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The Best Kitesurfing Spots in Spain for a Windy Escapade

by Octavia Drughi

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Have you been wanting to take a stab at kitesurfing, or maybe take your practice to the next level, without having to travel far? Enter Spain and its famous wind-swept beaches, which attract beginners and pros kiters alike.

Thanks to its location, Spain is windy all year round. There are thermal winds during hot summer months and strong storm winds during winter.

If you want to learn kitesurfing in Spain, Tarifa and the Canary Islands are some of the best places in the world to take the plunge, all within easy reach from the main cities in Europe. Let’s have a look at the best kiting spots in Spain, where you too can harness the power of the wind at almost any given time of year.

 

Kitesurfing in Tarifa

kitesurfing-tarifa-spain

In the south of Andalusia, Tarifa is the most renowned kitesurfing spot in Europe. It is also the busiest in the world. On the bright side, though, there are so many open beaches that there’s enough room for everyone to enjoy the sport.

The southernmost point of continental Europe is Europe’s kitesurfing Mecca; there are kitesurfing schools everywhere you look. The friendly climate and the strong winds funneled through the Strait of Gibraltar guarantee year-round kiting conditions. You can expect over 300 days of wind and sun per year.

 

Best time to go

The wind is most consistent between May and October. Outside these months, you can still get great conditions, but there’s the extra chance of rain. Plus, the days are colder. July and August are the busiest months of the high season, with the beaches often crowded.

Go on a kitesurfing camp in Tarifa!

Please take note that most of the beaches on Andalusia’s coast are swimmer’s and sunbather’s beaches. During high season, between June 15th and September 15th, some beaches are separated into designated areas for swimmers/sunbathers and kitesurfers. There are also certain beaches where kitesurfing is not allowed in summer.

 

Types of wind in Tarifa

kitesurfing-tarifa-spain

Before we check out the most popular kitesurfing spots near Tarifa, it’s important to understand the two types of winds that wash this coast. They can make or break the kiting conditions.

  • The Levante is a strong, warm, and dry wind that blows offshore from the east. It can occur at any time of year, but it is more common between April and October. The Levante is a notoriously gusty beast that can literally make staying at the beach unbearable. It is the dominating wind in Tarifa in June and July, when tends to bring great kitesurfing conditions
  • The Poniente is a gentle, cool, and humid wind that blows side-onshore from the west. This is the predominant wind in Tarifa, and a great wind for kitesurfing. It can produce small to medium-sized waves that are excellent for all levels of kiters. It is more common between October and April.

 

The best kitesurfing spots in Tarifa

From north to south and all the way up on the Mediterranean coast, here are the spots you should check out near Tarifa:

 

Conil de la Frontera

Recommended for: All levels

Best wind: Works best with a Poniente, when the wind is lighter and constant. With a Levante, the conditions are not as great as in other spots on the coast, with gusty side-offshore winds.

kitesurf-conil-de-la-frontera-spain

Photo credit: Carlos Calamar

Around 65 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Tarifa, Conil is a great spot for a change of pace. There’s a small tidal lagoon that’s reserved for beginners, or you can head out in the open sea for some action. You’ll find glassy conditions on some days, and some nice waves with a swell on a falling tide.
 

Los Caños de Meca

Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced kiters

Best wind: Works only with a Levante wind. Kitesurfing is permitted in summer.

kitesurf-Los-Caños-de-Meca-spain

Photo credit: Antonio Periago Miñarro

About 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest of Tarifa, just south of Conil, Los Caños de Meca is exposed to strong Levante winds and is no place for beginners. When the Levante is too strong in Tarifa, this is where you need to be. You will find small rolling waves to big ones, and please remember to watch out for the underwater rocks and the reef bordering the beach.

 

Punta Paloma

Recommended for: All levels

Best wind: One of the safest spots in Tarifa with a Levante wind. Kitesurfing is permitted all year round in the designated kite zones.

kitesurf-punta-paloma-tarifa

The northernmost beach in the bay of Tarifa, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of town, Punta Paloma is a clean and wide spot that is recommended for beginners with a Levante wind. With the Poniente, the wind blows side-onshore and creates choppy conditions for more experienced kiters.

