Places Of Interest In Fuerteventura

There is nowhere else in the Canaries with as many large sand dunes and long sandy beaches as here in Fuerteventura. Even though most of the land consists of stone and volcanic rock, these are some of the most impressive beaches in the whole of Europe.

The island’s main resort is located on the north tip of the island, Corralejo, and offers a great choice of shopping, restaurants, bars , beaches and, of course, villas. The culture in Fuerteventura is essentially Spanish, from which many of its traditions and influences have arisen. Fuerteventura has many fiestas and celebrations taking place in the towns and villages on the island throughout the year.

Betancuria Fuerteventura's former capital Betancuria is a chamring small town in a picturesque valley next to a dried up stream which flowed up until the 16th century. Founded in 1405 by the Norman conqueror Jean de Bethencourt (hence the name), Betancuria's location was to protect the capital from pirate attacks. In 1593 the pirate Jaban penetrated the village and destroyed everything, including the Santa Maria church which was not rebuilt until 1691.

Betancuria was capital until 1834 when the local people started moving away from the town due to lack of arable land and the capital moved to La Oliva (who then handed over to Puerto de Cabras known today as Puerto Del Rosario).

The Centro Insular de Artesania, next to the museum, showcases traditional arts and crafts. Make a visit to the Casa Santa Maria where you can watch local artists at work and even purchase some of the hand made products from the quaint local shop.

Lobos Island The small island of Lobos is around 1 mile north of Fuerteventura and can be reached by boat from the port. The island is an uninhabited nature reserve, but does have a fantastic beach with shallow crystal clear water, perfect for bathing and snorkelling, with plenty of underwater life to be seen! There is also a small restaurant and a lighthouse.

Antigua Village Built in the 18th century, Antigua is one of the oldest villages on the island. The picturesque church of Cruz de los Caldos, that dominates the town, was built in 1785 and stands amongst well kept trees and shrubbery. The church is usually open to the general public in the mornings and sometimes during the afternoons. Next to the church is the beautiful village square which is filled with flowers all year round. There is also a small museum .

Antigua also has a fully restored windmill which is now a cultural centre and a popular tourist attraction. Inside is a craft shop selling local handicraft and art.

Cofete Cofete sits in one of the most isolated corners of Fuerteventura. Access to this area is only via one of the small dirt tracks but it's still well worth the effort just for the views. The beach is amazing, but a 4x4 car is highly advisable. But do remember to take some supplies and water with you!

Costa Calma Costa Calma (the Calm Coast) lies about 50 miles South of the airport on the edge of the national park area of Jandia and is famed for its incredible white beaches. .

The resort has plenty of bars and restaurants and is very popular with German-speaking visitors. The highlight of Costa Calma has to be the long sandy beach of Playa Barca to the South West. It is always easy to find a quiet, sheltered spot here even during peak season. Windsurfers are particularly fond of this beach because of the strong off shore winds during the summer months.

El Cotillo El Cotillo is a small rustic little fishing village situated on the northwest corner of Fuerteventura. This is truly the surfing and windsurfing Mecca of the island with many experienced surfers head to the beaches of El Cotillo and those between El Cotillo and Corralejo because of these conditions.

On the cliffs near to the town center, south of the harbor and overlooking the sea, is the Fortaleza del Tostón. This round shaped fort was built in the late 1790's to defend against invading pirates. The old harbour, with its small bars and restaurants, is the most picturesque part of town and it is here you'll find most of the bars and restaurants.

La Oliva The village of La Oliva was the political centre of Fuerteventura from the early 17th to mid-19th century, and you can still see some of the buildings standing today. La Oliva is now home to the local district town hall (Ayuntamiento) and home to around 10,000 people.

Directly in the centre of town is a beautiful church (Parroquiade Nuestra Seiiora de Candelaria) with a square bell tower visible for miles around, and a finely-carved wooden door. Located just between the church and the Casa de los Coroneles, is the 'Casa Mane' art centre (Centro de Arte Canario Casa Mane). Here you can visit the exhibition halls that house work from well know Canarian artists including Alberto Manrique.

Puerto Del Rosario The capital of Fuerteventura since 1860 Puerto Del Rosario is just 6 km from the airport and has a population of around 18,000. Once called Puerto de Cabras (goat harbour), the centre of 'Puerto' is dedicated to the patron saint 'Virgin del Rosario' and it wasn't until 1956 that the town was given the more pleasant name of Puerto Del Rosario.

The harbour area is the oldest part of town and it is from here you can find all of the small alleys lined with old Canarian style houses. The home of the former exile poet Miguel de Unamuno which is now a museum and worth visiting. There is also a culture centre (Casa de la Cultura) where exhibitions, plays and concerts are held.

Puerto has improved very much over recent years. Spreading inland are more and more excellent shops. Drop by the Las Rotondas Shopping centre where a variety of shops await you.

Tindaya The village and protected zone of Tindaya sits at the foot of the 401 metre mountain of the same name.

On a clear day it's possible to see Mount Teide the highest mountain / volcano on Tenerife from the top of Tindaya. Old inhabitants used to see Mount Teide as the residence of the devil and all the carvings face in that direction.

The rock of the mountain (traquita) is very hard and defies erosion and when smoothed down and treated makes an attractive fascia. The stone can be seen today decorating the walls of Fuerte Tindaya. This was once regarded as a very religious place and the mountain was considered sacred. This can still be seen today in more than 100 carvings of 'feet' (podomorphs) in the smooth rock. These strange carvings which sit at the very top of the mountain were only recently discovered in 1978.

Lava Cave Located in La Oliva, the cave is a million years old. This visitor centre, with almost 400 metres of accessible cave, is unique within the Canaries. The cave was constructed from a volcanic pipe and has an abundance of animal fossils trapped in its sediments. These remains mean that the site is one of paleontological interest. The cave is a typical lava pipe that has functioned for thousands of years as the drain of a small water catchment. Throughout its history man has put the cave to different uses. These include a corral for camels, a poultry coup and an arsenal.

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