Fuerteventura - Photographic Impressions of the Island

Fuerteventura beaches
Fuerteventura beaches | Source

N.B: Please note, all of my articles are best read on desktops and laptops

Introduction

The Spanish owned Canary Islands are today among the most popular of all destinations for Western European holiday makers, who travel there in their millions every year, and in every month of the year. The appeal rests mainly with the equable climate - rarely rising much above 30°C in the summer or below 20°C in winter - the safe stable political environment, and the very long stretches of sandy beaches.

And when it comes to beaches, the island of Fuerteventura could lay claim to some of the very best of all. This island is the second largest in the group covering an area of 1650 km2 (650 mls2) and together with its close neighbour Lanzarote, is the most eastern of the Canarys, lying just 100 km (60 miles) off the coast of Africa. It is also one of the lowest lying of these volcanic islands, with a maximum elevation of 807 m (2,648 ft). Today Fuerteventura is a highly attractive option for anyone looking for sunshine, beaches, and a comfortable hotel vacation.

The author of this article visited Fuerteventura for the first time in March 2016, having previously spent time on other islands in the Canary archipelago - Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. This article is an entirely personal photographic essay of first impressions of the island, and the various attractions the island has to offer, both natural and manmade. It is influenced by my own vacationing interests and is not a guide to everything the tourist may need to know. But whilst it cannot be a comprehensive guide to all of Fuerteventura, hopefully it will give anyone thinking of holidaying here, an impression of what the island has to offer, how it compares to other islands in the group, and how to make the most of your time here.

All photos were taken by the author during five days on Fuerteventura in March 2016

Fuerteventura - its location in the Canary Island Archipelago and in the Atlantic Ocean
Fuerteventura - its location in the Canary Island Archipelago and in the Atlantic Ocean | Source
The swimming pools and guestrooms of H10 Esmeralda in the resort of Costa Calma
The swimming pools and guestrooms of H10 Esmeralda in the resort of Costa Calma | Source
The buffet style restaurant serving counter, typical of tourist hotels in the Canary Islands
The buffet style restaurant serving counter, typical of tourist hotels in the Canary Islands | Source
The southeastern beach of Costa Calma
The southeastern beach of Costa Calma | Source

Resort Hotels

Most who visit Fuerteventura for their vacation will stay in one of the many resorts dotted around the coastline, wherever there is a sandy beach. And many who visit will never venture far from their resort hotel, content to just laze on the beach, sunbathe, and enjoy the facilities the local area has to offer.

Hotels on Fuerteventura are typical of Spanish resorts. Of course standards vary, and one gets what one pays for, but most tourists will stay in a modern purpose-built hotel - not luxurious, but with all the amenities necessary for a one or two week vacation in the sun - clean, modestly furnished rooms, one or more buffet style restaurants offering international cuisine, and one or more swimming pools, bars and additional facilities such as spas, laundries, tennis courts and cycle and car hire.

Usually there will be several similar hotels in the resort to choose from, and almost everything else in the local neighbourhood also caters to the tourist trade - restaurants and bars, beach cafes, souvenir shops etc. And around the resorts one may find golf courses, companies offering land excursions and boat trips, and aquatic activities such as scuba diving. There may also be night clubs, cinemas and other entertainments, though it must be said that most of the resorts on Fuerteventura are comparatively quiet - this is certainly not the main destination in the Canary Islands for those seeking an active nightlife!

The Hotel H10 Esmeralda in Costa Calma - a resort in the southeast of the island. Typical of Fuerteventuran resort hotels and within a stone's throw of the beaches
The Hotel H10 Esmeralda in Costa Calma - a resort in the southeast of the island. Typical of Fuerteventuran resort hotels and within a stone's throw of the beaches | Source
The ClubHotel Riu Oliva Beach across the expanse of sand dunes near Corralejo. The extent of these dunes can be guaged by the two tiny figures in the middle distance
The ClubHotel Riu Oliva Beach across the expanse of sand dunes near Corralejo. The extent of these dunes can be guaged by the two tiny figures in the middle distance | Source
The dunes and distant hills of the northeast
The dunes and distant hills of the northeast | Source

The Beaches

Most resorts are located on the eastern side of the island. One 20 km (12ml) stretch of beach called the Playa de Sotavento de Jandia extends all the way from Morro Jable in the extreme southeast to Costa Calma, broken up only by occasional rocky outcrops. It was in this area that I made my base. I stayed in Costa Calma.

