REVIEW: My Week at Planet Surf Camp Fuerteventura in Retrospective
Planet Surf Camps got in touch a little while ago and invited me to their Camp on Fuerteventura for a week. I was very excited, for surfing has always been a type of sport I’ve wanted to try. Now, this was a win-win situation: a week of sun-fun on an island I’ve been to three times before and happened to like a lot as well as a bit of action in the form of a new physical challenge on top. I was sold.
Thus, I booked a flight for May 9, talked to my brother, who is probably even more of a sports enthusiast than me and thus really wanted to come, and then had about 2 months to look forward to this trip. Now that I’ve been back for a few days (really missing the sun), I am reflecting upon my stay and want you to know about my impressions.
Maybe this is your next destination? Who knows. Here, you at least have an honest review based on my experience, which hopefully provides a basis for your decision.
What does a week at Planet Surf on Fuerteventura include?
• 7 nights at the surf house in Corralejo (unisex room from 4-8 people)
• 20 hours surf lessons (5 days à 4 hours; incl. theory, practice and way to/from surf spot)
• Shuttle to and from the surf spots
• All surf equipment (wet suits, surfboard, shoes if surfing at the reef)
My brother paid the original price of 190 Euros for a week (Sat-Sat), so you have an idea of what you get for your money.
Transfer from / to Airport
You have a few options here. Taking a taxi is the most expensive, yet the quickest way. It will cost you about 45 Euros to the surf house. Planet Surf also offer a shuttle. I, for one, booked the transfer via urlaubstransfer which cost me 17 Euros one way. It takes about 50 minutes. The shuttle will drop you off at the Oasis Village, which is less than two minutes from the surf house, right around the corner. The cheapest option is public transport, but probably also the most stressful one. It takes one and a half to two hours but you’ll spend less than a tenner - way less.
The Welcoming / First Impression
We arrived at the camp at around 6.30 pm. It’s two houses located in a residential complex about 100 m away rom the nearby Oasis Village Hotel. Since there’s no door bell or some kind of reception - so there’s no real checking in -, we simply dropped in and found ourselves standing in the middle of the kitchen with a view on the outdoor communal area.
The ‚surfers‘ were outgoing and welcomed us in a friendly manner. However, the responsible person didn’t seem to be there (actually two, but none of them was available at that moment). Thus, we just left our stuff in the kitchen and headed to the supermercado HiperDino located right across the road to get us pasta for dinner.
The whole camp is self-catered; you have to think of it as basically two shared houses. There are 3 fridges (one for the staff) and two large tables with enough chairs. Additionally, there are two big, spacious shelves where everyone can leave their food (don’t forget to label it). Coffee machine, kettle, two cooking areas and sinks is what you’ll find. When chilled-out people share a kitchen, I assume it’s only normal that the dishes are not always washed right away and might as well be in the way. If you need a cup, for instance, chances are you will have to just grab one and clean it yourself. Apart from the kitchen, the terrace incl. pool and table tennis facilities, for instance, made a good impression. Don’t expect much of your place for the night, for it’s very simple but on the other hand, you have everything you need, There’s one closet and shelf, three single beds and one bunk bed as well as one window right next to the pool. If you’re a light sleeper, don’t forget your earplugs as the water pump is quite noisy.
All rooms carry the name of a canary island, which I consider a cute idea.
Just when we got back to the camp with two bags full of food, we were welcomed by lovely Alice. She apologized for just having been to the shop real quick - she obviously knew that we were coming - and not having been there earlier. Not a problem, we’re on vacation and everyone on Fuerteventura is very relaxed. She gave us one key for which we had to pay a deposit of 6 Euros, and lead us to our room in the basement. There is a bathroom and another two-bed room opposite of our room.
On the ground floor, you’ll find another bathroom as well as one 4 and one 8-bed room. Be aware, there might be cockroach (okay, I’m still alive). It’s just something that’s not always easy to avoid in hot, humid southern areas.
The Communal Area(s)
Communal areas are the kitchen area, roof terrace as well as the space outside (including a little pool), which is right next to the kitchen and where most of the “campers“ hung out.
There was enough space for everyone to find their little spot to relax. Also, windows to the kitchen were open and music adding to a laid-back atmosphere. I enjoyed spending some time there together with others.
