Best Places to Visit in Fuerteventura
Last year in May I decided to take a short vacation in Fuerteventura, a beautiful and sunny Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean and close to North Africa. So I’m happy to share with you my Fuerteventura Travel Guide and a list of the best places to visit in Fuerteventura.
Fuerteventura is the second largest island of the Canary Islands, an archipelago that belongs to Spain. Located in the Atlantic Ocean only 100km away from the Moroccan coast, its landscapes and climate are highly influenced by Africa. It has a pleasant weather throughout the year and some winds blowing from the Sahara, making it very popular for sports like windsurf. When I visited it in mid-May the average temperature was 25 degrees, the perfect weather to enjoy the beaches and to explore the island.
Even if Fuerteventura is known by its beautiful golden sand beaches (it has been considered the island with the best beaches in the Canary archipelago), it has much more to offer to visitors from volcanic and deserted landscapes, to sand dunes, stunning viewpoints and picturesque villages.
Let me share the best places to visit in Fuerteventura and to better organize your trip to this beautiful island, don’t miss my Fuerteventura Travel Guide.
Located in the North of the Island, Corralejo is one of the most lively resorts in the island with many options of hotels, restaurants, shops, local markets and nightlife.
Having a lot of facilities within the city, it is a good location to be based and to explore the island on day trips from Corralejo. It is also conveniently located only 40Km drive from the airport.
The town has some urban beaches like Playa de la Clavellina or Playa Correlejo Viejo and a beautiful promenade leading to the port which is great for a walk by the seaside.
I stayed near Corralejo in Bahiazul Fuerteventura villas resort and it was a very good option to be close to the town, enjoying the quietness of the resort with private pools in the villas.
Corralejo Natural Park and Sand Dunes
If I had to select the highlight of my trip to Fuerteventura, it would be the sand dunes in Corralejo Natural Park.
The park located at the north-east of the island near Corralejo Town, provides visitors diverse landscapes from sand dunes and white sand beaches to volcanic and rugged mountains. It is also the biggest dune spread in all Canary Islands.
The best way to visit the natural park is driving from Corralejo by the coastal road and stop a few kilometres after when you start to see the sand dunes. Park you car by the road (there are plenty of parking spaces) and start exploring the surrounding nature.
At one side of the road there are big sand dunes worth to explore that reminded me of Sahara desert and you really get a genuine desert vibe. In the horizon you will see the volcanic landscape that characterizes the island with red and ochre mountains.
At the other side of the coastal road there are more sand dunes leading to the beautiful white sand beaches from Corralejo – Grandes Playas which means “Big Beaches” – with several kilometres of extension. The perfect spot for a relaxing beach day after exploring the sand dunes.
If you are curious about the name of this beach that became one of the most Instagrammable places in Fuerteventura, don’t miss Popcorn Beach. Located near Corralejo, you can get there walking or driving. Just be aware that if you decide to drive, it will take you around 20 minutes and part of the journey is on a dirt road which can be quite challenging if you don’t have a 4×4 car.
But it is totally worth the effort to get there. Popcorn Beach doesn’t have any sand and instead, it is covered by calcareous algae which looks like popcorn.
If you visit it at the end of the day, you will be rewarded by a beautiful sunset.
Isla de Lobos
Isla de Lobos, which means Sea Lions Island, is a small island that lies off the north of Fuerteventura near Corralejo. The name of the island refers to the sea lions that used to live there a long time ago. It is a protected natural area, part of Corralejo Natural Park, and it is home to a significant variety of plant and bird species.
It has beautiful beaches like La Concha, protected from the waves, and El Portito, with pristine waters and ideal to swim.
The island can be reached by ferry from Corralejo port. It is needed a free permit to visit it, but if you book your ticked online the permit is handled within your booking.
El Cotillo Beach
El Cotillo is a small and picturesque fishing village with some of the most stunning beaches in Furteventura. It is located in the Northwest coast, at 20 minutes away drive from Corralejo.
In El Cotillo spend some time walking by the traditional village, visit the lighthouse and Castillo de El Toston which means “El Toston Castle”, a small circular structure with beautiful views to the ocean.
But the highlight of El Cotillo is undoubtedly the beauty of the beach. Go to La Concha beach, a bay with white sand and turquoise waters which has been named one of the best beaches in Europe. Near La Concha don’t miss El Cotillo lagoons, some secluded beaches with the calmest waters you will find in the island.
La Oliva Landscapes
La Oliva municipality in the North of Fuerteventura is characterised by volcanic desert landscapes, making you feel you are in the North of Africa. Which is technically right because even though the Canary Islands belong to Spain, from a geographical point of view they are part of Africa.
Get lost in the rough dusty roads of La Oliva and admire the ancient volcanos and ochre mountains.
If you drive around Fuerteventura, you will see many windmills that are already part of its history and landscape. Grain milling has been an important activity in the island and windmills were introduced in Fuerteventura in the 18th century, spreading across the centre and the north areas.
The most famous windmills are located in places like Tefia, La Oliva or Antigua, where is possible to visit the Antigua Windmill indoors and the original machinery. To learn more about the windmills culture in the island, visit “Los Molinos” interpretation centre at Tiscamanita.
