having said all of this, there is usually still plenty of surf on offer most days you just need to find it.
You could ask local surf schools for help. They will know where the most consistent spots are and also have a good knowledge of the surf forecast for each day.
The Best Surfing Camps & Surfing Schools In Tenerife
You can be completely new to surfing having never stepped on a board or an expert who has surfed for 10 years. It really doesn’t matter. Surf schools and camps can still be an extremely useful, fun way to improve your surfing.
Beginners can learn to stand on the board for the first time, while seasoned professionals can develop more advanced skills.
Tenerife has plenty of high-quality surfing lessons and camps run by experienced instructors. To give you a good idea of what’s on offer, here are some of our favorite surf schools on the island.
Blackstone Surf Camp is the ultimate surf school in Tenerife. Located right next to Playa de Las Americas this surf school offers everything you can think of. They have a wide range of packages on offer that include daily lessons, equipment rental, yoga lessons, and somewhere to stay.
Our favorite thing about Blackstone is the overnight camps and free surf pack. If you simply want somewhere to stay while you surf then great. This school has a package where you can stay in their accommodation and have unlimited use of all their equipment for free.
If you want to stay and have lessons you can take part in a surf camp that runs from 3 to 21 days long. At the camp, you have two daily lessons, food, and all your basic amenities included.
The qualified instructors will work with you no matter what your skill level.
Friendly coaches at Surf Life Tenerife deliver an array of fun, safe lessons, and camps for any level of surfer. Daily lessons can be booked in groups, on a 1-1 basis, or in a private group.
There are lessons suited to beginners who can’t surf and also more premium lessons that will focus on more intricate maneuvers. The premium lessons are great for more experienced surfers.
Those looking for a true surf holiday will find one here. Just a 10-minute walk away from the beach Surf Life Tenerife have beautiful accommodation and a hostel where you can stay with friends and family.
Staying with Surf Life gives you the chance to surf every day and make new friends who share your hobby. Included in the surf camps are daily lessons, food and drink, accommodation, and extra activities, including some pretty awesome parties.
If you want to fit some fun, quick lessons into your busy schedule when in Tenerife take a look at Franz Surf School. Based at Playa de Las Americas this school runs private 1-1 or group lessons and is open to all group lessons.
Available at a super reasonable price the instructors will work passionately and hard to meet your needs and requirements. That means it doesn’t matter if you are highly skilled or don’t even know what a surfboard looks like, they will help you improve.
They do all of this in a friendly environment with no pressure. This may suit new starters if they are unconfident in the water.
What Equipment Do You Need?
While using your own equipment is great it is worth noting that plenty of surf schools in Tenerife provide you with all the equipment you need. Surf shops also offer rental services. If you’re a beginner this will be extremely helpful so don’t worry about buying lots of surfing gear.
Here are some of the things you might choose to bring with you if you are using your own equipment.
- Appropriate footwear
- Sunscreen for those hot days
- Camera for if you want to take photos
- Drinks bottle
Surf Shops In Tenerife
Tenerife has some brilliant surf shops that you should take a look at. Even if you don’t need to buy anything there is a lot of fun things to have a look at. If you have forgotten something you can’t rent or simply want to treat yourself then even better.
Fitenia surf shop is like any classic surf shop. Opened in 1983 it has always been a big hit with locals and tourists alike who want to find the latest surf-related products from the biggest brands.
This shop stocks everything from all of the top surfing brands, selling a range of products from surfboards and wetsuits to thick sweaters and accessories.
The Fitenia shop does also have a surf school so you could always take part in a lesson before then treating yourself to a souvenir as you leave.
Situated in Puerto de la Cruz the Aloha Surf Shop is a great place to visit after surfing along the north coast. Inside this surf shop, you will find a wide range of high-quality surf fashion including Rip Curl products, bags, swimwear, and an abundance of surfing accessories.
In Playa de Las Americas you will find another surf shop offering surf lessons and a variety of high-quality surf-related products. K16 does focus more on the lessons side of things but their store is well worth checking out.
Here you will find everything you can imagine in relation to surfing at a very reasonable price. Surfboards, wetsuits, and even skateboards are just some of the things they sell.
The Best Places To Eat In Tenerife
Tenerife is a hugely popular tourist destination so as you can imagine there is a vast amount of food options on the island with something for everyone. With so many food options to choose from we thought we’d give you some help. Here are some of the most popular places to eat.
El Taller Seve Diaz $
It is worth the trip to Puerto de la Cruz just to eat in this restaurant, never mind surf. This restaurant is wonderful. They offer beautiful Mediterranean food in a relaxed, charming setting. Most visitors recommend trying the goat’s cheese dumplings.
The a la carte menu and six-course tasting menu are big hits with locals and tourists. If you enjoy high-quality food at a great price, which let’s face it who doesn’t be sure to visit this restaurant.
Rakaposhi Tapas Bar $
If you want to try more unique foods then why not pay this tapas bar a visit. This tapas restaurant sells Pakistani-Himalayan cuisine that its guests love.
European and Pakistani flavors are combined here to create delightfully tasty meals that will go down nicely after a day of surfing. You will find this bar in San Cristobal de la Laguna.
Bianco Restaurant $$$
Wanting to experience a bit more luxury in Tenerife? If so, check out Bianco Restaurant in Playa de Las Americas. This stunning Italian restaurant serves incredible food that will blow you away. The seafood house special here is famous so why not give it try.
Also on offer at this restaurant are an array of lovely wines, gorgeous pasta, and the most delicious pizzas. This is the perfect place to visit if you want a romantic meal with your partner or a group meal with friends and family.
The Best Places To Stay In Tenerife
Tenerife has an enormous amount of accommodation options to choose from. To give you a head start we have picked out some of the places to stay that we think might suit you best. Have a look and see what you think.
If you’re travelling on a tight budget and want to meet new people why not stay in the Campobox.box hostel in El Medano. El Medano is a surfers haven so it makes sense to stay here.
For a ridiculously good price, you can stay in a comfortable shared hostel room just 450 yards away from some of Tenerife’s best surf. A nice hearty breakfast is included with the room to help you start the day right.
Apartments Playazul $$
This hotel found in Playa de Las Americas, not far from the beach is perfect if you’re travelling on your own or as a couple. Each room comes with plenty of space, a comfortable bed, a TV, and access to a beautiful pool. It would be a great place to relax when you’ve finished surfing.
Aparamentos Vista Sur $$$
With a bigger budget and when travelling with other people, you could book your own apartment. This apartment in Playa de Las Americas is only 400 yards from the beach. Not only that it has access to a pool and a beautiful interior.
You will also have some pretty amazing views every morning. There is enough room for 3 people in this apartment.
Tenerife is one of the best places in Europe for a surfing holiday. Its variety of beaches and different types of breaks, along with beautiful resorts and food options, make it a great place for people wanting to learn to surf or develop their skills.
While winter offers the most consistent and biggest breaks, the summer months can also produce some pretty magical moments. Taking part in some of Tenerife’s best surf lessons is a good way to develop skills or simply stand on the board.
It also gives you plenty of time to indulge in local cultures. Whether you want a long surfing holiday or want to try surfing for the first time Tenerife has it all.
This guide has looked at everything you need to know to plan an amazing surf trip to Tenerife. We hope you have found it useful and use it to help you find the best surf during your holiday.