Fuerteventura may officially be part of Spain, but it’s less than 100km from the African coast and dances to a different beat than the mainland.
Its perennial warmth may be the main draw, but did you know the second largest Canary Island is home to the first Spanish goat’s cheese to have been awarded denominacion de origen status? Or that Fuerteventura beaches are popular with surfers and windsurfers for their consistent waves? Or that you can hike to the very summit of the volcanoes that dominate this striking – and strikingly – unspoilt island? There is even the chance to get naked, but we’ll come to that…
9 things to do in Fuerteventura in 2019
1. Hit the beach
And not just any beach. Fuerteventura beaches are some of Europe’s most impressive stretches of sand. The Parque Natural de Corralejo is an epic 11km-long sweep of starched white dunes that constantly shifts shape, as sand is blown in from the Sahara. Don’t be put off visiting if it’s windy – look out for the windbreak shelters the locals have built using the island’s volcanic stones.
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2. Relax in a resort
Corralejo in the north of Fuerteventura is a little scuffed around the edges, a working Spanish town as well as a resort. It attracts a real mix of visitors, particularly the British, but plenty of mainland Spanish tourists too, to its centre-of-town sands (the main street even becomes the beach at one point) and cluster of laidback waterfront restaurants. Further south, Caleta de Fuste, with its slicker restaurants and fancier shops, appeals to a more well-heeled crowd, many arriving by their own yacht.
How about a holiday in Fuerteventura this November? The Canary Islands offer some of the best spots for winter sun.
3. Take in a traditional village
A much slower pace of life awaits in the likes of Antigua, La Oliva and Betancuria in Fuerteventura. Think bleached white, low rise stone houses with black volcanic stone trims and tiled roofs, neat pockets of palm trees and views of the mountains. If you only have time to visit one, make it Betancuria; the prettiest town, it was the island’s capital until 1834.
You can learn more at the Artisans Museum and the Betancuria Archaeological Museum. Don’t miss the baroque altar at the Iglesia de Santa Maria, a 17th-century church that replaced an earlier incarnation savaged by pirates. There are authentic restaurants too. Eating baked goat is about as genuine as you can get and it’s the specialty at cosy Casa Santa Maria.
4. Savour the fresh seafood
Fuerteventura’s fishing fleet serves up exotic delights including meaty parrotfish and limpets. Black limpets may not look as nice as the orange ones, but they taste better. Corralejo boasts numerous waterfront restaurants, but you will eat better in El Cotillo. French-owned La Vaca Azul brings a touch of Gallic élan to this unassuming fishing village. Trust their fish of the day recommendations.
5. Climb a volcano
Fuerteventura is basically one big volcano, so don’t just stand there and stare at these marvels – climb one. Montana de Tindaya is the oldest mountain in the Canary Islands and is sacred to the island’s indigenous Majorero people. The views from the top are camera battery sapping, stretching out as far as neighbouring Lanzarote.
Another Canary Island is also known for its impressive volcano. Visiting Mount Teide is one of the top things to do in Tenerife in 2019.
6. Catch a wave
Fuerteventura beaches are legendary among surfers, windsurfers and kiteboarders. The Corralejo dunes are the most popular spot, but savvy surfers looking to get away from the crowds venture along the rough ‘North Track’ towards El Cotillo, where wild beaches await with consistently impressive breaks and winds.
You don’t need to travel far from home to find the best beaches. Here are the 10 best beaches for surfing in Ireland 2019.
7. Go for goat’s cheese
There really are more goats than people on Fuerteventura. Handily they produce the ridiculously tasty Majorero cheese. It is highly praised by gastronomers and has been awarded its own protected status, so you know you are buying the real stuff. Outside the resorts look out for little farmsteads selling their own Majorero. The village of Tindaya is where the locals head to stock up. Majorero is best enjoyed grilled with a little Canarian palm honey.
If Fuerteventura is known for its tasty cheese, Lanzarote is famous for its high-quality wine. Here are the top 8 things to do in Lanzarote in 2019 – including visiting the best bodegas in La Geria.
8. Be a salt worker for a day
Salinas del Carmen, Fuerteventura’s salt museum, is only a 15-minute drive from the town of Antigua on the island’s east coast. Apart from the museum, the 26,100 m2 area includes hundreds of condensation ponds, the salt warehouse, the salt worker’s house and the old quay. Here you’ll find out all about the history of salt and how Fuerteventura produces such pure salt. A restaurant will also be opening soon.
9. Get naked
Seriously! Fuerteventura is something of a naturist destination, so if you enjoy letting it all hang out you’ve come to the right place. Morro Jable, a little over an hour’s drive from Fuerteventura airport, is one of the most nudist-friendly resorts. But even on Corralejo’s dunes there are sections where clothing is very much optional. It’s always wise to check first, though, before throwing your caution, as well as your clothes to the wind!
Fuerteventura Holidays 2019 – Top 9 things to do
|1. Hit the beach – among the best beaches in Fuerteventura are Corralejo, Cofete and La Concha|
|2. Relax in a resort – from Corralejo to Caleta de Fuste|
|3. Take in a traditional village like Betancuria|
|4. Savour the fresh seafood – from seafood paella to parrotfish|
|5. Climb a volcano – Montana de Tindaya is the oldest mountain in the Canary Islands|
|6. Catch a wave in Corralejo and El Cotillo|
|7. Go for goat’s cheese, the incredibly tasty Majorero|
|8. Be a salt worker for a day at Fuerteventura’s salt museum|
|9. Get naked in nudist-friendly resorts like Morro Jable|
*Updated May 2019. Information correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.