The island of eternal spring enjoys 3,000 hours of sunshine every year and if that fact alone is not enough for you, it’s also packed full of exciting holiday activities for all ages.
Fuerteventura is one of Spain’s Canary Islands and it sits in the Atlantic Ocean, 62 miles west of Africa. Although perhaps not as famous as some of the others in the archipelago, it is a superb holiday destination due to its beautiful beaches and year-round warmth, while being cooled by the ocean breeze. And at 640 square miles (about the same size as the county of Hertfordshire in the UK), with a resident population of 113,00 people, it is actually the second largest of the islands, after Tenerife.
Since the construction of the main airport on the east coast of the island in the mid 1960s it has been a magnet for European tourists looking for either a welcome escape from the long winter or a well-earned and sun-kissed summer break.
The average temperature in January is 18 degrees celsius and this goes up to a distinctly warm (it’s an average, remember) 25 degrees in August and September. So it never really gets cold, and while there is a chance of seeing rain on a week’s stay between November and March, it’s unlikely to be persistent. So with an average flight time of just over four hours from London, and having no time difference, it’s a very convenient holiday option at any time of the year.
With more than 150 sandy beaches, whether you want to just soak up the sun or be a bit more adventurous and go water-skiing, surfing or scuba diving, there are options aplenty. And apart from the activities we have selected here, there are also four 18-hole golf courses on the island and lots of good hiking opportunities, if you agree with Mark Twain on golf, that it's “a good walk spoiled".
Corralejo, on the north eastern tip of Fuerteventura, is an old fishing village which has been transformed over the last 40 years into a major tourist destination. With its proximity to tiny and beautiful Lobos Island, the chain of volcanoes in the north of the island and the sand dunes Nature Reserve, it has become something of an activity hub. There really is so much to explore and enjoy on the whole island, and here are six of the best ways to spend a few hours in the daytime or evening on fabulous Fuerteventura.
The Music Square in Corralejo
Fuerteventura is not famous for its all night raves, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some fun to be had in the evenings. At night in Corralejo, for instance, tourists tend to head to Music Square at the bottom of the main street. This area is packed with restaurants and bars, so it’s a great place to go for a drink and dinner. However, it’s a little bit more than that, as the name implies. There is a main stage area where you can see everything, from local rock bands to fire dancers, and with a genuinely happy holiday atmosphere it is a safe environment for everybody to relax in and let their hair down.
You will find plenty of bars and restaurants to suit everybody's different criteria for choosing their favourites in a place like this. However El Pescador is a very popular choice, not least because of its perfect location, giving guests the ideal position to enjoy cocktails or dinner while being entertained by whoever is in action on the square's main stage. Essentially, it’s a seafood restaurant, but it’s also a good place for steak, pizza and Spanish food.
As mentioned above, in a tourist hotspot like this, sometimes you have to take a stroll and pick out the bar or restaurant that seems right for you at the time. Although, the Old Fashioned Bar on Calle Iglesia is definitely worth a visit if you want a well-made cocktail in a chilled-out atmosphere before or after dinner. The good news in Corralejo is that there are plenty of options, so you won’t go thirsty or hungry while you're enjoying some live entertainment. The best advice is to take a stroll without too many preconceptions and let the evening unfold. Remember, you’re on holiday.
Take a trip to Lobos Island
It’s hardly surprising that Fuerteventura is packed full of opportunities to have fun near, on or in the water. Apart from just lounging on the beach and looking at the sea, perhaps the easiest way to experience the joy of the ocean is to book yourself onto a catamaran trip to lovely Lobos Island from Corralejo Harbour with FuerteCharter (fuertecharter.com).
Lobos is a beautiful volcanic dot in the ocean just off the northern tip of Fuerteventura and, at two square miles long, it’s barely twice the size of the City of London. These half-day trips leave twice a day so you can either go at 10am or 3pm and they cost approximately £60 per person. You can either make your own way to Corralejo Harbour or you can be collected from your Corralejo accommodation. Then, find your spot on the catamaran alongside the rest of a group of 12 or fewer, and relax on the journey to the protected nature reserve of Lobos. With drinks supplied you should be able to let the ocean waves take you a long way from any thoughts of home or work.
