Fuerteventura is located between Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. It covers an area of 1658 km2. It is the oldest out of all the islands that make up the the Canary Islands. It also has the smallest population with approximately 70,000inhabitants - Puerto del Rosario has the largest population of 24,175 inhabitantswhile Betancuria has just 708.
Climate: It is an arid island with very little vegetation and it is always windy. The average annual temperature is around 20ºC.
Fuerteventura can be divided into2 different areas: la Maxorata, this is the largest area where most of the island'sinhabitants live and the Península de Jandía, which is an arid, sandy area. Fuerteventura used to live from agriculture and cattle raising. There is no fishing industry. The agricultural area is located inland in Betancuria. The island's ports (Puerto del Rosario, Tarajal, Corralejo and Morro Jable) are always very busy.
However, tourism is now the biggest earner for the islandgiven that it has 152 beaches where tourists can go diving, do watersports or just relax. Fuerteventura has some very good hotels with excellent facilities.
A great way to see the island is to hire a car or go on an organizedcoach tour. The island is very easy to get around by road. The airport, calledEl Matorral, is located 4 Kms from Puerto del Rosario. It is an internationalairport with flights to destinations all over the world. It also connects to the other Canary Islands: La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Funchal. Fuerteventura's ports are always busy. You can get to the other islands by ferry - Puerto del Rosario, Morrojable and Corralejo have ferriesto Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Playa Blanca and Arrecife (in Lanzarote), Las Palmasde Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de La Palma.
Fuerteventura is divided into 6 districts: La Oliva, Betancuria, Antigua, Puerto del Rosario, Pájara and Tuineje. Los Lobos is a tiny island opposite La Oliva.
History of Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura was conquered in 1404 by the French. Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle were responsible for creating the island's capital city Betancuria, located inland. On their arrival and occupation of Fuerteventura they discovered it was divided into 2 different kingdoms: Maxorata and Jandía.
They built a Franciscan convent which was dedicated to evangelizing the people known as 'los Guanches'. In fact the Gaunche kings Guize and Ayose were baptized with the Christian names Luís and Alfonso.
Inthe 15th century the island was conquered by the Spanish and became part of thekingdom of Castilla. From the 19th century onwards the islands were fully integrated part of Spain.
Puerto del Rosario the capital
This is an area that crosses the island from east to west. Puerto del Rosario was built in 1797 and was first given the name Puerto de Cabras, because the goatshepherds brought their goats here to graze. It kept this name until 1956 whenit changed to its present name, Puerto del Rosario.
It became the capital of the island in the 19th century due to the boom in activity in its port that went hand in hand with an ever increasing population. All the island's administrativeheadquarters, government buildings and commercial organizations were establishedhere in order to take advantage of the boom in economic activity. Nowadays, ithas 24,180 inhabitants. Its port and airport are usually very busy.
Things to see in Fuerteventura
- Church of Our Lady of the Rosary.
- municipal library (municipal library -C / Ramiro de Maetzu nº 1, Tel: 928 850 848) It has lots of different sections.Well organized.
- Sculptural Park (Sculpture park): This consists of 50 sculptures by different artists in different styles placedall over the city.
- Parks and green areas: There are many parksall over the city.
- Miguel de Unamuno House Museum (c / Virgen delRosario, 9, Puerto del Rosario): This is where this famous writer lived in exile.
Festivities in Fuerteventura
- The Canary Islands Carnival: click here for more information. These are the most important fiestas on the Canary Islands. This year's carnaval in Puerto del Rosariorecreated the world of the ancient civilizations in its many processions and streetparties.
- San Juan: This party takes place on the night of the 23rd June to celebrate the summer equinox. Fiestas are organized on the beacheswith music, dancing, bonfires and fireworks.
- Virgin of the Rock: These parties take place during the 2nd week in Septemeber. Everybody goeson a procession to the Ermita de la Vega del Río Palmas. Hand made artsand crafts are sold, people party and pray ...