Then all along the east coast there are numerous small bays and coves and several have their attendant hotels and resorts. Costa Caleta de Fuste and Costa de Antigua are among the main beaches here.

But then up in the northeast we come to the other important tourist area around the coast of Fuerteventura - the beaches and Dunes of Corralejo, a massive expanse of sand, which is similar in some respect to the Dunes of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria - maybe slightly less accessible, with less impressively mountainous dunes, yet covering a much larger area.

One should mention that on all these beaches toplessness and naturism occurs. There are no strictly nudist beaches on Fuerteventura, and on all beaches naturism is understandably more common on more isolated sections away from the hotel fronts, or in secluded coves, but it is accepted as normal and passes without comment.

There is one drawback to all these beaches - the wind. Fuerteventura is notorious as the windiest of the Canary Islands. Indeed the name of the island means 'strong wind', and most who visit will comment on the strength of the gusts. This can be really seriously disappointing to those who go for a beach holiday, particularly when the wind blasts a sunbather with stinging sand grains. The wind chill can also make a balmy 20°C winter temperature feel positively cold. On the other hand, the breeze can make hot summer days of 30°C more tolerable.

Part of the coastal headlands and beaches of the Playa de Sotavento de Jandia
Part of the coastal headlands and beaches of the Playa de Sotavento de Jandia | Source
A kiteboarder at Corralejo riding the waves
A kiteboarder at Corralejo riding the waves | Source

Windsurfing / Kitesurfing

If a country or a region or an island has some particular attribute which defines it - for good or bad - then you may as well make use of it. On Fuerteventura, that attribute is the aforementioned wind, and certainly this aspect of the island's weather makes Fuerteventura a haven for windsurfers and kitesurfers or kiteboarders. The best winds are on the west coast, but there's plenty of breeze on the eastern beaches to create both the gusts and the waves to satisfy those who enjoy these sports.

Windsurfers out in force on the Playa de Sotavento de Jandia
Windsurfers out in force on the Playa de Sotavento de Jandia | Source
A rocky outcrop at Costa Calma
A rocky outcrop at Costa Calma | Source

The Rocky Headlands

I have already briefly mentioned rocky outcrops, and many of the beaches of Fuerteventura are bordered by cliffs and headlands and rocky debris. The cliffs can provide much needed shelter from the winds and the strewn volcanic boulders around the bases of the cliffs can in many cases be traversed to get from one attractive beach to the next. And the headlands are worth exploring for any with an interest in wildlife - the subject of the following sections.

Turnstones on one of the rocky headlands around Costa Calma
Turnstones on one of the rocky headlands around Costa Calma | Source
Just a sparrow? Not the universally common House Sparrow but the prettier local species, unimaginatively called the Spanish Sparrow
Just a sparrow? Not the universally common House Sparrow but the prettier local species, unimaginatively called the Spanish Sparrow | Source
The Sanderling - cute little birds which spend their time running in and out of the surf at water's edge looking for titbits of food
The Sanderling - cute little birds which spend their time running in and out of the surf at water's edge looking for titbits of food | Source

The Bird Life of the Beaches

Any regular reader of my travel articles willI know how keen I am to promote a diverse range of experiences when on holiday. To just sit and sunbathe by a swimming pool or roast on a beach is in my opinion a waste of a once in a lifetime visit to another country. I always take a bird book with me on my travels, and in Fuerteventura some of the birds in the coastal regions are so tame and approachable (especially if you carry a few seeds of grain with you) that a lot of rewardingly close encounters can be had by bird lovers and photographers. I spent a lot of my time just wandering around the headlands taking pictures. Anyone with a decent camera could do likewise and take away much better memories than you'd get from a dose of sunburn caused by lazing on the beach or reading a book that you could just as easily read at home.

