Are you looking for a winter sunshine holiday destination in the Canaries that’s easy on the pocket and not too commercialised? Welcome to Fuerteventura. You can use the following list of the 25 best things to do in Fuerteventura, to help you plan what you want to do and see away from your sunbed.
The second-largest island in the Canary Islands archipelago, Fuerteventura lies around 60-miles off the coast of Morocco, and has some of the longest golden sand beaches of all the islands.
With over 300-days of sunshine a year, it is a favourite island destination with couples, singles and families seeking some winter solace.
It is also particularly popular with surfers, windsurfers and kite-surfers, who enjoy the big Atlantic breakers rolling onto the north and west coast beaches.
For those who prefer time away from the coast, the quieter, volcanic island interior is a photographer’s paradise. Being just 60-miles in length, wherever you want to visit on the island is easily reachable with a hire car.
So read on for 25 of the best things to see and do in Fuerteventura.
25 Best things to do in Fuerteventura
1. Corralejo Natural Park and Sand Dunes, top of everyone’s things to see in Fuerteventura
Close to the town of the same name, with over six miles of gorgeous yellow sand, this wild barren coastal area is one of the island’s favourite things to see in Fuerteventura.
With a warm turquoise sea lapping the sandy shoreline and high mountains in the distance across the sound, the scenery is breath-taking.
Walking a couple of hundred metres inland will take you into the protected Corralejo Sand Dunes, a vital island conservation area for various bird species.
If you have chosen to stay in Corralejo, you have easy access to the dunes and beaches either by hire car, public transport (number 06 bus runs every 30-minutes), or organised coach trips.
Travelling from outside the area by car, the FV-1a highway heads north and passes through the park with dunes on your left and coast on your right. With plenty of parking, you can spend a day stopping at the numerous beaches and exploring different areas of the dunes.
Be sure to take everything you need, including plenty of cool drinks and snacks. Trainers rather than flip-flops are a good idea, as the sand gets very hot in the heat of the day.
You can also book tours and excursions to Corralejo Natural Park and Sand Dunes, or if you want to do things a little differently, consider a dune buggy tour, which can be booked online or through your hotel.
2. The best places to surf, windsurf and kite-surf on Fuerteventura
Staying in the north of the island, there are a whole host of activities to do in Fuerteventura if you like the sea and the surf.
Surfing is big business on the island, with a large selection of surf schools and beaches to suit everyone from the raw beginner to the semi-pro.
Check out some of these favourite surfing beaches to see in Fuerteventura. Even if you’re not into surfing, put them on your list of things to do in Fuerteventura and check them out anyway.
- Los Lobos Beach: Not one for the beginners. Los Lobos has one of the most magnificent settings on all the islands. A volcano with sharp, shallow coral, it provides an exhilarating ride for the experienced surfer of over 500-metres on a good day.
Access is via ferry, which will drop you off in the morning and pick you up late afternoon.
- Hierro Beach: Sitting in the north of the island, with a left-hand break, it offers head-high waves with deep water below, making it less hazardous than some of the close-by reefs.
Due to its long line-up, it never appears that crowded. Another one not really suitable for the holiday surfer.
- Flag Beach: Just east of north, on the edge of Corralejo town, Flag beach is a popular surfing area for new and intermediate surfers, and used by the local surf schools to teach newbies the basics of surfing.
With miles of golden sand, it is also popular with visitors who just want sun, sand, sea and relaxation.
- The Bubble Beach: Providing some of the best surf in Fuerteventura, this is definitely one for the experienced surfer. However, novices can learn a lot by sitting on the beach for a couple of hours and studying the wipe-outs.
Offering a right-hand break over a sharp, shallow reef, surfers have to be fully focused if they are not to get damaged on the rocks.
- El Cotillo Beach: Popular with surfers at all levels, El Cotillo lies on the west coast, close to the town of the same name. With surf suitable for beginners upwards and with its ruggedly beautiful scenery, you can hone your surfing skills, or just grab some rays as you watch how the pros do it.
3. Fuerteventura International Kite Festival
Started in 1987 by a group of passionate local kite flyers, Fuerteventura International Kite Festival has grown in stature, and today attracts amateur and professional kite flyers from a host of European countries.
Held between 11th and 14th November at Playa del Burro inside the Corralejo Sand Dunes Park, it is an event well worth taking some time away from the beach for.
The festival includes kite-making workshops and music from live bands, ensuring the whole family can have the best day out enjoying this colourful spectacle of some of the largest (and strangest) kites you’re ever likely to see.