- Virgin of Carmen: 16th July. The patron saint of Puerto del Rosario.
Nature reserves in Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura has lots of nature reservesaimed at conserving the islands endemic species of plants and animals.
- Natural Park of the Dunes of Corralejo and the Islote de Lobos: This is the island's most important nature reserve, made up of the following areas:
- Islet of the Lobos: This small island is located opposite LaOliva. For centuries it was home to a large colony of seals. Now it is a protectednatural area. The highest point on the island is La Caldera, a mountian 127 metresabove sea level.
- Corralejo Dunes Natural Park: Thisis located to the north of the island in La Oliva. It's an area with hardly anyvegetation. The beaches here have golden sand and are very pretty. There are lots of mountains here: Tindaya, Malpaís de Las Arenas, Malpaís de Rayuyo, Malpaís de los Arrabalos, the area of Caldera de Jacomar and Montaña Roja (312 mts). The best beaches to visit are: Puerto de la Peña and the raised beaches.
- Betancuria Rural Park: Thisis located in Betancuria and Puerto del Rosario. The highest mountain here is Betancuria (742 mts) and the La Atalaya peak (724 mts). This is a predominantly agricultural area with distinct mountain ranges.
- Jandía Natural Park: This is located in Pájara. It's highest peak is La Zarza (807 mts). El Cardón de Jandía (a type of cactus) grows here. Thearea around the Arco de Cofete is very pretty.
- Vallebron: Located in La Oliva and Puerto del Rosario. The highest point here is the Mudamountain (698 mts). This is an important place because a small, ancient gaunchecemetery was discovered here.
- Malpaís Grande: Located inla Antigua and Tuineje. Its highest point is the Caldera de los Arrabales (243mts). From here you can visit the gaunche settlement known as Atalayita.
- Natural Monument Malpaís de La Arena: This is located in La Oliva. the highestpoint is the Arena volcano (420 mts). The rock formations here date back 10,000years.
- Tindaya Mountain Natural Monument: Alsolocated in La Oliva. Mount Tindaya (401 mts) is the highest point. Its peak is believed to have been a special place for the gaunches because ancient drawingshave been found here.
- Cuchillo de Vigán Natural Monument: Located in Tuineje and la Antigua. Its highest point is the Vigán mountain (462 mts). It has distinctive pointed rock formations called 'knives' consisting of volcanic rock eroded over the centuries.
- Natural Monument Cardón Mountain: Located in Pájara. Its highest point is the Cardón mountain (691 mts) The sides of the mountain are coveredin thick vegetation typical to the island known locally as 'jorjado'.
- Ajuí Natural Monument: Located in Pájara this is the oldest placeon the island. Some rocks consist of fossilized marine sediment. Dates back to before the other islands in the Canaries had been formed or even the continents of America or Africa.
- Caldera de Gairía Natural Monument: Located in Tuineje and la Antigua. You can see the fossilized remains of plantshere.
- Matorral Beach: Although this beach is visited by a lot of tourists it remains unspoilt. There are lots of the island's protected species of plants here.
Hotels in Fuerteventura
- Elba Palace Golf Fuerteventura in Antigua- seedetails and book online
- H10 Tindaya in Costa Calma - seedetails and book online
- Occidental Gran Fuerteventura in - seedetails and book online.
Beaches in Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura has some truely beautifulbeaches, most of which are unspoilt, natural areas. Here is a list of some of the best beaches:
- Sotavento-Jandía Beach: In Pájara.Morro Jable is the nearest port where you can go on boat trips, get surfing ordiving classes ... This beach is over a kilometer long and about 30 meters wide. It has fine, golden sand and crystal clear waters. You can hire a sunbed or sunshade. Nudist. There is a carpark.
- Coves of Puertito. This isa nudist beach on the small island - Isla de Lobos opposite La Oliva. The nearestport is Corralejo where there are daily boat trips to the island which is completelyunspoilt and uninhabited. The beach here has golden sand and measures just 140by 20 meters.