The tamest and most ubiquitous of birds on the Fuerteventuran coast is the Collared Dove, which can be hand fed here. Only the Barbary Squirrel below is more approachable
The tamest and most ubiquitous of birds on the Fuerteventuran coast is the Collared Dove, which can be hand fed here. Only the Barbary Squirrel below is more approachable | Source
One of the squirrels attracted by the nuts I bought at a local resort grocery store
One of the squirrels attracted by the nuts I bought at a local resort grocery store | Source

Barbary Ground Squirrels

One resident of Fuerteventura always provides a memorable encounter for visitors to the island, and this is the Barbary Ground Squirrel. A native of northwest Africa, these squirrels were first introduced to Fuerteventura in the 1960s. They spread rapidly and have become as much a part of the island scene as the hotels, the beaches, and the windsurfers. And whilst as an introduced species they may well have somewhat damaged the local ecology, their tameness has endeared them to visitors. Go anywhere with a bag of nuts near where these little squirrels are living in burrows amidst the rocks and sand dunes and soon you will have them clambering all over your arms, around your neck, or into your bags!

Barbary Ground Squirrels will come as close as your fingertips - and then a little bit closer
Barbary Ground Squirrels will come as close as your fingertips - and then a little bit closer | Source
Roads on Fuerteventura are usually well maintained, and traffic is sparse
Roads on Fuerteventura are usually well maintained, and traffic is sparse | Source
Hiring a car is the only way to discover all that Fuerteventura has to offer
Hiring a car is the only way to discover all that Fuerteventura has to offer | Source

Driving in Fuerteventura

Continuing with the theme of getting the most out of your visit to Fuerteventura, I would strongly recommend hiring a car and seeing the whole of the island. And for anyone who isn't confident of driving in a foreign country, the Canary Islands are the place to first try your hand. The driving here is easy. The roads are well laid out, tarmacked and signposted, and traffic in all but the main towns is quiet. You cannot easily get lost, and on Fuerteventura, unlike some of the other islands, you don't even have too much in the way of high mountains and very narrow roads to navigate.

There are two things one does have to consider. First, many of the roads do not have smooth-surfaced run-offs, and often there is a small but signifficant drop of about 10 cm (4 ins) to a gravelly surface strewn with small rocks. So leaving the road or re-entering can play havoc with your suspension or your tyres. Secondly, be aware of cyclists, particularly on the hills, where a whole bunch of cycling enthusiasts may be just around the next bend.

The following sections show some of the sights to be seen just by getting out and driving around the island.

The countrysiide in southern Fuerteventura features low sandy hills and scrubland. The contrast between this hill, photographed in Barranco de Pecenescal in the Municipality of Pajara, and the reddish-hued uplands to the north, is clear to see
The countrysiide in southern Fuerteventura features low sandy hills and scrubland. The contrast between this hill, photographed in Barranco de Pecenescal in the Municipality of Pajara, and the reddish-hued uplands to the north, is clear to see | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
The sandy hills of the southern peninsula between Morro Jable and Costa CalmaIn south central Fuerteventura, the reddish landscape is much more hilly The small village of La Vega de Rio Palmas in the municipality of Betancuria Pico de la Muda, a 526 m (1725 ft) peak from a scenic viewpoint in central FuerteventuraThe scenery of northern Fuerteventura, where the uplands give way to scrubby plains
The sandy hills of the southern peninsula between Morro Jable and Costa Calma
The sandy hills of the southern peninsula between Morro Jable and Costa Calma | Source
In south central Fuerteventura, the reddish landscape is much more hilly
In south central Fuerteventura, the reddish landscape is much more hilly | Source
The small village of La Vega de Rio Palmas in the municipality of Betancuria
The small village of La Vega de Rio Palmas in the municipality of Betancuria | Source
Pico de la Muda, a 526 m (1725 ft) peak from a scenic viewpoint in central Fuerteventura
Pico de la Muda, a 526 m (1725 ft) peak from a scenic viewpoint in central Fuerteventura | Source
The scenery of northern Fuerteventura, where the uplands give way to scrubby plains
The scenery of northern Fuerteventura, where the uplands give way to scrubby plains | Source
The countryside in Central Fuerteventura. Note  the natural wind breaks on the agricultural land in the foreground
The countryside in Central Fuerteventura. Note the natural wind breaks on the agricultural land in the foreground | Source

