Destination Fuerteventura - Fuerteventura
The island of Fuerteventura, with and extension of 1,658 square kilometres, is the second largest in the Canary Islands archipelago. It forms part of an alignment of over 200 km that begins in the isle of Alegranza, to the north of Lanzarote and extends to within almost 20 km south of Jandia Point, making up the largest continental platform in the Canary Islands.
An island of extensive plains, practically unique in the archipelago, its central axis is formed by a longitudinal plateau, contrary to that which occurs in the rest of the islands, in which the central axes are generally the highest altitudes. Fuerteventura’s relief is one of advanced maturity and, although the island has suffered numerous volcanic eruptions throughout its geologic history, these have been insufficient to compensate erosion and significantly rejuvenate the terrain.
The island is made up of six municipalities: La Oliva, Puerto del Rosario, Betancuria, Antigua, Tuineje and Pajara. Its capital is Puerto del Rosario (formerly Puerto de Cabras). Lobos Isle, with an area of 5 sq. km, belongs to La Oliva.
This is the island’s most southern municipality and the largest in the Canary Islands. The first settlers established themselves in Pajara in the 16th century and by the 18th century it was already a thriving population centre, which explains why the Parish of Nuestra Señora de Regla was created in 1711. Later, in the first half of the 19th century, the Town Council was created.
It has the largest extension of beaches in the archipelago, reason for which large sections of its coastline are occupied by tourist developments. Today, most of its population works mainly in tourism, though some livestock farming traditions have been maintained, such as the “apañadas”, an activity also to be found in other parts of the island and which consists in a gathering of the livestock farmers to round up the animals kept on the coast in a semi-wild manner and drive them to the “gambuesas” (corrals) for branding with distinctive mark placed on the ears and face of the animal. In cultural terms, there are numerous examples of traditional and religious architecture worthy of note, including the church of Nuestra Señora de la Regla, which dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries and displays a particularly interesting stamp on its portico with decorative motifs reminiscent of Aztec art.
Also of interest is the Sanctuary dedicated to San Antonio, built in the 18 century in the village of Toto.
All along the island of Fuerteventura vistors can admire beautiful and unique natural areas such as the Corralejo dunes with kilometres of sand dunes, and the “Montaña de Tindaya”, one of the most characteristic points of Fuerteaventura´s geomorphology while not forgetting the amazing landscapes, among which is the arch of “Cofete de Jandía).
The weather in Fuerteventura
Geographically, the Canaries are affected by two weather systems: the effect of the trade winds from the high pressure area of the Azores and the permanent warm airflow that the dominant winds carry in from the neighbouring Sahara desert. Both influences maintain a stable balance that brings us this particularly marvellous climate without variations, averaging 21ºC.
|Month||Max Air Temp||Min Air Temp||Water Temp||Sun (hours)|
|January||21 -> 22||13.5 -> 14||19||7|
|February||21 -> 23||13||18||8|
|March||23.5 -> 24||14.5 -> 15||18||8|
|April||24.5 -> 25||15 -> 16||18||8|
|May||25 -> 26||16 -> 17||19||9|
|June||26 -> 27||18||20||11 -> 10|
|July||28||19.5 -> 20||22 <- 21||10|
|August||29||20.5 -> 21||25<- 23||11 -> 10|
|November||24 -> 26||17 -> 18||22 <- 21||6 -> 7|
|December||21.5 -> 22||15 -> 16||20||7|
While in the rest of Europe, most outdoor activities come to a stop during winter, the eternal spring of the Canaries makes it possible to practice all kinds of sports and remain in contact with nature year round.
In Fuerteventura there are remarkable and varied sports activities. A large variety of sports is practised: water sports, mountain sports, motor sports, land sports and air sports. In terms of local sports, the most sacred can also be included, Canarian Wrestling (La Lucha Canaria).
The natural resources of the Island offer a wide range of possibilities and activities. From walks through great scenic beauty to windsurfing, sailing, and skin diving, Fuerteventura has become the ideal spot to enjoy all kinds of sports while in contact with nature.
- The Canary Islands can be considered the Hawai of the Atlantic Ocean. Numerous surfs can be found all around the island of Fuerteventura, mainly in the northern part. The best season for surfing is winter, from November to the end of March, as during this time the waves easily reach between 1.5 and 4 metres high. The rugged coast of the northeast, north and east produce a great number waves that vary in difficulty, offering surfing for all levels. The main surfing areas of Fuerteventura are; Punta Helena (Corralejo), El Muelle (Corralejo), Bristol (corralero), Generosa,Majanicho, El Hierro, Esquinzo and El Cotillo. The best way to get to know the surf appropriate to each level is to hire the services of a surf school in the area in which you are staying and these schools also take care of the transport and equipment hire.
