Visiting Fuerteventura - What to See and Do
(Fuerteventura Airport FUE, Spain)
is one of the Canary Islands' most important getaway destinations. Some 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, coupled with a fascinating multitude of landscapes, have led to the island's continuous rise up the world-tourism ranks. Prior to 1965, the island was relatively quiet on the international front. However, following the construction of the first airport and hotel, tourism began to mould the island into the sightseeing-rich destination we see today.
The natural surroundings of the island host a range of tremendous activities. Snorkelling in the Lakes Region near El Cotillo, scuba diving in the phenomenal offshore ecosystems, sailing around the azure harbours and coast, and lazing upon the golden sand of Fuerteventura's many beaches are a few of the activities on the tourism menu of this Canary Island.
There are several attractions worth visiting across the island. The Sculpture Park is adored by thousands of art-enthusiasts annually, and Lobos offers a secluded getaway a short distance from the Fuerteventura coastline. Don't forget to visit El Cotillo during the island's Fuertemusica Festival, or the city of Puerto del Rosario during the colourful sights of the Carnival (Carnaval) celebrations.
Ten things you must do in Fuerteventura
- The Sculpture Park in Puerto del Rosario is an open-air attraction that boasts more than 100 different sculptures, which were established during the annual Symposium of Sculpture Festival. If tourists are in Fuerteventura during the festival, then visit the sculptors at work along the streets and in local parks.
- Windsurfing is a popular pastime on the island. There are plenty of fantastic beaches and bays where you can enjoy this activity. Corralejo and Playas de Sotavento are the best spots around the island for windsurfing adventures. It helps to learn how to windsurf prior to arriving on the island, as the conditions can be quite challenging for novice windsurfers.
- Snorkelling is another famous activity offered off the shoreline of Fuerteventura. 'The Lakes' region, which is a local name given to the calmer northern waters of Fuerteventura, provides ideal spots for spectacular snorkeling opportunities. This region is found just a short distance to the north of El Cotillo. Of course, snorkelling is easy to organise and can either be a full-day or half-day activity.
- The island is home to a plethora of surf breaks, which attract a huge number of surfers all year round. The northern and western coastlines are the best spots to find clean and non-crowded breaks. Sometimes the water can get somewhat dangerous, so beginner surfers should stick to the smaller breaks around the major towns and cities like Puerto del Rosario.
- Visitors looking to escape the bustling sights and sounds of the island can take a boat ride to the neighbouring island of Lobos, which is just off the coast of Fuerteventura. The island is uninhabited, so tourists can literally be surrounded by nothing but sand, interesting birds and crystal clear water. Most boat trips to Lobos leave from Corralejo harbour - it takes less than 20 minutes to make this trip.
- The Sand Dune National Park is located just to the south of Corralejo, where it provides an interesting landscape for tourists. Dune-buggying is a doable attraction in the park, or alternatively, tourists can simply walk the dunes and get a feel of a true desert environment. The best part about visiting this harsh landscape is that the dunes sit right on the beach, so visitors can quickly take a dip if it gets too hot and uncomfortable for them.
- Sailing around this magnificent island is possible for tourists of all ages. The Tour of Fuerteventura provides a once-a-year competition that is set in stages, with kayaking being the best option for tourists. As the activity may be strenuous, outdoor-enthusiasts will certainly be up for the challenge. Of course, from Puerto del Rosario's marina, catamaran and yacht rental are available.
- For the best views of the island, tourists should join a four-wheel drive tour and explore the peaks of Cardon, which stands some 619 metres / 2,031 feet above sea level. Even though the landscape is quite baron, the scenic lookout point is still worthy of an hour or two.
- Visitors who holiday on Fuerteventura during the months of February and March will most likely come across festivities for the Carnival (Carnaval) festival. This is the largest event on the island's calendar and includes a plethora of parades, performances and parties across the island. The gala held for the King of the Carnival is an electric festivity that shouldn't be missed.
- Held in El Cotillo each June, the popular music festival, known simply as Fuertemusica, is a raging event that brings in the best local and international musical talent. It started in 2004 and has since grown to become the leading music festival in the Canary Islands. Tickets can be purchased online, as well as in Puerto del Rosario and El Cotillo.