Guide to Fuerteventura
Geography and geology
Fuerteventura is the oldest island of the Canary Islands Archipelago - a group of volcanic islands located close to the coast of north Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. Fuerteventura is an elongated island, being 100 km long and 30 km wide, and has an area of 1655 km². Fuerteventura is the closest Canary Island to the African coast and the second biggest of the islands, after Tenerife. Formed about 30 million years ago, as a result of volcanic activity, Fuerteventura is the oldest island of the Canary Archipelago and since then has been eroded by wind and weather. The actual smoothness of the Fuerteventura topography contrasts with the youthful islands of La Palma and El Hierro.
Even though most of its surface consists of stone and rock, Fuertentura is not just a volcanic island and also has a variety of sand dunes and desert areas, most of which are unspoilt natural reserves. But after all, Fuerteventura is certainly most famous for having some of the most beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.
The tourist development of Fuerteventura island is relatively recent. Although the first tourist hotel was built in 1965, followed by the opening of the Fuerteventura Airport, it was during the 1990s that the tourism activity picked up until became the biggest earner for the island. Fuerteventura has now some very good hotels and holidays apartments resorts with modern tourism facilities. The main tourist areas are located around Corralejo in the north, Caleta de Fuste in the center and Morro Jable in the south.
With more than 150 white sandy beaches bordered by shallow turquoise waters, three hundred days of sunshine a year and a pleasant climate throughout the year, Fuerteventura Island is definitely a destination for sun, beach and sports lovers. Along the more sheltered part of the Fuerteventura east coast it is possible to find family-oriented beaches where the water is usually calm and shallow, while the bigger swells received by the west coast and the north shore of the island make this areas a surfers' paradise.
Fuerteventura is also an attractive tourist destinations for visitors interested in culture, nature and sustainability : the island offers several museums and exhibition spaces, an open-air sculpture park in its capital Puerto del Rosario, many concerts and festivals and a large part of Fuerteventura's territory consist in preserved natural areas.
Due to its good weather conditions and its large natural areas, Fuerteventura is an ideal place for all kinds of sports enthusiasts all year round. The regular Trade Winds and large swells of the Atlantic provide a paradise for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. The clear blue waters surrounding the island is home to a huge variety of aquatic life forms, that will delight scuba divers and big-game fishermen. Walking or biking along pathways between plains, mountains and volcanic cones is also the ideal way to discover the beauty of the outstanding Fuerteventura landscape.
Fuerteventura was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO on 26-05-2009 and significant parts of the island was declared Protected Nature Areas, dedicated to conserving the local wildlife : el Parque Natural de las Dunas de Corralejo y la isla de Lobos, el Parque Natural de Jandía y el Salar de Morro Jable, the sacred mountain of Tindaya,...
Often called the island of eternal spring, Fuerteventura enjoys pleasant climatic conditions all year round, with average monthly temperatures from 18°C in January to 26°C in August and more than 3000 hours of sunshine per year. Due to its flat topography, Fuerteventura receive very few rainfall, usually between October and March, and is a semi-desert island with poor vegetation. The constant wind blow predominantly from the North East , due to the position of Fuerteventura in the region of the Trade Winds.
The basic ingredients of the Fuerteventura gastronomy are fresh fish and sea food, goat's meat and cheese, the roasted cereal flour known as gofiò, potatoes and other agricultural products of the island. accompanied by the typical Canarian sauce: "mojo".