- Fuerteventura offers magnificent conditions to practise windsurfing. A pleasant temperature, frequent trade winds, good facilities and various specialized schools all along the coast where one can either learn how to get started or further ones experience of this spectacular water sport. It is not simply a cliché but a reality to say that Fuerteventura is one of the best spots to practice windsurfing. As the name suggests (Fuerte-ventura), the wind is constant throughout almost the whole year which makes this location the ideal place for learning, practising and holding competitions such as the PWA World Championships which takes place every year in Sotavento, on the south of the island (being the most important competition of its kind in the Canary Islands). Windsurfing is the most significant sport on Fuerteventura and it attracts a large resident community of windsurfers and tourists who come in search of the incredible conditions. Fuerteventura offers varied conditions that range from the “Shooting-Gallery” close to Corralejo to more gentle places like Costa calma which is perfect for beginners.
- Underwater volcanic landscapes, depth falls, ship wrecks…Discover the underwater treasures of Fuerteventura. The richness of its marine life with more than 390 species: “bocinegros”, mackerel, “samas”, tuna, sea bream, “meros”,”abades”, clams, “pejeperros…is a spectacular sight. You can enjoy the various alternatives of diving in Fuerteventura whether you are a novice diver or a diving expert. You can submerge yourself throughout the whole year although the best seasons are summer and autumn. Visibility is more than 30 metres.
- Fuerteventura is completing an ambitious rehabilitation project of its network of trails that will allow travel along 15 interesting tour routes across its coastal,desert, lunar,volcanic and humid landscapes.Visitors can enjoy 255 kilometres of recently habilitated path as well as ancient paths which have witnessed religious pilgrimage routes or shepherding routes that are still used today. In Fuerteventura the variety of walking routes is very wide. In both the northern zone as well as in the south, the island offers interesting walking tours. Discover the charms of Fuerteventura from its paths, either venturing by yourself on the countless rural roads or using any of the companies specializing in this type of activity that we offer you in the following list.
- The Canary Islands are known as the “islands of eternal spring”and offer golfers many opportunities to play their favourite sport throughout the whole year. Golf courses in the most beautiful landscapes and the most exclusive resorts.
- Golf in Antigua
- Golf in Pájara
- Golf in Tuineje
- In Fuerteventura you can find some of the best golf courses in the Canary Islands, awarded for their diversity and a unique character to suit all tastes. Palms and lakes, natural ravines and routes close to the sea. The diversity of the courses, the climate and the privileged environment give a unique experience which can be enjoyed throughout the whole year. Anybody can enjoy this sport on the golf courses of Fuerteventura. There are prices to suit all budgets and all offer classes/schools for beginners. These classes/schools offer both child and adult levels.
Fuerteventura’s culture, and that of the Canary Islands in general, is essentially Spanish, with little Latin American influences. However, there are some aspects of local culture that are unique to the islands, such as its traditional folklore music. This music can be heard in special events, such as the cultural festivals or the local festivities held every year in the municipalities, etc. In the large festivals there are folkloric groups (also called “rondallas”), which represent their respective islands, wearing traditional costumes.
The Island´s History
As in the Canary Islands in general, the origin of the island’s first settlers is still quite obscure, although the hypotheses in this respect are many and varied. Nevertheless, with the discovery of Libyan-Berber inscriptions, the attention has turned to seeking the roots of the islands’ inhabitants in northeast Africa. In fact, from recent studies it is thought that groups of Berbers from this region came and settled in the island to become Fuerteventura’s first inhabitants - the “Majos” - of which some cultural traces still remain today, as well as a series of words, such as tofio, baifo, tesjuate and some other terms referring to animal husbandry.
At the beginning of the 15th century, the island was invaded and colonised by Juan de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle, after which, the conquerors took over the existing kingdoms of Maxorata and Jandia, their kings, Guize and Ayose, adopting the names of Luis and Alfonso, respectively. They established themselves in what is today Betancuria Valley, where the Franciscans also founded the Monastery of San Buenaventura. The island remained a feudal territory from the 15th to the 19th century, when it became part of the Spanish province of the Canary Islands.
Due to its traditional productive system, based mostly on agriculture and animal farming, though with some use of marine resources, territorial occupation has historically been mostly in the interior, whilst the coastline was, in general, ignored. However, despite this, the island’s natural harbours of Toston, Puerto de la Peña, Pozo Negro and Caleta de Fuste generated intense commercial activity.
This activity was later capitalised on by the ports of Gran Tarajal, Corralejo, Morro Jable and Puerto del Rosario, the latter as the most important hub for the island’s surplus exports.
The traditional settlement model can be clearly seen in the interior of the island, thanks to a scattering of hamlets dotted all over the island in places where the conditions favour the formation farming land.