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The Five Best Beaches surf Canarias

Good beaches abound throughout the Canary Islands, but Gran Canaria boasts some of the best. The steady winds and the contours of the sea bottom give rise to every sort of wave –tubes, long, giant, deep, and beach breakers.

The geography of the islands ensures land breezes, also known as offshore winds, which make the perfect waves for surfers and windsurfers, partly because the raise wave walls persist longer and often form tubes. Surfers from the worlds around come to the Canaries to experience them and to take part in competitions. For experts the best windsurfing beaches on Gran Canaria are Pozo Izquierdo and Vargas, but others are good, too, such as Ojos de Garza, Tarajalillo, Bahía Feliz, Playa del Águila, San Agustín, Playa del Inglés, Anfi del Mar, and Puerto Rico.

The Magnificent Five

El Confital (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

This marvellous beach, a natural extension of that of Las Canteras, is on the south-western shore of the peninsula of La Isleta on the north side of the island. Bathing takes place along a two-kilometre stretch, which is also the chief surfing zone, famed for the wave known as "Las Monjas" (“the nuns”), and reaches Gáldar and its legendary wave called "El Frontón" (“the wall”). The shore is rocky but it offers a brisk frequency of waves, including the biggest breakers, which can reach a height of five metres.

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El Frontón in Gáldar

It is here on the northern coast that we find the mightiest waves for the best conventional surfboarding and also body boarding (with a smaller foam board. In fact the world’s body boarding championships are held in Gáldar. The surfing is simply spectacular on these waves. The powerful “El Frontón” is definitely not for beginners, since it breaks in two different directions, creating two new waves which eventually collide in an explosion of waters which facilitates fancy jumps and acrobatics by surfers. Cosmopolitan surfers compare Gáldar to Indonesian beaches.

Pozo Izquierdo

On the eastern side of the island, this beach is perfect for surfers when the waves are coming from the east and the winds are calm. The best spots are "Mosca Point" (“fly point”) and to the right of "El Muellito" (“the little pier”). When conditions are propitious, windsurfers flock to these waters, which are famous the world over. Constant and strong winds fill the largest sails and send the boards skipping across the waves, which are always at least a metre high and can rise to three metres.

Playa del Inglés in San Bartolomé de Tirajana

On Gran Canaria’s south-western shore the most celebrated beach is the playa del Inglés, some three kilometres long, with fine white sands and usually calm waters. These conditions, plus a water temperature in the range of 18o - 22o C, makes it ideal for all water sports, including surfing, body boarding, and kite surfing.

Maspalomas

Adjacent to the Playa del Inglés is Maspalomas, in the town of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. This is where beachgoers concentrate, and surfers tend to gather on the curve linking Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés. The two beaches are used indiscriminately by surfers, swimmers, and tanners, some in costumes and others au naturel. The Faro de Maspalomas lighthouse provides some punctuation to the view of sea, sky, and sand dunes. This extraordinary lighthouse, built in 1871, is 55 metres tall. A 24/7 webcam allows surfers to check out wind and water conditions from anywhere in the world.

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Text: Isabel y Luis Comunicación

Photos: Promotur Turismo Canarias, Patronato de Turismo de Gran Canaria