I’d be lying to you if I said that Fuerteventura was somewhere I’d always wanted to visit. In fact, I may have even crossed it off my list of potential holiday destinations a few times as somewhere where ‘all there is to do is laze around the pool’. If you know me or if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I tend to opt for city breaks or cultural adventures over sun, sea and sand. However, this summer I gave in to my boyfriend and joined him for a fortnight in Fuerteventura.
Our two weeks in the sun showed me that there is more to Fuerteventura than just its sandy beaches, and that in fact, if you look for things to do, there is plenty to keep you (and even me) occupied!
Located just 100km off the coast of north Africa, Fuerteventura is the closest Canary Island to the African coast and lying on the same latitude as Florida and Mexico, you are guaranteed hot and sunny weather throughout the year. For our two weeks in August, the temperature did not drop below 25°C, which made a very welcome change from the grey and wet summer England had supplied us with.
Fuerteventura is also home to the greatest number of sand dunes and long white sand beaches in the Canaries – 152 in total! The island also has some of Europe’s most impressive beaches despite its rocky, volcanic landscape. In fact, La Concha beach in the westerly fishing town El Cotillo, won ‘Best Beach in Europe’ a few years ago!
Our Base – Villaverde
Our base for the two weeks was the quiet hillside village of Villaverde, often referred to as the Beverly Hills of Fuerteventura. Just north of La Oliva, the village sits between the extinct volcanoes of Mount Escanfraga on the east side and Mount Arena on the west side – neither of which we climbed despite our intentions!
What we did make the most of however, was the village’s restaurants and bakery. If you ever find yourself in the area, I would highly recommend El Horno and Casa Marcos. I’ll be writing about both restaurants in more detail very soon!
Not too far from Villaverde is the island’s second city, Corralejo, once a traditional fishing village but now one of Fuerteventura’s main tourist towns.
Without a car, Jack and I had to navigate the island’s public transport system to visit the town, but I can safely say we were successful and managed to get to and from Corralejo a number of times.
Our first visit took us into the town and we spent the morning wandering along the main seafront, passing the variety of cafes, bars and restaurants geared up to catch the tourists. We popped into some of the souvenir shops before opting for a late breakfast in beachfront restaurant, Waikiki.
The second visit, later in the holiday had a different purpose and instead of staying in the town, we made our way along the coast to the sand dune national park. From Corralejo, the walk took about an hour, but with a sea breeze it was a pleasant stroll even in the 36 degree heat!
Another day trip for us took us to the west of the island, to the rustic little fishing village, El Cotillo. According to locals, El Cotillo is quickly becoming a new hotspot for tourists, mostly due to its beautiful sandy beaches and lagoons. Naturally, I was excited to visit and see the place for myself!
From Villaverde we hopped aboard another bus and within half an hour we had arrived on the outskirt of the village and were ready to explore.
Jack gave me a short tour of the village, leading me through the sun drenched whitewash streets, past the pebble beach and up the hill, along the cliff walk towards the old harbour. As we turned the corner away from the town centre, we were met with such wonderful views; the Fortaleza del Tostón overlooking the sea, the small harbour down below with its array of small and colourful boats, and in the distance, the rocky cliff faces, beaches and mountainous landscape.
Of course we made a visit to the La Concha beach too, where we spent a few hours rock-pooling and snorkelling in the sea.
My First Dive
Probably one of the most adventurous things I was persuaded to do whilst on holiday was to join my boyfriend scuba-diving. For as long as I can remember my relationship with deep water has not been good, in fact, I’d even go as far as to say that it frightens me.. quite a lot! So the obvious thing to do is to dive numerous metres under the sea, right?
Despite the initial worries and a few panics, Jack somehow got me to El Jablito on the east of the island, which was to be the site of my first diving experience. Before I knew it (and before I had the chance to run away) I was off under the water. I’ll be writing a separate post on my first scuba dive but for now, here are a few pictures..
I’ve always been fascinated by geography, so much so that I originally meant to study it at university. Fuerteventura is one of those places that, despite not being traditionally ‘beautiful’, is truly amazing to look at. It took me a few days to adjust to the dry, desert-like landscape, but once I got over it, I began to see beauty in the volcanic and mountainous terrain.
With so many volcanoes on the island, I felt it was necessary to pay one a visit, and so one day we set off to the Calderon Hondo, one of the island’s best preserved examples with a crater of over 70 metres.
We set off pretty early in the morning in an attempt to avoid the heat, with a quick stop in one of Lajares‘ trendy bakeries to prepare us for the climb. The walk was surprisingly easy, apart from the uneven stone path and steep sloping steps at the very end, and took us approximately 45minutes. Upon reaching the top, we found a vantage point from which we were able to look down into the volcano’s crater as well as view the surrounding area including various other volcanoes and even across the water to Lanzarote.
On the way back down I was also able to meet some of the local wildlife..
By now you should all know I lurrrve my food so I was very much looking forward to getting stuck in and trying all sorts of canarian cuisine. And this is exactly what I did!
I tried all sorts of delicacies including the local goat’s cheese, wrinkly potatoes, calamari and fresh fish, along with delicious fried aubergine drizzled in palm honey and north African style tagines, which were super tasty!
I think it’s safe to say that we made the most of our two weeks away and saw the true side of the island which many tourists neglect in favour of its sandy beaches, which in all fairness are gorgeous and worth the hype. The trip proved to me that despite somewhere’s reputation as a lazy holiday destination, if you go with the intention of finding things to do, you will always be kept occupied.
I’m also very excited to share with you all my very first YouTube video, highlighting the best bits of my trip to Fuerteventura!
Watch my video below to see me in action and to see more of what I got up to during my two weeks on the volcanic Canary island!
What did you think of my video and my post on my trip to Fuerteventura? Have you ever visited the Canary Islands and if so, where did you go? Perhaps I’ve inspired you to discover the real side of Fuerteventura? If you enjoyed this post, or think you can add more tips for a trip to the island, please leave a comment in the box below! Victoria x