KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - TENERIFE
El Medano is a quiet, but well-equipped town on the southeast corner of Tenerife, just ten minutes drive from Tenerife South airport. Lying off the northwest coast of Africa with lots of cheap flights and a regular 25°C air temperature all year round, you can score good conditions and a nice holiday at any time of year. There is so much to see and do when you're not kitesurfing. The scenery is spectacular and the mountain biking routes really open your eyes to that. You can go whale and dolphin watching in Los Christianos, Las Americas or Los Gigantes and of course there's always surf at a number of spots around the island.
There are three riding areas in El Medano. La Bahia (the bay) is the most popular with the wind coming in cross-on from the left. You'll find nice waves by the harbour wall, just a three minute ride upwind. The launch in the bay is simple enough with a reasonably big beach, so plenty of room for launching and landing. There are some rocks downwind, however, so it's best to launch some way upwind if you're not confident. There's no rescue cover in the bay at present, but as long as you don't kite too far off the beach, you'll just end up drifting harmlessly into the bay. The bay is suitable for all riding styles, though beginners may find it more enjoyable in the next bay round, called La Tejita.
Just North of the main bay is an advanced reef-break, El Cabezo. This is for experts only ? the wind is cross-on from the left with no sand, only bare reef. If you break your kit there's only one way you're coming in... there's no rescue cover and not that many kiters to come and help! But the waves are insane, and if you do venture there, the windsurfers have right of way, so please go upwind or downwind of them.
Just downwind, La Tejita is separated from the main bay by a big mountain, Montana Roja. Here you'll find a large beach, perfect for kitesurf beginners. Although the wind is a little offshore for the first ten metres, it later fades out to side-shore. The water is blissfully flat though, and can lure any rider after some flat water freestyle action. A rescue boat operates here a couple of days a week.
There are two kitesurfing schools and one rental centre in El Medano, so there should be plenty of choice and availability, but book to avoid disappointment.
Tenerife has a very comfortable climate ? the air temperature rarely gets above 25°C, and actually remains stable at that figure all year during the day. In the winter the water dips to roughly 18°C and peaks around 24°C in the summer. The winds are amazingly consistent all year, too. The summer months get the best rates, but a 72% average of wind over force four in February isn't to be sniffed at either!
There are two hotels in El Medano with a third under construction. There are plenty of apartments in walking distance from the spots, or further out if you prefer. Two bedroom apartments are common, but there is a range of villas for families or groups of people just outside the town. There are several restaurants offering typical Spanish food, such as tapas to comidas caseras as well as Italian, Chinese and of course, sea food. Overall, food is inexpensive and you can eat out very well for less than ?15. Depending on what constitutes a good night out for you, you can choose between a number of bars, but for real dancing, head to the classic resort of Las Americas which is about 20 minutes away by car, and where all the clubs are... and most of Tenerife's lobstered holiday makers!
Reina Sofia Airport (Tenerife South) (TFS): Ten minutes out of the airport, you can be virtually rigging up in El Medano.
You can just get a taxi from the airport as it's only five minutes to El Medano, but there's a lot to see and do in Tenerife, so it's a good idea to hire a car.
- Whale and dolphin watching in Los Christianos, Las Americas or Los Gigantes.
Issue #25 had a feature on Tenerife which is available free online, just click here .
Tenerife is also featured in Issue #33. Get your copy from your local kite shop or subscribe online here.