Fuerteventura is located between Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. It covers
an area of 1658 km2. It is the oldest out of all the islands that make up the
the Canary Islands. It also has the smallest population with approximately 70,000
inhabitants - Puerto del Rosario has the largest population of 24,175 inhabitants
while Betancuria has just 708.
Climate: It is an arid island with
very little vegetation and it is always windy. The average annual temperature
is around 20ºC.
Fuerteventura can be divided into
2 different areas: la Maxorata, this is the largest area where most of the island's
inhabitants live and the Península de Jandía, which is an arid,
sandy area. Fuerteventura used to live from agriculture and cattle raising. There
is no fishing industry. The agricultural area is located inland in Betancuria.
The island's ports (Puerto del Rosario, Tarajal, Corralejo and Morro Jable) are
always very busy.
However, tourism is now the biggest earner for the island
given that it has 152 beaches where tourists can go diving, do watersports or
just relax. Fuerteventura has some very good hotels with excellent facilities.
A great way to see the island is to hire a car or go on a organized
coach tour. The island is very easy to get around by road. The airport, called
El Matorral, is located 4 Kms from Puerto del Rosario. It is an international
airport with flights to destinations all over the world. It also connects to the
other Canary Islands : La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria,
Tenerife and Funchal. Fuerteventura's ports are always busy. You can get to the
other islands by ferry - Puerto del Rosario, Morrojable and Corralejo have ferries
to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Playa Blanca and Arrecife (in Lanzarote), Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de La Palma.
Fuerteventura is divided into
6 districts: La Oliva, Betancuria, Antigua, Puerto del Rosario, Pájara
and Tuineje. Los Lobos is a tiny island opposite La Oliva.
History of Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura was conquered in 1404 by
the French. Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle were responsible for creating
the island's capital city Betancuria, located inland. On their arrival and occupation
of Fuerteventura they discovered it was divided into 2 different kingdoms: Maxorata
They built a Franciscan convent which was dedicated to
evangelizing the people known as 'los guanches'. In fact the Gaunche kings Guize
and Ayose were baptized with the Christian names Luís and Alfonso.
the 15th century the island was conquered by the Spanish and became part of the
kingdom of Castilla. From the 19th century onwards the islands were fully integrated
as part of Spain.
Puerto del Rosario the capital
is an area that crosses the island from east to west. Puerto del Rosario was
built in 1797 and was first given the name Puerto de Cabras, because the goat
shepherds brought their goats here to graze. It kept this name until 1956 when
it changed to its present name, Puerto del Rosario.
It became the
capital of the island in the 19th century due to the boom in activity in its port
that went hand in hand with an ever increasing population. All the island's administrative
headquarters, government buildings and commercial organisations were established
here in order to take advantage of the boom in economic activity. Nowadays, it
has 24,180 inhabitants. Its port and airport are usually very busy.
Things to see in Fuerteventura
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora
- Biblioteca Municipal (municipal library -
C/ Ramiro de Maetzu nº 1,Tel: 928 850 848) It has lots of different sections.
- Parque Escultórico (Sculpture park)
: This consists of 50 sculptures by different artists in different styles placed
all over the city.
- Parks and green areas: There are many parks
all over the city.
- Casa Museo Miguel de Unamuno (c/ Virgen del
Rosario, 9, Puerto del Rosario): This is where this famous writer lived in exile.
Fiestas in Fuerteventura
Carnaval de Canarias: click here for more information. These are the most
important fiestas on the Canary Islands. This year's carnaval in Puerto del Rosario
recreated the world of the ancient civilizations in its many processions and street
- San Juan: This fiesta takes place on the night of
the 23rd June to celebrate the summer equinox. Fiestas are organised on the beaches
with music, dancing, bonfires and fireworks.
- Virgen de la Peña: These fiestas take place during the 2nd week in Septemeber. Everybody goes
on a procession to the Ermita de la Vega del Río Palmas. Hand made arts
and crafts are sold, people party and pray...
