Extreme Sports in Tenerife

Mon, December 5th, 2011 - By Linda

Tenerife and, in fact, all the Canary Islands are known as a sporting destination, and not just a place to catch some sunshine – not really surprising, with seven golf courses, year-round swimming, snorkelling, diving and some superb hiking just on this one island. Many hotels have tennis courts and other facilities too, so if you’re an active type don’t be deterred by Tenerife’s old image.

My sons grew up here doing all of the above, and as a skateboarder whizzed past me on a street in Santa Cruz the other day it reminded me that those weren’t the only sports they enjoyed – this is also a mecca for extreme sports. It seems to me that every teenager in my home town has wheels under their feet, whether it’s skates or skateboards.

Most kids grow up here at least trying body boarding or surfing. This is the only place in Europe where you can surf comfortably in winter, and there is a wide variety, from easy learning to hard, fast point breaks. Summer water temperatures are in the low 20s, but a wet suit is a good idea in winter when the water temperature drops. Conveniently, the best learning spots are in Playa de las Americas by the Conquistador Hotel (La Derecha del Cartel), on the beach in front of the Las Palmeras Hotel, known as Spanish Left or in Fitenia close to Parque Santiago 3. For the experts there are surf spots on the rocky coasts from Alcalá on the west, close to Playa San Juan, and along the northern coast from La Caleta de Interian near Garachico, Playa del Socorro in Los Realejos and up to the tip of the island from El Charco right around to Igueste de San Andres.

Around El Médano’s beaches you’ll find wave riders of another kind. These beaches are the province of both wind and kite surfers. Unlike classic surfing, which requires waves created by the ocean’s swell, these versions need wind and the waves whipped up by it. In 2011 both the Professional Windsurf Association and the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association passed through the town, that’s the standard we have.

Rapidly growing in popularity are climbing, bouldering and canyoning, and the desert landscapes of the south, especially around Arico, offer plenty of opportunity for sport climbing with well-bolted routes, and the chance of some good, traditional climbing. Within the Teide National Parque there is a set climbing area at El Capricho, around 2,100m above sea level. If you are staying in the north then Valle Tabares near Santa Cruz, Martianez near Puerto de la Cruz or San Marcos are the places to head for.  Bouldering can be found throughout the island, even on the beaches of Costa Adeje, and canyoning and abseiling is best in the Teno area in the North West.

I questioned whether mountain biking is classed as an extreme sport, and was told that when it’s downhill, heck yes! Uphill is better classed as an endurance sport, and we aren’t short of hills around here!

I’m sure I’ve missed some sports out, wakeboarding or water skiing come to mind, but I just hope that perhaps I’ve whetted your appetite for a visit to an island which is, in my mind, the extreme sport capital of Europe.

Posted : Monday, December 5th, 2011 at 12:07 pm
Category : things to do
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One Response to “Extreme Sports in Tenerife”

  1. […] travel rules, and certainly the Canary Islands have a lot to offer when it comes to extreme sports, but if you want holiday bragging rights without facing extreme danger, then Tenerife has the […]

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