This second largest of the Canary Islands chain is unashamedly a beach-lovers paradise. With a climate akin to Florida, it has more to offer than miles of golden sands and world class resorts. Strong winds whip the Atlantic into a frenzy, so it’s a mecca for surf dudes, windsurfers and kitesurfers, of all shapes and sizes.
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The opening of Puerto del Rosario’s Las Rotondas (Francisco Pi y Arsuaga 2) in 2006 has transformed retail therapy on Fuerteventura. With more than 100 international high-street names, it’s hugely popular with tourists, and most resorts operate daily shuttle buses to and from the mall. For something a little more interesting, try Corralejo’s high street, which although overflowing with ubiquitous names also has a twice weekly street market where you can find handmade crafts, tacky tourist sombreros and unusual local produce.
Food & Drink
Fuerteventura’s gastronomic scene is seafood-heavy, with most restaurants offering a bewildering array of fresh fish. Inland, goat, rabbit and gofio (roasted cornmeal) are popular but wherever you go, you’ll always find patatas arragudas (wrinkled potatoes) served up with fiery red mojo sauce. For seafood, El Cotillo’s Marisma restaurant (Santo Tomas) is run by three brothers who not only cook their fish but catch it too. Also worth a look is Fazz’s (Playa Cho Leon 32) in Corralejo, which specialises in hearty Canarian fare. For tapas, Casa Marcos (Carretera General 94) is a local favourite that can’t be beaten.
Like the rest of the Canaries, February is party time as the Fuerteventura Carnival celebrations kick off. Expect parades, funfair rides and plenty of food at street parties up and down the island.
Día de la Cruz
From Corralejo in the north to Gran Tarajal in the south, May sees fabulously decorated crosses festooned with flowers pop up across the island during a religious fiesta that commemorates the Passion. It’s not all religion though: colourful costumes and street parties are also on the menu.
Fuerteventura’s answer to Glastonbury takes place every June in El Cotillo and attracts an interesting line-up of international and Spanish acts. Part concert and part beach party, it boasts a relaxed atmosphere and an enthusiastic crowd of revellers.
Día de la Hispanidad
As with the rest of Spain, 12 October is a big day for Fuerteventura when the locals celebrate all things Spanish on national day. Expect street parties, free-flowing wine and fascinating historical displays.
International Kite Festival
Attracting ‘kiters’ from all over Europe, Fuerteventura’s three-day Kite Festival takes place on the vast Playa del Burro beach just south of Corralejo. Along with demonstrations from the professionals, visitors can try their hand at flying a kite of their own.
Most visitors to Fuerteventura head to the sunny beach resorts of Corralejo, Jandía and Caleta de Fuste, and it is in one of these that you’ll find the majority of places to stay. For luxury, try the Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahía Real (Avenida Grandes Playas) in Corralejo – a gorgeous colonnaded palace with its own spa and lush tropical gardens. Equally lovely is Costa Calma’s Melia Gorriones (Playa Barca, Pájara), which boasts its own scuba-diving centre. For comfortable self-catering, try the Sol Jandía Mar (Bentejuí 8) in the pretty town of Morro del Jable.