The Countryside

It must be said that Fuerteventura lacks the volcanically interesting landscape of the neighbouring island of Lanzarote, or the very impressive, high mountainous scenery of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, but nonetheless this island is still an attractive place to explore. Low rolling hills and sparse scrubby vegetation are characteristic of the island, but there is a gradual transition between the sandy southern peninsula, the low lying plains to the east and north, and the uplands in central Fuerteventura and the west.

Although it is the second largest island in the group, Fuerteventura is only the fourth most populous, with about 100,000 inhabitants. More than a third of these live in the capital Puerto del Rosario. So the interior of the island is sparsely populated, and unspoiled by modern development.

I was on the island for just five days, and three of them were spent driving around in a car hired at the hotel in which I was staying. In those three days it was possible to see almost all areas of this small island accessible by road apart from the extreme northwest.

Included in this section are a few of the photographs which I took during this brief exploration of Fuerteventura, to demonstrate the variety of landscapes on the island.

The hills of western Fuerteventura may not be as high as the mountains of Tenerife or Gran Canaria, but they nonetheless create some attractive scenic vistas
The hills of western Fuerteventura may not be as high as the mountains of Tenerife or Gran Canaria, but they nonetheless create some attractive scenic vistas | Source
The entrance to the protected environment at Barranco de Pecenescal. From here one can walk right across the narrow southern peninsula from east coast to west
The entrance to the protected environment at Barranco de Pecenescal. From here one can walk right across the narrow southern peninsula from east coast to west | Source
An attractive path to walk through the hills near the little village of Toto in Central Fuerteventura. A little stone hut provides shelter, and bottles of water are provided to quench the thirst of anyone who passes by
An attractive path to walk through the hills near the little village of Toto in Central Fuerteventura. A little stone hut provides shelter, and bottles of water are provided to quench the thirst of anyone who passes by | Source

Walking in the Countryside

Although it is not always easy to park up in the countryside due to a lack of roadworthy parking areas off-road, it is well worth finding places where one can get out and walk. Canary Island authorities seem keen to preserve and cherish their heritage and their natural environment and there are numerous pathways one can take to explore the island of Fuerteventura on foot. This is the best way to experience the nature of the island, to find wild flowers, to spot birds and to see farmers working in their fields.

And goats! There are more goats than people on the island and they come in all different shades of black, white, grey and brown. They provide the island with popular goat milk cheeses. I took the picture of the brown goat in the photo below whilst walking in the Barranco de Pecenescal, a nature reserve which is also pictured in this section.

The principal livestock on the island are goats. They may be seen roaming on the hills, and I saw one goat farm at La Florida in Central Fuerteventura with more goats in residence than I've ever seen in my life before (hundreds!)
The principal livestock on the island are goats. They may be seen roaming on the hills, and I saw one goat farm at La Florida in Central Fuerteventura with more goats in residence than I've ever seen in my life before (hundreds!) | Source
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Daisies growing near the Cueva del Llano in La Olivia in the north of the islandConvolvulous flowers near the village of Betancuria in central FuerteventuraEuphorbia canariensis, a succulent species endemic to the Canary IslandsOne of the small perennials found growing on the southern headlands around Costa CalmaA pretty little daisy growing in the uplands of west-central Fuerteventura near Pajara
Daisies growing near the Cueva del Llano in La Olivia in the north of the island
Daisies growing near the Cueva del Llano in La Olivia in the north of the island | Source
Convolvulous flowers near the village of Betancuria in central Fuerteventura
Convolvulous flowers near the village of Betancuria in central Fuerteventura | Source
Euphorbia canariensis, a succulent species endemic to the Canary Islands
Euphorbia canariensis, a succulent species endemic to the Canary Islands | Source
One of the small perennials found growing on the southern headlands around Costa Calma
One of the small perennials found growing on the southern headlands around Costa Calma | Source
A pretty little daisy growing in the uplands of west-central Fuerteventura near Pajara
A pretty little daisy growing in the uplands of west-central Fuerteventura near Pajara | Source