 

Valdevaqueros

Recommended for: All levels

Best wind: With a Levante, the wind blows offshore from the left and is very gusty, creating glassy, sometimes choppy water. With the Poniente, the wind blows onshore from the right, creating small waves. Kitesurfing is permitted in summer.

kitesurfing-Valdevaqueros-tarifa

The most famous kiting beach in the area, Valdevaqueros pinned Tarifa on the kitesurfing map. Located 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) northwest of the town of Tarifa, is a small crescent-shaped beach that is 5 kilometers (3 miles) long.

Thanks to the sheltered bay, it is safe to ride here even on a strong Levante wind. Therefore, this spot is excellent for beginners and intermediates, but also for advanced kiters who want to practice their tricks without any risks. Although the beach is long, the designated kitesurfing area is narrow and you need to watch out for underwater rocks.

Find out what are the world’s best kitesurfing destinations for beginners.

 

Playa de Los Lances

Recommended for: All levels

Best wind: It works best with the Poniente, which blows onshore and creates good conditions and fun waves for beginners and progressing kiters. If you want to spice things up a bit, head out when the Levante is blowing. Kitesurfing is permitted during summer only on the north side of the beach.

kitesurfing-los-lances-tarifa

Photo credit: Francisco Manuel Esteban

This is the wide sandy beach that Tarifa is most famous for, 10 kilometers (6 miles) of pure bliss stretching from Punta de la Peña to Punta Tarifa. It is simply huge, which is why it is broken down into two different sections: Playa de Los Lances Norte and Playa de Los Lances Sur.

During summer, Playa de Los Lances Sur is reserved for swimmers only. The entire beach is clean, without any rocks, with easy launch and landing, which makes it a great spot for learning to kitesurf. With the Levante, the wind blows offshore, and this is when there are rescue boats operating at the beach.

 

Playa Balneario

Recommended for: Advanced kiters

Best wind: With the Levante, the wind blows offshore, strong and steady. On some days, it will create glassy water conditions, while on others it may create small to medium waves. Kitesurfing is not permitted at Playa Balneario between June 15th and September 15th.

lneario-tarifa

Close to the Old Town of Tarifa, Playa Balneario is the southernmost part of town. This place is reserved for experienced kiters due to the dangerous currents and relatively narrow landing zone. If you’re not feeling up to the challenge, you can still pay a visit and watch the pros go at it from the shore.

 

Palmones

Recommended for: All levels

Best wind: Works best with a Levante wind, and you will find the best conditions in the morning. Kitesurfing is not permitted during summer.

kitesurfing-palmones-tarifa

Photo credit: Vittorio Dal Bianco

Located 35 kilometers (22 miles) northeast of Tarifa, right past Algeciras, Palmones is a great alternative when the Levante is too strong in Tarifa. You will find a narrow beach near a small tidal lagoon that is reserved for beginners. Head out into the open sea for some action, but be wary of the rocks.

 

Kitesurfing in the Canary Islands

kitesurfing-fuerteventura

Off the coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are renowned for their friendly climate – they have the warmest weather in Europe and year-round sunshine. Furthermore, they are within easy reach from most major cities on the old continent.

Go on a kitesurfing camp in the Canary Islands!

The Canary Islands have another awesome feature to brag about – their extremely reliable wind. It’s no wonder that they are home to some of the best kitesurfing spots in Europe.

 

Best time to go

The peak kitesurfing season lasts between May and September, but you are sure to find a spot that works at any given time. Let’s take a look at the most popular:

 

Kitesurfing in Fuerteventura

kitesurfing-fuerteventura

Photo credit: Felix Nagel

Fuerteventura, located only 100 kilometers (60 miles) off the coast of Morocco, is the most easterly and second largest of the Canary Islands. It is also the least developed, which means plenty of uncrowded beaches for you to enjoy!

The aptly named island – Fuerteventura literally means “strong wind” – offers great kitesurfing spots all along its coastline. But if you are looking for reliable winds, easy entry, and all types of waves, the north is your safest bet.