The kitchen is fully-equipped and everyone is cooking their own food; however, sometimes, a group of people had dinner together. You also have the chance to leave food you’re not using anymore or can’t take home; you may also use things people left, which is quite handy sometimes if you need olive oil, for instance, but don’t want to buy a whole bottle. Don’t expect it to be utterly clean (I mean, it’s not a hotel) but rather accept the fact that many people are sharing a kitchen. It’s fun! All in all, the communal areas are definitely a good place to relax and get in touch with others.
The evening before your next surf lesson, you’ll find your name written on a board in the kitchen so you know which group and time slot you’re in. Depending on your level, you’ll be joining either Gala, Marcus or Gabriele (the latter coaching the more experienced surfers).
The surf instructors do not live at the camp. They pick you up before the surf lesson. On your first day of surfing, one of the instructors chooses the right-sized wet suit for you as well as an appropriate surfboard. After everyone’s taken a seat in the van, you’ll have to mentally prepare for a 20-25 minute drive until you reach the surf spot.
I was in the beginner group the first three days; we went to El Cotillo, a nice little bay area where we could practice perfectly.
On Thursday and Friday, the reef was calling. We went to a spot called Caleta.
Marcus and Gala who were introducing us to the theory of surfing went through the details quite quickly. However, we all didn’t mind as being on the beach in the freaking sun just spurred our desire to jump into the cooling ocean and try our luck to simply stand on the board for at least one second. It takes between 4 to 4 and a half hours from leaving the surf camp to returning back to the base, of which about two and a half hours are spent in the water. It’s definitely good fun but also very exhausting.
I never though that I’d be this tired after a lesson but I was dead wrong. Always make sure to bring sunscreen, water and a banana as you’ll have a break in-between.
The Activities On-Site
Besides surfing, you can embrace additional ‘active‘ activities at Planet Surf Camp Fuerteventura while socialize.
- relaxing the mind and body while doing yoga a few times a week (twice)
- playing table tennis whenever you find someone (very likely)
- pool sessions in a group (it doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro or not)
- swimming pool (go for a dip if you feel hot and have your own aqua workout if you feel like it)
- renting a bike to see more of Corralejo (3 Euros for one day)
Positive Aspects in a Nutshell
- After three days, we got new pillows.
- The people are very laid-back people (most of them actually were from Germany, Poland, England that particular week).
- It’s a small camp (maybe 30 people who were there, maybe less) and thus close-knit community.
- Do activities such as yoga, playing pool and table tennis, going into town, having a „surf movie and dinner night“…).
- You’ll have small surf groups (between 5 and 8 people).
- The surf instructors are certified and experienced, very open-minded and definitely know what they are doing.
Critique in a Nutshell
I guess if you look closer, there’s always something to criticize. Although this week at Planet Surf is a very memorable (in the positive sense) one, there are a few little things I was missing.
- About 7 people, at least, share a bathroom. I wasn’t really sure whether and when the wet rooms were cleaned. Just my personal impressions. It wasn’t “dirty“ but it didn’t really seem as if the toilets etc. were cleaned regularly.
- Probably the most crucial minus point: no storage for valuables. Doors and windows open but there was no place to lock valuables.
- A little hint: flyscreens, for those mosquitoes killed me. Since temperatures on Fuerteventura are high and you share a room with people, there window should be open without having to be bitten by those pesky insects. I heard a few people moan about that.
Who is Surf Camp Fuerteventura for?
Planet Surf Camp Fuerteventura is for the sociable, the laid-back and for those appreciating a minimalistic lifestyle. It’s also for the people wanting the active surf experience on a budget and don’t need fancy accommodation as they are out all day anyway soaking in the sun’s rays. Planet Surf Camp on Fuerte is for people relaxing best when surrounded by a bunch of people and who enjoy cooking their own meals - and who don’t care if they have to clean a plate or fork twice. Additionally, it’s for those being happy with the simple things in life and who certainly don’t mind sharing a bathroom with loads of people. Planet Surf is for urbane adventure seekers who look for an inexpensive, active trip bringing them many new personal experiences and new perspectives based on simplicity and other people’s stories.
And this cute little bag I purchased on the day of departure for 12 Euros. Whenever I look at it, I want to go back immediately.
Maybe soon? Somewhere else? Planet Surf have surf camps in France and on Tenerife, for instance. Go check them out. Surfing is so much fun, I can assure you.
Thanks to Planet Surf Camps for inviting me. I am now very keen on continuing to improve my surfing skills whenever it’s possible again. Overall, I had a lovely time at the surf house and trying a new sport!
Certainly, opinions are my own.