Fuerteventura Pictures Guide, Canary Islands, Spain

A classic bleak Canaries panorama over El Cofete beaches on the Jandia peninsula in south Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

A classic bleak Canaries panorama over El Cofete beaches on the Jandia peninsula in south Fuerteventura. Photo by Norbert Nagel.

Fuerteventura Holidays

The biggest of the Canary Islands, (tho’ still only 100 x 30kms) Fuerte is practically a desert island with more and longer beaches than the other Canaries though there’s usually a stiff breeze around, hence the island name meaning strong wind.

Fuerteventura’s target-market is families and couples on holiday rather than party-hard singles, swingers or gays, offering them extensive white sand beaches awash with a wide variety of watersports and some inland activities if they need a break from the shore (e. g. off road motorbikes, quad bikes or wild 4×4 rides), followed by comfortable, laid-back evenings and a good night’s sleep.
This is not the place to participate in all-night raves.

One word of warning though, there are plenty of naturalists outside the resorts, especially in the south and they’re not penned into specific nudist zones, so don’t go there if free willies may be embarrassing to you or your family!

Weather

Fuerteventura’s climate is even drier than the other islands in the Canaries archipelago, sunny but windy most of the time, with a N/NE cooling wind in the summer that all varieties of surfers and even sunbathers enjoy depending on their choice of beach.

Average minimum temperature in January 17C, average maximum in August 25C.

Wild and challenging Cofete beach, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Wild and challenging Cofete beach, alongside Playa de Barlovento and below Pico de Zarza. Photo by Hansueli Krapf.

Fuerteventura’s best beaches

The island is loaded with beaches, many huge, many white and more man-made strands. Naturists/nudists – particularly north Europeans – like to fly their naked credentials here, there, and everywhere so beware free willies!

• Corralejo town beaches are small but excellent for family use as they are easy to reach, safe, near facilities and not exposed to naturists!

Corralejo beach, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Corralejo beach on Fuerteventura, with Lobos Island nearby. Photo by Andy Mitchell.

Corralejo, one of the island’s primary resorts in the north is endlessly expanding but has retained some of its original style along with its conveniently adjacent white beach, harbour and sand dunes rolling away to the east. All the usual beach and night facilities are there, plus glass-bottom boats, off-road motorcycle hire, mountain biking and jeep safaris.
Just outside Corralejo is a massive but rather featureless series of white sand beaches, Grandes Playas.

• Corralejo Grandes Playas to the south of the town are a mass of sand dunes, part of the Dune Natural Park, a long walk or a short bus ride that cater to all tastes but especially surfers – board, wind or kite.

• Playa Blanca, a white beach adjacent to Puerto del Rosario enjoys low surf, life guards and no nudists.

• Caleta del Fuste, a man-made, gently shelving, protected beach with all the usual water-toys is family-friendly and free of nudists.

Caleta de Fuste beach and town, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Caleta de Fuste beach and town. Photo by Frank Vincentz.

On the centre-east coast of Fuerte, Caleta de Fuste is a busy and purpose-built resort with shopping complex and multi-screen cinema, a golf course and a man-made, protected beach. The town is efficient but lacks soul or culture.

• Playa de Jandia at Morro Jable – wide beige sands, plenty of watersports and beautifully backed by the Jandia mountains.

Playa del Matorral in Morro Jable, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Playa del Matorral in Morro Jable. Photo by Frank Vincentz.

Morro Jable is a southern tourist town catering to mainly German visitors, 100km from the airport and ballooning in size, though it still retains an old village and port.

The beaches here are vast; Playa del Matorral is around 12kms long, very wide in places and the sand is fine. Windsurfing and Kite boarding are popular. Playa del Matorral is also known as Jandia beach as it’s located on Fuerteventura’s southwest Jandia peninsula.

Playa del Matorra

Playa del Matorral’s lighthouse serves as a warning to shipping, but also marks where the beach is divided into naturist and non naturist sections with the north/far side entertaining the nudists. Photo by Dirk Vorderstrasse.

• Sotavento is a huge and gently shelving beach with limited space when the tide is in but huge when the tide is out. It a terrific spot for wind and kite surfing.

Playa de Sotavento, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Playa de Sotavento is a long spit of sand with a large ‘lagoon’ at high tide.

Sotavento is very popular with board and kite surfers as it’s always breezy but safe and shallow areas are readily available for beginners while onshore there are board rentals and other facilities.