A Brief Floral Interlude

The isolated nature of all the Canary Islands, most of which are hundreds of kilometres from mainland Africa, as well as their volcanic origins which mean that none of these islands have ever been connected to the mainland, has resulted in a distinctive flora, many species of which are unique to the islands. That makes the Canary Islands a botanist's haven.

I'm no expert on identifying flowers, but walking through the countryside, one does see a host of wild species, and these are just a few of the photos I took of wiild flowers in Fuerteventura.

They were photographed in all regions of the island as the captions indicate.

The volcanic black sand beach and village of Ajuy, an isolated and quite picturesque little fishing community on the  west coast of Fuerteventura
The volcanic black sand beach and village of Ajuy, an isolated and quite picturesque little fishing community on the west coast of Fuerteventura | Source
A reminder of the importance of wind, harnessed as windpower, on Fuerteventura. This windmill with an associated museum stands in the village of Tiscamanita
A reminder of the importance of wind, harnessed as windpower, on Fuerteventura. This windmill with an associated museum stands in the village of Tiscamanita | Source

The Villages

Of course one place it is easy to stop and get out and walk is in the villages. The Canary Islands are islands of small villages, and none more so than Fuerteventura. Apart from the capital Puerto de la Rosario, and one or two small towns and resorts, no settlement is inhabited by more than 1000 people.

Maps can be misleading in that regard. One sees a name in big bold type, the capital of a municipality (administrative region or county), well signposted on the roadsides - and when one actually arrives at the place, you're through and out the other side in less than a minute!

To be honest the villages are not as pretty as the whitewashed settlements of neighbouring Lanzarote, but they are still interesting to walk around, and most have their own little attractions whether it be a historic church, or a windmill or a museum. And they are a good place to stop for lunch. Restaurants and cafes in these little villages are welcoming, and offer a range of local, Mediterranean and other Western cuisine at a reasonable price.

In the village of Pajara, a working waterwheel or 'noria' driven by donkey power is a local attraction. These historic wheels were once used to draw water up from a deep well
In the village of Pajara, a working waterwheel or 'noria' driven by donkey power is a local attraction. These historic wheels were once used to draw water up from a deep well | Source
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The Faro de La Entallada is a lighthouse built in 1955 with a Moorish design influence perched at the top of a hill near the east coast village of Las Playitas. The route up is a bit scary, but the view is worth itIglesia Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (The Church of Our Lady of Canadalaria) is an important late 16th /  early 17th century church in the village of La Oliva in the northern municipality of the same nameNear the west coast village of Ajuy are these two man-carved caves - actually kilns - quarried in the 19th century for the limestone of which they are made. Lime was also burned here to create whitewash or quicklimeBetancuria in west central Fuerteventura, was the historic first settlement of Spanish colonialists, founded in 1404, and once capital of the whole Canary archipelago. This is the 17th century Church of St MaryThe decorative entrance of the 17th century Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Regla in Pajara  is believed to exhibit Aztec influences brought back by Spanish conquistadores, including sun, snake and jaguar depictions
The Faro de La Entallada is a lighthouse built in 1955 with a Moorish design influence perched at the top of a hill near the east coast village of Las Playitas. The route up is a bit scary, but the view is worth it
The Faro de La Entallada is a lighthouse built in 1955 with a Moorish design influence perched at the top of a hill near the east coast village of Las Playitas. The route up is a bit scary, but the view is worth it | Source
Iglesia Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (The Church of Our Lady of Canadalaria) is an important late 16th /  early 17th century church in the village of La Oliva in the northern municipality of the same name
Iglesia Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (The Church of Our Lady of Canadalaria) is an important late 16th / early 17th century church in the village of La Oliva in the northern municipality of the same name | Source
Near the west coast village of Ajuy are these two man-carved caves - actually kilns - quarried in the 19th century for the limestone of which they are made. Lime was also burned here to create whitewash or quicklime
Near the west coast village of Ajuy are these two man-carved caves - actually kilns - quarried in the 19th century for the limestone of which they are made. Lime was also burned here to create whitewash or quicklime | Source
Betancuria in west central Fuerteventura, was the historic first settlement of Spanish colonialists, founded in 1404, and once capital of the whole Canary archipelago. This is the 17th century Church of St Mary
Betancuria in west central Fuerteventura, was the historic first settlement of Spanish colonialists, founded in 1404, and once capital of the whole Canary archipelago. This is the 17th century Church of St Mary | Source
The decorative entrance of the 17th century Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Regla in Pajara  is believed to exhibit Aztec influences brought back by Spanish conquistadores, including sun, snake and jaguar depictions
The decorative entrance of the 17th century Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Regla in Pajara is believed to exhibit Aztec influences brought back by Spanish conquistadores, including sun, snake and jaguar depictions | Source

