Introduction to fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands (after Tenerife), the oldest (dating back to over 20 million years) and is the closest to the African content, at just 100km.
Where to go
The main tourist resorts of Fuerteventura lie at opposite ends of the island, with Corralejo, favoured by Brits and Italians in the north and Morro Jable, favoured by many Germans and Scandinavians in the south, although both resorts have become much more multi-national in recent years.The relatively new developments of Caleta de Fuste, favoured by many due to its close proximity to the airport, just a 10 minute drive away and Costa Calma, on the Jandia Peninsula with access to stunning light sand beaches have both grown quickly and are again favoured by Brits and Germans respectively.
(Why there appears to be this split with more Brits in the north and Germans in the south, no-one can say – although tourism budgets do seem follow this pattern, with little advertising in the UK for holidays to the south of the island and vice versa.)
Fuerteventura is known as ‘the beach of the Canaries’ and with more than 150 to choose from, you really don’t have to wander far to find a stunning beach. Favourites include:
- Grandes Playas (Parque Natural de las Dunas de Corralejo)
- Playa de la Cebada (Morro Jable)
- Playa Sotavento (just south of Costa Calma)
- Playa de Cofete (Cofete)
- Playa la Concha (El Cotillo)
Beaches on the east coast tend to be favoured by holiday makers, as they are much more sheltered then their western counterparts, which are often much more windswept and rugged, although the long stretch of light golden sand beaches in El Cotillo don’t quite follow this rule.
Fuerteventura literally means “strong fortune” but the mis-translation of “strong winds”is rather appropriate, as the island is a wind and kite surfing Mecca. In fact the Windsurfing & Kite-boarding World Cup has been held at Playa de Sotavento for 32 years running. World Class competitors travel from all over the world to compete for 1 month in the PWA Freestyle Grand Slam, PWA Slalom Grand Slam and GKA Strapless Freestyle Grand Slam tournaments. (For more information on the tournaments, click here.)
The local surfing community doesn’t miss out either, with most surfers congregating in the north of the island, around Corralejo and El Cotillo, although the small settlement of La Pared on the south west coast also has a surf community and surf-vibe.
Sailing boats and Catamarans offer 4/5 hour excursions with a chance of seeing dolphins, whales and flying fish. You can also learn to sail by hiring a small sailing boat or catamaran from schools and hotels all over the island, offering classes and then hour by hour rental rates too.
Scuba divers and snorkelers are well catered for, the underwater landscape providing interesting rock formations, drop-offs, wrecks and reefs; visibility can reach up to 50 meters giving you a great chance to see a selection of marine life that includes: Angel Sharks, Tuna, large Groupers, Octopus, Cuttlefish,Eagle Rays, Barracuda, Scorpion fish, Parrot fish, Trumpet fish, Needle fish to name but a few. Scuba diving schools are based all over the island and offer a range of diving lessons, courses and excursions, from beginner though the expert options. Snorkelers should stick to rocky areas, and be aware of strong current; wearing fins is always recommended.
Visitors to Fuerteventura can be as adventurous or chilled as they like, whether it’s surfing, learning to dive, or chilling out on one of the beautiful beaches, there is something for everyone on the island of eternal sun.