Fuerteventura

Travel Guide Europe Spain Canary Islands Fuerteventura

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Introduction

Lighthouse in Morro Jable

Lighthouse in Morro Jable

© nikio

Fuerteventura is part of seven islands in the archipelago making up the Canary Islands. They are situated in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwestern coast of mainland Africa (Morocco and the Western Sahara). Fuerteventura is the second largest Canary Island, 100 kilometres long by 31 kilometres at its widest, and is closest to the African coast. It is regarded as the oldest of the Canary Islands, and has the highest number of sand dunes and long sandy beaches of all the islands. Fuerteventura is relatively uncommercialised, retaining much of its unspoilt original beauty and calm with a landscape of contrasting volcanic contours, sandy beaches and rocky coves. It is the driest island, with little rainfall and over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. If you are looking for a place to get-away-from-it-all, then Fuerteventura would be a good choice.Fuerteventura is a volcanic island, in some places untouched but in others heavily developed for tourism. "Fuerteventura" roughly translates to "strong winds" or Fuerte (Strong) Ventura (Venture).

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Municipalities

From the north downwards:

  • La Oliva is the most northern, and includes the Corralejo resort area.
  • Betancuria is situated in the centre and to the west side of Fuerteventura.
  • Puerto del Rosario is located in the center of Fuerteventura.
  • Antigua is about 2/3rds down and to the east side of Fuerteventura and includes Caleta de Fuste resort area.
  • Tuineje is about 2/3rds down and stretches across both west and east coasts of Fuerteventura.
  • Pájara is the last 3rd and includes Costa Calma and Morro Jable resort areas. This area comes under "Jandia" and has some of the Canary's largest beaches, along the Sotovento beaches.

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Cities and Villages

Ajuy - The small fishing village on the west coast is always worth a visit and not overcrowded. Here one can visit the caves of Ajuy, but the rocks are already very worth seeing. There is also the black sand beach. There is plenty of parking for cars. Also, a small restaurant is here - with friendly service, simple Spanish food and drinks. Swimming is not too recommended here - after a few meters of beach it gets very deep and there are strong currents. However, you can just lie in the still shallow waters and get a refreshment from the Atlantic.
Cofete - A small village in the south (west coast of it), Jandia peninsula. It has nothing to do with the tourist harbors on the rest of the south coast. It is worth a trip if you have a car - without it, it's hard to reach. The place itself is not very big, but has a bar. Back at the time, Franco had here a military restricted area. From here, Franco pursued his interests in Africa. Nearby is also the Villa Winter, which is named after the name of the builder (Gustav Winter), surrounded by many legends. There is a non-dangerous, but very nice beach. Hardly any people are here. In the vicinity of Cofete there are a lot of places where you can make beautiful landscapes.

El Cotillo - West from Corralejo. It is a small place that has been the focus of tourism for only a few years. The individual life has not yet fused very much with the tourist. This is ideal for individual tourists. The tourist buses also pass El Cotillo. The destination is the fortress of the old fishing village, where lime was burnt in the past. From the tower it was seen whether pirates were approaching the island. In the fortress, art pictures are exhibited. For a glimpse of El Cotillio this stop is enough. But the place has offers next to the fortress too. In the small Cotillo there are surprisingly many good restaurants (especially Canarian and Italian cuisine).
The place has a lot of peculiarities. From the fortress one has a beautiful view of the coasts to the north and south. The lagoon beach in the north towards lighthouses is suitable for families with small children. In the south the waves roll harder to the beach. Hourly bus from Corralejo to El Cotillo is available. The direct bus connection with Puerto del Rosario is much rarer. It is best to visit the place with a rental car - parking is without problems.
Jandia - A purely touristic artificial village, bordering Morro Jable. Jandia itself consists only of hotels, shops, bars and restaurants. The village has even a small zoo. The most important asset of Jandia is surely the beach. From Morro Jable, the beach with bright yellow sand stretches far east. There are beach sections that are guarded (with rent couches, bars and fast food), but also sections where you are very alone. In the direction of Morro Jable the waves can hardly be felt. Going east, the waves become stronger. At the corner, where it goes northwards, a rock divides the beach - high waves can be enjoyed there. The main street is also the shopping street. All are located in the north of the street, so you always have a view of the sea. On Thursday, the African market takes place on the market square of Jandia. Plagiarism of all kinds can be bought here - in addition to fresh fruits, vegetables.
Morro Jable - The village begins with the harbor. There is a daily ferry service to Las Palmas - approx. 3.5h hours. Morro Jable can not be reached directly from the port, a rock wall blocks the path. The village of Morro Jable rises up the mountain. Here are the people who work in the Jandia hotels. From the port you have to go up the mountain, then down to the village center. The town center has not yet been taken over by tourists and there is something to do until late nights.
Pájara - The capital of the southern province, but it's just a small village in the middle of the island. Here the taxes from Costa Calma and Jandia flow - which shows in the city (like in town hall). In the summer even a fresh water swimming pool is available - in contrast with water prices on the island. The town is nevertheless worth seeing, to get a glimpse of the life of the locals. You can enjou some Spanish cuisine - or coffee "Leche y Leche". It's an espresso, on which one puts sweet condensed milk. If you turn it around, it becomes sweet milk coffee, if you do not, then you have a special taste experience. The church in the center has a nice portal. Aztec art can be visited here. There is a lot of speculation as to how these works have emerged. The most plausible - a monk came home richly after the trip to South America and donated this portal.