Local Village Attractions

Most maps of Fuerteventura highlight the main manmade attractions to be seen, and there are several dotted around the island. Perhaps none would feature on a 'Seven Wonders' list, but some are interesting places to visit nonetheless. Churches, old colonial houses and windmills are predictable landmarks. And on an island with a rocky coastline, lighthouses are also common sights around Fuerteventura. One word of caution; it's always worth checking out the accessibility of local attractions online before visiting. I intended visiting the Cueva del Llano in northern Fuerteventura - a cave which features a species of spider found nowhere else on the island, nor indeed anywhere else in the world. But due to the need to supervise visitors, it just isn't practical to have attendants on duty 24/7. The cave is not open every day, and on the day I visited, it was only open for a few hours in the morning before I arrived. I never did see my spider!

Casa de los Coroneles - the 'House of the Colonels' dates to the 18th century - a time when local militia leaders were appointed by Spain to rule the island. This was their imposing headquarters in La Oliva in northern Fuerteventura
Casa de los Coroneles - the 'House of the Colonels' dates to the 18th century - a time when local militia leaders were appointed by Spain to rule the island. This was their imposing headquarters in La Oliva in northern Fuerteventura | Source
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This is Isla de Lobos, a small undeveloped island and nature reserve off the northeast coast of Fuerteventura near Correlejo. It can be visited by boat on a day tripThe ornate interior of the Church of Nuestra Senora de Regla in Pajara. Behind the altar is the figure of the Madonna. The main entrance is shown elsewhere on this pageRed, blue and white rowing boats on the black sand beach of Ajuy on the western coast of Fuerteventura, a small village which is also shown elsewhere on this pageA local Canarian dish - Pimento del Padron (salted sweet peppers) which I always order when visiting any of the Canary islands. Even though I'm not vegetarian, I love it!Fuerteventura comprises six administrative municipalities, and as one passes from one municipality to another, the border is marked by one of these monumental signposts
This is Isla de Lobos, a small undeveloped island and nature reserve off the northeast coast of Fuerteventura near Correlejo. It can be visited by boat on a day trip
This is Isla de Lobos, a small undeveloped island and nature reserve off the northeast coast of Fuerteventura near Correlejo. It can be visited by boat on a day trip | Source
The ornate interior of the Church of Nuestra Senora de Regla in Pajara. Behind the altar is the figure of the Madonna. The main entrance is shown elsewhere on this page
The ornate interior of the Church of Nuestra Senora de Regla in Pajara. Behind the altar is the figure of the Madonna. The main entrance is shown elsewhere on this page | Source
Red, blue and white rowing boats on the black sand beach of Ajuy on the western coast of Fuerteventura, a small village which is also shown elsewhere on this page
Red, blue and white rowing boats on the black sand beach of Ajuy on the western coast of Fuerteventura, a small village which is also shown elsewhere on this page | Source
A local Canarian dish - Pimento del Padron (salted sweet peppers) which I always order when visiting any of the Canary islands. Even though I'm not vegetarian, I love it!
A local Canarian dish - Pimento del Padron (salted sweet peppers) which I always order when visiting any of the Canary islands. Even though I'm not vegetarian, I love it! | Source
Fuerteventura comprises six administrative municipalities, and as one passes from one municipality to another, the border is marked by one of these monumental signposts
Fuerteventura comprises six administrative municipalities, and as one passes from one municipality to another, the border is marked by one of these monumental signposts | Source

