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Sailing in the Canary Islands

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The location of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic just off the coast of Africa offers perfect sailing conditions and weather conditions that provide sunshine, little rain and temperatures that remain the same all year. The north easterly trade winds have been supporting sailing ships for hundreds of years, and it was these that took Christopher Columbus from the Canary Islands on his journey to discover and explore America and the Caribbean islands that were previously unknown in the fifteenth century.

So there are plenty of opportunities for excellent sailing around the Canary Islands. If you have never sailed before, why not sign up for a two day course to learn about sailing techniques - steering, handling sails and ropes - as well as lunch at sea and time for swimming too! There are a number of RYA courses offered by local sailing schools that offer qualified instruction for all levels of sailing standards. Now that is a novel holiday idea!
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If you just want to experience sailing on your holiday, you can find centres that offer just what you need. Maybe you want to sail around the islands and visit traditional fishing towns or remote beaches and coastal areas? Or maybe call in at the marinas near the capital cities where you will find great nightlife, restaurants and large shopping centres. If you take a sailing holiday, then you do not have to limit yourself to one island as different islands offer different sail conditions and coastal areas that are stunning. Distances are about one day’s sailing between each island.
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There are good facilities for yachts on all the islands, but particularly on the larger islands, with many sailors visiting the islands and then deciding to stay for a longer period. This is the case with many sailors from Europe who come for the warm winter months. The best marina facilities are found in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria in the north of the island, but there are also good marinas in the south of Gran Canaria at Pasito Blanco, Puerto Rico and Puerto Mogan, with chandlery and boat repair services.

Tenerife has the largest docking facilities in Santa Cruz, with a small marina in the fishing harbour. There are also marinas at Radazul, Los Gigantes and Puerto Colon. There is also a boatyard at Los Cristianos for repairs.

Lanzarote has two marinas with boatyards and repair services at Puerto Calero and Marina Rubicon. Fuerteventura has a small marina at El Castillo offering repairs and some repairs are also possible at Puerto Rosario. Marinas are also located on the islands of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.
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Experienced sailors will understand that while the prevailing wind is north easterly all year, the strongest winds are in July and August and the lightest winds in October and November. However, the high mountainous areas of the islands create different wind conditions in their lee, compared to coasts facing the prevailing winds. There can also be a funnelling effect created by the islands that can increase wind speed by up to fifteen knots in places.

So unless you are an experienced sailor used to sailing conditions around the Canary Islands, make sure your sailing holiday experience is with one of the professional training schools or sailing centres based on each of the islands. Visit your nearest marina or harbour to find out what sailing experiences or training are offered and make your holiday unforgettable.

Canary Sail, La Gomera
www.canarysail.com

Club Sail, Tenerife
www.clubsail.com

Sunsail Schools
www.sunsail.co.uk

Noonsite Sailing
www.noonsite.com

Bareboat Sailing
www.bareboatsailingholidays.com

WeatherOnline Sailing Conditions
www.weatheronline.co.uk

Costasur Canary Islands
http://canarias.costasur.com

Sailing Europe
www.sailingeurope.com

Azul Sailing for yacht rental
www.azulsailing.nl

Velvet Adventure Sailing
www.velvetadventuresailing.com

Marinas in the Canary Islands
There are few places in the world that offer optimum sailing conditions all year round. The Canary Islands is one such place and not just because of the pleasant temperatures and the constant winds that blow even in the winter months, but also because of the safety of this European destination both when the boat is moored in the harbour and when at sea. Added to this is the wide and varied range of facilities and services, providing sailors of all boat types with everything needed for their voyage.

In the Canary Islands there are a large number of marinas that are well equipped to take in any kind of boat that puts into port.
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