- The Cofete: In Pájara. Morro Jable is the nearestport (see above). This beach measures almost 1.5 kilometers by 60 meters. It isan unspoilt beach with fine, golden sand. It is usually very windy with big waves.You can hire sunbeds or sun shades here. Nudist.
- El Dormidero Beach: In La Oliva. The nearest port is Corralejo. This is a small beach with fine, goldensand measuring 440 by 30 mteres. Sunbeds and sun shades on hire ...
- El Viejo Beach: In La Oliva. This beach has fine, golden sand. The beach measures 1 km by 50 meters. Remove windy, thewaves here are moderate.
- Morro de Potala Beach; In Pájara.The nearest port is Morro Jable. This is a quiet, tiny beach 300 by 25 meters.Nudist. Fine, golden sand. Moderate waves.
- Janubio Beach: In Puerto del Rosario. This beach measures 230by 40 meters. It is a natural, unspoilt beach with coarse black sand. Usuallyvery windy with big waves. Sun beds and sun shades on hire. Esquinza andAguila beaches are nearby with calmer sea.
- El Algibe Beach- La Cueva: In Puerto del Rosario. This beach is
1,210b and 30 meters. It is a natural, unspoilt beach. Not many people. The beachhas fine, golden sand. It is usually very windy with big waves.
- BeachEl Bajo Negro: In La Oliva. The nearest port isCorralejo. This beach is 500by 45 meters. This is an unspoilt natural beach with fine, golden sand, windy with moderate waves. There is a beach bar, restaurant and hotel here. Sunbedsand sun shades on hire.
- Majanicho Beach: In La OLiva. The nearestport is Corralejo. This beach is just 150 by 20 meters. A quiet beachwith fine, golden sand and calm sea.
Sports on Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is an ideal place for doing allkinds of sports, especially water sports, because of its climate. There are lots of places where you can get classes in diving, wind surfing, surfing. You can also go on organized boat trips.
Here is a list of the best places to go:
- Fishing: Port of Corralejo.
- Windsurfing : Pájara, Corralejo.
- Diving: Pájara, Antigua, Corralejo, Gran Tarajal and Morro Jable.
- Surfing: Corralejoand Jandía.
- Delta wing: the old one.
- Golf:Fuerteventura Golf Club: (Golf Club km 11, 35610 Caleta del Fuste, Tel: 928 16 00 34) Antigua: This golf course has 18 holes - par 72. There is a hotel within the grounds.Click here for more information and reservations: ElbaPalace Golf Fuerteventura *****. There are 2 other hotels 3 Kms away: GeranioSuites Hotel ***** and HotelElba Sara ****
Oasis Jandía Golf Club (Barranco de Vinamar-La Mancha, s / n) in Jandía.
- Trekking inFuerteventura: The Royal Way is a very popular place to hike - itis the path the island's conquerers took when they arrived.
- Jetski: Available for hire in Corralejo.
- Motorbikes, Mountain Bikes, Tennis, ... Availableall over the island.
Other popular sports on the island are thosewith roots in the Gaunche culture such as:Game of the Stick, Game of the Tin, the Pineapple, Handball, Lifting the Plow, Tángana, Canarian Ball....
Shopping in Fuerteventura
There are lots of handmade goods on sale. Commonthings to buy are: Different types of cheese, hand embriodered table cloths, woollenblankets, things made from wicker, musical instruments (violins, guitars), claypottery, straw hats, ...
Villages and Places to visit in Fuerteventura
This is by far the prettiest town on the island. It is located on a plain between mountains in an area with volcanic remains with brightly colored stones. It is situated above a crater of a volcano that has been dormant for many years. It only has 709 inhabitants.
Betancuria was the capital of the island from 1404 when it was founded by the French. It remained the capital until the 19th century.