- Virgen del Carmen:
16th July. The patron saint of Puerto del Rosario.
Nature reserves in Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura has lots of nature reserves
aimed at conserving the islands endemic species of plants and animals.
- Parque Natural de las Dunas de Corralejo y el Islote de Lobos: This
is the island's most important nature reserve, made up of the following areas:
- Islote de los Lobos: This small island is located opposite La
Oliva. For centuries it was home to a large colony of seals. Now it is a protected
natural area. The highest point on the island is la Caldera, a mountian 127 metres
above sea level.
- Parque Natural de las Dunas de Corralejo: This
is located to the north of the island in la Oliva. It's an area with hardly any
vegetation. The beaches here have golden sand and are very pretty. There are lots
of mountains here: Tindaya, Malpaís de Las Arenas, Malpaís de Rayuyo,
Malpaís de los Arrabalos, la zona de la Caldera de Jacomar and la Montaña
Roja (312 mts). The best beaches to visit are: el Puerto de la Peña and
las playas levantadas.
- Parque Rural de Betancuria: This
is located in Betancuria and Puerto del Rosario. The highest mountain here is
Betancuria (742 mts) and the La Atalaya peak (724 mts). This is a predominantly
agricultural area with distinct mountain ranges.
- Parque Natural de
Jandía: This is located in Pájara. It's highest peak is la Zarza
(807 mts).el Cardón de Jandía (a type of cactus) grows here. The
area around el Arco de Cofete is very pretty.
Located in La Oliva and Puerto del Rosario. The highest point here is the Muda
mountain (698 mts). This is an important place because a small, ancient gaunche
cemetery was discovered here.
- Malpaís Grande: Located in
la Antigua and Tuineje. Its highest point is la Caldera de los Arrabales (243
mts). From here you can visit the gaunche settlement known as Atalayita.
Natural Malpaís de La Arena: This is located in La Oliva. the highest
point is the Arena volcano (420 mts). The rock formations here date back 10,000
- Monumento Natural Montaña de Tindaya: Also
located in La Oliva. Mount Tindaya (401 mts) is the highest point. Its peak is
believed to have been a special place for the gaunches because ancient drawings
have been found here.
- Monumento Natural Cuchillo de Vigán:
Located in Tuineje and la Antigua. Its highest point is the Vigán mountain
(462 mts). It has distinctive pointed rock formations called 'cuchillos' consisiting
of volcanic rock eroded over the centuries.
- Monumento Natural
Montaña de Cardón: Located in Pájara. Its highest point
is the Cardón mountain (691 mts) The sides of the mountain are covered
in thick vegetation typical to the island known locally as 'jorjado'.
Natural de Ajuí: Located in Pájara this is the oldest place
on the island . Some rocks consist of fossilized marine sediment. Dates back to
before the other islands in the Canaries had been formed or even the continents
of America or Africa.
- Monumento Natural Caldera de Gairía:
Located in Tuineje and la Antigua. You can see the fossilized remains of plants
- Playa del Matorral: Although this beach is visited by a lot
of tourists it remains unspoilt. There are lots of the island's protected species
of plants here.
Hotels in Fuerteventura
Beaches in Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura has some truely beautiful
beaches, most of which are unspoilt, natural areas. Here is a list of some of
the best beaches:
- Playa de Sotavento-Jandía: In Pájara.
Morro Jable is the nearest port where you can go on boat trips, get surfing or
diving classes...This beach is over a kilometre long and about 30 metres wide.
It has fine, golden sand and crystal clear waters. You can hire a sunbed or sun
shade. Nudist. There is a carpark.
- Calas del Puertito. This is
a nudist beach on the small island - Isla de Lobos opposite La Oliva. The nearest
port is Corralejo where there are daily boat trips to the island which is completely
unspoilt and uninhabited. The beach here has golden sand and measures just 140
by 20 metres.
