Fuerteventura is one of the seven Canary Islands, which are a group of Spanish islands off the coast of Western Sahara, Africa. Fuerteventura translates to "strong wind" so as you can imagine, the island sees a lot of windy days. The island has an airport which has direct flights from some cities in Europe including London, Amsterdam, Milan, Barcelona, among others. The airport is located on the Eastern coast of the island, and easily accessible to destinations across the island.
If visiting other Canary Islands, there are also options to take ferries from nearby islands including Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife. Lanzarote is the closest of the larger Canary Islands and a short ferry from the town of Corralejo on Fuerteventura.
Plan on renting a car when visiting Fuerteventura. There are taxis available for short trips, but can only imagine this being the best option if you plan to go to your accommodations and stay put. A rental car provides you freedom to explore and flexibility in your timelines. The island has a lot of beaches, small towns, and coastline which you will want a car to help you get around. There are a variety of rental car companies with stands easily accessible at the airport including Avis, Budget, Europacar, Sixt among others. Cicar is a local company which we used and offered good prices, a variety of options and good service. The price of a small car rental for 4 days was approximately 200 euros.
When booking a rental car, consider what your plans are for your vacation. If you plan to surf, you will want a car that is easy enough to strap surf boards to the roof. If you plan to visit more remote beaches, including the famous Cofete beach, the roads to reach some beaches are dirt, rocky roads. You will feel more comfortable in a larger / crossover vehicle in comparison to the smaller cars. We used a smaller car and it was fine for our adventure, but would have been worried if we traveled on more dirt roads.
Although the island is not very big, it would take about 3-4 hours to drive all the way around it. From the north coast to the south coast takes about 2 hours and if going to the very remote beach of Cofete, then this will add on time.
Corralejo is the main town in Fuerteventura. It is located on the north side of the island and is best for a good home base with restaurants, bars, some nearby beaches and easy access to the northern beaches. The town itself is touristy, but has some gems. It also is a good option for those who enjoy going out in the evening or want to have drinks and have accessible options on foot. There are a lot of airbnb / VRBO type options available at quite affordable prices. You can look for more expensive options with private pools on the beach, but cheaper accommodations are definitely available.
The nearby town of Cotillo, also in the north, can be another option to stay. This town has nicer beaches around it than Corralejo, but is smaller. It is an easy 20 - 30 minute drive from Corralejo so both towns can be easily visited regardless of which you choose to base yourself in.
Fuerteventura draws in surfers, wind surfers and kite surfers with many beaches to choose from. With the strong winds, the best beaches for each type of surfing may change based on the conditions and time of day. You can rent surf boards from shops in town or take lessons.
Be Dreamer is a small shop in Corralejo with good priced lessons and rentals. A first timers lesson which includes transportation, rentals, and the lesson itself costs 36 euros for 3-4 hours (end to end). The company will pick the beach depending on conditions and class levels (beginner, beginner-adv, intermediate, etc) and guarantee a maximum of 5 people with 1 instructor.
For those who have not surfed before, Fuerteventura is a great place to learn. There are a variety of beaches with sandy bottoms, clearer waters, and smaller waves which are perfect for a beginner. The water is also not too cold, although you may still choose to surf in a wetsuit. There are also not many dangerous sea animals in the shallow waters (specifically, no great whites).
Check out a small group or private boat tour to enjoy a morning or afternoon out on the ocean. Many boat tours will take you over to Lobos island, just across from Fuerteventura, where you can get out and explore on foot or admire from the boat. You can also snorkel, paddle board, or just enjoy the sun on the water.
Book here for a great experience. Departing from the Corralejo pier, you'll head out on the water for 4 hours in a relaxed setting. Sail along the water, enjoy some local Spanish snacks and drinks, and admire Lobos island for an afternoon. The cost of a private tour is approx. 200-250 euros for four hours on the water.
One of the main reasons to visit Fuerteventura is for the warm, sunny weather. The island has a variety of beaches all around the island to visit. Do not try to visit them all, especially depending on where you are staying. Otherwise, you may end up spending a lot of time in the car to reach the beaches rather than enjoying the weather outside. Below are some of the beaches throughout the island to consider visiting.
Playa Punta Prieta
Grandes Playas de Corralejo - nearby a large hotel, this is a larger and more equipped beach than some of the other remote beaches
Playa de los Matos
Playa Alzada - quieter, more secluded beach
El Cotillo Beach - This beach is often a good surfing beach
Playa de los Lagos
Playa La Concha - Near El Cotillo, this is a nice sand beach to lay out in the sun on or swim in the water
Playa El Hierro - Also known as popcorn beach, the white stones here contrast the black rocks and look like pieces of popcorn. Plan a short stop here around when you visit El Cotillo as it is about 20 minutes from the town or after hiking the volcano. Note that you will need to drive on a dirt road for about 5 minutes to reach this beach.
