The elongated island of Fuerteventura, with a surface of 1,660 km2 (640.93 sq. mi.), is the second-most extensive island of the archipelago. It has been declared a Biosphere reserve by UNESCO. It has a population of around 100,000. Being also the most ancient of the islands, it is the one that is most eroded; its highest point is the Peak of the Bramble, at a height of 807 metres (2,648 ft). Puerto del Rosario is the capital of the island.
How to Get There
Flights from Spain, Europe, as well as from the other islands land daily.
The airport on Fuerteventura is on the coast close to Puerto del Rosario. It plays host to a mix of scheduled and charter flights from national and international operators.
Within the Canary Islands you can fly to Fuerteventura with the following companies: Binter Canarias and Canaryfly.
A hire car is the best option for discovering the remote wilderness regions, and numerous car rental companies are available.
The bus routes from Puerto del Rosalio (via the airport) to Correlejo, Caleta de Fuste, Morro del Jable and Cotillo are easy to handle, cheap and very reliable. There is easy access from Correlejo to the sand dune beaches south of town.
There is a wide variety of hotels and guest houses to stay to meet all budgets. The island attracts many backpackers who come in search of the windsurfing conditions so low price accommodation is plentiful.
Some of the beaches on Fuerteventura are simply quite stunning and were chosen among 500 European destinations by the Quality Coast International Certification Program of the European Coastal and Marine Union as one of the most attractive tourist destinations for visitors interested in cultural heritage, environment and sustainability.
The climate on Fuerteventura is pleasant throughout the year. The island is also often referred to as the island of eternal spring. The sea adjusts the temperature making the hot Sahara winds blow away from the island. The island’s name in English translates as “strong fortune” or “strong wind”, the Spanish word for wind being ‘viento’. During the winter months, temperatures average a high of 22°C (72°F) and a low of around 15°C (59°F), whereas during the summer a mean high of 28°C (82°F) and a low of 20°C (68°F) can be expected. Precipitation is about 147 mm (6 in) per year, most of which falls in autumn and winter. October is the month with highest rainfall.
The first tourist hotel was built in 1965 followed by the construction of Fuerteventura Airport at El Matorral, heralding the dawn of a new era for the island. Fuerteventura, with its 3,000 sunshine hours a year, was placed firmly on the world stage as a major European holiday destination. While having fully developed tourist facilities, the island has not experienced the overdevelopment found on some other islands and consequently caters for visitors attracted by its rugged natural beauty.
Excellent long and sandy beaches are found in many locations – there are more than150 kms. of beaches on the island. Western beaches, such as those around El Cotillo, can experience strong surf. The beaches adjoining the extensive sand dunes east of Corralejo are popular, as are the more protected extensive sandy shores of the Playa de Sotavento de Jandia on the southeastern coast between Costa Calma and the Morro Jable. Naked sun bathing and swimming are the norm on beaches away from inhabited areas.
Much of the interior, with its large plains, lavascapes and volcanic mountains, consists of protected areas, although there are organised tours and vehicle access across them.
Fuerteventura has three auditoriums. These are used for all types of performing art. They are also used for non-artistic purposes, such as conferences, charity galas and political meetings.
- The Isle of Fuerteventura Auditorium
- Gran Tarajal Auditorium
- Corralejo Auditorium.
The Central Library of the Island is located in Antigua’s city centre, in the public university. In addition to providing the traditional library services, it has a 180-seat multipurpose room, air conditioning, a wifi zone, and a multimedia room used for seminars, presentations, film festivals etc.
Museums and exhibition spaces
The island has several museums with different themes and plenty of exhibition spaces, both public and private. These include:
- The Antigua Windmill Craft Centre
- The Salt Museum
- The Atalayita Archeological Interpretation Centre.
