The Atlantic Ocean is one of the biggest attractions the Canary Islands have to offer alongside the excellent climate. The warm waters surrounding Lanzarote have great conditions for all types of water sports, which can be enjoyed from January to December with the average water temperatures rarely going below 19ºC (66ºF).
The south coast is especially inviting for swimming, diving, snorkelling or boat excursions, including big game fishing and whale and dolphin watching tours. In contrast, the north coast with its rougher conditions provides an ideal playground for windsurfing, surfing, sailing and alike. Do not underestimate the strength of prevailing winds that are usually at their strongest on summer afternoons and always watch out for undercurrents and strong waves.
Sailing along Lanzarote’s shores, where the trade winds provide ideal conditions, is also a very popular pastime for everyone. Even if you have no experience at all and you want to find out what it is that attracts so many to this beautiful sport, just charter a yacht and give it a try. There are many registered clubs and organisations that offer comprehensive courses and provide all the necessary equipment for hire. They even arrange sailing outings where others do the heavy work while you enjoy the trip.
Keen swimmers are well catered for in Lanzarote. The island boasts some excellent beaches, very inviting to visitors who wish to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic. The most popular beaches have the ‘European Blue Flag’ standard and are attended by lifeguards. Special care should be taken if there are rocks nearby and when swimming off beaches in secluded areas. It is always sensible, wherever you swim, to find out beforehand whether there are dangerous currents in the area.
In general, it can be said that the sea off the south coast is more suitable for swimming and snorkelling compared with the north coast.
Lanzarote is a paradise for windsurfing! Whether you are an expert or complete beginner, all the way along the coastline there are schools and centres that teach this exciting sport. The presence of wind will not be a problem, as trade winds are constant around the island. In fact, the conditions are so fantastic that many champions visit every year to train. You’ll find windsurfing schools on the beaches at Tías, Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca and La Santa.
Costa Teguise, and particularly the beach of Las Cucharas, is one of the best windsurfing spots on the island, where the wind really picks up in the afternoon. Beginners are advised to try out in the mornings. Free-stylers will find their favourite place here, due to the flat-water conditions and strong and steady winds further out. The wind conditions are always at their best during the summer months (May, June, July and August).
Some people say that the Lanzarote surf is so good it is ranked almost as highly as Hawaii! It definitely enjoys some of the biggest and best waves in all of Europe, especially off the northern and north-eastern shores – both recommended only for experienced surfers.
One of the toughest surf spots, even challenging the technically proficient, can be found at the beach near Jameos del Agua, where the waves break in multiple sections over the volcanic reef. Also, waves and currents can get quite turbulent in this area when the tide heads out. Access is not easy and you have to cross rough volcanic terrain, so adequate footwear is recommended.
Other well-known surf areas are the beaches of Arrecife (southeast), La Santa, Caleta de Caballo, Caleta de Famara, Playa de San Juan, Mirador del Río, (all along the northern shore), Órzola (at northern tip), La Francesa and Montaña Amarilla (both on the islet of La Graciosa), Punta Mujeres at Punta del Papagayo (at the south-eastern tip)… just to name some of them!
Diving in Lanzarote’s surrounding waters means exploring a sub-aquatic volcanic world with an incredible variety of marine life. Scuba divers can delight in crystalline waters and underwater sceneries of rare beauty. Off the harbour of Puerto del Carmen, a number of wrecks have been sunk to create a fascinating marine park, bubbling with life. On a short swim to the wrecks you will have the opportunity to see common rays, cow nose rays and angel sharks. Wow!
Fully experienced dive guides, with excellent knowledge of Lanzarote’s dive locations, deal with divers of all levels (from beginners to experienced) in almost any language. You can find diving centres in all the tourist areas of the island, particularly along the south and south-eastern coast where – due to calmer waters – divers and snorkelers enjoy amazing conditions.
Big Game Fishing
The Atlantic Ocean surrounding Lanzarote also provides excellent conditions for game fishing and if you want to try your hand at it – or you are already an enthusiast – head for the marinas and harbours on the south coast (Puerto del Carmen, Puerto Calero and Playa Blanca).
All of them offer professionally equipped boats for charter, some even specialise in shark fishing. The main species caught in the waters off these ports are blue marlin, tuna (the best season for these two species is between April and November) wahoo, dolphin and bonito. As Lanzarote is renowned for its rich fishing grounds and many anglers want to try their luck, we recommend that you book early!
One of the best ways to get a good view of Lanzarote is from offshore and there is a wide range of marine excursions available in almost all harbours. Perhaps you would enjoy a trip on a catamaran or on a genuine two-masted fore-and-aft schooner on which you can get the authentic pirate feel? Whale watching is also possible during their migration season!
Most crafts leave from Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Puerto Calero, covering mainly Lanzarote’s south coast, but there are also excursions to the islets of La Graciosa and Alegranza, which leave from Órzola at the northern tip of the island. Apart from mini-cruises along Lanzarote’s shores and to secluded beaches, there are also longer trips that will take you to neighbouring islands, often including light meals and providing opportunities for exploring new places. Your hotel will be able to help to make the arrangements with excursion companies offering all manner of exciting trips.
Parascending, Jet & Water Skiing
Parascending, jet skiing, water skiing, a trip on a speedboat and other adrenalin-pumping activities are mainly offered at the major resorts. The ever popular banana boats, pedal boats and sea kayaks are also available for hire on many beaches and make a good way of getting out on the water with your children.
Discover Lanzarote’s stunning underwater world without getting wet. Climb on board a mini-submarine and journey to the bottom of the ocean!
From Puerto Calero’s marina you can take part in an unforgettable experience on board a highly sophisticated tourist submarine. It is equipped with large viewing points, each with its own TV monitor showing alternative viewing angles.