With 7,000km of sparkling coastline, Spain is one of the world’s top beach destinations. But it’s not always about slathering on some sunscreen and working on your tan as you sip your sangria. It’s also about getting up and moving around.
The island of Gran Canaria is said to be one of windsurfing’s best-kept secrets. In its southeast corner is , a mecca for windsurfers. The beach’s weather is ideal for windsurfing all year round, and the trade winds and sea currents in the eastern zone of Gran Canaria have cemented its place as the capital of European windsurfing. Pozo Izquierdo International Windsurfing Centre also offers windsurfing lessons for both, professionals and amateurs.
Pozo Izquierdo: This spot, which is situated in the municipal area of Santa Lucía, is internationally famous on account of the ideal windsurfing conditions, the wind being ever present. In "El Arenal" (the name by which this beach is known to the local inhabitants), the wind usually blows from the left, tending to be very strong, with the result that you must use 2.8 and 4 metre sails if you want to fully enjoy this spot, which is one of the most windy places in the world. The waves are generally no less than one metre high and they can reach heights of up to 3 metres. Pozo is the ideal destination for those who have an acceptable level of skill in planing and jibing and who want to start on jumps and other aerial acrobatics.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE CANARY ISLANDS
Sun-soaked and of volcanic origin, the Canary Islands archipelago offers strikingly diverse landscapes including remarkable sub-tropical flora, abundant pine woods, giant sand dunes and mountain peaks.
The Canary Islands' most popular holiday playgrounds are Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Lanzarote has managed to combine modern resorts with much-praised eco-friendly development and low-rise aesthetically pleasing design, while Fuerteventura is famous for its wind-driven water sports and some of Europe's finest beaches.
La Gomera is a charming little undeveloped island, often visited as a Tenerife day trip (just 30 minutes by ferry), while La Palma, very green, uncommercialised and arguably the most beautiful island, is primarily a destination for walkers. Most westerly of all is El Hierro, windblown and well off the beaten track, attracting a mere handful of walkers each year.
Flying to Canary Islands
There are regular international flights to Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria from all over Europe. La Palma airport receives a limited number of international flights. Local flights run by Binter Canarias (www.bintercanarias.com) link all the island and also go to Madeira, Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania. Iberia (www.iberia.com), Air Europa (www.air-europa.com) and Spanair (www.spanair.com) also fly between the islands and mainland Spain.