Playa de Ojos - Hidden beach
Playa de Cofete - One of the most well-known beaches on Fuerteventura, but challenging to access. It requires driving on dirt roads to reach this remote beach
Playa de la Pared - Another beach with a very small town nearby drawing in surfers
Playa de Sotavento de Jandia - 10 km of long golden sand beaches. A few of the beaches include Playa de la Barca, Playa Risco del Paso, and Playa de mal Nombre. It also is a key spot for both wind surfers and kite surfers. Keep in mind this means it will be one of the windier beaches so if looking to sit on the beach, it may be chillier with the wind
Costa Calma beach - True to its name this beach is calmer, both in the essence of the wind and the crowd. It is a quiet beach, but nice as it is has a few restaurants / bars ON the beach where you can enjoy a meal or drink.
The national park is located between the airport and the town of Corralejo. The area is full of large white sand dunes and sits along the ocean.
Found between Corralejo and Cotillo, you can park in the nearby parking lot and walk up to the top of the Volcano. The volcano is not very high at 278 meters, so will not take too long to reach the top. If inclined to walk more, you can hike around the crater and then head back down to the car.
Small, quaint town in the middle of the island. It is the historical capital of Fuerteventura and has a charm to it. Plan a short stop here to wander the little streets and grab a coffee when in the area. Other than that, there is not much to do in this little town
Based on its location, Cotillo is known for being a good sunset spot. It also draws in surfers for its good surfing beaches and is easily accessible from Corralejo.
Largest town on the island with the most variety of restaurants, shops and bars. Due to its size, it lacks charm and draws in more tourists. However, it is a good homebase for the increased food and drink options.
Take a drive along FV-30, stopping at some of the many viewpoints along the road. When traveling the southern beaches, you can take this road up to Betancuria and enjoy a scenic drive. A few of the viewpoints include Mirador del Risco de Las Penas, Mirador Berranco del Aceituno, and Mirador Las Penitas.
If you do not visit Lobos Island on a boat trip, you can take the 15 minute ferry from the Corralejo port over to the island.
Lanzarote is the closest of the other Canary Islands with easy ferry boats from Corralejo to Lanzarote. Gran Canaria is the second closest island, also reachable with a ferry from Fuerteventura. With just a long weekend, traveling to the other islands is not recommended but if visiting for over a week, this is definitely an option. However it would be recommended to plan to stay on different islands rather than attempting a daytrip.
The best restaurant we ate at in Fuerteventura, this authentic Spanish restaurant is always hopping. It has a large menu of Spanish tapas, seafood, meats and paellas. You cannot go wrong here, but would definitely recommend the meat and seafood paella as a great option.
Great spot for local tapas in town. The chorizo dish is a highlight here!
Known for their meat dishes
Good lunch or dinner spot for some quick tapas
Another great dinner spot for Spanish tapas. The servers are very friendly and they make a great Spanish sangria along with nice empanadas and padron peppers.
Spanish restaurant with a variety of tapas, seafood, meat and rice options. Try the seafood paella here
Nearby to Playa La Concha, this restaurant has a variety of Spanish tapas and is along the street side. No beach view, but good spot for lunch when spending a day on the beach.
Outside of the main town center, this spot is along the beach. If walking along the beach or surfing at Playa Punta Prieta / Punta Elena, stop here for a beachside drink
With tables right on the beach on Costa Calma beach, it is a nice spot for an afternoon drink and tapas.
Corralejo local hot spot on a hidden alleyway in Corralejo. This bar has fun vibes and people sitting inside and pouring onto the street outside enjoy drinks into the early hours of the morning (open until 2:00 am)
Cute bar with nice outdoor seating and views of the harbor
Found in one of Corralejo's main squares (touristy) where there is often live music, you can enjoy a drink outside here
Also in Corralejo's main square, another spot good for an outdoor cocktail
If you're craving an acai bowl, juice, or something a bit different from the local Spanish food, stop by here for a healthy option
Small gelato shop with tasty flavors including salted caramel and Belgian chocolate.
Based on its location so far south in the northern hemisphere, Fuerteventura is a warm weather destination. Throughout the winter, it can be a good pick for a destination when looking for sunshine and warmer days. At the beginning of April, the weather is mid 20s (Celcius) or mid 70s (Fahrenheit). The wind does make it feel cooler on some days so can be a consideration, but the island as a whole is a good option when looking for a warmer weather destination within Europe in the off-season.
A nice benefit about Fuerteventura is it is a quite cheap destination to visit. From accommodations, to food and drink options, to activities, most of your expenses will be fairly small. A glass of wine or sangria will be 3 - 6 euros at most places to provide a point of reference and meals can be kept affordable through sharing tapas and other Spanish dishes.
4 days in Fuerteventura is the perfect length. This gives you enough time to explore different parts of the island, try out some adventure activities (surfing, kite surfing, hiking, etc), take a boat tour, visit Lobos island and relax on the beaches.
The island of Fuerteventura is quite brown. The majority of the land is brown mountains which mend into the beach. For me, this was not something I expected and not my favorite destination for this reason. The coloring is not as nice and the rock can provide a dust or a fog over the island at times.
As a whole, the island of Fuerteventura is a great spot for surfers and those looking for warm weather in off season months. It is an affordable destination with delicious food and kind people. With this in mind, Fuerteventura is not a favorite of mine, more so because of how brown the island was and I did not find the beaches to be anything to get too excited about.
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see
Food and Drinks