Fuerteventura is the second largest island of the Canary archipelago and is worth a visit at any time of the year. Whipped by the winds, it is the dream destination for all surfers but the waves are not its only attraction. The extreme landscapes and succulent cuisine on the island attract a large number of Spanish and foreigners.
If Corralejo and Costa Calma are the best known and most frequented areas, there are dozens of villages that have been left out of the main tourist circuits. In short, Fuerteventura surprises everyone.
1. Enjoy the beaches of Jandia
The Jandia peninsula is the southernmost part of Fuerteventura. The Isthmus of the Wall separates it from the rest of the island and is crossed by a mountain range dotted with ravines. In this wild environment are concentrated beaches of rare beauty.
Cofete beach is probably the wildest of Fuerteventura. There are no hotels or campsites, just a few isolated houses overlooking the ocean.
Swimming is almost always difficult: the waves lash this stretch of coast and only a few surfers defy the momentum of water and wind. You can take the opportunity to walk on the golden sand.
- How to get there: The road down from the village of Cofete (in the heights) to the beach is somewhat complicated. You don't need an all-terrain vehicle, but you have to drive with dexterity. The trip is about 20 kilometers. You can also take a 4x4 bus (line 111) from Morro Jable. You can find more information on the official website
- Where to eat: On the beach you will not find bars or beach bars. The only option is in the village: the restaurant Cofete Pepe El Faro (Calle Cofete 19).
It is the most touristy area of the peninsula of Jandia and a perfect destination if you travel to Fuerteventura with children. Its main attraction is the Playa del Matorral beach embellished with the white silhouette of a large lighthouse. This element marks the beginning of the nudist area.
A little further is also the Saladar de Jandía, which extends over 100 hectares and is one of the most important wetlands in the world. During the biggest tides, it functions as a natural barrier. When flooded, it creates a pool with crustaceans and other fauna.
- How to get there: Playa del Matorral starts in the town of Morro Jable. You can access the coast with a short walk.
- Where to eat: There are several restaurants, but my choice is Lapa Gastro Roof. On its terrace overlooking the ocean you can taste zamburiñas with lemongrass, salmon tartar, shrimp and other creations, mostly based on seafood and fish (Plaza Cirilo López 11).
It is located on the northwest coast of Jandía and owes its name to an old wall that used to divide the island in two. In addition to the waves, this beach is known for its splendid sunsets. Swimming is not easy and it may be worthwhile to get here at low tide. When the ocean recedes, the scenery is even more evocative.
- How to get there: the town of the same name is a short distance away and a short road connects the two towns.
- Where to eat: the nearest restaurant is Caretta Beach La Pared (Calle Muro de Terequey, La Pared).
It is located in the municipality of La Pájara and is a tourist destination of international fame. The beaches are located in a bay that goes from the Molinillos point to the urbanization Risco del Gato. It has sunbeds and umbrellas and is perfect if you want to learn to surf.
For sunbathing and enjoying the crystal clear waters, the best destinations are Playa Sotavento and Playa Esmeralda.
If you spend in Costa Calma on Wednesdays and Sundays, you can stroll through the Senegal Market, an African flea market with handicrafts, clothing, gastronomic products, eyewear and more. You will find it from 9:00 to 14:00 on Happag Lloyd Avenue.
- How to get there: Costa Calma is less than an hour's drive from Puerto del Rosario, the capital of Fuerteventura. To get there you just take the FV-2 road southbound.
- Where to eat: For lunch overlooking the sea and without spending an arm and a leg, I recommend El bar de Marko and Monica (Calle Risco Blanco). On the other hand, if you want to eat Italian, L'Aperipizza is your destination (Centro Comercial Plaza, Calle Punta Pesebre, Local D2).
La Lajita is a fishing village that has preserved its essence. It is located a few kilometers north of Costa Calma and is known for its sandy beach and black rocks. It is a quiet place, perfect for a romantic day with your partner.
Another landmark is Oasis Wildlife, a zoological garden with lemurs (you can play with them!), cheetahs, hippos, African elephants, alligators and dozens of other species. You can also go on an exciting camel trek. You can find all the information on the official website.
- How to get there: La Lajita is near the Natural Park of Jandia, at the intersection between the FV-2 road and the FV-617 road.
- Where to eat: La Falua, a modern restaurant that focuses on local ingredients and simple cuisine. It also has gluten-free options (Calle Tajinaste 11).
2. Visit Betancuria, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain
Founded in 1404 by the Norman knight Jean de Bethencourt, it was the first nucleus inhabited by the Spanish colonizers as well as the first capital of the archipelago. After a first period of prosperity, in the 19th century it began to lose importance so much that in 1834 it lost the dominion of the island.
Nowadays, less than a thousand people live permanently in Betancuria and its historical center is limited to a few streets and a central square. However, it is worth stopping to admire its charms:
- Santa María Church, built in the 15th century and destroyed a few years later by an expedition led by the corsair Arráez Xabán. The structure mixes Gothic, Renaissance, Mudejar and Baroque elements (Plaza Santa María de Betancuria 1).
