Weird Travel

Windsurfing, Wildlife and Wayfarers – A Guide to the Little-known El Medano

posted by Chris Valentine

You may have never heard of El Medano before, but this town in the Granadilla de Abona municipality of Tenerife in the Canary Islands may be just what you have been looking for. It is the perfect place for active travellers to base themselves, as it offers easy access to some topographical features that offer a wealth of activities.

Whatever type of holiday you are embarking on, planning it with Cosmos will mean that it runs smoothly. So what can you expect to get up to in El Medano? Read on to find out more.


That huge stretch of beach, buffeted the wind, is just crying out for holidaymakers to take advantage of its shallow waters and perfect conditions for windsurfing. There are three separate areas to explore, offering a varied itinerary for anyone wishing to make the sport the focus of their stay.

Alternatively, visitors can decide to dip their toes in the water, so to speak, and use their trip as an opportunity to try windsurfing for the first time. Equipment can be easily hired and lessons organised all year round, although be warned there is less wind in September and October.

There is also the opportunity to take up other watersports, such as kite boarding, for a bit of variety, so any activity enthusiasts certainly won’t get bored. Just make sure to pick up some fresh board shorts at before heading over!

Protected areas

If wildlife watching is more your thing then the protected areas of Red Mountain and Bare Mountain will be right up your street. Each of these spectacular craters has been created by volcanic activity in the area and provides a unique environment where birds and other creatures thrive.

Red Mountain has seen much of its crater flattened by sea erosion, but you can still make out the terracotta sand of the half submerged geological feature. Look out for the stone curlew that has made its home here.

The crater in the volcano cone at Bare Mountain measures nearly a kilometre in diameter. It is possible to imagine the series of eruptions that resulted in its formation just by standing and looking at it. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars as it is home to a number of bird species.


Those who like to learn more about the history of the places they visit will be interested to know that El Medano was the last place that Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano stopped before embarking on their circumnavigation of the globe.

The two men and their crew spent a few days in the area gathering provisions for their voyage and once they had their meat, water and firewood they set off to the south.

Another historical link associated with the town of El Medano can be found in a cave not far from its boundaries. Inside there is a shrine to St Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur, who is said to have lived there in the 17th century.

It was not until the 1930s that a road was

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