Read also: Where to stay in Fuerteventura
4. Oasis Park Fuerteventura
Located just outside La Lajita, at Carretera General Jandia, 35627, Oasis Park is the largest animal sanctuary in the Canaries.
Not only can you enjoy a colourful selection of parrots, raptures, small mammals, reptiles, animal shows and exhibitions, but also camel rides; and browse a lively on-site market where you can seek out those one-off souvenirs.
If you’re a collector of succulents, next to the park is Jardin Botanico, full of aloe vera and spiky cacti, where you can learn about the island’s ecosystem.
Tickets include entrance to the park and botanical gardens, and four animal shows during your stay. You can buy your ticket online here.
5. Visit Betancuria, the island’s first capital
If culture and history are your interests, the village of Betancuria was founded way back in 1404, and is the one-time capital and oldest settlement on Fuerteventura.
Even your journey up there is an experience not to be missed, with some of the best views of the island’s west coast, as you climb 600 metres above sea level to Mirador Morro Velosa.
A village little changed by time. Betancuria still retains its quaint, whitewashed terraced cottages, clay-tiled roofs, and cobbled streets, with pots, tubs and baskets of colourful blooms scattered liberally outside doorways, stairways and on balconies.
On your explorations around town, you will find Santa Maria Church with its pretty whitewashed bell tower and the ruins of a 13th-century convent.
There is also the archaeological museum, which charts the history of the settlement pre-colonial times.
If you feel the need for a little light refreshment, grab a pavement table at one of the numerous café/bars, order some tapas, and let the warm sunshine transport you back in time to the days of the Norman conquerors.
6. The Isla de Lobos, total relaxation or active sports away from the holiday crowds
Virtually uninhabited since the 1960s, save for a few fishermen’s huts, Isla de Lobos offers the peace and tranquillity so often missing from many destinations on this popular group of islands.
If your perfect is pristine golden sand beaches, exploring in-land, surfing or scuba diving in clear emerald waters, put a day aside for a visit when you’re making your list of things to do in Fuerteventura.
A designated nature reserve, the only signs of human habitation you will find are an old lighthouse, a few fishermen shacks, and one remaining road.
You can navigate the island by foot in around four hours, but one of the most popular hikes is past the few remaining salt pans up to Caldera Mountain.
If sun, sand and sea are your thing, head for Playa de la Concha for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling.
7. Cofete Beach, do a little trail-blazing of your own
If you’re staying in the southeast of the island at the busy resort town of Morro Jable (and even if you’re not), consider a day at Cofete Beach.
Although the approach can be a little fraught at times, with plenty of potholes, humps, bumps and blind bends on a poorly maintained mountain road, what awaits is well worth the time and effort.
Gloriously deserted (pretty much), the stunning views as you approach Frail y Pico de la Zarza are what memories are made of.
Continuing the drive towards Cofete Beach, look for another viewpoint with more magnificent views before you hit Cofete and the beginning of over seven miles of golden sand, fabulous scenery, and a backdrop of the island’s highest mountain, Pico de la Zarza.
As you stroll the beach, you will come across an old whitewashed building sitting on the shoreline. Known as the Villa Winter, legend has it that it was used during WW2 by the Nazis planning how to refuel and supply their Atlantic submarines.
Another myth maintains that, at the end of the war, it became a stop-over for Nazis who had received plastic surgery and needed time for the scars to heal, before heading to South America.
8. Hiking the Pico de la Zarza will take you up in the world
If hiking and trekking is your thing, and you want a little more than just a view of Fuerteventura’s highest mountain, pack your hiking boots, sunhats, sunblock, drinks and snacks.
Starting at Morro Jable, using the well-worn trails out of town, the climb to 807-metres above sea level will take around three hours for the average hiker.
Although the hike is not particularly arduous, suitable footwear is recommended (not sandals or flip-flops), as are high SPV sunblock and sun hats, to protect against the sun’s strong rays.
As you get closer to the summit, the air becomes more humid, and you will see flora and fauna not found in lower areas of the island. Organised tours are available.
9. Enjoy some together time at Piscinas Naturales Aguas Verdes
While the north and east coasts of Fuerteventura provide miles of immaculate beaches, the west side coastline is more rugged, with a charm all its own that really shouldn’t be missed from your list of things to see in Fuerteventura.
Considered one of the best things to see and do in Fuerteventura, Piscinas Naturales Aguas Verdes in Betancuria, is a six-kilometre stretch of coast, where volcanic action has formed natural rock formations providing individual pools for the whole family to enjoy.