Miscellaneous Photos

These are just a few additional photos which I wanted to include, of various other sights and experiences to be found on the island of Fuerteventura. Wherever one goes around an island like this, always take a camera - there is no substitute for the memories which images such as these can conjure up. Take lots of photos; in this digital age you can always discard them later.

Copyright

Please feel free to quote limited text from this article on condition that an active link back to this page is included.

There follows a brief summary of my impressions of Fuerteventura.

The countryside in the neighbourhood of La Florida in central-southern Fuerteventura
The countryside in the neighbourhood of La Florida in central-southern Fuerteventura | Source

This Map

Use the icons and tabs to zoom in or out, adjust to show a satellite or terrain view, or to see ground views of the scenery

In Summary

This more or less concludes my brief review of the island of Fuerteventura. Sorry it contains little about nightlife or entertainments tailored to the tourist industry, but it is, as I say, a personal photoessay reflecting my interests and my impressions. I hope anyone with similar interests finds it useful.

Fuerteventura is an island of warm and sunny blue-sky days, golden yellow beaches, undulating hills, and an easy, calm, laid-back lifestyle. These were my impressions of the island after one short visit as a tourist in the month of March. I enjoyed every day spent in this tourist haven. But would I return?

No. Probably not. Fuerteventura is a very nice place to visit, but its charms must be judged relative to other similar destinatiions, and specifically the other islands of the Canary Archipelago. And my estimation is that Fuerteventura lacks some of the picturesque charm and geological interest of Lanzarote, it has less character and less night life than Tenerife, and less scenic grandeur than Gran Canaria.

Of course the appeal of any destination is very much in the eye of the beholder, and Fuerteventura may well capture the hearts of many visitors in ways which other islands cannot match. If like so many tourists the only requirement is acres and kilometres of sandy beach, and hotel environments mercifully free from the rowdiest mindless party-going members of the younger generation, then Fuerteventura may hold a very strong appeal. And if sandy beaches coupled with a passion for windsurfing, kite surfing - or goats - is your special thing, then book your vacation to this island in the sun tomorrow. All I ask is that you venture beyond the beaches just once or twice during your visit!

Goat monument
Goat monument | Source

© 2016 Greensleeves Hubs

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I'd Love to Hear Your Comments. Thanks, Alun 19 comments

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Greensleeves Hubs 6 months ago from Essex, UK Author

Stella Kaye; Thanks Stella. Yes, I did think a lot about how to categorise the Canary Islands, as politically they are part of Spain but geographically they are off the coast of Africa. I wonder if it does affect the number of people who access the article? However I may well decide to change the listings for my articles on the Canary Islands.


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Stella Kaye 6 months ago

A great article about a great island but you've listed your article as 'visiting Africa' and it might be better for your ratings to list it under 'visiting Spain' since it is part of Spain and not Africa.


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Greensleeves Hubs 7 months ago from Essex, UK Author

Suhail and my dog; Thanks very much Suhail. It was interesting to see the donkey drawing water up from a well. There are a few of these water wheels or noria on the island though I only saw one in working order.


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Greensleeves Hubs 7 months ago from Essex, UK Author

aviannovice; Certainly the Canary Islands are a good place to live - peaceful, warm and relaxed. They may be a bit far for Americans to visit, though as you say, for any who are travelling to Africa, or perhaps to southern Europe, these islands make a great stopover for a few days. Appreciate your comment Deb.


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Suhail and my dog 7 months ago from Mississauga, ON

Very interesting hub that I visited a tad late!