 

Flag Beach

Recommended for: All levels

Best time to go: You will find the most reliable wind conditions in spring and summer. Thanks to its reliable trade winds, you can kitesurf all year in Fuerteventura.

kitesurf-flag-beach-fuerteventura

Photo credit: Thomas Tolkien

On the outskirts of Corralejo, on the northeast coast of Fuerteventura, Flag Beach is one of the best kitesurfing spots for beginners in the Canary Islands. The long sandy beach gets predominantly crosss-shore winds, and you will find both flat water as well as waves. The spot works on all tides and entry into the water is very easy. However, beginners should watch out for the rocks that can emerge at low tide.

 

Sotavento

Recommended for: All levels

Best time to go: The strongest and most reliable winds can be found between June and September.

kitesurfing-fuerteventura

On the southeast coast of Fuerteventura, Playa de Sotavento is a long beach with a tidal lagoon that is excellent for beginners. More experienced riders can go further out and into the wind chop for some bumpy action.

The wide tropical beach gets gusty trade winds all year round, mainly cross-offshore, and caters to every rider’s needs. The shallow tidal lagoon fills at high tide, so make sure you check the tide charts before heading out. Sotavento hosts the PWA (Professional Windsurfing Association) Windsurfing & Kiteboarding Cup each year at the end of July.

 

Kitesurfing in Tenerife

kitesurf-el-medano-tenerife

Photo credit: José Luis Sánchez de la Rosa

The largest of the Canary Islands and home to the busiest resorts, Tenerife is an incredibly sporty island. There are a gazillion outdoor activities to try, from refreshing water sports to hiking, cycling, rock climbing, and even paragliding. All through the year!

Blessed with year-round cross-shore and on-shore winds, Tenerife receives the strongest and most reliable winds in summer, when the days tend to stay windy up until sunset. September and October see the lightest winds. It also has warm water that only goes under 20° C (68° F) in February and March. This means that you can get away with riding in boardshorts or a shorty wetsuit at most.

 

El Médano

Recommended for: All levels

Best time to go: The best conditions can be found in summer, with northerly and north-easterly winds. The strongest winds occur in July and August.

el-medano-tenerife

The kitesurfing capital of Tenerife, El Médano is located to the south of the island, within easy reach from the main airport. It offers 300 days a year of trade winds and endless sandy beaches to suit all levels of kiters.

Thanks to the sandy bottom and easy entry in the water, beginners will enjoy the safe kiting sessions here on a low tide. Progressing kiters can play in small waves and choppy water, allowing for all sorts of neat tricks.

 

Kitesurfing in Lanzarote

 

Considered one of the best places in Europe to learn kitesurfing, Lanzarote offers great conditions all year round, thanks to its reliable trade winds. However, the winds are more consistent during summer.

 

Famara Beach

Recommended for: All levels

Best time to go: The best conditions can be found between May and September, on a low to medium tide.

kitesurfing-famara-beach-lanzarote

On the northwestern coast of Lanzarote, near Teguise, Famara Beach is the most popular kitesurfing spot in Lanzarote. Easy to recognize by the dramatic cliff backdrop, this 6-kilometer (4-mile) sandy beach is one of the longest on the island. So, there’s room for everyone!

Caleta de Famara is a quaint fishing town that offers everything you might need for a successful kiting holiday – kitesurfing schools, equipment rentals, repair shops, seaside bars, and restaurants. The wide beach in front of town is clean, without rocks or reefs, and safe for beginners on a low tide.

You will find flat water as well as a mellow beach break, offering fun waves for those looking for more action. The side-onshore winds allow for fast progress, so you’ll be learning to control the kite and pull off some neat maneuvers in no time.

 

Here’s a quick recap of the best kitesurfing spots in Spain:

*Cover image credit: Miguel Ossorio via Flickr


Where do you go to cool down when the summer becomes unbearably hot in Europe? Why, on the beach, of course. Take your pick from the many kitesurfing camps in Europe we have on offer. 

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