Fuerteventura is packed full of adventure. Winds are certainly a feature of the island, and one that draws surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers to its gorgeous sandy beaches: the long stretches in the north, around El Cotillo and at Corralejo, now protected in a Parque Natural; and in the south, the sands stretch from Caleta de Fuste and beyond.
Fuerteventura is an ideal holiday to really get away from it all. Think tranquil walks by the harbour, interesting galleries, and plenty of water sports. Choosing where to stay in Fuerteventura couldn’t be easier! Head to the south for a beachside stay or enjoy a trendy apartment in Corralejo. Take a look at our selection of Fuerteventura holidays for inspiration.
The north of the island is a diverse area that encompasses the capital, Puerto del Rosario; a number of inland towns and villages, set amid bare conical hills, where you can learn about the agricultural past. The harbour front is a pleasant place to walk. Palms offer shade along the inland side, and the sea wall is lined with sinuous benches decorated with coloured tiles. The town is known for its street sculpture, which ranges from a huge fountain on a roundabout on the Avenida Marítima, to an abstract metallic clock in the centre of town, to two naked dancing women in a square, and simple statues dotted all over the place.
El Cotillo is a village that has a gloriously pretty little fishing harbour and a selection of good fish restaurants to go with it, plus beautiful, windswept dunes and beaches. Beside the harbour is the Tostón Castle, a sturdy fortress that houses a small gallery with changing exhibitions of work by local artists. El Cotillo has a small but vibrant artistic community, with some French connections - it’s the best neighbourhood to stay in Fuerteventura for any arty folk! From the fort’s roof you get wonderful views down the coast. To the north, a narrow road runs through the dunes to the Punta de Tostón, where a lighthouse stands on a headland.
Corralejo is another tiny fishing village that has expanded to cope with the demand for tourist accommodation. The heart of the town, the area around the harbour, still has a character of its own. On Muelle Chico (Small Jetty) there’s a tourist information kiosk close to a bronze statue called the Monumento Marinero, showing a returned seaman embracing his wife and child; nearby, another woman looks out to sea, waiting for her husband’s return. The narrow lanes that radiate from the harbour and the broad main street, Nuestra Señora del Carmen, filled with cafés, bars and shops, are reminiscent of an English seaside resort, and not just because most of the voices you hear are English. There is also something of a hippy-ish, beachcomber feel here, generated by the people who come in search of good waves and a laid-back lifestyle. In Corralejo you can go diving and scuba diving, take a beach-buggy trip through the dunes to El Cotillo, hire a mountain bike, go on a dolphin-watching boat ride or, most popular of all, take a trip to Isla de Lobos (Island of Wolves). The wolves in question were the sea lions that flourished here before they were devoured by Norman sailors who came to the island.It’s a peaceful, pretty place, uninhabited, although you’ll have to share it with lots of other visitors, and it’s small enough to walk around in about three hours. You can see sea birds here.
Visiting the central part of the island offers the contrast of starting out on the coast at Caleta de Fuste, a smart, purpose built holiday resort, then heading inland to Fuerteventura’s first capital, Betancuria, and a number of other pretty towns and villages, set amid stunning mountain scenery and the occasional fertile valley. Caleta de Fuste is a completely made-to-measure resort, clustered around a marina and the Castillo de Fuste, the 18th-century fortress from which it takes its name, and spreading inland and along the coast.
It is the beauty of the southern beaches, and the activities they offer, that bring most visitors - and makes it one of the best areas to stay in Fuerteventura. The combination of barren, elephant-coloured hills, jagged cliffs and great sweeps of white sand is irresistible, and the reliably strong winds promise windsurf enthusiasts the time of their lives. There are also some sheltered coves, though, ideal for those who simply want to enjoy the almost perpetual sunshine. The Sotavento (Leeward) beaches on the east side of the Jandía Peninsula are the most popular; the Barlovento (Windward) beaches on the other side are only for the most hardy and experienced windsurfers.