• Costa Calma, a better section of the Playa de Sotavento, is a large beach of firm brown sand, cleaned regularly and life-guarded but a bit short of facilities.

Costa Calma beach, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Costa Calma is another purpose-built resort next to one of Fuerte’s bigger beaches, light and clean. Photo by Klapi.

• Boco del Mal Nombre is about 20kms from Costa Calma, a good coastal walk if you’re up to it or a short drive. The slope down to the beach has a dozen small black rock circles that offer wind and sight protection but get there early if you want to occupy one. The water at Mal Nombre is  shallow, usually calm and  suitable for children.

Towns

• Puerto del Rosario, Fuerte’s capital, is one of the more animated towns on the island, particularly the waterfront in the evenings for drinks and dinner and the town centre later for live music – even classical or ballet – and dancing. Naturally the town is straddled with beaches and ferries run from here to other Canary Islands such as Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. Get there via a Fuerteventura airport taxi.

Playa Chica in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Playa Chica in Puerto del Rosario. Photo by Balou46.

• Betancuria is a tranquil old whitewashed town surrounded by bald hills and infiltrated by palm trees, with a 17thC church, a couple of museums and very few tourists, a place harking back to the days when nobody cared about beaches.

Betancuria village seen from Morro Velosa, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Betancuria seen from Morro Velosa by Victor R Ruiz.

Barranco (canyon) de las Penitas, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Barranco (canyon) de las Penitas, a good place for a scrambling hike. Photo by H Zell.

Activities

Marine

• Windsurfing and kite boarding are so perfect here that the world championship takes place annually (mid August) in Sotavento, Jandia. Beginners can learn in the security of Caleta de Fuste while more experienced will find great spots all over the island though the west coast gets bigger waves. Corralejo Bay is popular.

• Surfing is best in north Fuerteventura between and around Corralejo and El Cotillo or off the west coast. If hiring a motor to get to the breaks then opt for a full-insurance 4×4 as the roads will demand serious wheels.

• Sailing, yachts and catamarans are for hire but Fuerte offers few protective little coves for overnight parking so this form of wind-powered transport is not so popular.

• Scuba diving, lessons, shore or boat dives are widely available; the water’s warm and the eco-system vibrant and colourful.

• Game Fishing or regular coastal fishing yield good catches.

Trikes touring grim-faced around Jandia, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Trikes touring grim-faced around Jandia. Bored or trying on the tough Harley look? If so, fail! Photo by Benjamin Nunez Gonzalez.

Land

• Golf addicts will find four excellent courses including the Costa Caleta which hosted the Spanish Open in 2004.

• Fuerteventura inland is more like a North African desert than Europe so it’s only appropriate that camel safaris lurch and groan around the dusty tracks, overtaken speedily by off-road motorcycle tours, jeep tours, quad-bike tours and whatever they will think of next to empty the tourist wallet.

Meerkats in Oasis Park, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Meerkats in Oasis Park. Photo by H. Zell.

Parks

• The Baku Water Park in Corralejo is fairly new and diverse in its entertainment.

• Oasis Park in La Lajita (Costa Calma) is the Fuerte’s Zoo and Botanic Gardens with over 200 species of wild things and camel rides.

• Molino de Antigua artisan centre H-Zell

Molino de Antigua windmill, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Molino de Antigua photo by H. Zell.

Walking Fuerte

Walking Fuerte’s west coast on the relatively new coastal trail. Photo by tamara k.

Walking/Hiking

Hikes here on Fuerte are less-than-ideal but best in the cooler winter months. It’s not that the temperature gets very hot in the summer, it’s more that the interior of the island has little shade or water and captures/radiates heat so walking is a very dusty and dehydrating activity.

Some of the more popular walks are on very pleasant coastal paths while the southern mountains – such as Pico de la Zarza – offer some different views and even vegetation.

Looking over Playa de Barlovento from Fuerteventura

Looking over Playa de Barlovento from Fuerteventura’s highest point, Pico de Zarza. Photo by tamara k.

Caminos sculptures in Morro Jable, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

These Caminos sculptures can be found in Morro Jable, where thirty local children were the models, arranged in two groups standing on symbols of Yin and Yang. One group is looking towards the eastern heavens, the other towards the west. Sculpture by Lisbet Fernández, photo by H. Zell.

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