Fuerteventura holidays

Experience Fuerteventura

Experience [destination]

Best Places to Visit

Offering some of the best of what the Canary Islands has to offer, Fuerteventura is a hugely popular holiday destination for sun worshippers coming from Europe, especially from the UK and Germany. Since the establishment of the airport close to the capital of Puerto del Rosario, visitors have started pouring in, and with good reason.

Holidaymakers can begin their Fuerteventura holidays at Puerto del Rosario, a city now trying to revamp its image with the arts. This capital city is now the setting of 100 sculptures by different artists, which visitors can see for free in an open-air park. A taste of Fuerteventura's history can be found at the Ecomuseo La Alcogida Museum, which offers a time-capsule glimpse into the working history of the island and hosts workshops that kids will enjoy. Shoppers are well served at the large Las Rotundas Shopping Centre, which is open from Monday to Saturday and features four floors of fashion, jewellery, leisure and sports shops as well as a supermarket.

Fuerteventura, being a part of the Canary Islands, is well-known for its beaches, and the southern coast is where to find the best beaches on the island. Costa Calma and Morro Jableare popular with the German crowd, while British tourists prefer to stay on the beautiful sands of Calta Fuste and Corralejo. One of Corralejo's best-rated beaches is Parque Natural de Corralejo, which boasts vast blue waters, sweeping dune and plenty of space to find a spot and relax. The beach is situated about an hour's walk away from Corralejo, but the seaside route is a spectacular one.

Corralejo as well as Playas de Sotavento are the best places to visit for the more athletic of travellers as these areas get optimal winds for windsurfing and sailing, two of the island's favourite activities. Many beaches offer windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing schools so even complete beginners are welcome.

Heading outside of the main cities, visitors will discover charming little towns which are characteristic of the old way of life in the Canary Islands. One such place is Betancuria, a village tucked in the mountains and which has farmlands, monastic ruins and quaint religious structures. The small fishing village of La Lajita is another great place to visit as it now has a zoo, the Oasis Park Fuerteventura, which is a treat for families on holiday.

Top Landmarks

Fuerteventura's main landmarks are its sandy beaches. The beautiful sand dunes in the north are the best places to relax and see the waves of the Atlantic lap against the shore. Corralejo and El Jable are the best places to experience the island's sand dunes. The long beach at Cotillo, a small fishing village on the island's north-west coast, is another Fuerteventura landmark that is not to be missed.

Apart from the beaches, there are a few curiosities in Fuerteventura, which have become tourist attractions in their own right. One of these is the wreck of the SS American Star, an ocean liner that was beached by a storm at Playa de Garcey in 1994. It has sunk deeper over the years and now most parts of the wreck can be found underwater.

Villa Winter, surrounded by a remote and bleak landscape, is another tourist attraction on the island. Historians are still debating the history of this structure, which is a worthwhile day trip from Morro del Jable as it features the grand Jandia mountain range right behind it.

The open-air sculpture park in the capital city of Puerto del Rosariowas established in 2001 for the International Symposium of Sculpture. Visitors can now stroll this park to enjoy the artworks.

Fuerteventura is also home to a number of interesting museums and performance stages such as the Antigua Windmill Craft Centre, the Salt Museum and the Atalayita Archaeological Interpretation Centre.

Entertainment

Entertainment in Fuerteventura comes in many forms, one of which is traditional sports. The exciting sport of Canarian wrestling is a popular spectacle to behold and each town in Fuerteventura has a ring of sand, called the terrero, where matches of this sport take place.

Another sport to watch is the Juego del Palo or Game of the Stick, a traditional martial arts originating in the Canary Islands. The game involves two players, both wielding a wooden stick which is used to attack and defend.

Others sports to watch out for are motocross in Antigua and Puerto del Rosario, and the twice-yearly Canarian Dirt Rally Championship. There are also regular cycling events as well as football matches.

Arts and culture thrive in Fuerteventura, especially with the number of annual festivals and performance venues on the island. The Festival of Canarian Music (mid-January to March) features features local and non-local bands alike. In Puerto del Rosario's Town Hall, Lebrancho Rock Festival (March) aims to showcase local talent. The same goes for the Fuertemusica Festival (July), which takes places in El Cotillo.

