Top 10 places to learn windsurfing overseas
The best overseas windsurfing spots for beginners
Here are 10 of the best surfing hotspots around the world where you can learn windsurfing overseas. Don't be put off by the prospect of constantly falling into cold UK waters - instead head somewhere with sunny skies and warm seas by taking an overseas windsurfing trip!
Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands yet is the least developed. The island itself offers a variety of windsurfing conditions according to the time of year, and none moreso than Corralejo in the north of the island. Flag Beach is about 4km from town and is where you’ll find the windsurf centre.
Tuition is available for beginners, although you can also go a short distance to El Cotillo, where there is an ideal beginners’ teaching lagoon, which contains shallow, protected water with a sandy bottom. All courses are run by qualified instructors. A beginner course (three days or 12 hours in total) costs £85*; an improver course costs £70; and one-hour private lessons cost £20 each.
Alacati is becoming increasingly popular with windsurfers due to the reliable wind and good value. The spot has a large, sheltered bay with a 500m-long and 400m-wide shallow section, and its constant winds and flat waters mean that it’s excellent for beginners.
Beginners’ sessions are available at Alacati, and are generally held in the morning (around 9am) when the wind is not as strong. A six-hour starter course spread over three days costs £89, whereas an intermediate course (also six hours) costs £89, and one-hour private lessons cost £35 each (excluding equipment).
Sardinia is one of the most stunning islands in the Mediterranean, and features white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters – making it a fine location for windsurfing. The prime (and most windy) spot on the island is Porto Pollo, which has two bays – one of which is much more protected and therefore ideal for beginners.
Instruction is available for beginners at Porto Pollo, although it is advisable in high season to pre-book. A six-hour beginner course including equipment costs £99; a 10 hour beginner course costs £135; and a one-hour private lesson costs £35.
This ancient fortified town’s sandy bay offers different windsurfing conditions depending on which part of the main bay you are in. The flatter water is found closer to the town and is best for beginners, especially in the mornings, as the winds do tend to build up in the afternoon.
In Essaouira you’ll usually find plenty of space and reliable winds in which to enjoy a session or two of instruction. In summer, beginners' courses are held in the mornings to avoid the strong winds. There is also no current or reef in the area, which makes things easier for beginners. Starter courses (six hours) cost £89, while private one-hour lessons cost £35 each (excluding equipment).
Soma Bay, Egypt
Soma Bay enjoys clear, uninterrupted views of the Red Sea and consists of two main bays, both of which offer super flat conditions – although the upwind bay has the added benefit of super-clean wind and is great for beginners.
There is wind here throughout the year, with some of the best in the summer – during which you could take advantage of the well-qualified instruction on offer. Here, a three-hour beginner course costs £55 (including equipment), while one-hour private lessons cost £35 each (excluding equipment).
Located just off the Venezuelan coast, Margarita has become renowned for outstanding windsurfing with reliable winds year-round. The main spot is in El Yaque, where conditions are very straightforward, and the beach and underwater is sandy and shallow (chest deep) for about 300m from the beach.
The really decent wind season is from November till May, while the least windy is from August to October – although the wind during these months will still be sufficient if you are starting out. Beginners’ sessions are held in the morning when the wind is not too strong. Six or ten-hour starter courses cost £89 or £119 respectively. Private lessons, excluding equipment, cost £35.
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles
Bonaire is one of three islands in the Caribbean making up the Dutch Antilles, and is one of the least tourist-developed and visited of the islands. The windsurfing takes place at Lac Bay, a large bay that features constant winds over flat, shallow, crystal-clear water – making it ideal for beginners.
In Lac Bay the wind peaks between May and July and is at its lowest in October and November, while the rest of the year offers good, consistent conditions. A block of five beginner lessons costs £105.
Kos is located north of Rhodes – close to Turkey – and is a popular destination for windsurfing. Arguably, the best windsurfing conditions are in the south-west tip of the island at Kefalos Bay: a beautiful 2km-long sandy bay lapped by crystal clear waters.
The water in Kefalos Bay is flat and provides ideal conditions for windsurfers who are getting started. The winds tend to pick up in the afternoon here, so it’s best for beginners to take instruction in the morning. A six-hour beginner course (one and a half hours per day) is available at £66.
Tarifa is located on the southern tip of Spain and is a great spot to visit for windsurfing. The two main bays at Hurricane (don’t worry about the name!) and Las Dunas are very wide, and provide good, protected conditions for windsurfing beginners.
Winds are usually at their strongest in the afternoon, so most beginners’ courses are underway by 10am. In terms of prices, a six-hour starter course costs £89 including equipment; an intermediate course costs £89; and one-hour private lessons cost £35 excluding equipment.
Sal, Cape Verde
The Cape Verde islands, located 450km off the west coast of Africa, have been a popular windsurfing haven for years. The main area for windsurfing is at the town of Santa Maria, where the bay has a white sandy beach stretching for around 4km.
The best spot in Santa Maria for windsurfing beginners is in front of the Leme Betch Hotel, where the water is flat and the wind is consistent and clean. Beginners’ sessions take place around 9am. A six or ten-hour hour starter course costs £89 or £119 including equipment, while private lessons cost £35 each excluding equipment.
Please note that all prices quoted are subject to fluctuations in exchange rates.
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