Tenerife is considered one of the best surfing spots in Europe. Located in the Canary Islands, just off the coast of Africa, Tenerife is blessed with year round sunshine, warm weather and epic waves.
It’s a popular destination for anyone searching for some European winter sun, as well as a dream destination for outdoors lovers. There are many awesome things to do in Tenerife, and many revolve around the great outdoors and water sports.
I had tried surfing before visiting Tenerife, and I was really keen to properly learn how to surf. When I moved to Tenerife for four months I decided it was my opportunity to finally commit to this sport.
In this article I outlined everything I learnt in four months, and that you need to know about surfing in Tenerife. Including the best surf spots, the best surf schools, the best times to surf and more!
Whether you’re a surfing newbie or an advanced surfer, Tenerife has a wave for everyone. So without further ado, let’s dive in and discover this ultimate Tenerife surf guide!
- 1 Best surf school in Tenerife
- 2 Best Tenerife surf spots
- 3 Best time to surf in Tenerife
- 4 My experience surfing in Tenerife
- 5 Best places to stay to surf in Tenerife
- 6 What to pack for a Tenerife surf trip
Best surf school in Tenerife
If you want to do surf lessons in Tenerife, I can highly recommend Surf Life Tenerife. Located in Las Americas, it’s the surf school that I did classes and rentals with for four months.
Their surf instructors are all excellent surfers, as well as being super qualified and friendly. You can tell they love what they do, and genuinely want people to have the best surf experience possible.
They offer a variety of classes and experiences, including beginner group classes, private lessons, a premium package for those looking to step up from intermediate surfers to advanced, surf skate lessons and rentals.
Besides the awesome team I loved surfing with them because they usually do their surf lessons at Fitenia or Jeffrey, a slightly quieter spot in Las Americas.
Most surf schools in Tenerife do beginner classes in El Medio, right in front of Playa de las Americas. While the waves might be smoother, there are so many people in the water that it’s almost impossible to catch anything.
Surf Life Tenerife always took us to a quieter spot, where even if the waves might be slightly smaller, you will still end up catching more waves as you don’t have to worry about other people being in the way.
Surf Life Tenerife also collaborate with La Tortuga Hostel, a hostel in Costa Adeje, to offer a surf camp experience. This includes accommodation, surf classes and transfers between the hostel and the beach.
It’s cheaper than booking accommodation and surf classes separately, and it will give you the opportunity to bond more easily with like minded people.
I didn’t do it in Tenerife, but I’ve done surf camps before and have always had a great time.
Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced surfer, Surf Life Tenerife can help you advance in your surf journey. With their professional team and fun vibe, you’re guaranteed awesome waves and a great time.
Best Tenerife surf spots
Tenerife is blessed with strong and consistent waves all around the island, which means there are lots of awesome surf spots. I’ve listed below some of the best surf spots for all levels.
Las Americas is one of the most popular surf spots in Tenerife. That’s because there isn’t a single surf spot, but actually many different ones for all levels spread out along the coast.
La Derecha del Cartel
This is where you will find all the pro surfers of Las Americas. Located a stone’s throw away from Playa de las Americas, here you will find powerful barrels breaking on the reef.
We’ve already mentioned La Derecha, so obviously we couldn’t overlook La Izquierda. Opposite sides of the same spot, here you will similarly find strong and consistent waves for the more advanced surfers.
Fitenia & Jeffrey
Located on opposite sides of the same bay, slightly further along the coast from La Derecha, you will find Jeffrey and Fitenia. This is the spot where Surf Life Tenerife usually do their classes and where I surfed for four months.
Being respectively a point break the former and a beach break the latter, they’re amongst the best spots for beginners, intermediate and even advanced surfers.
Here you can find both huge and powerful waves, as well as smaller and smoother ones depending on the swell and tide.
Even as a beginner, you can surf on big days by staying on the broken white waves in the bay between the two break points.
The seabed is entirely rocky so make sure to have water shoes and be careful when surfing!
Located in the north of the island, this scenic surf spot is popular amongst advanced surfers in Tenerife. Here you will find powerful waves breaking against the scenic backdrop of the Bajamar light house.
Playa del Socorro
Besides being an awesome surf spot, Playa del Socorro is also a must-see in Tenerife, as it’s one of the most scenic and beautiful beaches on the island.
Here you will find a stunning black sand beach surrounded by tall cliffs, as well as a powerful beach break. It’s a spot for advanced surfers since the waves and tide can get really strong.
Best time to surf in Tenerife
The best time to surf in Tenerife, both in terms of season and time of day, will ultimately vary depending on your surfing experience.
Best time of the day
There isn’t one fixed best time of the day to surf in Tenerife. It will change every day depending on the tide, swell and wind. You can find accurate forecasts on websites like Magic Seaweed.