- El Cofete: In Pájara. Morro Jable is the nearest
port (see above). This beach measures almost 1.5 kilometres by 60 metres. It is
an unspoilt beach with fine, golden sand. It is usually very windy with big waves.
You can hire sunbeds or sun shades here. Nudist.
- Playa El Dormidero: In La Oliva. The nearest port is Corralejo. This is a small beach with fine, golden
sand measuring 440 by 30 mteres. Nudist. Sunbeds and sun shades on hire...
de El Viejo: In La Oliva. The nearest port is Corralejo. Nudist. This beach
has fine, golden sand. The beach measures 1 km by 50 metres. Quite windy, the
waves here are moderate.
- Playa Morro de Potala; In Pájara.
The nearest port is Morro Jable. This is a quiet, tiny beach 300 by 25 metres.
Nudist. Fine, golden sand. Moderate waves.
- Playa Janubio:
In Puerto del Rosario. The nearest port is Corralejo. This beach measures 230
by 40 metres. It is a natural, unspoilt beach with coarse black sand. Usually
very windy with big waves. Sun beds and sun shades on hire. Nudist. Esquinza and
Aguila beaches are nearby with calmer sea.
- Playa El Algibe- La Cueva:
In Puerto del Rosario. The nearest port is Corralejo. This beach is
by 30 metres. It is a natural, unspoilt beach. Nudist. Not many people. The beach
has fine, golden sand. It is usually very windy with big waves.
El Bajo Negro: In La Oliva. The nearest port isCorralejo. This beach is 500
by 45 metres. Nudist. This is an unspoilt natural beach with fine, golden sand,
windy with moderate waves. There is a beach bar, restaurant and hotel here. Sunbeds
and sun shades on hire.
- Playa Majanicho: In La OLiva. The nearest
port is Corralejo. This beach is just 150 by 20 metres. Nudist. A quiet beach
with fine, golden sand and calm sea.
Sports on Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is an ideal place for doing all
kinds of sports, especially water sports, because of its climate. . There are
lots of places where you can get classes in diving, wind surfing, surfing. You
can also go on organized boat trips.
Here is a list of the best places
- Fishing: Puerto de Corralejo.
- Windsurfing : Pájara, Corralejo.
- Diving: Pájara, Antigua,
Corralejo, Gran Tarajal and Morro Jable.
- Surfing: Corralejo
- Ala Delta: la Antigua.
Golf Club: (Golf Club km 11, 35610 Caleta del Fuste, Tel: 928 16 00 34)
Antigua: This golf course has 18 holes - par 72. There is a hotel within the grounds.
Click here for more information and reservations: Elba
Palace Golf Fuerteventura*****. There are 2 other hotels 3 Kms away: Geranio
Suites Hotel***** and Hotel
Elba Sara ****
Oasis Jandía Golf Club (Barranco de Vinamar-La Mancha, s/n) in Jandía.
- Trekking in
Fuerteventura: The Camino Real is a very popular place to hike - it
is the path the island's conquerers took when they arrived.
Available for hire in Corralejo.
- Motorbikes, Mountain Bikes, Tennis,...Available
all over the island.
Other popular sports on the island are those
with roots in the Gaunche culture such as:Juego del Palo, Juego de la Lata,
la Pina, Pelotamano, Levantamiento del Arado, Tángana, Bola Canaria....
Shopping in Fuerteventura
There are lots of handmade goods on sale. Common
things to buy are: Different types of cheese, hand embriodered table cloths, woollen
blankets, things made from wicker, musical instruments (violins, guitars), clay
pottery, straw hats, ...
Villages and Places to visit in Fuerteventura
This is by far the prettiest town on the island. It is located on a plain between mountains in an area with volcanic remains with brightly coloured stones. It is situated above a crater of a volcano that has been dormant for many years. It only has 709 inhabitants.