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Weather

The island of Fuerteventura enjoys a mild, dry climate with average daytime temperatures from around 21 °C in January to 29 °C in August. The weather is very similar to Florida and Mexico with over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, making them your ideal choice as a holiday destination. Although only 9 kilometres apart, Fuerteventura's most northerly point Corralejo, is usually about 2 °C warmer than Playa Blanca, in the south of Lanzarote.

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Getting There

By Plane

Fuerteventura Airport (FUE) has flights arrive from most major destinations within Europe on a daily basis. Some of the airlines flying into this airport include Air Berlin, Air Europa, Condor Airlines, MyTravel Airways, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines and TUIfly. The airport is situated just outside the islands capital of Puerto del Rosario, half way down the island on the east coast.

The Canary Islands are connected by a smaller airline called Binter Canarias, which also has a flight to Marrakech from a couple of the islands.

By Boat

Ferries connect all the Canary Islands and passenger liners regularly dock in Fuerteventura's main ferry port and capital city Puerto del Rosario. Fuerteventura is connected to Lanzarote from Corralejo in the north, which is served by regular daily ferries. Several pleasure cruises also sail between the 2 islands from Corralejo, either docking at Playa Blanca in the south, Puerto del Carmen, or Arrecife, Lanzarote's capital. From Corralejo there are also daily ferries to Isla de Lobos which is just 2 kilometres away - ideal for day trips.
Puerto del Rosario's ferries travel to all the other Canary Islands, as well as the new service to Morocco. Morro Jable in the south of Fuerteventura is served by ferries to Gran Canaria.

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Getting Around

By Car

Car hire is fairly cheap on the island, with several different companies to choose from. There really is no need to book before you leave unless you are travelling at peak times. Please remember that drivers must possess a full licence and be over 25 years of age to hire a car in any of the Canary Islands.

The main roads on Fuerteventura are good, but there are several unmade roads, for example Cofete in the south of the island, so it may be worth considering a 4-wheel drive model. Most hire companies are aware of the condition of the roads and accept that their cars will inevitably be taken "off road" although there are terms in their hire agreements which forbid this use. Another term in their contracts is that their cars cannot be taken to another island - Fuerteventura to Lanzarote, although this regularly takes place without penalties! If in doubt, ask!

A word of warning: Fuerteventura has only recently introduced traffic lights. Roundabouts are also a fairly new phenomenon which the older generation of Spanish drivers seem to find completely baffling! Most cars travel round in the outside lane, no matter which exit they are taking - be careful as you may well find cars cutting across your exit route!

By Bus

A bus in the Canaries is called a "guagua" (pronounced: waa-waa). Local buses are run by Tiadhe and connect most of the villages throughout the island, albeit some routes may not be as frequently served or regular as others! Fares are cheap and "season tickets" can be purchased, so make sure to ask for them to get your discounted rate. Depending on the resort you have booked with, it may be able to get a free bus to your chosen destination - check this out with your hotel or tour company.

By Boat

See section above for commercial ferry details. There are several pleasure cruises and tours available from all tourist resorts.

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Money

Like other Canary Islands, Fuerteventura has adopted the Euro (ISO code: EUR, symbol: ) as its official currency. One Euro is divided into 100 (euro)cents, which are sometimes referred to as eurocents, especially when distinguishing them from the US cents.

Euro banknotes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. The highest three denominations are rarely used in everyday transactions. All Euro banknotes have a common design for each denomination on both sides throughout the Eurozone. The Euro coins are 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, €1 and €2. Some countries in the Eurozone have laws which require cash transactions to be rounded to the nearest 5 cents. All Euro coins have a common design on the denomination (value) side, while the opposite side may have a different image from one country to another. Although the image side may be different, all Euro coins remain legal tender throughout the Eurozone.

The €1 and €2 coins issued in Spain have the portrait of King Juan Carlos on the image side, the 10, 20 and 50 eurocent coins depict the famous writer Cervantes, the 1, 2 and 5 eurocent coins carry the image on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. There are also €2 coins, to commemorate the Treaty of Rome, and the celebration of 400 years since the publishing of the story of Don Quixote in 1605, which depicts Don Quixote on the coin.

Banks and bureau de change are found throughout the island, with most speaking English. Goods purchased within the islands are duty free, but are limited to specific personal allowances - check your country's regulations.

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Language

Spanish is the native language, but with a distinctive Canarian twist! True Spanish as spoken in the peninsula pronounces the letter "s" as a "th". People from South America pronounce the "s" as an "s", but the Canarians sometimes don't pronounce it at all - it becomes a silent letter, which can make the word sound completely alien and unrecognisable. Example "Dos cañas" (2 beers), becomes "Do caña". The good thing is, whatever style of Spanish you speak, you will be understood by the Canarians - but you may not understand their replies!

