Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean just off of the coast of Africa. As with the rest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is under Spanish rule but, unlike any other Canary Island, was named a biosphere reserve in 2009 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The island was first settled by the Maho people of North Africa. These early peoples lived in subterranean dwellings and caves, many of which have been excavated. Relics and pottery found in these excavations have given historians an idea of early life on the island. In 1405, the island was conquered by the French and named Betancuria. It wasn’t until 1927 that Fuerteventura became a part of the Canary Islands.

Coast of Fuerteventura, Canary IslandsFuerteventura is the second largest island of the Canaries, second only to Tenerife. Home to the longest beaches, sun and surf lovers from around the world flock to the island every year. The island is known as ‘the island of eternal spring’ due to its pleasant, year-round climate. An average temperature of 35 C (95 F) in the summer months is rivaled by an average of 22 C (72 F) in the winter. October sees the highest rainfall, with the rest of the year being fairly dry. The Calima sandstorm brings with it high temperatures and very dry air. The Calima often brings African locusts to Fuerteventura which are otherwise not present.

The island is home to a diverse array of wildlife. The threatened Canarian Egyptian Vulture is found here as are wild dogs and cats. Geckos, squirrels and migratory birds are in abundance and a large number of insects reside here. Insects and birds tend to congregate around resorts and other holiday developments, probably because of the ready availability of food and water. Visitors to the dunes of the island may spot the stunning blue banded bee or the caterpillar hunting wasp. Both of which are native to the island.

Tourists to the island should be sure to visit Corralejo; made up of a long beach, sand dune and remote bay. Surfers particularly enjoy Corralejo as its constant, steady winds provide waves year round. Cofete is home to the Villa Winter, a striking home that is bordered by empty beaches making it a rather lonesome residence. Naval buffs will want to visit the site of the SS American Star: in 1994 the ship beached in Playa de Garcey, collapsed to one side in 2007 and finally slipped completely under the surface in 2008.

Even though Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the Canary Islands chain, it is not as attractive to tourists as some of the other islands. This may make it the perfect holiday destination for those that desire a less crowded atmosphere. The long beaches and vast array of wildlife are sure to be attractive to nature lovers around the world.


Canary Islands


Canary Islands



El Hierro



Gran Canaria

La Gomera

La Palma



Airports of Canary Islands

Tenerife North Airport


Tenerife South Airport


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