Good, old-fashioned night outs can be had in Fuerteventura as well. The resort towns around the island have many pubs, party venues and karaoke bars. Corralejo is especially famed for some of the best nightlife on the island. Rock Island is a music bar in Corralejo which is considered to be the longest-running entertainment venue in the area. Waikiki Nightclub is another hotspot where famed DJs perform for eager party-goers until the early hours of the morning.

Dining Out

The cuisine found in Fuerteventura is mainly Canarian with influences from the Spanish mainland. Preparation of the food is simple, with basic ingredients. Few crops grow in the almost barren lands of the island, but locals make the most of what they can grow.

One vegetable dish Fuerteventura has in common with the rest of the Canary Islands is the Canarian wrinkly boiled potatoes, locally known as papas arrugadas. These are eaten with a sauce known as mojo, a pepper and garlic combination. Local cheeses such as majorero and palmero are also remarkably good.

Seafood is present in many Fuerteventura dishes as the island is surrounded by the bountiful waters of the Atlantic. The most popular types of fish are grouper, corvina and sama. They are usually prepared by salting and then boiling them, and eaten with potatoes, mojo and a traditional dish called gofio, made with cereal grains, chickpeas and wheat. One popular fish dish worth sampling is sancocho, a traditional fish stew.

There are a number of great restaurants in the resort towns of the island. In Corralejo, visitors can head to Dovela, a restaurant which is famous for its seafood dishes. Another highly recommended restaurant which is known for its tasty mainland Spanish cuisine is El Andaluz.

Beach

The best beaches of Fuerteventura can be found in the resort towns of Corralejo, Calta Fuste, Costa Calma and Morro Jable. Along with the beaches, holidaymakers can enjoy the many developed tourist facilities that accompany these beach destinations. The shores running from Corralejo all the way to Cotillo are especially popular with windsurfers.

Romance

Sailing in the windy waters of Playas de Sotavento is a good activity that will surely rekindle the romance between couples. For a more relaxed holiday, a stay in one of the many romantic luxury hotels on the island, such as Hotel Elba Carlota, Bahiazul Excellence or Fuerteventura Princess, is highly recommended.

Family

Aside from fun days at the beach, a family vacation in Fuerteventura will not be complete without a visit to Oasis Park Fuerteventura, one of the newest attractions on the island. This zoological park features hippos, seals, giraffes, zebras and other magnificent creatures that the kids will love interacting with. Adventurous families might want to explore the volcanic landscapes in the island's interior by going on a guided excursion. If the little ones are up for it, game fishing might just be a great water activity for the entire family.

Adventure

Most of the adventure activities in Fuerteventura involve water sports, which the island is famous for. Playas de Sotavento is especially popular for its winds, which are perfect for surfing, windsurfing and kite boarding. These water sports are extremely popular, especially since the International Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Championship is held here. Playa del Matorral and Lobos Island, meanwhile, offer great diving opportunities to visitors keen on seeing Canarian marine life up close.

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Need to know

Need to know [destination]

Language

Being a Spanish territory, the primary language spoken in Fuerteventura is Spanish. Spanish spoken in Fuerteventura, however, is categorised as Canarian Spanish, a dialect which may be difficult for people with only a basic knowledge of Spanish to understand. With the island being a popular destination for tourists from the UK and Germany, English and German is widely spoken, especially by hotel, bar and restaurant staff. A basic grasp of Spanish may be an advantage for visitors travelling to the remote parts of the island, or driving by hire car to the wilderness areas away from tourist services.

Currency

The official currency of Spain, and therefore of Fuerteventura, is the euro (EUR). Travellers' cheques and credit cards are widely accepted by many tourist establishments such as hotels and restaurants. Passports need to be presented when exchanging travellers' cheques at banks. ATMs are available in all tourist areas, so withdrawing money is generally not a problem, but most big establishments accept credit cards anyway.

Visas

Being a part of Spain, Fuerteventura has the same entry requirements as those of the mainland. Nationals of Schengen countries need only present a national ID card or a valid passport upon arrival. Tourists from the UK can enter with a valid passport for a stay of unlimited duration. Travellers from the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia will not need a visa if their stay is shorter than three months, but passports must be valid for six months after the last day of their stay.

