Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Fuerteventura is located about 100 km off the coast of Africa and occupies an area of 1660 sq km. It is the second largest Canary Island after Tenerife. It stretches over 100 kilometers in a northeast – southwest direction. The closest located islands are Isla de Lobos and Lanzarote. Isla de Lobos is the smallest island in the archipelago and is located just off the coast of Fuerteventura.
Climate. Fuerteventura enjoys a perfect climate that is often described as an eternal spring. The temperatures range between 20 – 22°C in January and 27 – 28°C in August.
The refreshing breeze makes summers very pleasant and protects this beautiful island from heat waves, typical for these latitudes.
The warm tropical sun smiles at tourists, lounging on the beach even amidst the winter season. Fuerteventura’s weather is suitable for swimming and sun bathing all year round, and cool, cloudy days are quite rare.
Precipitation is scarce in winter and almost absent during the warmer summer months. Winter is considered to be the busiest tourist season in Fuerteventura.
Nature. Fuerteventura is the oldest island in the archipelago. Like the other Canary Islands, it has its own personality and unique beauty. The interior of the island is occupied by low volcanic mountains.
The highest peak is Pico de Janida and rises to a height of 807 meters. Fuerteventura is the most deserted of all the Canary Islands.
Local landscapes are predominantly colored in brown and orange shades, and the white sand dunes that stretch south of Corralejo are impressive. The interior is almost completely devoid of vegetation.
The only plants which occasionally diversify the landscape are date palms, cacti, aloe and dry, thorny bushes. Fresh vegetation you can see only in some of the local settlements and resorts.
Date palms, various tropical flowers, exotic trees and shrubs are quite common in the towns of Fuerteventura. Coconut palms have been brought and bred by humans, but have found here a favorable environment for development, bringing strong tropical feeling.
Impressive volcanic craters, talking about the past of the island, can often be seen amid the bare and barren landscapes.
The most common representatives of local fauna are the different types of lizards, which are perfectly adapted to survive under the strong sun with insignificant amounts of water for a long period of time.
The nature of Fuerteventura is extremely well preserved, and the air here is among the purest in the world. Much of the territory of the island is a nature reserve and under the auspices of UNESCO.
Coast. Although much of the coast is rocky, Fuerteventura undoubtedly has the most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands.
Fine golden sand and azure waters meet the lovers of sunbathing and water sports all year round. The most beautiful beaches of Fuerteventura are located in Costa Calma and Corralejo on the east coast and El Cotillo on the west coast.
Although traditionally the west coast waves are huge, El Cotillo is an exception. Here a few lines of volcanic rocks act as a natural barrier to the tempestuous Atlantic, creating crystal clear lagoon with calm and sheltered waters.
With its clarity and transparency, Fuerteventura’s coastal waters are a paradise for divers. Here you can see hundreds of species of tropical fish and other sea creatures, dolphins and colorful coral.
Besides being an attractive destination for divers and lovers of snorkeling, Fuerteventura is also considered a paradise for lovers of windsurfing. The constant north and northeast wind creates excellent conditions for practising this sport.
Seawater near Fuerteventura never gets neither too hot, nor too cold. It is usually between 17 and 20°C in January, and about 24 – 25°C in August and September.
Population. Fuerteventura’s population is around 105,000 inhabitants. Because of the wonderful climate, stunning coastline and picturesque towns, this Canary Island literally doubled its population since the late 90s of the 20th century.
Thousands of foreign families settled here permanently during the last few years. British, Germans, Irish, Russians and citizens of other Nordic countries buy or rent properties on the coast of Fuerteventura.
This makes the island a modern multilingual and multicultural society. Today Spanish, German and English are the most widely spoken languages here.
The population of Fuerteventura consists almost entirely of Christians, especially Roman Catholics. Larger cities are Puerto Del Rosario (the capital of Fuerteventura), Corralejo, Costa Calma and El Cotillo. Most of the islanders live along the eastern coast.
Economics. As Fuerteventura is Spanish island, the official currency is the euro. Tourism is the largest and most important industry.
Foreign visitors practice mainly marine tourism, combined with a huge variety of water sports. Fuerteventura is also a favourite tourist destination for golfers.
Agriculture is the second most important sector. Leading is the growing of cereals and various fruits and vegetables. Most popular local products are tomatoes, potatoes, olives, garlic, peppers, dates, bananas and citrus.
In Fuerteventura are growing special varieties resistant vines to withstand the local tropical climate. They are the base of the producing of high-quality wines that are worth trying. Livestock has a smaller share.
Goats are most popular. They are grown primarily for their milk. It is used for the production of delicious local cheese. As the waters around Fuerteventura are extremely rich in fish, fishing is important for local economy and significant part of the menu of many islanders.
In recent years, an important source of revenue for local economy is the real estate market that is developing very fast.
When to visit Fuerteventura? The weather in Fuerteventura is ideal for tourism all year round. However, fall is considered the best season to visit the Canary Islands.
December is a very good choice for a vacation here. With nice temperatures between 22 and 24°C, December offers excellent opportunities for Christmas beach holiday.
What clothes should I wear? Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for Fuerteventura throughout the year.
During the winter months would be very good if you have near at hand a light jacket or anorak, because at night and during the few cloudy days the weather can get colder.
Bring with yourself sunscreen preparations and be careful when going out in sun, because on the background of the pleasant sea breeze your skin can burn unnoticeable.
How to get there? Fuerteventura‘s airport is located one kilometer from the island’s capital Puerto Del Rosario. The airport serves both domestic and international flights.
The most popular international destination is Germany, followed by countries like Britain, Ireland, Italy and others. There are regular ferryboat links between Fuerteventura and the islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.