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Corralejo - Flag Beach

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General details:

Flag Beach has a Fanatic/North centre run by Ben Thomas - a UK ex-pat and is the closest beach to Corralejo, heading South. Ben can arrange almost anything from board hire to apartments & car hire & full-blown holidays. He's also quite happy to sell-off ex-rental gear and arrange to get it shipped back for you.

Flag is a huge beach & can readily absorb vast numbers of people. When the wind blows, the sand blows with it, causing consternation to those horizontally arranged. Any hint of stickiness of suncream & you'll look like a sandman / woman within a couple of minutes! Over the years, many kindly souls have built circular "hides" out of volcanic rocks. These are now a fairly permanent feature, & provide shelter from blowing sand. Most shelters will be populated by clothes-free people. Nudism is commonplace, and is totally accepted.

Take a snorkel & mask with you in case there's no wind. Within a couple of metres of the shore, there's a veritable zoo of wildlife - some of which may appear on your dinner plate later the same evening!

After you park, spend the rest of the morning sunbathing, setting-up and/or posing 'cos there's probably going to be no wind until midday or later.

Flag Beach 1 Flag Beach 2 View towards Lanzarote
A windless Flag Beach, by
the board rental place.
Click for large picture (15Kby)
A slightly windier Flag Beach at low tide (42Kb) Looking over towards Lanzarote (49Kb)
Beach Wildlife View towards Lobos  
Our friend on the beach! (53Kb) Lokking towards Isla de Lobos (55Kb)  

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Directions to the right place:

From Corralejo, take the road towards Puerto del Rosario. Flag Beach Windsurfing Centre is the first beach you come to - about 1.5km from the centre of town. If you come to 2 large hotels with apartments, shops, etc, you've gone too far.

Parking here is on the side of the main road - get there early to find a space & watch out for soft sand, and impatient bus/taxi drivers behind you while you're looking for a parking slot!

It's then a 300-400m. trek across soft sand to the water's edge - a hell of a drag with your own kit.

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How the winds work:

The wind at Flag is mainly cross-shore from the left (port tack), giving flat water/chop sailing, with a blast across to the island of Lobos possible in 15-20 minutes with a good breeze (although I've heard it's a bit of a shark breeding ground - never heard of anyone being attacked, however). Don't do it alone!

Swells can build up to sizeable ramps at times a couple of hundred metres out.

I've often found the wind here to be unreliable, yet others swear by the place (I often swear AT it!).

The wind can often blow dead onshore in the summer and there seems to be a bit of a "dead spot" in front of the windsurfing centre in this direction.

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Tidal conditions:

Tidal range is quite small - around 2.5m max.

On spring lows, some rocks close to the shore will be exposed, as will the reef about 200m to the N.

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Be careful on spring low tides as it's quite rocky along the shoreline.

The only safe launching area is a small clear area in front of the windsurf centre.

All the reefs close by are deep enough to be sailed-over - even at low tide - within a 60° arc from the windsurfing centre. There is a large rocky outcrop 300m S of the Fanatic Centre on the shoreline. With the NE wind, and N to S current, it's possible to drift onto these rocks if the wind drops & you can't get going again. There's also a reef running from the shore 200m N of the centre arcing out & S for around 200m, though it's unlikely you'll sail so far upwind (& unneccessary).

Beware too the rest of the shoreline - although it looks benign, it's actually sandstone covering lava. There are many blow holes from the lava through the sandstone, and there are many cracks and ridges. The only time in my life I've had stitches was from here - my foot slipped down such a blow hole & had a slice removed from it.

Closer in, there are a number of rocky outcrops/reefs which are underwater except at the lowest of spring low tides when one or two might just surface. It always looks a little menacing because the water's so clear and it's difficult to estimate the depth of water above the rocks.

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There is a café on the beach - about 1/2 way between the windsurfing centre and the two huge hotels and apartment blocks to the S.

A number of "hides" all along the beach. Get there early to get one. If the wind's blowing, it's good shelter. If not, it's swelter!

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B&B's / campsites

Thousands of apartments and plenty of hotels in Corralejo, plus the two large hotels at the bottom of Flag Beach

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Pubs and eateries

Again, hundreds of bars in Corralejo.

Try Corky's (Corky Kirkham) Bar if you can find it!

No particular recommendations, though there are loads of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops in Corralejo.

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