- Traditional balconies. Throughout the archipelago, traditional houses have charming wooden balconies. They were built for ventilation inside the house and their decoration reflects the social status of the owner.
- Mirador de Guise and Ayoze, a panoramicviewpoint with statues of the two kings who ruled Fuerteventura before the arrival of the Spanish. It is located on the FV-30 road a short distance from Betancuria.
- Archaeological Museum of Fuerteventura, a cultural institution that illustrates the life and objects of common use of the mahos, the indigenous population of the island (Calle Roldan Verdejo corner Calle Amador Rodriguez).
3. Admire the Corralejo Dunes
The Natural Park of the Dunes of Corralejo occupies an area of about 10 km and is located in the northeastern part of the island. Year after year, the sea waves and winds have crushed shells and marine organisms into tiny grains of sand.
This natural paradise is home to African racers, sea urchins, Canary Island houbara bustards, majorero goats and dozens of other species that have adapted to the lack of water.
Normally, in the month of December hosts the Half Marathon of Fuerteventura Dunes while in November the International Kite Festival is held.
In the vicinity of the protected park also depart also the best buggy excursions in Fuerteventura.
4. Discover La Oliva and the Mills of Villaverde
Before Puerto del Rosario, the capital of Fuerteventura was La Oliva. Residences such as the Casa del Inglés and the Casa de los Coroneles are testimony to the lucrative trade linked to the cultivation of wheat and remind us of the town's past glories.
Also worth seeing is the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria with its distinctive dark stone bell tower.
A short distance from the church is the Centro de Arte Canario which brings together the best local works. It can be visited free of charge from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00.
If you have a rental car, I recommend a stop at the Molinos de Villaverde with the typical wooden blades. Much of the flour and gofio of Fuerteventura came from here.
5. Take a bath in the natural pools of Aguas Verdes
On the west coast of Fuerteventura, near the village of Llanos de la Concepción, is a stretch of coastline characterized by volcanic rocks. The erosion caused by the action of wind and water has created some natural pools where the water temperature rarely drops below 20 °.
These pools are the habitat of starfish and spider crabs. I recommend you bring a mask and snorkel to see the reefs at the bottom with their abundant marine life (and some booties so as not to cut your feet).
Before going to the natural pools, I recommend checking the tides. Websites like Tide king provide you with all the information.
6. Practice water sports
The island of Fuerteventura is a paradise and not only for surfers. Here are the other activities worth doing in Fuerteventura and where:
- Jet skiing. Adrenaline lovers can make routes from several locations. If you are staying in Corralejo, I recommend the agency Jet Ski Fuerteventura (Calle Playa Cho Leon 32).
- Diving, in the list of the best sites enter Veril Grande (Morro Jable), Playa del Jablito and Playa Bajon del Rio (near Corralejo). You will see turtles, breams, moray eels, stingrays and hundreds of other species. For more information you can consult the post dedicated to the best diving experiences in Fuerteventura.
- Paddle surfing. To practice SUP you do not need too rough waters and, a priori, Fuerteventura does not seem the ideal destination. Not so, you can practice this discipline in Corralejo, Isla de Lobos or Caleta de Fuste.
- Jetsurfing: Have you ever ridden a surfboard equipped with a motor? It is an even more entertaining way to ride the waves, you can reach 60 km / h! Agencies like Jetsurf Fuerteventura will give you the opportunity to try it (Calle de Aristides Hernandez Moran 9, Corralejo).
- Kayak, the best option to reach the quietest coves. In addition, aboard a canoe you can admire the silhouette of the island from a different perspective. In case you are interested, I recommend you to read the post about kayaking activities in Fuerteventura.
- Parasailing, one of the most lively experiences. In a nutshell, one or more people with parachutes are towed by a boat. You will find this activity in Morro Jable
- Surfing. Thanks to the constant and intense winds, almost the entire coastline of Fuerteventura is suitable for this discipline. If I had to recommend three places, I would say Playa del Hierro (near the village of Majanicho, only for experts), El Moro (Corralejo, recommended for beginners) or El Cotillo.
- Windsurfing. In this case, you will find the perfect breezes in the Natural Park of Corralejo and El Cotillo.
7. Stroll around Puerto del Rosario
The capital of Fuerteventura has more than two centuries of history. Founded in the 18th century as Puerto de Cabras, it quickly became an important commercial center and changed its name in the fifties of the last century. In addition to its old town and the Primero de Mayo shopping street, it is worth a stroll here to see its attractions:
- Parque Escultórico, an authentic open-air museum. The streets, squares and traffic circles of Puerto del Rosario are adorned with more than 100 sculptures by Spanish and international artists.
- Casa Museo de Miguel de Unamuno, the residence where Unamuno stayed during the dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera. It is located in the most central area of the city, next to the building of the Cabildo of Fuerteventura (Calle Virgen del Rosario 11).
- Las Rotondas, the largest shopping center on the island. It is located in a strategic position (near the port and airport) and has stores of all kinds. They also organize children's activities (Calle Francisco Pi y Arsuaga 2).
8. Visit a cheese farm
The arid and volcanic soils of Fuerteventura are the perfect habitat for the Fuerteventura goat. This animal arrived on the island along with the first indigenous peoples and the quality of its milk has been known since the time of the Castilian colonization.