Climate

As is typical of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura remains pleasant throughout the year and has what is known as an 'eternal spring climate'. This is precisely why it is so popular with holidaymakers not only as a summer holiday destination but also for late-season or early year breaks. The high winds which lend the island its name make Fuerteventura a perfect spot for windsurfing. Temperatures in the summer range from a pleasant 20'C to 35'C, while in winter, temperatures can drop as low as 15'C or remain as high as 22'C. October sees the highest amount of rain so travel during this month is not recommended.

Main Airports

The construction of Fuerteventura's main gateway, Fuerteventura Airport, also known as El Matorral Airport, in the 1960s was the catalyst for the development of the island's tourism industry. In 2011, arrivals at the airport numbered at five million, the highest ever number in the airport's history. The airport can be found south-west of the island's capital city, Puerto del Rosario. The airport receives flights from the UK and major European aviation hubs.

Flight Options

Flights to Fuerteventura are serviced by a combination of major airlines, charter airlines and low-cost carriers. EasyJet flies from London-Gatwick direct to Fuerteventura while Ryanair flies from London-Stansted. Charter airlines Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines also ply the London-Gatwick to Fuerteventura route. The total flight time from London to Fuerteventura is 4 hours.

Travel Advice

It is often cheaper to fly into one of the Canary Islands' largest airports than to fly directly to Fuerteventura Airport. Tenerife North Airport, Tenerife South Airport and Gran Canaria Airport all receive budget flights from the UK. It is recommended to watch out for seasonal flights and packaged holidays to get the most out of your holiday budget or to consider travelling during the off-season.

Other Transport Options

It is easy to get to Fuerteventura by air. However, those already in the Canary Islands may simply want to take one of the regular Naviera Armas ferries which travel to Puerto del Rosario port in Fuerteventura. North of Fuerteventura, Lanzarote is connected to Corralejo on Fuerteventura's northern coast. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are linked to Puerto del Rosario as well as Morro Jable.

Getting Around

Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the Canary Islands after Tenerife. However, it only covers an area of 1,660 square kilometres so getting around overland is easy. The island only has one airport and no rail network so there are no internal flights or trains. However, the bus network connects all the major towns along the coast of Fuerteventura. Yet the best way to see the island is via car hire.

Car

To see the more remote, outlying sceneries of Fuerteventura, it is recommended to hire a car. Car rental companies are widely available at the airport and in tourist towns. Car hire prices are typically cheaper here than those found in mainland Spain and the rest of Europe, with great deals commonly available.

Bus

There are a total of 16 bus lines which run throughout Fuerteventura, servicing all the main destinations. Although not all of the routes are reliable, the major lines run most days of the week throughout the day. In Fuerteventura, buses are called guaguas and are run by Tiadhe. Fares are cheap and buses are air-conditioned. The capital of Puerto del Rosario is connected to other towns such as Corralejo, Morro del Jable, Caleta de Fuste and Cotillo.

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FACTS

  1. It may be the second largest of the Canary Islands at 1,660 km', but a trip from Fuerteventura's northern tip to its southern point takes just 3 hours by car. This means that day trips to other parts of the island are easily manageable.
  2. The dramatic landscapes seen in some parts of Fuerteventura stem from its volcanic history. The island originates from a volcanic eruption and is around 20 million years old, making it the oldest of the Canary Islands.
  3. In 2009, Fuerteventura was made a UNESCO biosphere reserve. As well as practising sustainable tourism, its wildlife conservation efforts are commendable. The island runs a loggerhead turtle breeding project, nursing hatchlings before releasing them onto Cofete beach each year.

FACTS

  1. It may be the second largest of the Canary Islands at 1,660 km', but a trip from Fuerteventura's northern tip to its southern point takes just 3 hours by car. This means that day trips to other parts of the island are easily manageable.
  2. The dramatic landscapes seen in some parts of Fuerteventura stem from its volcanic history. The island originates from a volcanic eruption and is around 20 million years old, making it the oldest of the Canary Islands.
  3. In 2009, Fuerteventura was made a UNESCO biosphere reserve. As well as practising sustainable tourism, its wildlife conservation efforts are commendable. The island runs a loggerhead turtle breeding project, nursing hatchlings before releasing them onto Cofete beach each year.

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