The seven islands and six islets that make up Spain's Canary Islands feature treasures for travelers of all ages. But if it's sandy beaches you're after, Fuerteventura should go at the top of your list.
With some 150 beaches, Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, attracts shore lovers who come for the island’s variety of wide sands, claimed by many to be the best beaches in the Canary Islands.
Fuerteventura, the second largest of the seven-island and six-islet chain, is situated 71 miles from Morocco’s coast. Although the archipelago is located about 620 miles from the Iberian Peninsula, the chain was declared a province of Spain in 1871. The Canaries function as an autonomous region with ties to Spain.
Adventurers have been lured to the Canary Islands for centuries, drawn by the temperatures that frequently hover in 70s. The Greeks called the archipelago the “Fortunate Islands” for its climate. In 2009, UNESCO declared Fuerteventura and its marine habitat a Biosphere Reserve.
Many beaches in Fuerteventura also have nudist sections or nudists in many sections. Tell your kids ahead of time and establish whatever rules you’re comfortable with. Younger kids might be embarrassed and thus avoid the bare skin sun worshippers but don’t be surprised if your teens suddenly have a desire to stroll the beach.
Most of Fuerteventura’s best beaches extend along the island’s north or south coasts. Corralejo, in the north, features broad, white sands and turquoise seas. Before swimming, be sure to check with locals to find out if there’s an undertow. Take time to explore the adjacent Parque Natural de Corralejo. Its rows of sand dunes create a scenic wave of ridges and peaks that stretch for nearly 4-miles.
Along the northwest coast, El Cotillo, is another lovely beach. You can sign up with outfitters in the nearby town for surfing and kitesurfing lessons.
In the south Sotavento de Jandía, a series of beaches, offers fine white sands that attract sunbathers as well as windsurfers and kitesurfers. Morro Jable, Fuerteventura’s southernmost town, has a popular and sometimes crowded beach that has nearby eateries.
What to See and Do
You have to get off the beach some of the time. When you do, stroll through Puerto del Rosario, the island’s capital. White-washed houses with flat roofs, typical of the region, line the streets. In the town of Bentacuria, visit the centuries-old church.
From the port of Corralejo, you can take a 30-minute ferry ride to the nearby island of Lanzarote, landing at Playa Blanca. Lanzarote, often called “the island of the volcanoes” is dotted with more than 300 volcanic cones. Explore the moon-like landscape on a visit to the Parque Nacional de Timanfay. At El Diablo, the park’s restaurant, watch the chef cook your chicken or meat by placing it over a thermal vent.