The second largest among the Canary Islands after Tenerife, Fuerteventura is a major European holiday destination, mostly because of its majestic unspoiled beaches. It’s no coincidence that the island was chosen by Quality Coast International Certification Programme.
Sapphire waters end up to tropical white-sand beaches, while the volcanic nature of the island also bequeathed it with some velvet black-sand shores. Due to the strong winds around the area, Fuerteventura is very popular with local and foreign surfers, who find the waves here ideal for practicing their favourite sport.
With the first tourist facilities, including the airport, popping up during the 60s, the island is efficiently developed for large crowds, however still not corrupted by mass tourism. If you happen to be around during Carnival period (February/March) don’t miss the colourful festivities which liven up local routine.
Seventeen bus routes serve the island of Fuerteventura, with some running relatively frequently and some only once or twice a day. If possible rent car to ensure better flexibility. Most rental offices are located at the airport. Taxis are also available, but other than short rides they cost more than the daily rental price.
Things to see and in Fuerteventura
Located at La Lagita Village, on Fuerteventura’s eastern side, Oasis Park is a huge complex of 800,000 square meters. The park features a zoo, botanic gardens and dining and shopping facilities. Visit the zoo to take an up-close look at hundreds of animal species, including exotic birds, giant mammals and wild reptiles. Don’t miss the flamenco lake and the hippo pool.
A 30-minute walk from the village of Corralejo, spreads the Corralejo Natural Park. A protected area of golden sand dunes, the park is adjacent to one of Fuerteventura’s most fascinating beaches. Play around the dunes, the sand actually being tones of smashed shells, and then go for a refreshing dip at the nearby turquoise waters. The beach stretches out for 7 kilometres, but beware that sea currents at this area are strong, so swimming away from the coast is not recommended.
Lajares is a small village close to Corralejo, which is mostly famous for its handmade lace. Apart from two picturesque windmills, the village’s major attraction is a local shop where visitors can see the process of lace making performed by local women. You also have a chance to purchase some textile if you like. The shop is called “Artisania Lejares”.
Former capital of Fuerteventura, the town of Bentacuria is definitely worth a visit to experience the local daily life. Named after one of its earliest residents, Gadifer Juan de Bethencourt, the town features picturesque whitewashed Buildings and a few interesting sights. Iglesia Catedral de Santa Maria de Betancuria is a lovely 17th-century church, which features fascinating Moorish interiors and a 14th-century Gothic bell tower, which actually belonged to a former church destroyed by an earthquake. Ermita de San Diego Chapel is also worth a visit. Estimated to be the place where San Diego prayed during his pass through the area, the current chapel dates back to 16th century, since the 15th-century original building was destroyed by the Berbers.
Children will have a blast at Oceaniarium Explorer Water Park. Offering dozens of amusing water activities, it is also popular with grownups. Swim among frisky sea lions, watch huge whales playfully roiling the water, join fishing trips or see the bottom of the sea through the scuttle of a small submarine.