Sightseeing in Fuerteventura
The distinctly dry climate influenced by both the Tropic of Cancer and the Western Sahara has helped to carve a sparse, sanded landscape in Fuerteventura unlike any other. Echoing the vast desert-like scenes of Gran Canaria and the dusky volcanic rockery of Lanzarote, the island is a thrilling fusion of arid, imposing terrain.
To truly feel the awe-inspiring effects of such a place, you need to visit the Corralejo Natural Park. It’s here that the sand-swept nature of the island is revealed in all its glory, as a great swathe of 27 square kilometres is coated in fine-grained undulating dunes. Indeed, the park is so desolate, it’s possible to feel like the only human on earth in its centre, as the constant plains follow as far as the eye can see in every direction.
A similarly staggering sense of isolation envelops you at the Villa Winter in Cofete. This grand villa is in an impossibly remote outpost, with the sloping forms of the Jandia Mountains bordering its surroundings. Built in 1946 by Gustav Winter, the German Engineer had mysterious connections with the fascist dictators Franco and Hitler, and the previous use of the Villa is shrouded in secrecy.
If you’d like to find out more about the less sinister side of the island’s history, you should visit the Salt Museum in Salinas del Carmen and the Ecomuseo La Alcogida in Fuerteventura’s capital, Puerto del Rosario. Salt production was once a vital part of the industry and you can find out the exact methods of the salt pans still in use today at the Salt Museum. Meanwhile, the eco-museum harks back to Fuerteventura’s rural era, before the advent of tourism.
After enjoying the palette of colours that define the natural wonders of Fuerteventura, you may be inspired to see the dazzling collages at the Centro de Arte Canario in La Oliva. Also known as ‘Casa Mane’, its rooms are filled with the vibrant imaginings of local Canarian artists, while there’s a delightful sculpture garden dotted with palm trees and cypresses.
Activities in Fuerteventura
The rolling surf and prevailing winds that dominate the coastline of Fuerteventura create the ideal conditions for watersports, so you’ll find a huge number of windsurfing and kitesurfing schools all the way from north to south. Playa Sotavento represents the ultimate playground for these thrilling activities, as its vast open stretch of white sand makes venturing onto the open seas incredibly effortless. It’s no wonder the PWA Windsurfing and Kitesurfing World Cup is held here every summer! But even if you’re a complete beginner, the lagoons formed when the tide comes in offer all the wind without the waves to ensure a gentle learning curve.
Remaining in the water, deep-sea diving is very popular, especially around the resort of Costa Caleta. This is largely because the surrounding Atlantic waters are veritable havens for all forms of marine life - you may even spot dolphins and turtles gracefully gliding by.
While the heartlands of Fuerteventura are particularly mountainous, the coastal resorts are notably flat and easily traversable by quad biking or mountain biking, whichever you prefer!
More sporting glory comes in the form of the island’s great golfing options. That begins with the Fuerteventura Golf Club, an 18-hole championship-level course that hosted the 2004 Spanish Open. If you want to prepare yourself for the challenge, you should get into the swing of things at the Mirador do Lobos Golf at Corralejo. A particularly compact course, every one of its nine holes is a small par 3, so you only need bring a pitching wedge and putter with you.
Family Fun in Fuerteventura
With welcoming restaurants and a whole host of fun activities, Fuerteventura is ideally angled for families. That’s certainly the case at the island’s biggest zoo, the Fuerteventura Oasis Park in La Lajita. Spread across acres of sprawling parklands, it offers a complete activity centre that’ll make you want to keep coming back day after day. Its star attraction is the array of animals kept in large, natural enclosures, including flamingos, giraffes and even cheetahs. Regular parrot, reptile and parrot shows add extra variety to the mix, and there are also fragrant botanical gardens for a peaceful scene for the adults.
Families will have a splashing great time at the Baku Familypark in Corralejo. Set within a large landscaped park, all ages will enjoy its spiralling chutes and dinghy slides of its Baku Waterpark. There’s a huge wave pool and a daring kamikaze ride, while a little relaxation is an option too at its sun bed terrace and Jacuzzi pool. As an alternative, its MiniGolf Fantasy is a complete 18-hole course for yet more fun in the sun.
If you’d prefer to be by a beautiful, sun-kissed beach, Costa Caleta is your ideal choice. The coastline in Fuerteventura is typically expansive and exposed, resulting in stunning shores but rather choppy waters. However, this is not the case in Costa Caleta! Its long headland creates a sheltered barrier for its arc of golden sand. This makes the water much calmer, and children’s swimming much safer.
Romantic Breaks in Fuerteventura
Blessed with white sands and apricot-coloured sunlight, there are simply endless romantic scenes in Fuerteventura. The island is famed for the sheer quality of its beaches, with a fine-grained chain of unbroken beaches stretching for more than 50km in the south.
But for the ultimate remote shore to be shared together, you should head to Playa de Cofete. It’s often recognised as the most attractive of all the Spanish beaches. Lying on Fuerteventura’s relatively undiscovered western side, the first thing you’ll notice is the incredibly wide, flat plain of gold that forms the beach itself. Complement this image with the foaming white ripples of the surf and angular edges of the Jandia Mountains and you have a picture more perfect than any artist could imagine.
As a contrast, the El Cotillo Lagoons are edged by sheer cliff faces forged with the island’s indigenous volcanic rock. The mottled forms of its black rockery merge with the white sands to create a striking monochromatic backdrop.
The architecture of the island has been subtly developed around these idyllic natural formations. This is something you’ll notice if you travel together to the Faro de la Entallada lighthouse in Las Playitas. Only accessible via a steep, off-trail mountain road, the supreme views you’ll share of the indigo Atlantic are more than worth the effort. The fractured stone and Moorish-style symmetry make the building worth marvelling at too.
You may also appreciate the ambience of Lajares Village. With just a cluster of traditional tapas bars and authentic cafes punctuated by a working windmill, it’s the perfect place to unwind and discover the true Fuerteventura.
Top Tips for Fuerteventura
The bus lines of Fuerteventura are remarkably well connected and reliable for what is still a relatively undeveloped island. To truly appreciate the beauty of the landscape, you really need to travel. The bus routes between Corralejo in the north, all the way to Morro Jable in the far south, represent a cheap and easy way to travel.
Ferry day trips
Ferries are a particular boon to Fuerteventura tourism, especially if you’re staying at a resort near the north. You can catch one of the regular 25-minute rides from Corralejo to Playa Blanca in Lanzarote and discover an entirely new Canary Island. On the other hand, it’s also less than a 10-minute boat ride from Corralejo to the uninhabited island of Lobos.
- Please, thank you – Por favor, gracias
- How much? – ¿Cuanto es?
- Good morning/afternoon/night – Buenos dias/buenas tardes/buenas noches.
- Excuse me – Perdon
- How are you? – ¿Como esta?
- I don't understand – No entiendo
- Do you speak English? – ¿Habla usted ingles?
- I don't speak Spanish – No hablo español.
- I would like… - Quisiera…
- Is there a bank/post office near here? – ¿Hay un banco/correos cerca de aqui?
- Do you have…? – ¿Tiene…?
- The time – la hora
- A double room – una habitacion con cama matrimonial.
- Where is…? – ¿Donde esta…
- The train station – la estacion de ferrocarril
- The bus station – la estacion de autobuses