Gran Canaria: Europe’s least-known Surf Mekka

Winter’s rapping at our doors, the days are getting even shorter and snow and ice greet us in the mornings. Summer feels like an eternity away. No wonder we start dreaming about past adventures full of sunshine, heat and ocean. My summer dreams of course, are mostly about surfing, but also about lazy days at the beach, hanging out with friends and sharing water melons for lunch break. To get me going through the darkest time of the year, I’ll write about my most recent surf spot discoveries in Europe: Where to surf in Gran Canaria!

Gran Canaria is one of the most underrated surf destinations in Europe. So far, it still lacks a huge surf infrastructure and doesn’t boast too many internationally known surf spots or surf towns. However, it’s more than worth it to take a closer look! First of all, there IS indeed an international surf crowd, mostly hanging round the beaches in the north of the island and then you will find an extremely busy local surf culture, too! The only question remaining is: Where to surf?

Sunset at Playa de las Canteras

My Anti-Dote for Winter Blues: Plan you next Surf-Trip!

Generally speaking Gran Canaria is no real beginner destination – at least not every day and everywhere. Often times you’ll either find no surf at all or quite challenging and strong beach brakes you have to cut through before getting to the nicest spots. And when you finally get there you really have to be sure of your abilities, as the local crowd will not be too happy with you missing a wave you’ve claimed. But don’t take this personal. The best way to get to know a surf spot and have fun out in the waves is by connecting with those people who know it best – the locals. Just take your time to get to know everybody, be respectful and friendly out there and you’ll make new buddies in no time!

There is Surf right in the City: Playa de las Canteras in Las Palmas

For those who haven’t ever surfed before, you might want to go to check out the surf offers at Las Palmas city beach Playa de las Canteras. Even though it’s extremely crowded each and every day of the week, most people don’t go out into the crushing waves so you don’t have to worry too much about kids and swimmers in the water. Also, you have several surf schools nearby, where you can rent all your gear and also book your first surf lessons. I wouldn’t recommend to just go and play out there for yourself (you actually never should do that due to safety reasons), because you simply won’t have too much fun without proper instruction. Here at las Canteras you want to know what section to go at what time if the day, as beach can look 100% different within just one hour.

Left side of Playa de las Canteras

To get the most out of your surf experience at the Playa de las Canteras come as early as possible to be among the first in the water and avoid the weekend, if possible. Parking around here is a huge problem, so either you bring some time to scout for a free parking spot in the small streets close to the beach or you bite the bullet and pay for car park. Rentals around here are not too expensive, so you can compensate the parking fee. However take your time and make sure, your gear is in order! Most schools don’t take the maintenance too seriously and won’t hesitate to charge you later. This is extremely important as the schools on Gran Canaria don’t offer the usual 5 to 10 bucks gear insurance you get for example on Hawaii or on the West Coast.

DSC01185To start surfing, you’ll need some white water and small waves, so the mornings are the best time of day for that. The breaks further out at Canteras are great for the intermediate to advanced surfer, but vary during the day, so you should check the times and swell before getting there. On the left hand side of the beach you get a reliable left break, but make sure you keep an eye on those rocks out there!

Rocks in general is an issue on the Canary Islands. There is almost no beach where you won’t have to deal with at least a couple of them. One reason more to get in touch with locals at the beach – especially at one of the probably most impressive surfing spots there is on the island: Playa del Confital. Read all about this amazing and scaring surf secret in my next “little Winter Escape”!

How I got to know so much about beaches on Gran Canaria? Well.. it was my job! Read all about one of the most fun jobs I ever had in my “Beach Diaries”!


This was my20150930_203935 first “little Winter Escape” about what I dream of, when I think of summer. What are your summer dreams about? Share your best days of sunshine with us!

And…Enjoy the ride!

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