Sites of interest include Corralejo and El Jable to the north which are made up of fine sand dunes whilst the south is filled with long beaches and remote bays. The constant winds blowing onto the beaches provide a paradise for windsurfing. Surfing is common on the west and north coasts where there are large waves. Windsurfing is common around Corralejo and Playas de Sotavento and wave sailing (windsurfing on the waves) on the coast along the northern half of the island. El Cotillo is a small fishing village in the north-west of the Island famous for a very long beach to the south of the village and few very calm beaches to the north. The northern beaches frequented by snorkeling enthusiasts and sun worshipers alike are referred to as lakes by the locals.
At Cofete on the western side of Jandía a remote and imposing house – Villa Winter – looks out to sea across wide and generally empty beaches. It was reputedly built by a Mr. Winter, on land given by Generalisimo Franco. Despite being one of the most beautiful parts of Fuerteventura Cofete has very little touristic facilities.
For a time, the beaches were home to a popular accidental attraction. On 18 January 1994 the once-beautiful and proud United States Lines ocean liner, SS American Star, was beached in Playa de Garcey during a severe storm. Within a year, it broke in two and later lost its back half. By 2007 the rest of the severely deteriorated ship had collapsed onto its port side, gradually keeling over further and almost completely submerged. By 2008-2012, most of the remains finally slipped below the surface.
From Morro Jable Port, you can take a glass bottom sightseeing submarine trip for underwater viewing of whales and marine life, or hire a boat for deep sea and game fishing.
The island of Fuerteventura is a haven for watersport lovers. Many types of surfing are popular on the island, including traditional surfing; windsurfing and most recently kite surfing. The island has many schools and courses dedicated to teaching these sports.
The sports where Fuerteventura has the most impact internationally are windsurfing and kite surfing, mainly due to the International Windsurfing and Kite boarding Championship. This has run since 1985 and is held at Playas de Sotavento in Pájara municipality. Many important wind and kite surfing figures compete in this championship, such as the several-times world windsurfing champion Björn Dunkerbeck and Gisela Pulido, the very young kite boarding champion from Tarifa (world famous windsurfing town on the Costa de la Luz in the south of Spain).
Many Canarian windsurfers are on the Canarian Wave rider’s circuit, which has been based in Corralejo since 2005.
Diving schools are just as frequent as surfing ones, all around the coast of Fuerteventura. Unlike the other islands of the archipelago, Fuerteventura has a shelf which at some points goes up to 30 km (19 mi), making it an ideal place to practice this sport.
Two of the most useful points for diving are the coast off Playa del Matorral in the South, and the zone between Lobos Island and Corralejo in the north. It is here in Corralejo that the International Sea and Submarine Photography Festival takes places, known as Fimarsub Corralejo – Lobos. During the festival there are beginners’ lessons, professional dives, and lessons in underwater photography, screenings and other events related to the sport.
There are lots of swimming pools on the island but the most obvious place to swim is in the open sea. There is an annual swim from Lobos Island to Fuerteventura, held every year since 1999. The event attracts amateur swimmers from all over the Canaries and Spain, and also swimming professionals such as David Meca and Maarten Van der Weijden, the Paralympics Jesús Collado Alarcón who won gold medals for 100m backstroke and butterfly in Athens 2004, and Xavi Torres Ramis, the Paralympics champion in Barcelona ’92, Sydney and Atlanta.
The island holds competitions involving different types of boat, such as the ‘lateen’ and the ‘Optimist’. An interesting event is the Tour of Fuerteventura by Kayak, which is organised as a series of stages rather than a competition, and is an easy way to explore the island.
Property on Fuerteventura
See property for sale on the island of Fuerteventura (Las Palmas).
Tourist Information Offices – FuerteventuraTOURIST BOARD: C/. Almirante Lallermand, nº 1. 35600, Puerto del Rosario. Fuerteventura. Spain. Tel: (+34) 928 53 08 44 / (+34) 928 85 20 16. Fax: (+34) 928 85 16 95. Email: email@example.com. Official Web. Airport Tourist office: Fuerteventura Airport: Tel: (+34) 928 86 06 04. Fax: (+34) 928 85 16 95. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Video – Tourism in Fuerteventura