If water sports are your thing, Tenerife is the perfect place for you. The largest of the Canary Islands doesn’t only offer sunshine and beaches for those in search of some well-earned relaxation, it also boasts a variety of water activities suitable for everyone, from the most cautious to the biggest daredevils among you. The best bit? You can take part all year round, as the ocean temperature remains between 19 and 26ºC from January to December. Here’s a little more information on seven of the most popular water sports to try while you’re in Tenerife:
Surfing / Bodyboarding: Did you know that the two-time and current World Bodyboarding Champion, Alexandra Rinder, is from Tenerife and trains regularly in La Caleta? She’s also the youngest person in the world to win a world championship – she was just 16 years old when she won for the first time in 2014. For bodyboarding or surfing enthusiasts, Tenerife is an ideal place to practice or start to learn, with famous waves such as la Machacona on the south coast between El Médano and Los Abrigos or La Fitenia in Playa de las Américas.
Windsurfing / Kitesurfing: El Médano is the destination of choice for the world’s best wind and kite surfers. Blessed with an average 300 days of wind a year, it’s no surprise that both national and international championships are celebrated here. If you’ve always wanted to try kite surfing but don’t know where to start, what better way to spend one of your holiday days than with a class in one of the many schools in El Médano?
Interesting fact: The well-known twins Daida and Iballa Ruano, who have won an incredible 25 PWA World Champion titles, are from the Canary Islands. Known on the circuit as the Moreno Twins, Daida has won 18, and Iballa 7 to date.
Scuba Diving: The clarity of its waters and the enormous variety of fauna makes the Canary Islands one of the best places in the world when it comes to scuba diving. Right now, there are approximately 4,500 marine species living in the waters surrounding Tenerife, not to mention the many more who pass by at certain times of the year. You’ll find spectacular dive sites in both the north and south of the island, with tuition and excursions available for all levels.
Insider tip: A lot of people aren’t aware that the diving location known locally as La Baja de Realejos, in the north of the island, is one of the most stunning places to dive thanks to the many caves you can explore there.
Apnea/ Free Diving: The ideal places to practice this challenging sport are those that offer the following: great depth near the coast; no currents in the sea; good climate out of the water. Tenerife is therefore, unsurprisingly one of the most popular destinations in the world. Apnea, also known as free diving, is an extreme sport that involves holding your breath underwater while you travel long distances or swim down to great depths. Definitely not for beginners!
Apnea trivia: Free divers use a range of techniques to help them, for example vertically attaching a rope to an anchor to avoid disorientation. There’s much more to it than just not breathing…
Stand up paddle: Did you know that stand up paddle comes from Polynesia and is actually the oldest gliding sport in the world? It was invented as a means of navigation to discover new islands and now increasingly popular as a leisure activity that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. One of the most popular excursions in Tenerife is around Los Gigantes. There aren’t many places you can enjoy this fun sport while gliding past cliffs that tower up to almost 600 metres…and we have one of them right here.
Kayak: The term kayak comes from the Eskimo word qayaq and refers to a type of canoe used for fishing and to move around on the water. The crossing from Masca to Los Gigantes is definitely the one to go for. Suitable for anyone – there are guided tours for beginners to the sport – the experience lasts around two hours, during which time you can take in some breath-taking scenery as well as dive into the crystal clear waters to refresh yourself along the way.
Insider tip: There’s a good chance you’ll come across some of the ocean’s inhabitants during your voyage. If you’re lucky (and the chances are good), you’ll get to witness whales or dolphins up-close as you paddle along. Don’t forget your waterproof camera!
Sailing: The Trade Winds make Tenerife the ideal place for sailing. And while its climate and geographical position mean that you can practice all year, the most popular season, for Europeans at least, is winter. Of all the months in the year, September is the one known for offering the worst sailing conditions (very little wind). The island is home to several sailing schools, offering everything from one-off classes to entire courses. If you’ve never given it a try, you’re in the ideal place to start!
Sailing trivia: Last year Tenerife held the Spanish Sailing Championship, bringing together professionals from all over the country.
As you can see, you’re not short of options when it comes to which water sport to try. Give yourself a good dose of Vitamin Sea – it’ll do you good!