Where Beach and Desert Meet
A bounty of beautiful beaches await on Fuerteventura. Geologically the oldest of the Canary Islands, and geographically the closest to the African continent, its stark, cinnamon-hued hills roll down to almost 100 miles of soft, sandy shores. The beaches and dunes around Corralejo on the northeast side of the island are perfect for a day in the sun (Fuerteventura boasts an average of 300 sunny days per year), and Music Square nearby is perfect for sampling some sangria and tapas.
From where we pull into port in Puerto del Rosario, it’s a short drive to the west side of the island and the bucolic former fishing village of El Cotillo. With a laid-back atmosphere, charming lighthouses, lazy windmills spinning in the breeze, and even more scenic beaches tucked into lagoons, El Cotillo offers a refreshing change of pace from some of the Canary Islands’ more bustling resort towns.
The entire island of Fuerteventura has been classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2009, and has a longstanding commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly tourism initiatives. Nowhere is this more evident than the nature reserve on nearby Los Lobos Island, where nature lovers can spend the day exploring the small island and its diverse array of plant species.
Back on the main island, spend some time in Betancuria. Founded in 1404, this former capital is nestled in a verdant valley and is home to interesting museums that tell the story of the island. The Museum of Sacred Art offers exhibits on religious paintings and sculptures in a traditional Canarian home, and Casa Santa Maria—a 17th century country home—is the place to go for sampling the island’s renowned Majorero cheese that’s still made using authentic techniques.