Morro Veloso Viewpoint
This scenic viewpoint is located in the road between Antigua and Betancuria, at the top of Tegu mountain. You can see all the way towards Corralejo, Tindaya Mountain and El Cotillo.
Unfortunately when I was in Fuerteventura it was closed, but I visited the Morro Velosa statues nearby, which also offers breathtaking views to the north of the island.
According to the legend, the statues represent Guise and Ayose, the two kings ruling Fuerteventura when the Norman conquerors arrived in the 15th century and the island was divided in two kingdoms.
No visit to Fuerventura is complete without a stop in Betancuria, the old capital nestled at the heart of the island in a mountain range natural park. It was founded in 1404 by the Norman conqueror called Jean de Bethencourt, becoming the political, military and religious centre of Fuerteventura for many centuries.
Take some time to walk by this picturesque colonial town and stop by the main square to see the impressive Santa Maria de Betancuria Church, which was the first church built in the island.
The surroundings of Betancuria offer green fertile valleys, like an oasis in the middle of a desert landscape.
Barranco de los Enamorados
Barranco de los Enamorados is a beautiful and peculiar ravine made of fossil dunes excavated by waters and shapped by the winds. It is located in La Oliva municipality, near Esquinzo Beach.
You need to hike to get there – approximately 6km taking around 3h in total. It is recommended to go in the early morning to avoid the hottest hours as there are not many shadows in the way. I didn’t have time to go but in the pictures online it looks amazing.
This seaside village in the western coast of Fuerteventura perched in front of the ocean, is one of my favourite places in the island. First of all the village is very small but charming and authentic with a slow pace of living that is ideal for relaxing. I also had one of the best meals of my vacation with fresh seafood and octopus.
If Fuerteventura is famous by its white sand and golden beaches, Ajuy is the opposite with black volcanic sand making it equally beautiful and unique. The sea is rough with strong currents and big waves, so swimming is not recommended. But I loved walking by the beach and admiring the sea and the adjacent cliffs.
Ajuy is also famous by its caves, which are considered a natural monument. The caves are the oldest formations in the Canary Islands and it is possible to visit them by a scenic trail in the cliffs of approximately 500 metres starting in Ajuy beach.
Situated in the South of Fuertenventura, Sisacumbre viewpoint has the most stunning views to the volcanic landscapes of the island.
I visited it during the day, but it is also known as a stargazing observation point. It offers some facilities to observe the night skies like signs to help visitors locating the constellations and a vertical clock.
Cofete is often considered the most spectacular beach in Fuerteventura and it has been selected one the 10 best beaches in Europe. Even though it is beautiful, it is also wild and extremely windy, making it not recommended to swim.
The road to get there starts in Morro Jable and part of it is a dirt road, so be careful especially if you don’t have a 4×4 car. Before starting the descent towards the beach there is an observation platform with great views.
The Jandia Peninsula at the southermost point of the island, has some of the best beaches of the Canary archipelago. It also encloses the Jandia Natural Park with kilometres of unspoilt beaches and lagoons.
One of the most famous beaches in Jandia is Sotavento, also known by its good conditions for kitesurfing due to the fact that is is often exposed to coastal winds.
Don’t miss El Salmo Viewpont, with the most spectacular views to Sotavento Beach.
Castillo Caleta de Fuste Natural Pool
Not far away from Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura’s capital, you will find one of the most spectacular places of the island, Castillo Caleta de Fuste.
This natural pool with bright green-coloured waters, is at the northern part of Castillo. Be aware that in order to admire it and swim there you should go in low tide.
Travel Guide to Fuerteventura
I recommend to spend at least 5 days in Fuerteventura to be able to explore everything the island offers, but one week would be ideal. Combining it with other Canary Islands if you have enough time, can be also a very good option. Lanzarote is the closest one and there is a ferry which takes only 30m connecting both islands. I visited Lanzarote a long time ago and I immediately felt in love with the stunning volcanic landscapes. It’s also totally worth a visit.
The best way to explore Fuerteventura is to rent a car and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I rented a car at the airport on the arrival for the whole stay. In case you don’t want to drive you can opt for being based in one place and take some day tours with one of the many touristic operators in the island. You can also take the local bus. But renting a car will give you the freedom to visit Fuerteventura at your own pace and to select the locations you really want to go. Just be aware that for visiting some areas in the island you will need to go off track, therefore a 4×4 vehicle is the preferred option. I didn’t do that and I regretted not having researched about that before, because to visit some must-see places you need to go off road.
Where to stay in Furteventura? That is a difficult question as there are different areas in the island offering different experiences. The most known ones are Morro Jable and Costa Calma in the South, famous for the stunning beaches and great surfing conditions, and Corralejo in the North, recognised by the beaches, the sand dunes natural park and close to Isla de Lobos. If you are looking for a more relaxed and off the beaten location, you can choose places like El Cotillo beach, Ajuy area or La Oliva.
I decided to stay in Corralejo to be closer to the beaches, the sand dunes natural park and the city of Corralejo which offers great choices in terms of restaurants, coffees and shops. From Corralejo I did some day trips to other locations in the island.
I stayed in Bahiazul Fuerteventura, a beautiful villas resort which reminds Greek style by the architecture in white and blue. Each villa is fully equipped and it has its own private pool and jacuzzi, making it very convenient and offering a lot of privacy.