Fuerteventura is only 100 km long, but the Canary Islands offer hiking trails, picturesque villages, cultural heritage and a diverse natural landscape. Fuerteventura has so much to do, plus the added benefit of year-round sunshine, making it the perfect (and affordable!) destination for us Brits seeking winter sun.
Here are the top 10 must-dos in Fuerteventura that will guarantee you a great vacation.
1. Discover the sand dunes of Corralejo Natural Park
One of the best things about Fuerteventura, and the Canary Islands as a whole, is the completely different landscapes that can be found on such small islands.
Corralejo is my favorite area on Fuerteventura. This resort town on the northeast coast of the island is a former fishing village and is full of bars, restaurants, and hotels.
If you head south from the town along the east coast, you will enter Corralejo National Park. This is a vast, nearly untouched nature reserve with long stretches of sand dunes.
If you look across an inland desert, you might only see ripples in the sand sprouting strange succulents. These are probably the most impressive sand dunes in the Canary Islands, and anyone who has ever visited Gran Canaria knows that this is a bold statement!
If you are driving to and from the town of Corralejo, be sure to take the FV-104 highway, which runs along the edge of the national park. Take photos at pristine beaches like Playa del Morro or stroll along the rocky coastline of Praita del Polis.
If you want to explore more than the beaches and highways, follow the path to the top of Los Aparderos or Mount Loja Nature Reserve. This trail is rocky, so pack your hiking boots. You can also book a dune buggy tour to take you off-road and get your adrenaline pumping.
2. Check out Playa de Cofete, one of Europe’s best beaches
Of course, I plan on checking out some beaches during my trip to Fuerteventura. That’s probably one of the main reasons you go. There are around 80 designated beaches on the island, six of which are Blue Flag certified, so you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Playa de Cofete is one of the most remote and secluded beaches on Fuerteventura.
This beach is located on the southern tip of the island, with its sand dunes and rocky hills, on the edge of the Jandia Natural Park. It is difficult to reach this beach without a four-wheel drive vehicle, as the roads are stony. It’s not as difficult as you might think, as you can take regular 4×4 tours to the beach from Morro Habre.
A disclaimer before we proceed. This isn’t a beach where you can lounge in the sun, eat ice cream, and swim. So why visit at all?!
The main reason for this is that the dramatic beauty of this beach will take your breath away. It regularly appears in lists of the best beaches in Fuerteventura, and was voted 2nd place in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards as the best beach in Europe.
This Cofete guided hiking tour and picnic is amazing. Visit volcanoes and hike through stunning valleys.
3. Sail to Lobos Island from Corralejo Port
How about a full-day or half-day trip from Fuerteventura? If you’re staying in Corralejo, you can easily catch a boat from the Corralejo port to Lobos Island.
Although there are many private tour companies, it takes just 20 minutes to cross the Strait of Bocaina with Naviera Notre, the only public ferry company currently plying this route. Naviera Notre says that in the summer he departs five times a day, but in the off-season the frequency is reduced.
The island is mostly uninhabited, but there are a few scattered rural villas, such as those found in the Jandia Natural Park near Playa de Cofete. You can prepare your own food for the day, or dine at the island’s only restaurant in the old fishing village of El Puertoito.
Bring your snorkel and swim in the waters next to Playa de la Concha de Lobos to see exotic underwater marine life. Alternatively, you can climb La Caldera, the highest peak on the island, or walk to the Punta Martinho lighthouse.
It takes just 45 minutes to hike from the port to the lighthouse on the other side of the island. There’s plenty of time to do everything you want with Lobos!
4. Wander Through the Charming Village of Betancuria
Fuerteventura is dotted with gorgeous little villages, filled with sparkling white villas, lush palm trees, and narrow cobblestone streets. As you drive around the island, you are likely to come across several places without intending to!
Betancuria is one of those beautiful towns that you should definitely take some time to explore if you’re passing by. It is conveniently located near the center of the island in Betancuria Rural Park. Check out the main square, enter the Church of Santa Maria de Betancuria, and sample cheeses from local cheesemakers.
Yes, there are many “cheese houses” in Betancuria that produce maggiorero-style cheese made from goats from the Canary Islands. Finca Pepe is a farm just outside the village where they raise goats and offer some of the freshest cheese you’ll ever taste.
Betancuria also has an aloe vera cosmetics store that sells beauty products made from plants that grow on the island. The perfect local souvenir to pack in your suitcase and take home!
5. Stay at the Avanti Lifestyle Boutique Hotel
Avanti Lifestyle Boutique Hotel is a luxury hotel in the most spectacular location.
When it opened in 1969, it was Corralejo’s first hotel. Today, it is a unique 4-star hotel overlooking Playa Corralejo and the coastline. Avanti’s blue and white décor flows from exterior to interior, creating a modern and sophisticated look. But low beams and beaded curtains make the suite feel homey and cozy.
