With more than 150 swathes of sand to its name, Fuerteventura is the beach capital of the Canary Islands. Its coast morphs from the empty sweeps at Cofete to the busy, bar-lined stretches in Jandia. Then there’s the Parque Natural de Corralejo to think about. Unravelling along the coast for 10 kilometres, this national park is a huge expanse of rolling sand dunes.
The big resorts
Corralejo, the most popular town on the island, balances old and new. You’ll find traditional tapas bars in the old town and karaoke bars in the resort centre. Further down the coast, Costa Caleta is a family favourite, with watersports and international restaurants easy to come by. The Jandia peninsula in the south, meanwhile, teams up national park-protected beaches with duty-free shopping complexes and a clutch of cocktail bars.
Fuerteventura’s coastline gives the green light to some of the best watersports in Europe. Kite surfing is big business here. And Playa de Sotavento, on the island’s south coast, has cornered the market for windsurfing. Head here in July and you’ll catch the World Championships.
Villages untouched by time
If you can drag yourself away from the shoreline, Fuerteventura’s interior is well worth exploring. Wind-whipped lava fields and valleys of euphorbia give way to centuries-old villages that have missed the march of mass tourism.
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On Fuerteventura’s north coast, Corralejo is a place that likes to keep you on your toes. It’s got some of the best surfing in Europe, an unmatched nightlife, and tonnes of shops and restaurants. Though if it’s down time you’re after, there are sweeping dunes as deserted as the surface of the moon.
On the southwest peninsula of Fuerteventura, Jandia is the place for the more demanding beach lover. It’s set on a never-ending expanse of white sand, at the foot of the Pico de la Zarza mountain range. Over the years, as it’s grown, the town has merged with neighbouring Morro Jable, where the harbour and quaint old town provide a counterpoint to Jandia’s modern hotels, restaurants and nightspots.
Costa Caleta – or Caleta de Fustes as the locals call it – sits on the east coast of Fuerteventura. It’s been purpose-built, so you won’t go wanting for shops, bars and restaurants, which are all to hand on the main street. And while the nights are just the right side of lively, days are all about lazing on the sheltered beach.