When searching for the ultimate holiday destination in Spain, the Canary Islands really should be top of the list. With the pristine beaches, areas of natural beauty and pretty much guaranteed year-round sunshine.
Fuerteventura is the jewel of the Canaries. It’s quieter than nearby Tenerife or Gran Canaria, allowing you to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of undeveloped beaches. It’s larger than La Gomera or Lanzarote, giving you access to some fantastic shops, bars and restaurants.
This is the essential guide to Fuerteventura and will give you all the information you need to visit this amazing Spanish island.
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands “Las Canarias” is a collection of Spanish Islands located in the Atlantic Ocean near the West coast of Africa. The Canaries are the southernmost region of Spain and the outermost region of the European Union. There are 7 main islands plus a collection of small islands and islets.
The islands have a subtropical climate, which allows them long hot summers and very pleasant mild winters. Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria are all very popular holiday destinations. The Canary Islands are visited by over 12 million people a year.
Not only do the Canary Islands have fantastic beaches and clear waters, they are also home to some amazing natural attractions.
Some of these include:
- Volcanic activity – The Canaries are the only place in Spain where volcanic eruptions occur in the modern era.
- Volcanic mountain – The Teide volcano on Tenerife is the highest mountain in Spain
- Dessert sand dunes – There are dunes in Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Corralejo in Fuerteventura
- National Parks – There are 4 across the islands, 2 were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the other 2 World Biosphere Reserves
- Astronomical observation – There are 2 professional observatories the Biosphere Reserve and Starlight Reserve
Fuerteventura is the second largest Canary Island and has a population of just over 100,000.
The name translates to “strong fortune” in English and it’s a perfect holiday destination because of its long white sandy beaches. There are 152 recorded beaches along the islands shoreline, mostly sand and volcanic black shingle.
It lies on the same latitude as Florida and Mexico and temperatures rarely fall below 18°c. So, the climate is pleasant all year round.
We visited Fuerteventura for a Winter sun break in December and it was a wonderful holiday. The beaches, food, activities and weather were all perfect.
The beaches in Fuerteventura
The beaches in Fuerteventura are some of the most stunning in Spain. With the turquoise crystal-clear water lapping at the pristine sandy shore. The warm sun on your face and the sand between your toes it’s easy to think you are in paradise.
Some of the best beach areas are:
Dunes de Corralejo
On the northern east coast of the island. Mounds of soft white dunes and grassy hillocks lead down to flat white sands scattered with black rocks. This is a popular nudist area, particularly where the “corralitos” (nooks of piled rocks) have been made. It’s also a nice spot for surfing and windsurfing, on windy days this stretch of beach gives great surf.
Beaches on the south coast with 2km of sun loungers and parasols. All the amenities you could need for lounging by the sea. The sand bar created at low tide means you can walk out in between the wind-surfers and swimmers.
On the north west coast near El Cotillo village is one of the islands most picturesque beaches. It has a natural horse-shoe shaped reef, lots of low-tide rock pools to explore and beautiful sunsets.
A wild 12km stretch on the north side of the southern-most peninsular. You need to have a 4×4 car to get there and it is completely un-touched.
Isle of Lobos
The scarcely populated Islet north of Fuerteventura is only accessible by boat from Corralejo. There is a sandy beach just 10 mins walk from the port and its very calm and tranquil.
The towns in Fuerteventura
The towns of Fuerteventura range from cute traditional villages to all-purpose holiday resort towns:
A lovely old fishing harbour and bustling commercial area with lots of shops, bars and restaurants.
Cute old village with many important buildings and architecture.
Puerto del Rosario
The main port and Capital of Fuerteventura. It has a harbour area, promenade and big shopping centre.
A historic town in the centre of the island with a windmill museum and exhibits about Fuerteventura’s past industries.
Coastal town near the big golf resort, with a long avenue of shops and restaurants.
A charming little fishing village.
Old Town and important Colonial landmark.
Fishing village with harbour and nice promenade.
Things to do in Fuerteventura
There are activities available across the island to suit everyone, whether you want to explore, relax or get adventurous.
The best things to do are:
- Sail boat to Isla de Lobos
- Ferry boat to Lanzarote
- Dune buggy & quad rides
- Bike rides
- Acua Waterpark
- Oasis Park Zoo
- Aloe Vera Bio Farm
- Retail shopping
*RELATED – Want to read more about our Dune buggy experience? Check out our travel story Mishaps and misadventures in Spain – A daring dune buggy drive
The food in Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is a very popular holiday destination for people from England, Germany, France and Scandinavia. Food menus are offered in most languages and restaurants cater to the holiday makers with English fry-ups, burger and chips and pizzas.
There is also lots of delicious local seafood available like squid, mussels, prawns and fresh fish. Many restaurants cook on an open flame grill and you can watch the chef at work through windows to the street. Grilled baby goat or “island kid” is a local dish that you must try and mixed grill also seems to be very popular.
Canarian wrinkly potatoes called “papas arrugadas” are a traditional dish, eaten as a starter or side dish. It’s delicious small potatoes, boiled in sea salt until the water evaporates. They are served with little pots of sauces called “mojo rojo” made of olive oil, garlic, paprika and chili. And “mojo verde” made of olive oil and coriander.
Drinks and nightlife in Fuerteventura
Tropical and Dorada are the local beers, the average price is €1-2 euro for a small draught “cana” which is a ½ pint(ish) size glass. Look out for bars advertising special offers and happy hours when you can grab a full pint for the same price!
Cocktails are everywhere and what holiday would be complete without a nice cocktail by the beach! Surprising there are not many beach bars or “churinguitos” down on the sand like you get in Southern Spain. Most of the bars are located along the harbour front near the fishing ports, prices range from €5-8 and.
All restaurants have a pretty extensive list of local wines and everywhere does Sangria by the glass for around €5 or by the jug for around €12.
Across Fuerteventura there are plenty of nightlife options without it being over the top or too crazy. Lots of bars and hotels have live music performances, karaoke and quiz nights. Most bars have tv’s showing football and other major European sports. In bigger towns like Corralejo there is more of a selection of late night bars and night clubs.
Getting around Fuerteventura
There are bus routes all over the Island. It takes about 40 minutes to get from Corralejo to Puerto del Rosario. Click here for details of routes and timetables
Taxis are registered and metered and readily available from taxi ranks or by booking at your hotel reception.
Traveling to Fuerteventura
The airport also known as El Matorral is newly renovated, large and modern. It has good facilities, cafes and tourist information. Airlines from all over Europe fly into Fuerteventura.
On arrival the taxi rank, bus stations and transfer pick up are all easy to find and stress free. On departure there are lots of restaurants, seating areas and even outside terraces but it does get very busy.
Puerto del Rosario
There are regular ferry services to and from Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz in Tenerife with Naveria Armas ferries. Click here for details of timetables and booking
Have you visited Fuerteventura or one of the Canary Islands? Share what you enjoyed from your holiday or any info you might have for others in the comments box below↓↓
If you would like to know where else in Spain you can holiday during Winter check out this post – 5 best Winter Sun destinations in Spain
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