Restaurante Corralejo is the on-site dining room, and the menu is full of fresh fish and fruity cocktails. You can also book rooms with a hot tub on the terrace and direct access to the beach from the hotel. Adults Only (Children aged 16 and over are welcome) Perfect for your vacation to Fuerteventura.
6. Explore the markets and windmills of La Oliva
La Oliva is about the same size as Betancuria (less than 1,500 residents), and the two towns have many similarities. Both are quiet and charming, but La Oliva offers plenty of other activities to give you a taste of local life, making it worth the trip.
Visit the Tradisiones Market, an indoor produce market where local farmers sell fruits and vegetables. If you live in an apartment, this is a great opportunity to buy fresh ingredients and cook for yourself at a higher quality and lower price than the supermarket! However, you can also buy local cheese, wine, olive oil, aloe vera cosmetics, soap, and salt from the Salar de Salinas del Carmen.
After the market, head to Molinos de Villaverde. Los Molinos means “windmills” in Spanish (just put that fact in your “Things I never thought I’d be able to say in another language” box in your brain), and they’re everywhere on Fuerteventura. There is a mountain of windmills.
These windmills, especially those near La Oliva, appear to have been recently restored. Looks great on your Instagram feed!
7. Indulge in Fuerteventura’s best seafood restaurants
It would be a waste to travel to an island where the fish is caught and served the same day and not eat any of it. The waters around Fuerteventura are rich in tuna, red snapper, and swordfish.
There are some great seafood restaurants on the island where you can sample a variety of fish dishes. Corralejo is the busiest resort area on the island, so you won’t be surprised to learn that most of the hotels are located there!
Domenoteca is a small, family-run fish and wine bar near the harbour, serving locally caught fish and locally produced wine. In fact, the restaurant’s menu changes depending on what the restaurant owner has caught that day. The decor is unpretentious and inviting, making you feel like you’re dining in someone’s home.
Other seafood restaurants to check out in Fuerteventura are La Playita, Bistrot del Mar, and Gregorio El Pescador. Most places offer mixed seafood dishes such as seafood platters and paella, which are perfect if you want to sample a variety of fish in one meal.
8. Stargaze at Fuerteventura Observatory in Tefía
With miles of sand dunes and open nature reserves without skyscrapers, cities or street lights, Fuerteventura gets pretty dark at night. This means the island has perfect conditions for stargazing.
This is definitely one of the best things to do in Fuerteventura and is worth staying up all night to witness. But unless you’re visiting during winter or shoulder season, there’s no need to get out of bed. In the summer, the sky is not dark enough, so on the nights near the winter solstice, a sky full of stars emerges.
If you’d like to learn more about what you’re seeing from a local astrologer, book an official tour at the Fuerteventura Observatory in Tefia. However, you can also DIY by sitting on the terrace after work or driving to a quiet place. There are many apps that will tell you which stars or constellations you’re looking at when you look up.
9. Hike around the Calderón Hondo Volcano Crater
I’ve mentioned hiking in Lobos Island and Corralejo National Park several times. And in fact, it’s worth pointing out that hiking is the most popular activity on Fuerteventura that doesn’t involve sand or sea. There are many trails through the nature reserve, but one of the most exciting hikes is to the crater of Calderon Hondo Volcano.
a 278 m high volcano with an observation deck located about 25 minutes from Corralejo. He has two trails from the parking lot to the crater and you can see which is the most popular. It takes about 90 minutes round trip, but you’ll see a completely different side of Fuerteventura.
Many people have commented that the island has a “Martian-like” landscape, but it’s hard to understand its charm just by looking at the coastline. Once you see this huge crater in the middle of nowhere, you will definitely agree that Fuerteventura is one of the closest places on Earth to Mars!
10. Book a watersports adventure
Your Fuerteventura itinerary should make room for you to try water sports. Fuerteventura is very windy all year round, making it the perfect place to try windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing!
There are many surfing schools offering lessons. There are also surfing lessons that can be booked online here.
If you want to try something different, there are also jet-powered surfing lessons that look fun. It’s perfect if you don’t have the fitness level for surfing yet but want to give it a try.
You can also try scuba diving and snorkeling, and there are plenty of places to rent equipment and take tours.
It’s difficult to say for sure which is the best beach on Fuerteventura, as there are so many beaches that are great for different reasons. Playa del Matoral in Morro Jable is a great beach for sun loungers and surfers alike (note that there is a naturist section on the beach!).
Grandes Playas Corralejo is a collection of three vast, fine-sand beaches, so you’re sure to find a place to relax. Playas de Costa Calma is a spacious beach with clear, deep blue water, perfect for water sports.
11. Join an Azulfit yoga or pilates retreat
I first fell in love with Fuerteventura during a yoga and Pilates retreat with Azulfit. Their retreat is amazing and Surya’s location is beautiful. We also offer cycling holidays and yoga retreats that include surfing lessons, so be sure to check them out.
Read more: 2nd Azulfit Yoga and Pilates Retreat Review