Things to see:
- ChurchCathedral of Santa Maria: This was built in the 15th century, Norman, Gothic style architecture. It was partially destroyed in 1620 and was rebuilt- this is the building that can be seen today. Its 17th century altarpiece, panelledceiling, the choir stalls and the baptistry are particularly interesting.
- Sacred Art Museum: Religious art.
- Archeological Museum and Ethnographic (c / Roberto Roldán, s / n, Tel: 928 87 82 41): Thishouses archeological finds from all over the island.
- Santa Maria House: This is a craft center where you can see how things are made and also buy handmadearts and crafts.
- Hermitage of the Vega de Río Palmas: A smallchapel located on the outskirts and houses a statue of the Virgen de la Peña, the patron saint of the island.
- Hermitage of San Diego de Alcalá: A small chapel.
- Hermitage of Santa Inés: A small chapellocated in the Santa Inés valley.
This has occupied a very important place in the island's history. Following the conquering of Fuerteventura by the Castellanos the Spanish military command made a base here. It used to be a mainly agricultural area which supplied most of the island.
Nowit is an important tourist center with infrastructure to support it (there arelots of hotels around Corralejo). It is also a natural area with protected beaches which are surrounded by sand dunes. It is predominantly a fishingvillage and its small harbor is always full of life. You can find lots of typical restaurants around the harbor area serving local food. There are also diving, wind surfing and sailing schools as well as organized boat trips to the IslaLobos. There are many hotels and apartments in the area. Its unspoilt beachesare excellent with white sands and crystal clear water.
Things to see:
- Church of Our Lady of Candelaria.
- House of the Colonels: This is a large mansionwith pretty balconies built by the Spanish military command in the 15th century.
- Canarian Art Center Casa Mane: This is an exhibition of contemporaryart (consisting of paintings and sculptures) by artists from the Canary Islands.
- Chaplain's House: This is the house where the villagepriest lived. It is a stone house with pretty balconies decorated with flowers.
- Hermitage of Puerto Escondido: Located in la Oliva.
- Canarian Art Center: A small art gallery.
- La Casa de la Cilla Museum: An interesting museum.
- Unamuno Monument
Thisarea covers 250 km2 and has around 3000 inhabitants. It is the oldest city on the island, founded at the beginning of the 18th century. It is a very flat, ruralarea with windmills and many typical farmhouses. Popular for rural tourism. Italso has an interesting coastline and Caleta de Fustes, is one of the busiest tourist areas on the island. Hotel chains with excellent facilities attract large numbers of tourists.
Things to see:
- Church of Santa Cruz de los Caldos: Built in 1785.
- Church of Our Lady of Antigua
- Majorero town: Thisis a tourist resort located in Caleta de Fustes, where there are lots of shops, hotels, bars, restaurants ...
Thisis where the Jandía Natural Park is located. This town began to evolve in the 16th century. The town hall was built in 1711.
This is where most of the island's beaches are together with most of the islands hotels.This area is the least populated area in Fuerteventura. Tourism is the main source of income here. Things to see: Costa Calma, Port of Morro Jable, the fishing harbor where there are boat trips and facilities for water sports.Barlovento, is a very windy, dry area with subtropical marine life. In sotaventoyou have the Jandía beaches which are a paradise for divers due to thevaried marine life. Its beaches are unspoilt, with fine golden sand and crystalclear water.
Things to see:
- Church of Our Lady of Regla: Built in 1711.
- Hermitage of SanAntonio: Located in Toto. Built in the 18th century.
Tuinejecovers 276 km2 and has 12,900 inhabitants. It is located in the southwest of Fuerteventura.Its main source of income is agriculture and cattle raising. The best beachesare Las Playitas, Gran Tarajal, Giniginamar and Tarajalejo. They are characterized by their fine black sand and stones and calm sea despite the fact that they are often very windy. There are hotels, restaurants, beach bars and some promenadesnear and around the beaches.
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