It acquired the Protected Designation of Origin in 1996 and is produced in the municipalities of Antigua, Betancuria, La Oliva, Puerto del Rosario, Pájara and Tuineje.
It is made with raw or pasteurized milk and is characterized by its fresh, acidulous and somewhat spicy flavor (especially in the most cured molds). On the island, I recommend visiting the following farms:
- La Villa, a family business with modern machinery. I recommend you to try their semi-cured cheese with gofio (Llano de Santa Catalina s/n, Betancuria).
- La Casa del Queso - Cabrera Perez. Here you will discover the process of milk preparation with a highly recommended interactive experience. The farm is also known for its commitment to the environment (Llano de los Alares s/n, La Antigua).
9. Climb the Calderón Hondo
The Calderón Hondo is one of the seven volcanoes of the Bayuyo alignment. Its eruptions have given life to the malpaís, a desert terrain where solidified lava mixes with reddish sand.
Tourists and locals often climb to the summit to enjoy the view. The trail begins in the village of Lajares, near the Calle La Cancela.
The route is suitable for all ages and takes just over two hours. If you don't feel like walking, you can opt for an e-bike route. Agencies like Volcano Bike organize very interesting routes. You will find it inside the Tamarindo Shopping Center in Corralejo (Calle Pedro and Guy Vandaele).
10. Take an excursion to Lobos Island
This unspoiled islet is located just opposite Corralejo and can be reached with a short ferry ride.
Alternatively, you can opt for an excursion to Lobos Island from Fuerteventura. In most cases, the crossing is done on a catamaran and the cost includes lunch.
This arid and wild place was home to a colony of monk seals that were progressively eliminated by fishermen. There are plans to reintroduce them, but so far you will not see any fur seals. However, you can take comfort in the abundant marine life and birds that nest here.
On the island there is only one bar: the Chiringuito Lobos Antoñito El Farero, a simple place, offering grilled fish, rice, salads and other dishes. After lunch, you can take a circular route on foot that touches the most beautiful beaches. It will take you at most 3 hours.
Finally, if you want to know another island of the Canary archipelago, a highly recommended option is to take a boat trip to Lanzarote from Fuerteventura. Just 14 kilometers away, Lanzarote has a unique landscape between white sandy beaches and turquoise sea and volcanoes, some as well known as Timanfaya.
What are the best restaurants on the island?
On the island of Lobos you can find restaurants of various types: traditional, fusion, Italian, etc. The list below gathers some of the best:
- El Pellizco, where Canarias meets Cuba. The recipes are original and tasty as well as well prepared. It is the perfect place to surprise your partner (Calle del Carmen 13 - Morro Jable).
- Casa Marzia, one of the best Italian restaurants on the island. If you crave a plate of spaghetti with seafood or risotto, this is your place (Calle Domingo J Barrera de la Cruz - Puerto del Rosario).
- Casa Santa Maria, probably the most beautiful restaurant in Fuerteventura. It is known especially for the kid in the oven. It is located in the village of Betancuria (Plaza Santa Maria 1).
- El Horno, the temple of Canarian cuisine. It is a classic place where you can taste sirloin steak, grilled squid, Iberian secret, eggplant with honey and much more. To taste its delicacies you will have to get to the town of Villaverde (Calle del Centro 44).
- La Jaira de Demian, Canarian signature cuisine in Puerto del Rosario. Here seasonal ingredients and zero kilometer are the main ingredients. The reviews are very good (Calle La Cruz 26).
- Casa Manolo, a traditional restaurant in Corralejo. If you like tasty and simple food, you should make a stop here (Calle del Crucero Baleares 13).
What is the best time to go to Fuerteventura?
Fuerteventura's climate is pleasant all year round: in summer highs hover around 27º while in winter they rarely drop below 20º. However, the ideal season depends on your objectives.
Here are the best seasons according to the activities you can do on the island:
- Surfing. If you are just starting out or want to learn, I recommend that you book a flight in July or August. On the other hand, if you are an experienced surfer you will find the best waves between October and December. For more information I recommend you read the post about the best surf lessons in Fuerteventura.
- Whale watching. The migration season starts in December and ends in May. At this time the whales are even more frequent. You can see more about this in our article on How to see dolphins in Fuerteventura.
- Family vacations. In this case, I advise you to book a hotel or rental house in September or October. There is less wind than usual and the temperatures are still pleasant.
- Fiesta. Are you looking for a little more atmosphere? Then I recommend the months of July and August or, even better, the Carnivals of Fuerteventura. At this time, the big protagonists are the arretrancos (a parade of colorful four-wheeled vehicles) and achipencos, original boats that perform a regatta. You can see both in Puerto del Rosario
Finally, to help you with the organization of your trip to Fuerteventura, I leave here these three small travel guides for you to plan activities depending on the duration of your trip:
- What to see and do in Fuerteventura in 3 days
- What to see and do in Fuerteventura in 4 days
- What to see and do in Fuerteventura in 5 days
You have everything, now pack your suitcase and enjoy!