Fuerteventura is an island whose name translates as "reliable luck" or "lasting happiness". It is part of the Canary Archipelago and is the oldest of all its islands. Scientists have established that the island originated about twenty million years ago.
The longest beaches in the archipelago are located here. They stretch for many kilometers, glistening in the sun with golden sand. In fact, they are the main attractions of the island. Many tourists come here just for their sake. It should be noted that the island is especially popular with windsurfers, as the weather here is windy for a long time. But do not be alarmed: the wind is not strong enough to spoil the holiday for those who are not interested in windsurfing. The weather on the island is always very good; rains are rare here at any time of the year.
There are few settlements in the central part of the island, its nature still remains pristine. The island's population density is the lowest in the archipelago. As for the local fauna, it is quite diverse; the most common animals here are goats. It is believed that there are many more of them than the people permanently living on the island. It should be noted the absence of poisonous insects, there are no reptiles and mammals dangerous for humans.
Probably, some readers, having familiarized themselves with the information about the island, have already started planning a trip and asked themselves the question: "Where to stay in Fuerteventura?" You will find the answer in the following sections of the text.
Municipalities of the island
The island is divided into six municipalities:
- La Oliva;
- Puerto del Rosario.
It should be noted that part of the municipality of La Oliva is a small island called Lobos, the area of which is only five square kilometers. The islet is uninhabited.
If you are interested in sightseeing, then in this municipality you should visit the church of San Miguel and visit the monastery of St. Mark the Evangelist.
The municipality will be appreciated by those tourists who dream of a relaxing holiday, feeling tired of the rhythms of big cities. However, this statement is true, perhaps, for almost every municipality on the island. Tourism began to develop here relatively recently, and therefore there is not a large number of discos and nightclubs, a variety of entertainment. The main thing that attracts travelers to the island (and, in particular, the municipality of Tuinehe) is the nature of fabulous beauty and invariably wonderful weather.
The name was given to the municipality in honor of Jean de Bettencourt, who conquered the island at the beginning of the 15th century. Some consider it to be one of the most beautiful municipalities on the island. It is located practically in the central part of Fuerteventura.
One of the main local attractions is the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Betancuria. True, the building that you will see is a reconstruction of an old temple built in the early years of the 15th century and destroyed by Berber pirates in the 90s of the 16th century. The church was restored at the beginning of the 17th century. It should be noted that some parts of the original building have survived to this day. These are, in particular, structural elements of the bell tower building. The interiors of the church are notable for their beauty and richness; travelers usually examine them with great interest.
In general, there are many old buildings on the territory of the municipality. You can easily imagine what this place looked like several centuries ago: over the past centuries, it practically has not changed. Here you will see houses built right in the crater of the volcano. Of course, this volcano is dormant, so the residents of the houses feel completely safe.
There is an observation deck on the territory of the municipality, which offers a stunning view of the island. It has two statues depicting ancient rulers; they ruled the island before it was conquered by the conquistadors.
Speaking of local attractions, two museums should be mentioned. In one of them archaeological and ethnographic exhibits are collected, in the other, the exposition is devoted to religious art. If you are interested in history and religion, you should definitely visit both museums. According to experts, the historical value of their exhibits is very high.
On the outskirts of the municipality, you will see the ruins of a Franciscan monastery. Near them there is an unusual attraction called the Devil's Hollow by the locals. According to legend, here the builders of the monastery chained the devil to a rock, after which he took out the stones from the hollow, necessary for the construction of the temple.
Separately, it should be noted the local amazing biodiversity and very picturesque landscapes.
It is one of the longest municipalities in the archipelago. It is located in the southwest of the island. This area is surrounded by lush exotic vegetation.
If you come to the island to sunbathe on the sunny beach and swim in the warm ocean, you should stay in one of the hotels or guest houses in this municipality. The beaches here are simply huge: no other island in the archipelago has such extensive beaches. The coast is incredibly popular with windsurfers and hosts world competitions in the sport.
On the territory of the municipality there is a fairly large swimming pool, the water in it is fresh. It is also necessary to mention the ancient water wheel (which has become a historical landmark today): once a camel was harnessed to its "mechanism", the power of this animal set the wheel in motion.
One of the main local attractions is the old church, in the decor of which you will see unusual elements, reminiscent, oddly enough, of the art of the Aztecs. These are stylized snakes, birds, panthers and the sun - images that adorn the entrance to the temple.
The municipality is located in the central part of the island. Here you will see many old windmills: the area is famous for them. There is even a kind of museum here, the exposition of which is dedicated to them and agriculture in general. It looks like this: an exotic garden (palm trees, milkweed, cacti, agaves) is greening around the old mill, where corn was once ground; the visitor to the unusual museum can see the various tools of the work of Canarian farmers and learn the history of local agriculture. And, of course, you can buy souvenirs (handcrafted) here.
Interestingly, local residents distinguish between two types of mills - "male" and "female". Mills of the first type have a square base. The second type is characterized by smoother walls and a wide, round base.
There are many ancient temples, each of which is worth exploring. Another local attraction is the 18th century fortress. In general, on the territory of the municipality, modern buildings are adjacent to buildings in the Spanish and Moorish styles, which looks very colorful.
Speaking about the municipality, it can also be noted that the majority of local residents are engaged in agriculture, breed goats.
The municipality is located in the north of the island. As noted above, the small island of Lobos is part of it. Like the entire archipelago, this islet is of volcanic origin. It originated about seven thousand years ago. A lighthouse rises above the island. On the territory of Lobos there is a reserve - more precisely, the island itself is part of a large reserve. Here you can see about one and a half hundred species of rare plants. Reefs stretch along the ocean floor around the island; this area is also a protected area. Its beauty invariably makes a huge impression on travelers.
But the islet is not the only natural attraction of the municipality. You should also see the dunes of Corralejo Park, the Montaña de Tindaya massif and the local volcanic landscapes.
However, the municipality is known not only for its natural monuments. There are also architectural sights here. The main one is the 17th century building, which the locals call the House of the Colonels. If you are interested in the ancient civil architecture typical of the archipelago, you should definitely see this attraction.
Puerto del Rosario
This is a city that has the status of a municipality. The administrative center of the island is located here, as well as its main port. The history of the city began in the second decade of the 18th century. Currently, the city is the capital of the island.
The territory of the municipality is full of attractions and tourist attractions. Among them is the Museum of the Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno. The exposition of the museum is located in the house where the philosopher lived during his exile. Of course, at present, the mention of a link to the Canary Islands sounds anecdotal, but at the beginning of the 20th century, when the philosopher was convicted of speaking out against the government, the archipelago was not yet considered a resort area. And the disgraced philosopher who lived here probably dreamed that his link to the Canary Islands would sooner end. Or maybe he was one of the first to appreciate the local paradise climate and stunning nature, and in the end he only enjoyed the "punishment" imposed on him.
Also on the territory of the municipality you can see several beautiful ancient temples, an ecomuseum, a sculpture park and a number of other interesting sights.