The pools are flooded with fresh water at high tide and warmed by the strong African sunlight as the tide retreats. Couples can find their own away-from-it-all pool for a little together time, while parents can relax with their little ones in one of the larger pools.
For those with hire cars, the main road takes you close to the pools, before you use the short dirt track, which leads down to the front.
10. Climb to the summit of Mount Cardon, great hiking to do in Fuerteventura
Another one for the explorers amongst us. In the southern central area of Fuerteventura, south of Pajara City lies the small village of El Cardon, and the start of the trail to climb Mount Cardon.
Although not particularly high at 665 metres, the mountain was designated a Protected Area in 1987.
What makes this area such an attraction is the arid, dusty soil, red-hued boulders and vegetation that resembles the tumbleweed and cacti more likely to be seen in an American Desert.
Climbing (or descending) from the eastern slopes will bring you to the “Chapel of Tanquito”, the finishing point of a procession up the mountain held every year from the village of El Cardon.
Not an especially strenuous climb, but a hard one with its steeply sloping paths, the views across the south of the island and Cofete from the summit are superb. Wear good hiking boots, and carry a backpack with the essentials.
11. Visit La Oliva with its food and craft markets
Located in the north of Fuerteventura and close to the larger resorts of El Cotillo, Corralejo, and the National Park, La Oliva’s history dates back to 1500, when it was founded by two brothers.
The name is believed to have originated from the large numbers of wild olive trees that grew in the area.
Although La Oliva attracts visitors in its own right, it is a popular excursion with tourists staying in the nearby busier resorts.
The island’s capital for just 24 years, from 1836 to 1860, it has always retained its historical roots and Spanish village type appeal. The old 17th-century Gothic style Colonel’s House and surrounding whitewashed buildings are a case in point.
After a light lunch at a terrace café, a stroll around the palm-fringed park provides stunning views of the near-by volcanoes.
Lovers of local markets are advised to visit on Tuesday or Friday when you can peruse the markets selling everything from fresh local produce to souvenirs and mementoes, to saffron and spicy mojo sauces to crafts and handmade jewellery.
12. Learn about the therapeutic value of Aloe Vera
While visiting La Oliva, you can book a visit to the local Aloe Vera Farm, although organised trips are available from many resort hotels or online.
If you prefer to use natural remedies for various ailments, you probably already know about the healing properties of Aloe Vera. All over the Canary Isles, you will see these succulents growing wild.
At La Oliva’s 90,000 square metres Aloe Vera farm, you can learn more about the cultivation of this plant and the many products it produces.
The farm also offers a little health and beauty pampering with full massages and reflexology therapy using aloe vera as the base product. Samples are available for purchase in the farm shop.
The farm is also surrounded by other places of interest, such as the Cueva de las Burras, the Cueva de Los Picos, and the Cueva del Diablo.
13. Visit the superb white sand beaches of Morro Jable & Jandia
Located on the far south coast of Fuerteventura, Morro Jable is just over 50 miles (80kms) from the airport, and popular as a base resort with many mainland European visitors.
It is also a favourite with day-trippers who want a change of scenery, and arrive to enjoy the fabulous white and golden sand beaches, water sports and close-by nature reserve.
The beaches are also popular with visiting naturists, so don’t be surprised if you come across a few au-natural sunbathers.
With the opening of its first hotel in 1968, Morro Jable began to morph from a sleepy Canarian fishing village to a holiday resort.
Although much quieter than many larger resorts, with few late-night bars and little in the way of international restaurants, it is a popular staying place with older visitors.
The grassy avenue behind the beach takes you into Jandia, and the edge of the nature reserve, with well-worn trails into the park.
From the harbour at Morro Jable, you can catch a ferry to Gran Canaria, or book whale and dolphin watching trips and other waterborne excursions.
From here, if you’re feeling energetic, you can also pick up the track which will take you to Cofete Beach, without having to negotiate the old road.
14. Visit Antigua, home of the windmills
Driving (or being driven) from the airport to your resort hotel, or maybe when you’re out in your hire car, you’ll have seen the numerous windmills scattered around the coast and countryside, and wondered what they were all about.
Located in the centre of the island, the small, typically Canarian town of Antigua, with its Windmill Museum, will answer all your questions about which grains were milled and how.
You can also visit the nearby bell tower and the impressive old building next to it. Here you can browse (and purchase) the different artisan products and carvings on display in the craft centre, before strolling through the cactus garden.
15. La Alcogida Eco-Museum, a step back in time to the 19th century
If you want to see what life on the island was like 200 plus years ago, add a visit to La Alcogida Eco-Museum to the top of your list of things to do in Fuerteventura.
