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  • Overview

    Only 60 miles (100km) separates the island of Fuerteventura, second largest in the Canary Islands, from the continent of Africa, and this sunny island shares the same latitude (and therefore similar weather conditions) with the renowned holiday destinations of Florida and Mexico.

    Unlike those bustling resort-ridden vacation stations though, much of Fuerteventura is relatively undiscovered, with more than 150 idyllic sandy beaches only sparsely populated and many seldom visited at all. The name of the island comes from the strong trade winds, which have made it a popular stop for windsurfing and kite surfing enthusiasts.

    The island has an arid volcanic landscape, and apart from the beautiful beaches and a handful of developed tourist areas, not much to recommend it in the way of tourist amenities or attractions. This has kept the mega resorts and mass summer package-holiday trade at bay, but Fuerteventura does have a fair share of day trippers from the resorts of Lanzarote and Gran Canaria who come seeking a respite from the crowds.

    Fuerteventura is the ultimate Canary Islands destination for those wanting to get away from civilization and crowds and enjoy a sleepy, sunny holiday. The island's two main resort towns are Corralejo and Caleta del Fuste. Fuerteventura is easily accessible from the other islands in the archipelago by ferry or air. The Fuerteventura airport is situated close to the island's capital of Puerto del Rosario.

    Betancuria

    The old town of Betancuria was founded in 1405 and was the first capital of Fuerteventura. The town enjoys a fantastic location, offering attractive views of the hilly terrain and winding river below. In the town are several beautiful buildings and churches worth visiting, including the Church of Iglesia de Santa Maria de Betancuria and the convent of San Buenaventura. The Casa Museo Arquebiologico has some interesting artefacts including fertility idols and farming tools that reflect the earliest history of the island. The town was built primarily to defend against pirate attacks and in 1593 it was all but destroyed by pirates and then slowly rebuilt. There are various shops and stalls in Betancuria that sell some of the best handcrafts and local produce on Fuerteventura.

    Betancuria Betancuria Bilal11
    La Oliva

    Historic buildings from between the 17th and mid-19th centuries remain in the village of La Oliva, which people can still visit. Travellers should make their way to the centre of the village, where they'll find the pretty church of Parroquiade Nuestra Seiiora de Candelaria. Its highlights include a square bell tower, a finely carved wooden door, and an interior that features a painting of the Last Judgement, a Baroque altar painting by Juan de Miranda, and some wonderful trompe l'oeil work. The village also has an art centre exhibiting the work of Canarian artists (Centro de Arte Canario Casa Mane). The somewhat desolate and barren natural landscape of the interior gives way dramatically to the bright turquoise water of the sea, and the beaches around La Oliva are very pretty.

    La Oliva windmill La Oliva windmill Edub
    Beaches on Fuerteventura

    Travellers won't need to go far on Fuerteventura to find a perfect beach, even if they are intent on seeking solitude from other holidaymakers. The best are found around Jandia on the southern tip of the island. Juan Gomez is one of these and has an enticing stretch of golden sand. In the same section of the island is the pebbly black volcanic beach of La Pared. Giniginamar is surrounded by palm trees and other indigenous plants and is recommended for peace and quiet. If travellers are looking for a family-friendly beach, the southern Costa Calma is a great option, as the conditions are ideal for safe swimming and the facilities are good. Nudism is tolerated on all the island's beaches.

    Beach on Fuerteventura Beach on Fuerteventura Yoshi

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    English Pronounciation

    Fuerteventura has a glorious climate all year with temperatures rarely dropping below 63°F (17°C) and often rising above 82°F (28°C) during the day. Gentle sea breezes keep the island from being too hot and extreme temperatures are rare.

    During the winter months, December to February, average temperatures range between 59°F (15°C) and 72°F (22°C). In the peak summer months, from June to August, average temperatures range between 68°F (20°C) and 82°F (28°C).

