Though often overshadowed by Tenerife and Lanzarote, the Canarian island of Fuerteventura is in many ways the epitome of this region’s way of life – windswept, sun-baked and all laced together with Spanish, African and Latin American influences. In other words, it’s got all the right ingredients for a truly unforgettable holiday.
On Fuerteventura, things to see include the historic, the modern, the natural and the manmade. Here’s where you’ll find them…
Corralejo Natural Park
When you think of a natural park, you’ll most likely be thinking of dense trees, streams, mountains and a thick canopy of greenery – Fuerteventura’s Corralejo Natural Park couldn’t be any more different.
Situated on the northeastern coast of the island, this area is known for its pearlescent sands. Sat near the quaint town of Corralejo, one particular part of the park and comprises stunning white dunes bordered by turquoise seas. Further south, the landscape becomes volcanic and rugged, with the higher altitudes gifting visitors fantastic views of the surrounding beaches and Atlantic waves.
The food markets
Canarian cuisine is like none other, and when you’re staying in a self-catering villa, you can explore it at your own leisure. Pick up some dietary staples such as potatoes, mojos (spicy or herbal sauces) and gofio (a special kind of flour) at your local shop. If you’re a foodie, then the island markets are a must-visit for regional ingredients…
Fuerteventura’s capital, Puerto del Rosario, has a produce market running every Saturday between 9am and 2pm. Here you can buy locally sourced fish, fruit and dairy products. The charming town of La Oliva, a short drive inland from Corralejo, is also home to an excellent market. It operates on Tuesdays and Fridays, selling local food as well as authentic homemade gifts.
If you want to make the most of these markets, visit early to get your hands on the best vegetables and cuts of meat, then spend the rest of the day back at your holiday villa cooking up a Canarian feast.
Lobos Island is a 15-minute boat journey from Corralejo. It’s only populated by a few whitewashed cottages and one waterside restaurant, so take advantage of the secluded atmosphere here. The untouched, arid landscapes have an allure of all of their own, and can make for treasured hours spent hiking and marvelling at the surrounding Atlantic views.
To save money, put together a tasty Canarian packed lunch at your rental accommodation. Try a combination of goat’s cheese, gofio bread, and fresh fruit (including locally grown bananas) for a more traditional Fuerteventuran meal.
There are plenty of cultural hotspots dotted across Fuerteventura. In La Oliva, you’ll find the Casa de los Coroneles, an old building which houses modern art exhibitions. The Canarian Art Centre, displaying a number of works by important Canarian artists like César Manrique, is a must for culture vultures, or anyone with an appreciation for the arts. Puerto del Rosario, meanwhile, has a free museum dedicated to the philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, who was exiled from Spain in 1924.
When staying in Villa Plus rentals, you can save money by hiring a car for one or two days, and using this time to visit all the island’s captivating allures. The drive from La Oliva to Puerto del Rosario takes less than 30 minutes, so getting from one attraction to the next is easy!
Head to the northwest coast of Fuerteventura and you can visit El Cotillo. Once a humble fishing village, El Cotillo is now a thriving tourist spot – although as it’s managed to avoid being overly developed, it still maintains many of its old charms. One of the things that makes El Cotillo particularly popular is its fast winds, which make it well suited to water sports lovers.
The relaxed mood and wide selection of restaurants, shops and bars mean that El Cotillo is the ideal daytrip, and easily accessible from most accommodation on the island.
Budget holidays don’t have to feel restrictive when you’re on an island like Fuerteventura. With so many gorgeous beaches to visit, you can keep busy and inspired without putting too much strain on your bank account.
Corralejo has some beautiful stretches of white sand. If you’re after sheer tranquillity, away from the hustle and bustle of the more populated areas, head for Cofete beach. It’s situated at the southern tip of Fuerteventura, in the heart of the Jandía Natural Park. As a warning – you’ll need a 4×4 vehicle to access the beach, and you should be cautious about swimming due to the strong currents.
Fuerteventura holidays pack in scenery, culture, and cuisine in a manner you’ll never forget. Why not add a little extra luxury with Villa Plus offerings?
By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.