Fuerteventura is located between Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. It covers an area of 1658 km2. It is the oldest out of all the islands that make up the the Canary Islands. It also has the smallest population with approximately 70,000inhabitants - Puerto del Rosario has the largest population of 24,175 inhabitantswhile Betancuria has just 708.
Climate: It is an arid island with very little vegetation and it is always windy. The average annual temperature is around 20ºC.
Fuerteventura can be divided into2 different areas: la Maxorata, this is the largest area where most of the island'sinhabitants live and the Península de Jandía, which is an arid, sandy area. Fuerteventura used to live from agriculture and cattle raising. There is no fishing industry. The agricultural area is located inland in Betancuria. The island's ports (Puerto del Rosario, Tarajal, Corralejo and Morro Jable) are always very busy.
However, tourism is now the biggest earner for the islandgiven that it has 152 beaches where tourists can go diving, do watersports or just relax. Fuerteventura has some very good hotels with excellent facilities.
A great way to see the island is to hire a car or go on an organizedcoach tour. The island is very easy to get around by road. The airport, calledEl Matorral, is located 4 Kms from Puerto del Rosario. It is an internationalairport with flights to destinations all over the world. It also connects to the other Canary Islands: La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Funchal. Fuerteventura's ports are always busy. You can get to the other islands by ferry - Puerto del Rosario, Morrojable and Corralejo have ferriesto Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Playa Blanca and Arrecife (in Lanzarote), Las Palmasde Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de La Palma.
Fuerteventura is divided into 6 districts: La Oliva, Betancuria, Antigua, Puerto del Rosario, Pájara and Tuineje. Los Lobos is a tiny island opposite La Oliva.
Fuerteventura was conquered in 1404 by the French. Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle were responsible for creating the island's capital city Betancuria, located inland. On their arrival and occupation of Fuerteventura they discovered it was divided into 2 different kingdoms: Maxorata and Jandía.
They built a Franciscan convent which was dedicated to evangelizing the people known as 'los Guanches'. In fact the Gaunche kings Guize and Ayose were baptized with the Christian names Luís and Alfonso.
Inthe 15th century the island was conquered by the Spanish and became part of thekingdom of Castilla. From the 19th century onwards the islands were fully integrated part of Spain.
This is an area that crosses the island from east to west. Puerto del Rosario was built in 1797 and was first given the name Puerto de Cabras, because the goatshepherds brought their goats here to graze. It kept this name until 1956 whenit changed to its present name, Puerto del Rosario.
It became the capital of the island in the 19th century due to the boom in activity in its port that went hand in hand with an ever increasing population. All the island's administrativeheadquarters, government buildings and commercial organizations were establishedhere in order to take advantage of the boom in economic activity. Nowadays, ithas 24,180 inhabitants. Its port and airport are usually very busy.
Fuerteventura has lots of nature reservesaimed at conserving the islands endemic species of plants and animals.
Fuerteventura has some truely beautifulbeaches, most of which are unspoilt, natural areas. Here is a list of some of the best beaches:
Fuerteventura is an ideal place for doing allkinds of sports, especially water sports, because of its climate. There are lots of places where you can get classes in diving, wind surfing, surfing. You can also go on organized boat trips.
Here is a list of the best places to go:
Other popular sports on the island are thosewith roots in the Gaunche culture such as:Game of the Stick, Game of the Tin, the Pineapple, Handball, Lifting the Plow, Tángana, Canarian Ball....
There are lots of handmade goods on sale. Commonthings to buy are: Different types of cheese, hand embriodered table cloths, woollenblankets, things made from wicker, musical instruments (violins, guitars), claypottery, straw hats, ...
This is by far the prettiest town on the island. It is located on a plain between mountains in an area with volcanic remains with brightly colored stones. It is situated above a crater of a volcano that has been dormant for many years. It only has 709 inhabitants.
Betancuria was the capital of the island from 1404 when it was founded by the French. It remained the capital until the 19th century.
Things to see:
This has occupied a very important place in the island's history. Following the conquering of Fuerteventura by the Castellanos the Spanish military command made a base here. It used to be a mainly agricultural area which supplied most of the island.
Nowit is an important tourist center with infrastructure to support it (there arelots of hotels around Corralejo). It is also a natural area with protected beaches which are surrounded by sand dunes. It is predominantly a fishingvillage and its small harbor is always full of life. You can find lots of typical restaurants around the harbor area serving local food. There are also diving, wind surfing and sailing schools as well as organized boat trips to the IslaLobos. There are many hotels and apartments in the area. Its unspoilt beachesare excellent with white sands and crystal clear water.
Things to see:
Thisarea covers 250 km2 and has around 3000 inhabitants. It is the oldest city on the island, founded at the beginning of the 18th century. It is a very flat, ruralarea with windmills and many typical farmhouses. Popular for rural tourism. Italso has an interesting coastline and Caleta de Fustes, is one of the busiest tourist areas on the island. Hotel chains with excellent facilities attract large numbers of tourists.
Things to see:
Thisis where the Jandía Natural Park is located. This town began to evolve in the 16th century. The town hall was built in 1711.
This is where most of the island's beaches are together with most of the islands hotels.This area is the least populated area in Fuerteventura. Tourism is the main source of income here. Things to see: Costa Calma, Port of Morro Jable, the fishing harbor where there are boat trips and facilities for water sports.Barlovento, is a very windy, dry area with subtropical marine life. In sotaventoyou have the Jandía beaches which are a paradise for divers due to thevaried marine life. Its beaches are unspoilt, with fine golden sand and crystalclear water.
Things to see:
Tuinejecovers 276 km2 and has 12,900 inhabitants. It is located in the southwest of Fuerteventura.Its main source of income is agriculture and cattle raising. The best beachesare Las Playitas, Gran Tarajal, Giniginamar and Tarajalejo. They are characterized by their fine black sand and stones and calm sea despite the fact that they are often very windy. There are hotels, restaurants, beach bars and some promenadesnear and around the beaches.
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