For a long time Fuerteventura has been the quieter little island gem of the Canary Islands. It also boasts being an important conservation area for many rare species which includes the loggerhead turtle. However, for the past decade or so, developers have taken a foothold on the island and elevated it to more than just the poor relation in the Canaries; it has become a firm favorite holiday destination.
Fuerteventura is an island where you can expect guaranteed sunshine together with vast expanses of golden sands and inviting turquoise seas. Today, there are many resorts on Fuerteventura, but the best way to get to know the real beauty of the place, is to go beyond these and discover another dimension of an island that makes a deep impression on you – and it’s one that’s much more worthwhile.
The Sodable Turtle Reserve
One of the magical delights found in Morro Jable located in the south of Fuerteventura, is the Sodable Turtle Reserve. The program that operates at the reserve is to reintroduce loggerhead turtles to Fuerteventura – these gorgeous sea creatures have not bred on the island for over a century.
Fuerteventura is a real hot spot of biodiversity and there are many other conservation projects set up on the island. This includes reintroducing the Mediterranean monk seal to the neighboring island of Los Lobos situated just north of Fuerteventura.
The whole of the island is a Biosphere Reserve making it one of the eco friendliest places on the planet which can also boast major sustainable tourism ambitions. This sustainability allows the whole of the west coast to remain untouched with areas in the interior being protected for future generations to enjoy
and appreciate – this includes the glorious Jandia peninsula.
Fuerteventura – Traditions & Culture
Traditionally the islanders of Fuerteventura depended on fishing to earn their living along with goat herding, that is. Many of the islanders produced locally made crafts as well. But the one thing today that earns the island important revenue is the world’s need for aloe vera. This medicinal plant flourishes well on Fuerteventura and high quality moisturizing creams and other products are now produced on the island to be sold throughout the archipelago as well as elsewhere in the world.
Wonderful Watersports & the Sotavento Lagoon
It would be easy to say the best water sports in the whole of the archipelago are found on Fuerteventura – kite boarding and windsurfing have proved to be powerful magnets for many, with the breezes on the renowned Sotavento lagoon attracting World Tour events. The eastern coast enjoys calm seas and gentle winds but the west coast – that’s a much wilder child altogether.
The west coast offers a handful of surfing beaches – but diving has become popular along this shoreline too. There’s a 3,280 foot drop into the depths of the ocean close to the coast. With a multitude of exotic marine life in all its glory, makes for superb diving. The visibility is exceptionally good with caves and grottoes to explore; in fact the underwater terrain off the west coast would be hard to beat – especially as there is a submerged volcano there too. Experienced and novice divers can enjoy an impressive undersea world that boasts exceptionally clear conditions and some great inhabitants too.
The Oldest of the Canary Islands
The landscape is truly ‘lunar’ looking – being the most ancient island in the archipelago. There are only a few pockets of vegetation dotted around mountain villages on the west side of the island. Most visitors witness a sometimes surreal view of these extraordinary landscapes especially first thing in the morning and then during the early evenings when the light is at its best.
It’s during the low light of the day that colors and textures really come into their own – on a backdrop of a darkening blue sky there’s a wonderful array of warm reds and yellows as the sun goes down on the horizon. This is the time to enjoy a walk, hike down a lunar trail or jump on a mountain bike or horse to explore the island.
There’s a lot more to Fuerteventura than just the 150 golden sand beaches. There are the amazing landscapes, the discreet attractions and the flamboyant, baroque ones. The dunes of Parque Natural de las Dunas de Corralejo are gorgeous and protected. Then there’s the Tindaya Volcano with its one hundred mysterious ‘foot’ carvings at the summit.
Time spent on the island away from the tourist resorts is a rewarding experience, and it’s one that will stay with you for a long time. Checkout this link for reduced price flights to Fuerteventura.
Image credits: lillide and antwelm