On arrival at the island, there are lots of opportunities to make the most of the turquoise seas off Concha Beach. You can go snorkelling and enjoy the marine life just below the surface, or try kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding. All the equipment and instruction are provided so you can take your pick, before enjoying the return voyage to Corralejo.
If all that sounds a bit energetic for your tastes, then you can also take the 15-minute ferry to Lobos Island (approximately £15 per person). The glass-bottomed boat goes from Corralejo Harbour and this option gives you time to explore Lobos at your own pace. La Caldera Mountain is the highest point on this tiny island and with great views of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote from 127 metres high, it really is worth a walk to the top. Along the way you will see some of the 130 plant species which are found on this beautiful bit of Atlantic rock. You can also venture into the interior to see salt marshes and the lighthouse and, if you get a little peckish, the fishing village of El Puertito has the island’s only restaurant. Concha Beach offers sheltered, clear water which is great for laid-back swimming and lounging about, and when you are done you can simply hop on the next ferry back to Corralejo.
How to make a splash
A day at the water park usually ticks all the boxes on a family holiday, with plenty of opportunities for an adrenaline rush combined with sun bathing and a generally easy-to-manage day out.
The Acua Water Park is in Corralejo and it’s the only one on the island. Your ticket (approximately £23) will give you all-day access to 14 rides, including daredevil chutes, wave pools, a slow river, splash lagoons, sunloungers and hot tubs. It’s not the biggest water park you are likely to visit but it’s very well maintained and the staff are excellent, and that - combined with its convenient location - makes it a great day out for the family.
And don’t worry, the children are well catered for with three exclusive zones: the Kids’ Pool featuring small slides, the Splash Lagoon where they can enjoy water jets and mini-slides, and the Kids’ Club, where they can be entertained while parents take a well-earned break. With a self-service restaurant, pool bar, shop, changing rooms, showers, parking and WiFi, this is a very easy way to keep the family happy for a day. And who doesn’t like to make a big splash after an exhilarating trip down the water slide?
As mentioned above there are also more than 150 beaches on the island with fantastic opportunities for surfing, water-skiing, kite-surfing and scuba diving. Where you choose will depend on where you are staying and your amount of experience, but if the water park doesn’t give you enough of an adrenaline rush then you won’t be short of other thrill-seeking options.
If you are after a good beach for watersports lessons, and where other members of the family can also relax and enjoy the day, then El Cotillo is definitely worth a visit. On the north west coast of the island, it’s often voted one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. The village has a lovely laid back atmosphere and the nearby chain of lagoons and small beaches means you can find somewhere secluded if you wish. It’s also one of the best places on the island to enjoy the Atlantic sunset. Or you may just want to find a quiet secluded beach where you can truly get away from it all for a day and make no splash at all.
Something a little bit different
We all know about aloe vera, right? The succulent plant species is a perennial which originates from the Arabian Peninsula but now grows wild in tropical climates around the world and is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses. It is used in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for minor burns and sunburns.
Fuerteventura is well known for its production of aloe vera and in Finca Canarias Aloe Vera you have the opportunity to visit a working plantation to learn all about the cultivation and uses of this multi-use plant. With expert guidance from the staff at this family business, you will find it a lot more fun than it may first sound.
Within 30 minutes, they will have taken you through the 5,000-year history of the plant, and then you can cut an aloe vera leaf, taste its pulp and flowers, and then test the products made from its pure gel.
There are actually two different locations of the Finca Canarias business on Fuerteventura and on the southern plantation, located near Gran Tarajal, there are 2,000 aloe vera plants, 650 olive trees, a vineyard and more than 100 cactus figs.
On the northern plantation, which is located at the base of the volcano in the town of La Oliva, there is an aloe-therapy centre where you can enjoy a relaxing massage or a regenerating treatment, all done with fresh aloe vera. So not only will you learn something, but you might come away feeling younger and more relaxed. It doesn't come much better than that.
