sheri’s travel guide | fuerteventura


Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands, home to the most scenic beaches in the world. Literally meaning “strong wind,” Fuerteventura is always breezy, making this island the ideal spot for windsurfers and kite boarders alike. The sky is speckled with the reds, whites, and greens of kites as surfers ride waves and the vast beaches dripping with golden bare torsos. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, the waters vary between nuances of turquoise and sea foam green, and is so transparent one can clearly distinguish each toe dipped inside. The ocean is not particularly warm to bathe in, but is refreshing all the same. In July, the air temperatures hover around the mid 20s. The beating sun is hardly felt due to the wind, but leaves a serious impression if one forgets to slather on sunscreen.  


When choosing an abode on the island, there are various options according to your needs. There are several resorts with golf courses and heated swimming pools filled with families like the Sheraton, or quieter possibilities suited for adults only in other parts of the island. You can also rent a house on your own and stay away from civilization. One such area, close to Villaverde, is constructed of volcanic rocks that keep the home interior fresh during the high temperatures of midday, and warm when the heat lowers during the evening. 

The most breath-taking beaches of Fuerteventura are Corralejo, El Cotillo, and Sotavento. The white, sandy beaches of Corralejo stretch along the east side of the island and host abundant waves. What makes this beach special is that it is located next to the Corralejo Sand Dunes, a natural reserve that expands for 11 kilometres. As far as the eye can see, there is pure sand, surf, and sky. 


El Cotillo Beach and Lagoons are a little more savage in terms of access. Located on the northern west side of Fuerteventura, the roads are gravely and entrance to the beach unpaved. The red rocky walls protecting the beach, far from cars and pollution, make this beach more isolated and wild in nature. A close car trip away, the lagoons are filled with transparent shallow waters, perfect for sunbathers and small children. 

Playa de Sotavento on the southern east coast of the island has one of the most magnificent views Fuerteventura has to offer. Far from resorts, the five-kilometre beach is prevalent with golden sand, surfers, and nudists. Every year, the windsurfing and kite boarding world championships take place very close to Sotavento, on a beach called Playa Barca. There is a range of superb shallow and deep, crystal-clear waters making Sotavento a vision of true paradise. 


If you want to spice it up a little and take a break from the beaches, you can always visit Oasis Park located on the south end of Fuerteventura. Unlike ordinary zoos, Oasis Park gives visitors the chance to purchase bags of food (1.50 euros each) to feed the animals. Giraffes will lean down to slurp up tomatoes with their long violet tongues and hippos will happily open their mouths for the vegetables you propose. Among these animals, you can also feed zebras, camels, and elephants. In the Reptile Show, baby alligators and serpents are passed around in the audience for close observation and touch. 

For an extra charge, you have the chance to swim with sea lions, ride camels, or feed lemurs. While the sea lion experience was very enjoyable because of the animal itself, the duration of the program is quite short and shared with other individuals. The sea lion works his way down the line of participants, where one by one each person caresses the sea lion’s thick skin. As if in a production line, each person individually hops into the pool, raises his hand, and slowly turns as the sea lion follows the hand. A photographer snaps photos. For the last activity, the participant lays on his back in the pool with his legs straight and arms to the side of his body. The sea lion places his nose against the person’s feet and pushes him across the pool, which succeeds in placing smiles on everyone’s faces. A fishy kiss on the cheek is how the sea lion says goodbye. Unlike what the Oasis Park website says, the experience did not contain an educational segment where one learns about the history and anatomy of the creature. Swimming with sea lions at this park was very pleasant, but too short and impersonal. 


A 10-minute ferry ride from Fuerteventura brings you to the barren Lobos Island. A rocky trail leads you into a wilderness of volcanic rocks. The restaurant on Lobos is currently undergoing renovation and the closest beach to the port is small and filled with algae. Instead of spending money for a boat trip to an uninteresting beach, you’re much better off visiting the gorgeous beaches on Fuerteventura. 

If an active volcano piques your interest, take a boat to the neighbouring Lanzarote Island for an incredible tour of Timanfaya National Park. An organized bus trip carries you into the depths of the astonishing lava formations, the very last eruption occurring just over 170 years ago. The scenic route weaves in and out of volcanoes and reaches a summit where a breath-taking view awaits.  

 For a delicious dining experience, visit Bodegon Las Tapas at Playa Blanca in Lanzarote. Keep in mind that despite its name, the portions are quite large. All seafood is fresh and scrumptious, especially the grilled shrimp, steamed mussels, and squid. Taste the roasted pepper salad with tuna – you won’t regret it! 

Another great steal is at La Ballena Restaurant in Corralejo, Fuerteventura. Everything on the menu is grilled on a big barbeque. The grilled chorizo skewer is a lip smacker, as is the Grilled Fish for Two (23 euros in total), where you select three different fish. Be sure to choose the John Dory (St. Pierre) fish. The flesh is so tender; it melts in your mouth. 

 A fantastic way to end your holiday in Fuerteventura is a meal at Restaurante Mahoh, part of the Hotel Rural Mahoh in Villaverde. Not only is the service highly commendable, the food extraordinary. Try the juicy, grilled mutton or any of the fish. The Spanish omelette hits the spot, as well as the fresh vegetables you can order as an accompaniment. Outdoor seating allows you to enjoy the sunset of Fuerteventura, which leaves you feeling full in more ways than one. 


Fuerteventura is an island of constant adventure and spectacular beauty. Suited for both the energetic and those who choose to unwind, the island is sure to revitalize all who pass through.

Words / Sheri Chiu

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