Betancuria was the capital of the island from 1404 when it was founded by the French. It remained the capital until the 19th century.
Things to see:
Catedral de Santa María: This was built in the 15th century, Norman,
Gothic style architecture. It was partially destroyed in 1620 and was rebuilt
- this is the building that can be seen today. Its 17th century altarpiece, panelled
ceiling, the choir stalls and the baptistry are particularly interesting.
de Arte Sacro: Religious art.
- Museo Arqueológico y
Etnográfico (c/ Roberto Roldán, s/n, Tel: 928 87 82 41): This
houses archeological finds from all over the island.
- Casa Santa María:
This is a craft centre where you can see how things are made and also buy handmade
arts and crafts.
- Ermita de la Vega de Río Palmas: A small
chapel located on the outskirts and houses a statue of the Virgen de la Peña,
the patron saint of the island.
- Ermita de San Diego de Alcalá: A small chapel.
- Ermita de Santa Inés: A small chapel
located in the Santa Inés valley.
has occupied a very important place in the island's history. Following the conquering
of Fuerteventura by the Castellanos the Spanish military command made a base here.
It used to be a mainly agricultural area which supplied most of the island.
it is an important tourist centre with infrastructure to support it (there are
lots of hotels around Corralejo). It is also a natural area with
protected beaches which are surrounded by sand dunes. It is predominantly a fishing
village and its small harbour is always full of life. You can find lots of typical
restaurants around the harbour area serving local food. There are also diving,
wind surfing and sailing schools as well as organised boat trips to the Isla
Lobos. There are many hotels and apartments in the area. Its unspoilt beaches
are excellent with white sands and crystal clear water.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la
- Casa de los Coroneles: This is a large mansion
with pretty balconies built by the Spanish military command in the 15th century.
- Centro de Arte Canario Casa Mane: This is a exhibition of contemporary
art (consisting of paintings and sculptures) by artists from the Canary Islands.
- Casa del Capellán: This is the house where the village
priest lived. It is a stone house with pretty balconies decorated with flowers.
- Ermita de Puerto Escondido: Located in la Oliva.
de Arte Canario: A small art gallery.
- Museo La Casa de la Cilla: An interesting museum.
area covers 250 km2 and has around 3000 inhabitants. It is the oldest city on
the island, founded at the beginning of the 18th century. It is a very flat, rural
area with windmills and many typical farmhouses. Popular for rural tourism. It
also has an interesting coastline and Caleta de Fustes, is one of the
busiest tourist areas on the island. Hotel chains with excellent facilities attract
large numbers of tourists.
Things to see:
- Iglesia de Santa Cruz de los Caldos: Built in 1785.
de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua
- Pueblo Majorero: This
is a tourist resort located in Caleta de Fustes, where there are lots of shops,
hotels, bars, restaurants...
is where the Jandía Natural Park is located. This town began to
evolve in the 16th century. The town hall was built in 1711.
where most of the island's beaches are together with most of the islands hotels.
This area is the least populated area in Fuerteventura. Tourism is the main source
of income here. Things to see: Costa Calma, Puerto de Morro Jable,
the fishing harbour where there are boat trips and facilities for water sports.
Barlovento, is a very windy, dry area with subtropical marine life. In sotavento
you have the Jandía beaches which are a paradise for divers due to the
varied marine life. Its beaches are unspoilt, with fine golden sand and crystal
Things to see:
de Nuestra Señora de Regla: Built in 1711.
- Ermita de San
Antonio: Located in Toto. Built in the 18th century.
covers 276 km2 and has 12,900 inhabitants. It is located in the southwest of Fuerteventura.
Its main source of income is agriculture and cattle raising. The best beaches
are Las Playitas, Gran Tarajal, Giniginamar and Tarajalejo. They are characterised
by their fine black sand and stones and calm sea despite the fact that they are
often very windy. There are hotels, restaurants, beach bars and some promenades
near and around the beaches.