Take to the desert
The Corralejo sand dunes in the north of the island seem a little incongruous until you look at the map and realise the Western Sahara is only 62 miles away. Like Lobos Island, this area is a Nature Reserve and is one of the most visited natural areas on Fuerteventura, having the largest sand dunes of the whole of the Canary Islands. And there really is a distinct feeling of the desert here, with all the natural beauty one would expect from that landscape. There are miles of near-white sand beaches, stunning turquoise waters, the giant dunes with a volcanic landscape for a backdrop. It couldn’t be much further removed from the lush green fields and trees of northern Europe and that’s part of the attraction. After all, a change is as good as a rest!
The dunes are easily accessible from Corralejo, either as a short bus or taxi journey. And you can walk out to the dunes from the town, but it’s not really advisable. There are beautiful, clean beaches (with a small number of cafés and public toilets) and, with the dunes stretching for miles, this quiet patch of the island has an eerie charm all of its own, which will certainly provide a welcome contrast to the more commercial areas. It’s really worth a visit for that reason alone.
Even on windy days, which are certainly not uncommon on this island, there are plenty of stone shelters providing welcome protection. You can walk for miles along the shoreline or over the dunes on the soft golden sands. And yes, there are nudist areas out here, so be warned if that’s likely to cause offence, but there’s plenty of space so I can’t see why it would. Conversely, it might just be your scene.
If you are after something a little more high octane in the same landscape, then how about booking yourself onto a dune buggy tour? It might not be for everybody, but if you want to go all Mad Max then there are a number of operators offering guided buggy tours of the dunes and the volcanic landscapes in the north of the island. But make sure you do your homework and be prepared for sand and dust.
The ring of fire
In the north of the island near Lajares there is a stunning series of aligned volcanoes, among them the Calderon Hondo. A visit here, including a walk to the top, is a unique experience which is suitable for everyone.
These volcanoes emerged some 50,000 years ago and apart from increasing the surface area of Fuerteventura, they also created the nearby island of Lobos (see above). The Calderon Hondo is one of the best preserved natural areas, which is what makes it such an attractive visitor spot. You can either visit the volcano under your own steam if you have a hire car, get a taxi, or you can join a guided tour. It’s your choice of course. If you do drive yourself there is space to park near the foot of the volcanoes, and you complete the ascent on foot.
The access to the volcano is via an easy to negotiate dirt path. At a gentle pace it takes about 45 minutes to reach the top, where you can take in the full impact of the volcano and its surrounding lunar landscape.
It is also possible to walk around the mouth of the volcano which will allow you to fully enjoy the views of this whole part of the island, as well as getting distant glimpses of Lanzarote. Whichever way you choose to visit the volcano, it’s sure to give you a different perspective of the lovely island of Fuerteventura and it’s dreamy location out in the ocean off the coast of Africa.
The highest point of the crater is 278 metres above sea level and from here you get a wonderful panoramic view of all the volcanoes that make this whole area so visually spectacular. But it’s not just the sight of them that is so impressive - it’s the way they make you understand more about the incredible force involved in creating so much of the global landscape we know today. This can be quite a spiritual and philosophical experience, making you start to appreciate the sheer age of the planet we so often take for granted.
If you are already an RCI member, you can use your membership to take advantage of accommodation in more than 4,300 resorts in over 110 countries, click on the RCI Resort Directory button below. Don't forget that you can always check your personalised RCI Account online - or look out for your monthly RCI Account Statement mailings - to be sure that you don't waste any of your trading power or points, and are getting away on all the fabulous holidays throughout the year that you deserve.
If you own timeshare, but are not yet a member of RCI, you can become part of our holiday exchange community today. By clicking on the Join RCI button below, you can sign up in just a few simple steps. Being able to swap your timeshare holiday home for other stays in so many exciting destinations across the world is giving you the real value from your purchase of timeshare - it's all about opening up new travel opportunities for you and your family.