Fuerteventura Holiday Planning Guide
Fuerteventura can be loosely translated as either "Strong Winds" or "Great Adventure," and both translations are usually applicable at some point during a trip here. One of the larger Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is a popular windsurfing and kitesurfing destination, boasting a long coastline of unspoiled white beaches washed by the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Water sports aren’t the only things to do on the island, however. It’s also a biosphere reserve rich in remote wilderness areas set aside for protected wildlife, most notably one of the two surviving populations of threatened Egyptian vulture. Of volcanic origin, the island also has an attractive countryside of sleepy villages, ancient volcanoes, and tall palm trees.
Places to Visit on FuerteventuraLa Oliva
: In La Oliva, the historic attractions of its Old Town and the beautiful beaches that grace its shores are equally alluring to visitors.Corralejo
: Corralejo offers tourists the balance between rugged nature and pristine beaches with the charms of a small fishing village and the excitement of a modern promenade.Antigua
: The oldest town on the island, Antigua offers beautiful architecture and calm surroundings for a peaceful Fuerteventura holiday.Caleta de Fuste
: If you seek water sports, wildlife interactions, and swimming in the sun-drenched, bright blue sea, add Caleta de Fuste to your Fuerteventura itinerary.Jandia Peninsula
: Experience true natural beauty on the island at Jandia Peninsula, a beach-centric region with sandy dunes and rugged shores that is protected by its Parque Natural de Jandia status. Pajara
: Discover inviting beaches and an old church known for its Aztec influences at Pajara, a resort worth exploring during your Fuerteventura trip.
Villaverde: For fabulous views of the island, head to Villaverde, a town offering scenic panoramas of the ocean, shore, and Lanzarote.Morro del Jable
: A popular summer destination, especially among German travelers, Morro del Jable has become attractive to tourists because of its many beaches, restaurants, and hotels. Costa Calma
: Windsurfers and beach bums alike love the laid back atmosphere and relaxed waters at Costa Calma.Playa de Jandia
: Located on the island’s southern coast, Playa de Jandia serves as a family-friendly resort that is ideal for playing and relaxing on the beach during your Fuerteventura vacation.
Things to Do on Fuerteventura
Popular Fuerteventura Tourist AttractionsParque Natural de Corralejo
: Hike sandy dunes, view lush wildlife, and relax on pristine beaches during your Fuerteventura vacation at Parque Natural de Corralejo. Oasis Park Fuerteventura
: Interact with the diverse wildlife at Fuerteventura Oasis Park, an animal haven that’s home to 250 vibrant species, including elephants, lemurs, and sea lions. Playa de Cofete
: Stroll along golden sands at the picturesque Playa de Cofete, a secluded beach surrounded by mountainous nature.Corralejo Dunes
: Among the many things to do in Fuerteventura, exploring the area’s idyllic dunes is a favorite activity for visitors, and Corralejo Dunes offers a chance to hike, fly kites, and surf.El Cotillo Beach & Lagoons
: Once you see the bright blue water of El Cotillo Beach and Lagoons, it’s easy to understand why this snorkeling oasis was used as the setting for a Ridley Scott film. Acua Water Park
: Cool off during your Fuerteventura holiday at Baku Centro de Ocio y Cultura, a water park offering exciting thrill rides, lazy pools, and kiddie complexes. Sotavento Beach
: The winds at Sotavento Beach attract windsurfers and other water sport enthusiasts, although its gorgeous shoreline is enough to draw in sunbathing tourists as well. Deep Blue Diving Base
: Explore the colorful reefs and marine life that surround this island with Deep Blue Diving Base, a scuba diving and snorkeling company in Fuerteventura. Playa de Sotavento
: Set against a mountainous backdrop and sandy dunes, Playa de Sotavento (Playa Risco del Paso and Playa Barca) offers ample opportunities for windsurfing and relaxation. EEE Bikers
: Discover volcanic terrain, city streets, and more of the diverse landscapes that this area has to offer during your Fuerteventura trip with EEE Bikers.
Planning a Fuerteventura Vacation with Kids
Places to Visit on Fuerteventura with Kids
The top destinations for families on a Fuerteventura holiday are Corralejo
and Jandia Peninsula
. Corralejo is known for its sandy dunes, water sports-centric beaches, and a charming promenade with restaurants, cafes and entertainment. For even more natural beauty, head to Jandia Peninsula, a protected region of the island that is loved by travelers of all ages for its scenic views, swimming opportunities, and rich wildlife. If you prefer exploring a thriving town to remote nature, consider a trip to Antigua
, the island’s oldest settlement. Corralejo
, Playa de Jandia
, Morro del Jable
, and Caleta de Fuste
all offer popular family-friendly resorts and restaurants.
Things to Do on Fuerteventura with Kids
There is no shortage of things to do in Fuerteventura when traveling with your family. Aside from its fabulous beaches, there are a number of colorful attractions geared towards kids. Animal lovers will adore the interactive animal experiences at Oasis Park Fuerteventura
and kids of all ages will have fun at Acua Water Park
, the island’s popular water park. For active teenagers, consider snorkeling tours through Deep Blue Diving Base
or bike tours with EEE Bikers
. For fun in the sun head to one of the island’s beaches, like Playa de Cofete
, hike the terrain at Corralejo Dunes
, or take a dip in the natural pools at El Cotillo Beach & Lagoons
Tips for a Family Vacation on Fuerteventura
If you want to explore a few different destinations around the island with your family, you should consider renting a car when you arrive. Be aware that many of the beaches in Fuerteventura allow nudity, so you may want to avoid these spots and opt for more family-friendly locations. There are also a number of family-friendly resorts in Corralejo
, Playa de Jandia
, Morro del Jable
, and Caleta de Fuste
, which offer great accommodations and often offer entertainment and spaces specifically designed with kids in mind.