If you’re doing surf lessons with Surf Life Tenerife or another school you don’t have to worry about picking a time, since the school will usually arrange the best time for the skill level of your class.
Best time of the year
From October to February you will find huge waves everywhere on the island, perfect for advanced surfers looking for some fun. It’s part of the reason why Tenerife is one of my favourite places to visit in Europe in winter.
In summer the waves are usually much smaller, which makes them perfect for beginner surfers!
If you’re new to the sport and just want to try the surfing experience, small summer waves will give you the chance to do that, without being barrelled by the big winter swells.
My experience surfing in Tenerife
Let’s start with the premise that I loved surfing in Tenerife.
I had a little bit of prior surf experience, having been surfing in Bali, Costa Rica and Fuerteventura, but this was always only for week long surf camps or for one beach day as part of a longer trip.
I spent four months living in Tenerife, and it was the first time I had a proper chance to surf regularly and consistently.
It made me fall in love even more with the sport, as well as realise just how long it takes to become good at it.
It had been over a year since the last time I surfed, so I decided to start with a package of group lessons from Surf Life Tenerife to get back into the swing of things.
After that I mostly did rentals as I wanted to practice independently.
When you rent with Surf Life Tenerife you will usually rent at the same time as their group classes.
Personally I really liked this, as it meant I wasn’t alone in the water, and the instructors were keeping an eye on me even if I wasn’t part of the class.
I was in Tenerife from February to June, and got the opportunity to really see the change in waves and surfing conditions.
While the winter waves are without a doubt more thrilling, I actually enjoyed also the smaller summer waves.
Being an intermediate surfer the smaller waves gave me the opportunity to work more on my technique, and properly think of what I’m doing on the board, as opposed to just pushing through while being barrelled by a huge wave.
Over the four months I started also surf skating, I progressed to smaller boards and started learning how to manoeuvre the board on a wave. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m happy with my progress so far.
Besides the actual surfing, I loved the atmosphere in Tenerife. I met Martina during my first group lesson, and we ended up renting an apartment together for over a month.
I met lots of cool people surfing, and besides becoming surf pals we also became a tight group of friends and went on adventures around the island. If you’re looking for great waves and a fun vibe, Tenerife is the place for you!
Best places to stay to surf in Tenerife
If you want to get the most out of your Tenerife surf trip you will probably want to stay around Las Americas. It’s one of the most touristy parts of the island, but also one of the easiest places to stay in Tenerife.
Besides being within walking distance to many surf spots, you will also be surrounded by lots of cool bars, restaurants and shops, as well as being a good base to explore the island and go on cool hikes, whale watching tours and more.
I listed below some accommodation options for every budget.
Budget: La Tortuga Hostel – This hostel has clean and spacious dorms, as well as a swimming pool and a fun social vibe. They also offer a surf camp combo in partnership with Surf Life Tenerife for those looking for an accommodation & surfing lessons deal.
Mid-range: El Dorado Residence – I spent my first two months in Tenerife in an apartment in this residence, and loved every day of it. My apartment was spacious, in a great location (close to both the beach and supermarket) and had awesome sea and sunset views. I can highly recommend it.
Luxury: Green Garden Eco Resort & Villas – If you’re looking to treat yourself, this is the perfect place to do so! With their beautiful villas, gardens and pool here you can pamper yourself while still being close to the buzz of Las Americas.
What to pack for a Tenerife surf trip
Besides the usual travel essentials there are a few things you should add to your suitcase to ensure you make the most of your surfing experience in Tenerife.
Water shoes – The surf spots in Las Americas are all reef and rock breaks, you’ll want to use water shoes if you don’t want to injure your feet every time you surf.
Wetsuit – If you’re planning to surf in Tenerife in any month besides peak summer, you will need a wetsuit. The surf schools will usually provide you with one, but if you want to surf a lot it’s preferable to have your own.
Poncho – Getting out of your wetsuit and back into dry clothes is possibly both the most annoying and satisfying part of surfing. If you want to do so comfortably you should get one of these poncho towels.
SPF 50 zinc sun block – You’ll need one of these since you’ll be spending a lot of consecutive hours in the sea, and normal sunblock isn’t resistant enough to properly protect you from the sun.
Final thoughts on where to go surfing in Tenerife
There you have it, the ultimate guide to surfing in Tenerife! Are there other cool surf spots in Tenerife that you think should feature on this list? Let me know in the comments below!
I absolutely loved living and surfing in Tenerife, and I hope you will find this guide useful in making the most of your Tenerife surfing experience.
With its perfect waves and stunning landscapes, this island will make you fall in love. Learning to surf in Canary Islands is, in my opinion, a bucket list experience that everyone should try.
If you have any other questions about surfing in Tenerife let me know in the comments below. I hope you have a great surf trip, and maybe I’ll see you in the waves of Fitenia!
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