Welcome to our lovely island and if you came here for the sun and sand – you are in the right place!
An Article by Bernie Power with The Voice Fuerteventura
There are over 250 beautiful beaches and bays all around the island, just ripe for exploring and if you are lucky enough to be staying in the very north or very south of the island – then you really are spoiled for choice.
Las Lagos – El Cotillo
In the north, two of the best beach spots on the island are readily accessible by our excellent bus system. If you head to the top end of the main street strip in Corralejo, opposite where the market sets up, you will see the bus stop just over the road. From there, the bus will take you to the resort of El Cotillo, where you will find the most enchanting beaches and Las Lagos, or lagoons.
Shallow And Sheltered
These natural, sheltered lagoons are especially suited for children, as long as they are supervised, as they are shallow and warmed by the sun. The sand is also soft and fine and perfect for making sand castles. The pools are left behind, after high tide, and are like natural, little swimming pools. There is a beach bar, showers and bathroom facilities as well as a marvellous walk along the coast to the lighthouse ‘El Faro’ which is also home to a fishing museum.
In the north of the island, you will also find a place called Punta Lala, which is home to a very special beach, that looks like it is made of popcorn. White nugget-sized grains that once formed a coral reef, have broken down over the years by wind and sea erosion. They are all now all similar in size and have washed onto the shore. Thanks to social media, this unusual and rare beach has become very popular with visitors, but it is also very quickly being destroyed by them and may soon have to be officially protected. Visitors are taking handfuls of the popcorn-like sand away with them, at an alarming rate, often as souvenirs or to be used as flower pot coverings. However, these ‘popcorns’ took generations to form and can never be replaced, so please only take photographs and leave the popcorn’s for other generations to enjoy too.
If you travel just a little bit south from Corralejo ( which can easily be done by walking, taxi or bus ) you will reach the Natural park or ‘Las Dunas’ or The Dunes. At eleven kilometres in length, they are the largest in the Canaries and we haven’t even had them that long! They were only formed around nine to ten thousand years ago. Luckily nobody would live here for another seven thousand years, so no tourists were hurt in the making of this beach. That was the last eruption here in Fuerteventura and the time when the whole of the Northern section of the island, from El Cotillo to the end of the Natural park, including the islet of Los Lobos, all rose from the sea.
The dunes are vast areas of powder-soft, white sand, which many people think has blown over from the Sahara desert, just a hundred kilometres away. However, although we do get our fair share of Sahara sand thanks to the prevailing winds, it could never be enough to give us these huge, amazing dunes. The sand in the dunes came up from the sea floor and took hundreds of millions of years to form. It is made up of the shells and bones of marine creatures such as molluscs, crabs, fish and even dinosaurs. Basically, it is a coral sand made of calcium, whereas the Sahara sand is entirely quartz based. The soft sand is fantastic to lay on and bask in the sun, while having the occasional dip in the cooling Atlantic. There are flags and swim guards, but care must always be taken as rip tides and currents can be strong. The beaches are also fine for families to enjoy, but be aware, these beaches also attract naturists from all over the world too.
CARIBBEAN OF THE CANARIES
Like the dunes in the north, the very south of the island is also a sun-worshippers paradise and has beaches which have helped to earn Fuerteventura the nickname ‘The Caribbean of the Canaries’ with long soft, white sandy beaches that seem to go on for miles. Sotavento or Costa Calma are well worth a visit, with powder soft sand under foot and amazing scenery. But be aware that it can get a little windy at times which also means strong tides, so be aware if entering the water.
Sotavento Beach is also the site of the World Windsurfing and Kite Boarding Championships each year, so if your stay happens to coincide with the competition dates, then it is a great time to hit the beach, watch some amazing acrobatic displays, enjoy a barbecue and party till sunset. The rest of the time, these beaches are so quiet and relaxed that you can lay back on soft, white sand and feel your stresses and strains melting away.
BLACK SANDS OF AJUY
But if you fancy a complete contrast to white sand, then for beach seekers, there is also a strange black sandy beach, located on the south west coast of the island. In Ajuy, at the end of the Betancuria road, the beaches are pure black. They were formed by the erosion of the black, volcanic rocks on the coastline. The sand is still soft and fine, but the sea can be treacherous and powerful, so swimming can be dangerous. Kids will enjoy the beach as they get covered in the black sand, which on its own is fun, but there is also a large cave complex to keep them entertained. The limestone cliffs near the beach have eroded away, leaving behind large caves which were once used to store quicklime and other products for export. This area was the original landing spot for the European invaders in 1402 and was the main port used to supply the capital of Betancuria and the surrounding settlement for a hundred and fifty years. Nowadays, it is a regular tourist spot and home to some great fish restaurants. Whatever beach you end up on, enjoy it but please remember, always use sun protection and always take extra care when entering the water.