Isla de lobos
Mistranslated as the island of wolves the name actually comes from the monk seals that once inhabited the island, but were hunted to the very last one. Isla de Lobos has recently been the centre of much attention, after the discovery of shell and clay fragements that have prove a Roman Settlement on the island. These Romans used a particular snail shell to manufacture (very laboriously) a rare and very precious purple dye called ‘Imperial Purple’. The island is accessible by boat from Corralejo, but only during the day time. Visit the stunning white sand beach of Playa de la Concha.
A surfer town, yet not on a beach. It’s a rather curious place, but has a distinctly hippy, surfer vibe, with funky cafes and restaurants, boutiques, bakery, surf schools and shops. Its a great place to stop off on your journey between El Cotillo and Corralejo. There are a number of Villas for holiday rental for those that prefer their own space – hiring a car would be an absolute must.
Puerto del Rosario
The Capital of the island, Puerto del Rosario can appear quite scruffy, but it has been working on it in recent years, with vastly improved town beaches, pedestrianised main street and large shopping centre. The old Parador (state owned hotel chain) has recently opened after a big renovation project, offering accommodation near the Capital, although in my opinion, stay elsewhere on the island and visit the Capital instead.
Literally meaning old, there was already a settlement here when the Bethencourt and his men arrived on Fuerteventuras shores in 1402. This small and sleepy village houses a well restored windmill which is now part of a larger museum, tourist and art craft center. Visit the picturesque church built in 1785 and wander around its well kept grounds.
The first Capital of the Canary Islands and Fuerteventura. Betancuria is one of the oldest towns on the island and is well worth a visit during your time in Fuerteventura. Visit the old church, which has been re-built after countless pirate attacks (click here for more information on Betancuria). The small town appears to only be open for tourist business, as come 5pm, everything including the restaurants and cafes close down for the night.
Another old town in Fuerteventura, Pajara dates back to not long after the founding of Betancuria. The local church was built in 1687 and interestingly contains Aztec-style carvings believed to have been added thanks to the influence of a returning migrant worker from South America who gave significant sums to the local town upon his return.
Gran Tarajal is the largest and most Canarian feeling of towns in the south of the island. With its black sand beach, most visitors tend to be from elsewhere on the island or the archipelago, giving it an authentic charm. With seafront promenade, tapas bars and cafes a plenty, this is a super place to enjoy an afternoon lunch (for a reasonable price too) and watch the world go by.
A tiny town one side, and a large sports hotel on the other. Las Playitas is a village of two halves just outside of Gran Tarajal. The tiny fishing village of Las Playitas is very quaint, and well worth a visit, along with the nearby lighthouse. On the opposite side of its black beach is the huge sports hotel, where many pro and semi-pro athletes come to train, amongst its facilities are an 18 hole golf course and Olympic sized swimming pool.
Just a 10 minute drive from Costa Calma is the surfer town of La Pared. Located on the west coast of the island, at the start of the Jandia Peninsula, this small town has one large hotel, now owned by the same large sports hotel found in Las Playitas. With surf schools a plenty, this is a great place to visit if you want to learn, or brush up your surf skills, whilst having access to some of the best beaches on the island. Other than a few cafes and restaurants plus the stunning beaches, La Pared has little else to offer, however most visitors have their eyes firmly fixed on the surf.
Walk along the 5 kilometers of untouched beach, discover Villa Winter and its uncertain past or the eery graveyard nearby. Getting to Cofete can be a bit of a challenge with only two routes: one via dirt road the other a two and a half hour walk (each way). The journey is however well worth it, and there is thankfully a restaurant serving wine, beer, soft drinks and food too.