A classic bleak Canaries panorama over El Cofete beaches on the Jandia peninsula in south Fuerteventura. Photo by Norbert Nagel.
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, 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 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. 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.
• 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. Bored or trying on the tough Harley look? If so, fail! Photo by Benjamin Nunez Gonzalez.
• 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. Photo by H. Zell.
• 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 photo by H. Zell.
Walking Fuerte’s west coast on the relatively new coastal trail. Photo by tamara k.
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’s highest point, Pico de Zarza. Photo by tamara k.
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.