English is widely spoken in the resort areas, as is German and Italian. Most people appreciate the fact that you try to speak their language, even if you get it wrong, so have a go and add a new dimension to your holiday!

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Eat

There are many good international restaurants throughout the island, and there are also some fast-food names which you will recognise.
Locally caught fish is abundant and delicious and definitely has to be tried. Most of the small bars in even the remotest parts of the island will serve food of some sort where you can receive a true taste of Canarian cooking.

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Sleep

Your choice of where to stay is just as varied as anywhere else in the world. There are many hotels with different star ratings, throughout the island. Property rentals are abundant and varied and suit all budgets. There are a few "casas rural" - small countryside hotels located outside the main resort areas which are a good option for those wanting to get away from it all.

Hotel Costa Caleta, Avenida Alcalde Juan Ramón Soto Morales, s/n 35610 Castillo Caleta de Fuste Fuerteventura, ☏ +34 928 547 550.
Atalaya de la Rosa del Taro, ☏ +34 928 175 10. Is in a quiet inland area 13 km from the capital It's a small, traditional, restored house for two or three people, sun-wind energy and recycled water, reused for the plants. It has a bedroom, a kitchen-living room with fridge and CD-radio-cassette, a bathroom and a terrace with panoramic views. The house is situated , far away from the tourist resorts, but very well linked. The nearest beach is ten minutes drive away.
Casa Bonita Luxury Villa, Mirador de las Dunas, Corralejo, Fuerteventura. This is a luxury villa with private pool and putting green in Corralejo. It is a 3 bedroom villa which sleeps 6 people. varies.
Casa de la Burra, ☏ +34 928 175 014, ✉ casadelaburra@yahoo.es. Isolated of the urban centers, this small but welcoming house for two persons are a green retreat with solar energy for the sanitary hot water and biological purification of residual waters used for watering. A quiet retreat far away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday resorts.
Fraggle Roca, 53 Castillo Mar (Opposite the San Jorge hotel), ☏ +34 928 160 117. Sea view from upstairs bedroom balcony. One bedroomed duplex. Situated in the town centre of Caleta de Fuste. Close to everything, the beaches, the restaurants, the bars. Just a quick 10 min taxi (approx €10)from the Airport. Caleta is popular with families and couples, quieter than other resorts. sleeps 3 Adults or 2 adults and 2 children. Includes, twin beds, sofa bed, washingmachine, microwave, british TV, Aircon in the bedroom. Communal pool.
Hesperia Bristol Playa, Urbanizacion Lago de Bristol, 1. 35660 Fuerteventura, ☏ +34 928 867 020. This beautiful resort is on a white-sandy beach. It is a short distance from the Dunas National Park, and offers 185 apartments, swimming pools and tennis courts. Rooms from €30.
Oasis Jandia Golf, Barranco de Vinamar, La Mancha, Jandia, 35625, ☏ +34 928 546 550, ✉ jandiagolfjrec@globalia.com. Right on a 18 hole golf course, and good views views of Barranco de Vinamar.
Villa La Isla Bonita, Fuerteventura Golf Club, ☏ +353 87 661 3711, ✉ info@villalaislabonita.com. Private villas on Fuerteventura Golf Club near the town of Caleta de Fustes. Each villa offers luxurious spacious 3 bedroom accommodation with private heated swimming pools.

View our map of accommodation in Fuerteventura

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Drink

Spanish culture includes drinking, but as people live with it from cradle to grave, there are not the same problems with alcohol abuse and hooliganism as other parts of the world. In truth, any trouble say, outside a nightclub in the early hours of the morning, is usually caused by rowdy holiday makers.

Fuerteventura does not produce its own wines etc, so all alcohol is imported. However, Spanish wines are still cheap and varied, and most international wines and spirits are readily available from local supermarkets.

If you intend buying alcohol to take home as duty free, your cheapest option is to buy from a supermarket, not from the airport where the prices are generally higher.

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Health

See also Travel Health

There are health centres and dentists in the main resort areas, with the main hospital being in the capital Puerto del Rosario.

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Safety

See also Travel Safety

Common sense prevails - don't go out alone late at night in any of the barrios (housing estates) in Puerto del Rosario.

Keep all valuables safe and be sure to close windows and lock doors when leaving your apartment, even for a short time as most theft is opportunistic.

Sunscreen is a must. Fuerteventura benefits from a breeze all year which can feel cool in the winter, but lovely in the summer - don't be fooled - you are still being pounded by UV-rays even though you feel totally comfortable! If you do need an aftersun treatment, Fuerteventura produces aloe vera plants and manufactures various products to help with skin irritation of all sorts. Bottled water should be used for drinking although tap water is perfectly safe for cooking or using to boil for tea or coffee.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are everywhere so you can always pick up your emails or stay in touch with the outside world!

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

You can obtain cheap phone cards everywhere. The dialling code into Fuerteventura is the same as the rest of Spain (Country code: ++34).

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times can vary and the main post office usually is open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages.
Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 28.356964
  • Longitude: -14.024734

Accommodation in Fuerteventura

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