Your holiday guide to Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Jun 26, 2022

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With over 150 km of windswept, white sand beaches, Fuerteventura is the island for those really wanting a relaxing, sandy escape. The name of the island literally translates to “strong winds” meaning it’s also ideal for anyone looking to refine their surf skills.

White sands in Fuerteventura. (Photo by Carrigphotos/Getty)

Fuerteventura feels wilder and more desolate than islands such as Tenerife or Gran Canaria, so if you’re looking for a far-flung volcanic or beach escape, this is the island for you.

If you aren’t quite sure if Fuerteventura is the right island for your visit, check out these guides which may help you choose another island ideal for your holiday:

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Getting there and around

Fuerteventura is a long island from north to south, and driving from top to bottom can take a few hours. It’s best to decide if you’d prefer to have your trip in the north (resorts like Corralejo or the wilder El Cotillo), or the windy sands of the south, like Costa Calma and Jandia.

The Fuerteventura El Matorral Airport (FUE) is located in the middle of the island just south of Puerto del Rosario, where most of the locals reside. The closest tourist resort area in Caleta de Fuste, but the best beaches are found either further north or south. The middle of the island is largely volcanic rock, and if you’re hoping to lodge in a quiet, natural setting, staying inland near the mountains is an option.

Car hire is essential if you want to explore. However, if you plan to stay in an area like Corralejo, you can get around on foot, or rent a bike, to get to all the amenities as well as the closest beaches.

Where to stay

Those will Marriott points should consider the Sheraton Fuerteventura in Caleta de Fuste, near both beach and golf options in the middle of the island. The hotel, apt for families, has both indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and a mini-golf course.

(Photo courtesy of Sheraton Fuerteventura)

Up north in Corralejo, the Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real sits on a practically deserted quiet beach, just steps from the famous white sand Flag Beach. The hotel features a spa circuit with several pools and other hydrotherapy options.

(Photo courtesy of Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real)

Down south along the Costa Calma, the H10 Tindaya has direct beach access and all-inclusive options — even a pool with a pirate ship waterslide for the little ones.

(Photo courtesy of H10 Tindaya)

Even further south near the very tip of the island, the beachfront Iberostar Selection Fuerteventura Palace looks out over a long stretch of fine white sand.

(Photo courtesy of Iberostar Selection Fuerteventura Palace)

Finally, for a different kind of holiday, consider a retreat inland at the tranquil Azulfit. Retreats include daily yoga and pilates classes, meditation, beach excursions and delicious healthy cuisine.

(Photo courtesy of Azulfit)

What to do and see

Beaches

Beach lovers will have plenty of white sands to enjoy on Fuerteventura. Some of the best beaches to visit on the island are the following:

  • For white, Caribbean-style sands in the north: Playa de la Concha in El Cotillo
  • For surf of all kinds: the miles-long Flag Beach near Corralejo
  • For far-lung white sands: Playa Cofete in the Jandia Natural Park
Jandia Natural Park. (Photo by imv/Getty)
  • For popcorn-like “sands” (yes, really): Popcorn Beach (the shore is covered in a special type of white algae that looks like popcorn)
  • For a family-friendly bay: Playa Corralejo
  • For windswept white southern sands: Playa Sotavento

Adventure

Surfers will absolutely love this windy island. Take your pick of windsurfing, kitesurf and regular surfing — you can do all three on this breezy paradise. Although one of the top spots for surfing is the northern Flag Beach (best from March to November), surf spots can be found all over the island — and weather conditions are adequate for surfing year-round.

Surfing is popular around the entire island. (Photo by Daniela Rsler / EyeEm / Getty)

Beginner surfers may want to stick to areas like El Cotillo and El Hierro, where advanced surfers can brave the Bubble — it’s one of the most famous surf spots in Europe. This break, located in front of Majanicho can be extremely powerful, so only attempt this if you are a pro surfer, and watch out for submerged rocks.

Diving and snorkelling can be done at the nearby Isla de Lobos, a tiny, protected natural islet just off the northern coast of Fuerteventura. Dive/snorkel trips often leave from Corralejo via catamaran or speedboat, getting you to the island in just about 15 minutes. The island also has a number of plant and bird species, and unique rock formations called hornitos, formed when volcanic lava came into contact with seawater.

Isla de Lobos. (Photo by acongar/Getty)

Besides all those white sands and beautiful, clear waters, Fuerteventura has a lot of volcanic craters inland. Explore this desert landscape with a quad or buggy adventure off-road tour.

Family

Families should pay a visit to the Oasis Wildlife Park, a natural space in the south of the island similar to a zoo. Here, kids can take camel rides and learn about animals such as elephants, sea lions and giraffes.

On a cloudy take or whenever you tire of the beach, head over to Fuerteventura’s most beautiful village, Betancuria, located in the west of the island. The village is over 600 years old and has attractions such as churches, museums, a viewpoint and the nearby Betancuria Rural Park.

The cathedral in Betancuria. (Photo by
Franz Marc Frei/Getty)

After a long day at a southern beach, visit the very tip of the island to see the Punta Jandia lighthouse. Those preferring to get out of the high seas can take a catamaran ride to Lanzarote, where you can hop off the boat to snorkel or swim.

What to eat

Fuerteventura doesn’t have the same gastronomy scene some of the more populated islands like Tenerife or Gran Canaria have, nor the vineyards of Lanzarote. Foodies may want to consider another Canary Island for food tourism. That being said, if you’re fine with some no-frills, Canarian-style meals and fresh seafood Fuerteventura won’t let you down.

For obvious reasons, some of the best food on the island to get is seafood. One of the most famous spots is in El Cotillo, La Vaca Azul. Reserve a table to watch the sunset then enjoy a hearty dinner of fresh seafood and shellfish.

Make sure to taste the island’s famous cheese: Majorero. It’s made from goat milk and comes in different varieties: fresh, semi-cured, cured and even with red pepper (this is the fan favourite).

Grab one for a beach picnic: ham and majorero cheese sandwich. (Photo by
imv/Getty)

And don’t forget the dish that’s popular on all the Canary Islands: wrinkled potatoes topped with special mojo picon sauce.

If you’re looking for international food or cocktail spots, Corralejo is the place to be. You won’t find anything too fancy, but this area does have restaurants with British, German, Indian and Asian cuisine, as well as some sunset bars for seaside cocktails.

Bottom line

While Fuerteventura may not be the best island for adventurous foodies, it’s the ideal destination for those looking for a true beach escape.

A sunset in Fuerteventura. (Photo by
Mariia Kamenska / EyeEm / Getty)

With miles upon miles of white sand, this island has some of the most blissful beaches in Europe. If you need a place to relax, recharge and soak up the sun, this island is the holiday destination for you.

Featured image courtesy of Abel Halasz / EyeEm /Getty.

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