Seems like a rugged place completely to my taste where I will definitely enjoy hiking and some nature photography showing real wilderness.

I liked your pictures of landscapes and wildlife as well.

And that picture of a donkey pulling water out of a well - simply priceless!


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aviannovice 8 months ago from Stillwater, OK

This looks like a nice place to live, perhaps not visit. My interests might be in Africa, where I can view the Big Five and some remarkable birds. I could;d stop over for a day or two, though.


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Greensleeves Hubs 8 months ago from Essex, UK Author

AliciaC; Thanks Linda. Even for those who only have a passing interest in nature, it must add to the enjoyment of any foreign travel to know what you're looking at, so I'm always keen to encourage others to appreciate the world around them. When I go on holiday I always take a bird book, and depending on my destination, I may take other animal books, coral reef guides or wild flower guides as well. Appreciate your comment, Alun


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AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I'm very glad that you discussed the animals and plants that you discovered on your trip and that you shared your lovely photos. I think I would find nature the most interesting aspect of a visit to Fuerteventura.


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Greensleeves Hubs 8 months ago from Essex, UK Author

bdegiulio; Thanks Bill. One of my first decisions when visiting an island like this is 'how many days to allocate to driving around?' Three days seemed about right to cover most of this island, with two days to just rest and recuperate, wander the beaches and local coastline, and enjoy the local resort - that was nice, but it is the exploration of the island which sticks in the memory.

I can understand why even from Italy, and of course Spain, some may visit the Canary Islands, particularly in the winter months, when these islands are distinctly warmer than the Mediterranean. As for North Europeans, I suppose it is our equivelant of Americans and Canadians flying south to Florida :)

All being well, I still have three sizeable islands in the group to visit, and may well return to some of the others too. Cheers Bill. Appreciated very much.


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bdegiulio 8 months ago from Massachusetts

Great job Alun. Very interesting island. Like you I would prefer to explore than to bake on a beach and it looks like there was plenty to keep you busy for five days. While Fuerteventura may not be as scenic or lively as some of the other islands in the Canary Archipelago it certainly looks worthy of a visit. You are fortunate to have such a destination so close by with a variety of islands to visit. We have some friends in Italy who also vacation in the Canary Islands and they speak highly of their experiences there.

You covered a lot of ground in five days, well done. Would love to visit someday. Great pictures also, you really give readers a great sense of what to expect when they visit.


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Greensleeves Hubs 8 months ago from Essex, UK Author

swalia; Thank you Shaloo. Alun


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Greensleeves Hubs 8 months ago from Essex, UK Author

rolaabboud: Thanks Rola. Appreciated. Hope you can visit one day.

CTDASRIGH; Thank you Chris for commenting.

Rola and Chris - I see you have both just recently joined HubPages. I wish you well and hope that you find writing here to be an interesting and rewarding experience. Alun


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Greensleeves Hubs 8 months ago from Essex, UK Author

MsDora; Haha. I assure you there's no compulsion to go nude :) I like the hotels in these resorts. They're clean, tidy with good facilities, but not pretentious. Thanks for reading Dora. Cheers, Alun


swalia profile image

swalia 8 months ago

Seems like an awesome place...Thanks for sharing!


rolaabboud profile image

rolaabboud 8 months ago from Kuwait

Great hub, I would like to visit it one day :)


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CTDASRIGH 8 months ago from MOBILE, ALABAMA

Great hub! It's an awesome place and nice info as well!


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MsDora 8 months ago from The Caribbean

Great pictures and interesting facts. The Hotel H10 Esmeralda Resort gets my attention. I think I will skip the beaches and let the nudists take over. I'd like to experience all the other features.


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Greensleeves Hubs 8 months ago from Essex, UK Author

The Canarys are all nice Eric. They're on a similar latitude to Florida, so I guess in the same way as many Americans from the northern states may fly south to the sunshine of Florida, so these are the islands many of us Europeans go to, especially in the winter months. Cheers. Alun


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Ericdierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

A very interesting island indeed. Maybe some day.

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