Dining and Shopping on Holiday on Fuerteventura
Cuisine of Fuerteventura
Dining in Fuerteventura offers travelers a chance to taste many of the local delicacies and flavorful island food. Here, it is typical to eat fish, shellfish, or goat cooked with bright veggies. While you can try everything from sea bass to shark, you should also save room for the popular Majorero cheese, a local specialty made with goat’s milk. Like other Mediterranean destinations, most of the cooking here is done with olive oil. Before you leave, be sure you’ve eaten papas arrugadas, steamed potatoes served with spicy “mojo” sauce that are an island favorite.
Shopping on Fuerteventura
Shopping in Fuerteventura is mainly geared towards tourists and can be quite expensive. In Corralejo, you will find a modern shopping center called El Campanario, featuring typical stores, a bell tower, and Sunday market. In Caleta de Fuste head to the Atlantico Centre, a large shopping mall on the outskirts of town. Puerto del Rosario offers more affordable shopping, local finds on its main streets, and major brands like Zara and H&M at Las Rotondas, its major shopping center. If you want something more personal, try one of the locally owned shops in Morro Jable or head to the markets in Corralejo, Caleta, and Costa Calma for island-made crafts.
Know Before You Go on a Trip to Fuerteventura
History of Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura was formed by a volcanic eruption 20 million years ago and is the second largest island in its archipelago chain, the Canary Islands. The first settlers here were from North Africa, and their ancient influence can still be detected here in the regional language and architectural sites. After the conquest of the Maurs in the 14th century, the island was divided into Maxatorata in the north and Jandia in the south. These two historic kingdoms were separated by a wall that still stands today, called Erbania.
Over the centuries that followed, Fuerteventura was invaded and inhabited by Spanish, French, and English forces. In 1835, Puerto del Rosario
, was named the island capital and in 1912 the region was given the right to self-govern. With the addition of a modern airport in the 1940s, Fuerteventura become a tourist destination by the 1960s, drawing visitors from Spain and neighboring European countries. Because of its proximity to Morocco, there have also been a number of African immigrants who have arrived to the continent via this island.
Tourism has continued to expand through the past few decades, and many of Fuerteventura’s beaches, like Sotavento Beach
and Costa Calma
, have become an important destinations for wind and kite surfers. In fact, its name, which dates back to 1339, literally means “strong wind.” Though much of the island is developed from tourism, a lot of its pristine nature has remained the same and in 2009 UNESCO declared Fuerteventura a biosphere reserve.
Landscape of Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura, the second biggest of the Canary Islands, has over 150 beaches along its shoreline, which are marked by white sands and volcanic formations. Though Fuerteventura hasn’t experienced volcanic activity in thousands of years, the island’s entire landscape is formed by its historic volcanic eruptions. Experience rolling meadows, lush vegetation, far-reaching dunes, and pristine coastline at this gorgeous tourist destination known for its natural beauty. A favorite region among visitors is Jandia Peninsula
, an area known for its remote beaches and picturesque dunes. More of the island’s famously stunning beaches boasting blue waters and white shores include Morro del Jable
Holidays & Festivals on Fuerteventura
Many travelers come to Fuerteventura for its vibrant celebrations, especially the famous February carnivals and Easter Holy Week parades in the spring. In the summertime you can experience Corpus Christi, and music lovers will enjoy the Fuerteventura Music Festival in June and the International Jazz Festival in July. Autumn may not be the most popular time for tourists to visit Fuerteventura, but the island’s colorful International Kite Festival draws big crowds and lots of families to the region.
Fuerteventura Travel Tips
Climate of Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is a volcanic island and its name can translate to “strong winds.” The hot Sahara breeze here blows away from the island thanks to the sea, making the temperature nice year-round and offering a perfect climate for wind and kite surfing. This classic Mediterranean weather makes summers hot and sunny, and winters temperate with some rainfall. October experiences the highest level of rainfall, while December and January bring the lowest temperatures, at around 22 C (72 F) and lows of 15 C (59 F). One danger this island faces is a sandstorm, Calima, which comes from Africa and can cause hot temperatures, reduced visibility, and dry air.
Transportation on Fuerteventura
You can get to Fuerteventura via ferry or plane. Ferries run from Tenerife, Grand Canaria, Puerto del Rosario, and Lanzarote, while flights come in to the region’s main airport on the coast near Puerto del Rosario from Spain and other European countries. Once you’ve arrived at Fuerteventura, renting a car is the best option for exploring the region. If you don’t want to hire a ride or take taxis, you can also travel by bus, with main bus lines traveling from Puerto del Rosario to Corralejo, Caleta de Fuste, Morro del Jable, and Cotillo.
Languages of Fuerteventura
Not surprisingly, the official language in the Fuerteventura region is Spanish. However, because of the tourist influence in this area, English and German are also widely spoken. In addition to these three main languages, you may also hear other European tongues during your Fuerteventura holiday, including French, Dutch, and Italian.