Sotavento in the south of Fuerteventura hosts one of the longest standing PKRA tour stop events on the calendar at the end of July, when you can share the beach with the best kiters in the world and then party with them at night. A year-round kiting holiday-makers' favourite, Sotavento has a huge wide-open tropical beach land where you can ride the warm, shallow lagoon or hop over to the bright blue ocean for more bump 'n' jump action. Check out the starts – it blows here!
A funnel-effect ramps the winds up in Sotavento all year. A huge expanse of sand over a four kilometre long beach makes for an incredible kiting back drop. The kiting area in front of the Rene Egli centre is a flat water spot, expanded by a tidal, waist-deep lagoon. Right in front of the centre the kiters find a kite launching zone and the centre offers various amenities, such as compressed air and refreshing fresh-water showers. Lifeguards guarantee safety by supervising the spot from watchtowers and have jet-ski access.
A whole new kite centre opens in 2013, ideally located in the Palm-Oasis of Hotel Meliã Gorriones right on the lagoon and just a few steps from the sea.
For waves, head an hour to the north of the island, much bigger in winter.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER:
80% of the winds at Playa Sotavento are cross-offshore and strongest from May - September. In July and August, when the PKRA freestyle grand slam and kite loop competitions take place, the wind speed might go up to 40 knots. For learning, the best period is from September - June. During the summer months, bring your six to ten metres kites and, in winter, eight to 14 metres.
Average monthly air temperatures range from 19°C / 66°F in January, to 28°C / 82°F in August. For evening hours a sweater and long trousers are recommended in winter, when temperatures can drop to 12°C / 54°F. The water temperature difference all year is just 5°C, rising from 18°C / 64°F in February to 23°C / 74°F in September.
Buses or taxis can get you around, but a hire car obviously gives you more freedom and there's lots to see on the island. From the airport, expect to pay from €100 per week for a car or €35 per day from your destination. Rene Egli clients have a shuttle service included to the kite centre from Costa Calma, Esquinzo and Jandia. Public buses will transport you the five minute journey from Costa Calma to Sotavento for roughly €2 and a taxi will be more like €5.
CURRENCY: Euro (€) - £1 = €1.2 / US$1 = €0.8
Various accommodation options are available in Costa Calma village with everything from private apartments to four star hotels. The four star hotel Meliã Gorriones is the only accommodation on Sotavento beach. All-inclusive, it has spacious rooms, mostly with sea views, a short walk along the beach to go kiting as well as optional upgrades to 'The Level' category, that comes with personal room service etc.
FOOD AND DRINK:
Costa Calma has several supermarkets and souvenir shops as well as the Fuerte Action Café-Bistro-bar to either have a snack at during the day, chill out after a session or hang out with a cocktail in the evening. Furthermore Ren-Egli's new Beach House has a unique ambiance with a combination of info-shop and bistro, delicious menus and homemade tapas. For a more hectic nightlife, head an hour north, to Corralejo, where it's much more touristy. Various restaurants offer all kinds of food, from traditional to international.
Fuerteventura is a well-equipped tourist destination and set-up with all the usual activities to attract visitors, such as biking, diving, hiking, quad-tours, enduro tours, catamaran sailing or excellent surfing on the north shore. Children love places like the Oasis Park zoo, which is close by.
Puerto del Rosario airport is about 75 kilometres /one hour north. A taxi from the airport to Sotavento costs around €65, or rent a car from the airport.