Located in the middle of north Fuerteventura and close to the village of Tefía, La Alcogida is a village of seven properties.
Restored in the manner of an 18th-century village using materials and tools of the time, this eco-museum contains craft workshops, exhibitions, and the type of livestock that were available in the 1800s.
It depicts the lifestyles of both the peasants and the wealthy. Activities shown include goldsmiths, baking, weaving, stone carving and flour making. While majorero camels, donkeys and goats make up the livestock.
Craftsmen and women can be seen working at their various tasks in the buildings, and are happy to answer any questions from visitors. The village also contains a small bar for refreshments and a gift shop, an excellent day out for the whole family.
16. Visit Sotavento beach, rated one of the best beaches in Europe
If you believe a beach is a beach, you’ve never spent time at Sotavento.
Situated south of Costa Calma, Sotavento stretches for 11-kilometres (5.5 miles) around the southeast coast, and comprises the five smaller beaches of La Barca, Risco del Paso, Mirador, Malnombre and Los Canarios.
A popular excursion with beach-loving families, couples, surfers and nature lovers, it is an exceptional area of natural beauty.
Desert landscapes behind the beach, and the high volcanic mountains in the distance, makes it a favourite location with landscape photographers.
As the tide retreats, large lagoons are formed, providing safe splash pools for the kids, and ideal conditions to learn the basics of windsurfing in the larger lagoons.
If you visit at the end of July through to the middle of August, you can see some of the world’s best windsurfers at the Kitesurfing and Windsurfing World Championships.
The almost continuous on-shore breeze that makes it so popular with wind-surfers can be somewhat off-putting for those wanting to spread their towels on the sand. However, you can find some respite behind many of the dunes if topping up the tan is a priority.
The dunes area is also popular with naturists, so don’t be surprised if one pops up in front of you.
If touring by car, picking up the FV-2 main road will skirt the beach area with its many stopping points, where a short walk down one of the tracks will lead you right onto the beach.
17. Visit the centuries-old Ajuy Caves, one of the oldest cave formations in the Canaries
Located on the beach, at the village of Ajuy on Fuerteventura’s west coast, and 5 miles from the town of Pajara, the caves are included in the world’s 150 most important primary sites of geological interest.
Covering an area of almost 80 acres, you can explore deep into the caves and go back millions of years to the initial volcanic eruptions that formed both Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
The village is easily reached by road, and the walk to the caves is around 500 metres. The pathway is mainly rock and pebbles, so be sure to wear closed shoes.
The cave tour will take around an hour, so you can also spend some time on the beach, or explore the village streets before enjoying some tapas and a drink at one of the small café-bars in the village centre.
Organised trips are available to visit the caves and other places of interest around the area.
18. Visit Puerto del Rosario, capital of Fuerteventura
Established as the capital of Fuerteventura in 1860, Puerto del Rosario is still very much a working city and the main shipping port on the island with regular ferry services to Tenerife and Las Palmas. Fuerteventura’s airport is also close by, just 6km south near El Matorral.
Although not big on tourist attractions, the city has some interesting street art to see, and the Church of our Lady of the Rosary, the Unamuno House-Museum, and the Lime Kilns can be visited.
Combining your sightseeing with a more relaxed, less crowded day doing a little shopping or spending some time on the seafront makes a visit to Puerto del Rosario worth adding to your things to do in Fuerteventura list.
Also, a few years back, the city fathers commissioned 100 plus sculptures to be installed around the city, so, if you have the children with you, asking them to count how many they can find should keep them busy.
19. Visit Poblado de la Atalayita, home to the Mahos aborigines
Laying in the east of Fuerteventura, in the valley of Pozo Negro, is one of the island’s most significant archaeological sites, and a must-visit when deciding what to see and do in Fuerteventura.
The Mahos aborigines occupied the island pre-Norman times, and the settlement of La Atalayita dates back over six hundred years.
The colony is set in barren rocky surroundings, with volcanic hillsides in the background that are referred to locally as the Badlands.
The whole settlement covers 1200 square metres and comprises over 115 dwellings, most built below ground level. Even as you get close to the structures, they are not easy to see.
Being built dry stone style, using the local rock surrounding the area and standing just 1.5 metres high, they were well camouflaged against the prying eyes of Norman invaders. Most of the paths around the village are also below ground level.
If travelling by hire car, the village is not particularly well signed, and you should follow the FV-2 road and watch for the sign to Pozo Negro.
As you approach, look for ‘Poblado de La Atalayita’, which is signed on a wall. From there, you can follow the track down into the settlement.