    Rainfall in the summer months is almost non-existent, but showers are possible between October and April. Over the winter months, travellers will need a sweater and light trousers for evenings and possibly the odd rare cloudy day. Any other time of year, visitors will only need the bare essentials such as shorts and T-shirts.

    Occasionally, sand-laden winds blow across Fuerteventura from the Sahara and can cause a rise in temperature and poor visibility. The best and most popular time to visit Fuerteventura is between May and September, but the mild climate makes the island a wonderful holiday destination all year.

    Fuerteventura Airport
    Location: The airport is situated about three miles (5km) from the capital of Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: There are public buses running between Fuerteventura Airport and downtown. Bus No. 3 leaves twice an hour on weekdays (slightly less frequently on weekends), while Bus No. 10 departs multiple times daily on the weekend and during the week.
    Car Rental: There are several car hire companies at Fuerteventura, including Hertz, Avis, Payless, Cicar, and Top Car Auto Reisen.
    Airport Taxis: There are metered taxis available outside the arrivals area. Fares into town vary according to destination.
    Facilities: Airport facilities include ATMs, baggage trolleys, children's play areas, tourist information, a pharmacy, as well as a number of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
    Parking Parking is available outside the airport.
    Website: www.aena.es

    Although the island doesn't have the same concentration of shops as the more developed Canarian destinations, such as Gran Canaria and Tenerife, there are still some decent shopping venues in the tourist centres of Fuerteventura.

    The main resort town of Caleta de Fuste has the enormous Atlantico shopping centre with the usual chain stores found in large European cities. The resort of Puerto del Rosario has the island's largest shopping centre, Las Rotondas, with over 100,000 square feet (30,000 square metres) of retail space.

    Away from the glitzy, generic world of the shopping malls are the markets where Fuerteventura reveals some of its personality. The markets of Corralejo, Caleta, Morro Jable, and Costa Calma are worth browsing for fresh produce, pottery, and textiles.

    Shopping centres on Fuerteventura tend to have tiny entrances to combat the strong dusty winds that blow through town, so visitors shouldn't be fooled by small doors! Shops tend to open from 10am to 10pm, with smaller stores closing over lunch for siesta.

    There are very few transport options available on the island of Fuerteventura. Public transport is limited to buses, which operate across the island. Buses serving Nuevo Horizonte, Corralejo, Caleta de Fuste, Morro Jable, and Costa Calma run most frequently. For other routes, passengers should consult a timetable. Those who plan on using buses regularly during their stay should invest in a 'BTF Bono' card.

    Taxis are available on the island and can be found at most busy locations or pre-booked ahead of time. As taxi travel can become quite expensive, travellers should consider the option of hiring a car in Fuerteventura, as this will not only save money but gives one the freedom to explore the island at a more leisurely pace. There are lots of car hire companies with offices at the airport.

    Fuerteventura is famous for its gorgeous beaches, ranging from stretches of white sands in the south, to the odd black sand beaches in the north. There are also charming little villages and harbours to enjoy, and a laidback ambiance that characterises the entire island.

    Fuerteventura does not have the glamorous nightlife or high-end attractions of some other Balearic destinations, but those coming here to enjoy its wholesome charms will not be disappointed.

    Puerto del Rosario is the main town of Fuerteventura, and the most popular resorts are Correlejo and Caleta del Fuste. But to really experience local charm travellers should, visitors should head to rustic little villages such as El Cotillo and La Oliva, or the historic old town of Betancuria.

    The island's regular winds make it a good destination for water sports such as windsurfing and kite surfing, and other fun activities include glass-bottomed boat adventures and camel rides on the beach. Families travelling with kids should try out the Baku Water Park and Fuerteventura Oasis Park.

    Car hire is good value and most visitors tend to rent a vehicle by the week to get around Fuerteventura at their leisure. Public transport is decent, though, with reliable and cheap buses, and ferries that are useful for getting from one side of the island to the other. If visitors are going to use buses regularly during their visit, they should invest in a Tarjeta Dinero, a bus discount card.

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    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination