El Palmar is best known for the surfing, but not many people know that it can be a great place for kitesurfing and windsurfing. The combination of waves and wind can provide an amazing wave riding experience. And when the Levante wind blows off the Mediterranean coast, the water is mostly flat with small to medium sized waves forming on the shore which, if the wind blows strong enough, you’ll be able to catch, especially if you’re kitesurfing, which it requires less wind to maintain. planning. The best place in El Palmar with an easterly wind is on the east side in front of Gran Baba and at the entrance to El Palmar where the roundabout and the lifeguard post are. Conditions with the west wind blowing off the Atlantic Ocean are usually not so good as the water is quite choppy. However, kitesurfers still get out there and are able to jump on the waves and ride them a bit.
>>Read also our article on surfing in El Palmar, Conil de La Frontera and Caños de Meca, full of tips and tricks!<<<
Windsurfing and kitesurfing spot guide:
- El Palmar; with wind from the west (the colder Atlantic wind also known as poniente wind) the sea stays flat which is why you can pick up high speeds and at the shore the wind is less but if the wind is strong enough you will be able to catch the waves at the shore and play around with the them which is a lot of fun. Sometime with the western wind from the Mediterranean (levante wind) it is also possible to ride big waves but normally it is quite choppy and only kitesurfers are able to jump over the waves and keep some speed. However on beautiful days you will see some windsurf pros make incredible moves and ride big waves.
- Caños de Meca; Works well with strong levante wind (wind from the west Mediterranean). Many windsurfers and kitesurfer come from Tarifa when the levante wind is too strong or when there are good wave formations because in Caños they get bigget and better.
- Tarifa Los Lances; Best spot to learn kitesurfing especially in the summer when it is too busy at Valdevaqueros where also some rocks can be found. Fow windsurfing the water is normally a bit choppy, better to go to Valdevaqueros for windsurfing.
- Tarifa Valdevaqueros; Best spot for windsurfing. Here the wind is the strongest. Water can be quite choppy with poniente wind though.
- Tarifa Balneario; Spot only open when it is not summer time. It works well with off shore blowing levante wind and is for experienced kitesurfers only. There is a wave formation there and it can get crowded with kitesurfer so you have to know what you are doing. The offshore wind is quite constant and the water gets quite smooth and thus will not be choppy.
- Tarifa Getares; Wind needs to be above 30 knots in Tarifa for this spot to work. wind is normally on-shore and not suited for beginners. Some good wave formation here with the right circonstances. Getares is located 15 minutes driving from Tarifa direction Algeciras.
- Palmones Algeciras; Works well with poniente wind (Eastern wind from direction Atlantic ocean which brings colder wind) the water is flat and with a big sail you can reach high speeds. Also when the levante wind is too strong in Tarifa this is a good alternative.
- Zahara de los Atunes; military zone (open from October till the end of May) with levante wind (western wind). In winter can get some spectacular waves and with strong wind it turns into a pro spot.
- Conil de la Frontera; at the river mouth there is a nice wave formation. Popular by windsurfers and kitesurfer alike.
- Embalse de celemín & Embalse de Barbate; easy to learn at this fresh water lake when there is a strong levante wind, here there is a bit less wind and there are (almost) no waves
- Bolonia; with strong levante wind, here there will be a little less wind but still strong. Beautiful spot to ride and when the chiringuitos are open you can get a nice vibe. Also easy to mount your gear on the grass.
- Cortadura Cádiz; with levante wind.
- Valdelagrana Puerto de Santa Maria; with poniente wind from the north.
- Valdelagrana toruños Puerto de Santa Maria; with wind from the south (offshore)
- Barbate; With poniente you can sail with long waves and pick up a lot of speed on the way back. If you are lucky you can navigate with beautiful waves at the mouth of the river. At the parking at the end of the Paseo Maritimo you can mount your gear right next to the beach.
Windsurfing and kitesurfing in Conil de la Frontera
Most kitesurfers and especially windsurfers from El Palmar and Conil de la Frontera go to Conil to the spot in front of the mouth of the river where a wave forms. If you want to be safer and be surrounded by more fellow kitesurfers and/or windsurfers with the Levante side wind then this is a good place to go. Parking is in front of the venue so you can easily mount your gear and get in the water quickly and afterward there are plenty of bars and restaurants where you can get some food and drink to refuel.
Kitesurfing in Caños de Meca
Kitesurfing in Caños de Meca usually stays in the middle part called Marea sucia and next to the Trafalgar Lighthouse in front of the Ohana beach bar and Las Dunas restaurant and bar where you can park your car for free in low season and paying €3, – in high season and crowded days. There is a large beach area that is perfect for setting up your gear and there will be plenty of kitesurfers to help you lift your kite and land it. In this part of Caños de Meca there are also waves and the wind is a little less strong than normally in the windsurfing spot. Especially low-level kitesurfers should be aware that there is a rock formation on the west side, the side of the beach that runs alongside the path to Trafalgar Lighthouse. Also professional cyclists should keep this in mind when jumping in an easterly wind, as they don’t want to land on rocks. Severe accidents have happened many times before and some don’t end well, so be careful. If you want to stay safe, it will be better to stay a little longer on the east side, away from the rock formation.
Videos of Kitesurf Caños de Meca:
Windsurfing in Caños de Meca
Caños de Meca is a great place to practice windsurfing and kitesurfing. Windsurfers more or less have their own spot in front of the white apartment block. There is a pretty big parking area where there is also the bus stop where you can park for free or for a small volunteer fee to the volunteer parking guy who is there to take your money 😉 In front of the apartments there is a big wave formation and It is definitely not a place for beginners as there are many rock formations and some currents that you should be aware of because if you fall into the water in front of the apartments the current can take you to the east and throw you against the rocks. If you don’t wear shoes you will definitely cut yourself on the rocks and damage your gear. Also, when you get out of the water, you have to be aware of the ebb and flow, because when the water isn’t high enough, you have to know where to get out and where not to. The rocks are very unpleasant there and you can get stuck with your foot in between. e the rocks trying to get out and the waves hit you from the back and the cut drags you back into the ocean so it’s going to be a dangerous situation. And at that stage, you will not be able to hold your equipment, so you will also be seriously damaged. Normally when the water level is not at its maximum, people enter and exit in front of the apartments where the first stairs that go down to the water level are seen. If the water is at full level you can also usually go in and out along the rise right on the beach but be careful because sometimes it looks like you can get out but your fin will still hit some rock you can’t see so beware. make sure the water level is high enough. On very good days with plenty of wind and waves, windsurfers can also be found in the middle part of Caños de Meca and next to the Trafalgar Lighthouse. These days are quite rare but very spectacular and you will feel like you are in paradise just watching the show and riding it will be a thrill.