Facilities are sparse, but there is a large car park, visitor centre, and covered tables and benches to enjoy your packed lunch.
20. Visit the Majorero Cheese Museum in Antigua
You won’t come across many museums in Fuerteventura, but this one will make an outing enjoyed by the whole family.
The museum is situated just south of the town of Antigua, and on grounds shared by a large cactus garden and the Antigua flour mill, the oldest one on the island.
Majorero Cheese is produced solely in Fuerteventura from goat’s milk and exported around the globe. Like the UK’s Cheddar, only Majorero cheese made in Fuerteventura can carry the label.
Over 500 square metres in area, the museum is split into four segments around a central patio.
- Segment one: An introduction to the island and its flora and fauna
- Segment two: Meet the Majorera goats and their cheese
- Segment three: The history, culture and gastronomy of the cheese
- Segment four: The tasting room where you can sample the various flavours and the shop where you can purchase your choice of cheeses
After your tour of the museum, a stroll around the cactus garden and a visit to the mill will round off the perfect excursion of some of the best things to see in Fuerteventura.
21. Acua Water Park, one of the top things to do in Fuerteventura with kids
If you’re considering a half-day excursion to see the attractions in Corralejo, better have a re-think and make it a day.
Considered one of the best things to do in Fuerteventura with kids, Acua Water Park has more than 14 waterways, flumes and a wave pool, to ensure the little darlings never get bored.
In between riding the waves in the wave pool, they can ride the Rapid River or whoosh silently through the Dark Cave. The park also hosts several shows and a kids club throughout the day.
22. Climb Calderon Hondo Volcano, one of Fuerteventura’s geological wonders
If you fancy a little vigorous exercise, get the hiking boots back out and head for the small northern village of Lajares.
Dating back some 50,000 years, the Calderon Honda Volcano was one of those that formed the original shape of Fuerteventura.
Starting and ending in Lajares, the trail covers around three miles, rises some 500 feet, and takes about 90 minutes to complete for the average hiker.
Impressive views await you at the top of the crater, where you can look out across the north of Fuerteventura or the southern part of Lanzarote. All around, you can see the lava fields and cones created during the eruptions.
23. Visit Fuste Castle, and do a little shopping in Caleta de Fuste
Caleta de Fuste is just ten minutes from the island’s capital and five minutes from the airport, making it a preferred destination for many visitors.
The castle, full name the Tower of San Buenaventura, was constructed in the 18th century, to guard the bay from marauding French, English and Berber pirates who regularly plundered the coastal areas.
On two floors and of circular construction, the tower is small but well maintained, and well worth visiting, as are the many attractions in town such as the shopping malls and leisure facilities.
24. Visit Tindaya Mountain, the sacred mountain of the Mahos Aborigines
Laying close to La Oliva in Fuerteventura’s northeast, Tindaya Mountain is one of the island’s most treasured archaeological finds.
It is believed to have been of great religious or magical significance to the Mahos Aborigines, who occupied the island before the Normans arrived.
Around the base of this 400-metre high cone are 300 engravings of what appear to be feet.
Visitors will find a path on Tindaya’s southwest crest that allows them to get close to the rockwork and admire the many hues that time and the weather have brought to the mountain.
On the southern side of the base, you will find a small village with shops and a cafe where you can buy souvenirs and food and drink.
25. Los Molinos to Jarugo Beach, blow away the cobwebs on this beautiful coastal walk
If you prefer your hiking to be mainly on one level, this could be the walk for you.
Starting from Puertito de Los Molinos, on Fuerteventura’s west coast, the three-mile-long coastal path will take you along high sheer cliffs, that during the breeding season are chock full of nesting seabirds, and picture-postcard coves with waves lapping the base of the cliffs.
The end of the walk will bring you out on the picturesque Jarugo beach. Close to the town of Tindaya, at just 260 metres long and 60 metres wide, the beach nestles below tall, intimidating cliffs that provide a sense of the wildness to the surrounding area.
Fewer visitors use this area as the beach is unsuitable for swimming due to high swells and undertow. Nonetheless, with its golden sand, it is popular with sunbathers and naturists who arrive for that very reason of remoteness.
There are no snack-shacks or bars here, so be sure to wear a backpack with fluids, snacks and sunblock.
If your enthusiasm for a winter break in the Canaries is tempered with thoughts of large, noisy resorts, all night drinking and crowded beaches, look to Fuerteventura.
Consider a stay at one of the smaller resort towns mentioned in this blog, and start making your list of some of the things you want to see and do in Fuerteventura.