Sail All Year Round: The Best Winter Sailing Routes in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are one of the few places in the world that offer a unique sailing experience. With its pleasant climate and suitable winds, sailing can be enjoyed all year round, catering to sailors of all abilities. The winds range from calm to fast-paced, and the constant trade winds make it possible to navigate the Canarian archipelago without relying on engines, except for maneuvering in the harbor.

The trade winds

The Canary Islands are located along the trade winds, making them an ideal destination for sailing. For centuries, sailors have relied on these permanent east-to-west winds that blow across the equatorial region to navigate the open ocean. With their smooth, steady, and consistent nature, the trade winds provide a favorable environment for sailing.

A long nautical tradition

The Canary Islands have a long standing relationship with the sailing community. Considering the quality of this sailing environment, it is unsurprising that a great many top class sailors have emerged from the archipelago including Olympic medallists. There are almost 40 marinas and dozens of nautical companies that hire out the latest equipment. Boats are available including Finns, 470s, Flying Dutchmans, Solings, Tornados, Stars, Lasers and Vela Latinas. Additionally, the islands have a number of first rate sailing schools, and competitions are regularly based in the region.

A mild climate in winter

The Canary Islands is recognised for its beautiful climate. With more hours of sunlight than anywhere else in Europe, the archipelago is a prime destination for sailors. Winter offers mild temperatures of around 22º C, making it an ideal time to sail. Summer is also a great time to visit, with average temperatures around 26º C. The favorable trade winds and Azores anticyclone bring clear skies and sunny days throughout the year, with very little rain.

Eight islands, multiple routes

The Canary Islands consist of eight beautiful islands, namely Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Graciosa. These islands offer a diverse range of sights, and they are conveniently close to one another. This makes the Canarian archipelago an ideal destination for sailors who want to experience multiple seascapes and landscapes without spending long periods traveling.

From Gran Canaria to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote

The popular marina Mogán in Gran Canaria, once a colorful fishing port, is a favored starting point for many sailors. From there, sailors often head to Morro Jable, a town in southern Fuerteventura, before visiting Lanzarote, birthplace of renowned architect César Manrique. In Lanzarote, Papagayo, a peaceful and picturesque beach, is a popular destination. For those seeking adventure, a trip to La Graciosa, the less explored island to the north of Lanzarote with few roads and even fewer cars, can be arranged.

From Tenerife to La Gomera

Many opt to start their sailing journey from the Marina San Miguel in Tenerife. From there, the route along the Tenerife coast offers stunning beaches such as La Tejita, Las Vistas, Fañabé, San Juan, and El Duque. Sailors should keep an eye out for cetacean sightings when approaching the bay of Antequera, accessible only by ocean.

La Gomera, easily accessible from Tenerife, has great dock options at Marina La Gomera, the port of Playa Santiago, and the port of Las Vueltas, or you can anchor at Cabrito beach.

With a warm climate all year round, the sailing opportunities in the Canary Islands are endless.