Despite being the second largest of the Canary Islands (after Tenerife), Fuerteventura is also the second most sparsely populated (after Hierro), as well as being the geologically oldest island.

Whilst in exile from the mainland, Spanish writer Miguel de Unamuno once described Fuerteventura as a 'skeletal island' owing to its distinctive shape. The description is especially apt, however, because of the island’s arid nature and lack of vegetation; extinct volcanoes and terrain that only goats can graze define Fuerteventura – although these same goats produce the island’s famous Mahorero cheese.

Although subsequently coming under Spanish rule, the island was originally conquered by Frenchman Jean de Béthencourt, after whom the town of Betancuria takes its name. Upon taking the island, Béthencourt is thought to have exclaimed 'Quelle forte aventure!' ('What a great adventure!'), which is how the island then came to be known.

Due to winds blowing in from the Sahara, which lies only 100 kilometres from the coastline, the island is blessed with long, sandy beaches, and is a popular venue for sailing and windsurfing. As a result of these beaches, tourism is taking off, although Fuerteventura is still quieter than the more mainstream islands of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife.


Fuerteventura has over 150 beaches, the most popular including Caleta, Cofete, Corralejo, Costa Calma, Cotillo, Tindaya and Jandia, this latter being where the Professional Windsurfers Association holds a tournament every August. The beaches, bereft of 18-30 holidaymakers, allow the visitor simply to relax, although one can take boat, fishing and diving trips. The tiny and secluded island of Los Lobos, which lies 3 kilometres from Fuerteventura’s northern tip, is reputedly popular among naturists.

Towns such as Puerto del Rosario, Corralejo and Gran Tarajal have become home to more modern-style seaside resorts – but nothing like on the grand scale of the more commercial destinations in the Canaries. The inner settlements, meanwhile, preserve to a greater extent the noble architecture of imperial Spain and the Moors. In particular, the Casa de los Coroneles and the Casa del Capellán in La Oliva are impressive, as is the Iglesia de Santa María la Antigua in Betancuria. Also in Betancuria is the Museo Arqueológico, which provides an insight into the ways of the Guanche, the island’s indigenous population. Tefia is home to La Alcogida, a living museum that also recreates the living conditions of the native islanders.

With its many winding roads, its spectacular landscape and several natural parks, Fuerteventura also provides countless drives and walks, on which one can spot the island’s wide variety of lizards, geckos and skinks.


In certain circles, Fuerteventura is referred to as the 'Island of Sculptures', and for good reason, since it is bursting with shops selling local arts and crafts. Corralejo, Caleta de Fuste and other resorts have more modern shopping centres, which include cinema complexes and children’s amusements.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Although Fuerteventura is significantly quieter than its fellow Canary Islands, it is not without a nightlife that is as warm and brisk as the Saharan siroccos that blow against its shores. Despite not being a clubber’s paradise, Corralejo, for example, does get busy, with plenty of bars, such as the Blue Rock, Gibson’s and Imagine, and live music. Corralejo even has a Rosie O’Grady’s and a Fullers pub for the homesick. El Tostón in Cotillo is also recommended.

Seafood is the speciality of Fuerteventura, although you can find British and other cuisine in the resort areas. Recommended restaurants include the Restaurante San Borondón and the Marquesina in Corralejo, the Casa Santa María in Betancuria, and the Benjamín and Marquesina Puerto in Puerto del Rosario.

Tourist Information

Puerto del Rosario Tourist OfficeAvenida Constitución 5Puerto del RosarioFuerteventuraCanary Islands, SpainT: +34 928 530 844

Caleta de Fuste Tourist OfficeCentro Commercial CastilloCaleta de FusteFuerteventuraCanary Islands, SpainT: +34 928 163 286

Corralejo Tourist OfficePlaza Grande de CorralejoCorralejoFuerteventuraCanary Islands, SpainT: +34 928 866 235

Morro Jable Tourism CentreCosmo Centro CommercialAvenida SaladarMorro JableFuerteventuraCanary Islands, SpainT: +34 928 540 776


Fuerteventura’s airport is situated near Puerto del Rosario, and is only a short drive from the Caleta de Fuste resort. Flights arrive regularly from Manchester and Gatwick via Excel Airways. Thomson Flights also fly to Fuerteventura, as do many Thomas Cook charters. Most flights are on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with flights to and from Ireland taking place on Sundays.

As a final reminder of Fuerteventura’s quieter nature, when compared to the other Canary Islands, it is worth mentioning that the runway lights are turned off at night so as not to keep any locals awake!

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