Canary islands

Fuerteventura

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The ultimate guide to Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is referred to as “La Isla Tranquila” (the quite island) and it is true that the pace of life could not be slower. There is no industry and not much water which translates to little agriculture too. For centuries all this implied poor living conditions. Today, however, it translates into a slow pace of life and a real retreat which has made of Fuerteventura the island in the Canarian archipelago mostly associated with the Caribe.

Fuerteventura guide - Contents

Best of Fuertenventura in a nutshell

Where is La Fuerteventura?

Fuerteventura is located 97 kilometers west of the African continent. Fuerteventura is located south of Lanzarote and east of Gran Canaria

From North to South it covers over 100 kilometers, which makes it the longest island in the archipelago. 

Top attractions: The beaches of Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura does attract tourists due to its mountains or laurel forests. The main and almost unique attraction of the island is its wonderful beaches, some of which are amongst the best-rated beaches in Spain. With more than 152 beaches to choose from you will definitely find a beach that suits you. Many of these beaches are totally unspoiled and the majority are beaches of golden sand (though some 25 kilometers of black sand can be found).

The best beaches in Fuerteventura re located in the Southern part of the island in the area known as the Jandia peninsula. Windsurfers and kitesurfers from all over the world gather here every year to enjoy excellent conditions. You will find excellent windsurfing schools and areas which are perfect for beginners.

Quick facts about Fuertventura

Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the Canary islands after Tenerife. It has however the longest coastline with 340 kilometers. As a matter of fact, almost 23% of Fuerteventura´s surface is composed of beaches!

The highest peak in the island is at 807 meters (Pico de la Zarza).

Fuerteventura has never been a rich island. The arid soil has made agriculture a complex endeavor and farmers had to be very inventive and made use of underground streams to build irrigation tunnels. The lack of rain which was always a problem became the island´s best ally in recent times. The almost 100% guaranteed sunshine has brought extensive development of tourism and the island has the highest number of tourist beds per inhabitant amongst the Canary Islands.

Natural parks, Flora and fauna

Fuerteventura is not particularly famous due to its trees. You will find mostly low plants and bush vegetation. There are over ten endemic species, mainly salt-tolerating plants.

Fuerteventura is a great destination to enjoy bird-watching. Probably the best island to enjoy it and despite it is not in the top 5 of Spain´s top bird-watching locations, you can enjoy good sightings of endangered birds in the islands.

There are 13 natural protected areas and measures to protect the Canary island stonechat and the Houbara bustard.

The island is very rich in sea life, with more than 350 species of fish to be found.

Brief history of Fuertenventura

The Majoneros were the original inhabitants of Fuerteventura. Mahoh means “My country”. But Fuerteventura has also been known as Capraria due to the presence of a good number of goats. Today´s name, Fuerteventura, is probably related to an expedition which proved to be challenging. Fuerteventura in Spanish literally means the “strong adventure”.

The island was originally split into 2 kingdoms: Maxorata and Jandia, which were actually split by a low wall. Both kingdoms were used to fighting but this did not prevent their defeat against the Spanish conquerors, which defeated local kings in 1405, one of the earliest defeats in the history of the Canary Islands.

Unlike the island of Northern neighbor island of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura did not face many attacks from pirates. There was basically little to steal, and pirates knew this. An important part of the local population migrated to other islands seeking a better life and today most of population concentrates on the seaside where tourism has brought wealth and jobs. Its proximity to the African continent brings many boats to the island´s shores, with people looking for a better life and with the support of Mafias that treat people as cargo.

Fuerteventura windmill
Beach in Fuerteventura
Goats in Fuerteventura

Weather in Fuerteventura

The warm winds from the Sahara desert in Africa cause high evaporation and this does not help with one of the island´s top problems: lack of water.  With over 2,800 yearly hours of sun light, Fuertventura boasts safe, summer-like weather all year round. 

The average temperature is 25C and rainfall does not reach 100mm, which is the lowest in all the Canary islands. 

Golden sand

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