What can I tell you about things to do in Fuerteventura? Aside from being a volcanic island – and being known for its aloe vera and wrinkly potatoes – there are actually quite a few interesting things to do here if you’re able to hire a car, plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to explore.
We found the roads were pretty straight forward and not too crazy either. All in all, it was an easy island to get around.
Fuerteventura also has something for everyone – if you want to fly and flop, you most certainly can. If you have kids in tow and want to entertain them in the waterpark in Corralejo, you can do that too.
But if you’re keen to discover the cultural, historical and natural attractions of Fuerteventura, there are plenty of ways you can do that.
Here are some of the top picks I’d recommend.
11 Things to do in Fuerteventura | A mini-guide
1. Hit the beach
It goes without saying, if you visit Fuerteventura, you should hit the beach at least once. The beach in Corralejo is lively but pleasant while the various beaches around the spectacular Corralejo Dunes are some of the best.
On the west coast, El Cotillo Beach – accessed via a dirt track and rocky path – is wild, unspoilt and the best place to watch the surfers. And the beach known as Playa de Los Lagos, just north of El Cotillo town, was probably my favourite beach of all and one of the reasons I really loved Fuerteventura. This pretty enclave feels quite hidden among the rocks which create a swimmable lagoon.
If I went back to Fuerteventura, I’d make time to visit Cofete Beach in the south. A friend told me it’s incredible and has a unique, almost spiritual, feel.
2. Go hiking
With vast swathes of volcanic landscape and abundant peaks, Fuerteventura is made for hiking. For some of the best hiking in Fuerteventura, you’ll want to head inland to the barely touched Mars-like terrain that’s recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Some ramblers head up the 300-metre tall Red Mountain known as Montana Roja just south of Corralejo dunes, for great views of neighbouring Lanzarote. But one of the most popular hiking routes is a 3km trek between the towns of Antigua and Betancuria.
If you’re looking for a slightly more relaxed type of walking in Fuerteventura, there are plenty of long beaches and rough coastal paths to plod along too.
3. Take the ferry to Las Isla de Lobos
Las Isla de Lobos is a small, uninhabited island about three miles off the coast of Corralejo. And in my opinion, taking the ferry here for the day is one of the top things to do in Fuerteventura. Lobos Island is a protected Natural Park and was named after the now-endangered ‘lobos marinos’ (monk seals) that once thrived here. An expanse of volcanic rock with no roads and very few buildings (bar a couple of old cottages), it feels even more otherworldly than the lava landscape of the mainland.
Find the old lighthouse, hike Montaña de La Caldera and have a seafood lunch at Restaurante Antoñito El Farero – the only restaurant on the island – before you flop on the rugged beach. It feels lightyears away from the throbbing streets of Corralejo and you won’t regret it! Look out for my upcoming post on our visit to Las Isla de Lobos, coming soon.
You can buy tickets for the ferry (about 15 Euros pp return) at a stand outside the Tourist Information Office in Corralejo.
4. Eat some authentic Canarian food
Fuerteventura is of course, a Spanish island. So, the main food you’ll want to try here is tapas. This comes in the form of seafood, paella, Spanish tortilla and those sizzling prawns that are so seeped in garlic, they’ll have you smelling for days.
While we were there, we also picked up some local specialties to take home, including cactus jam, Canarian honey rum and a jar of the Mojo Picón sauce which you’ll find everywhere here. The garlicky, spicy Mojo sauce comes in rojo (red) or verde (green) and it’s typically served with Papas arrugadas – the wrinkly, salty potatoes that are known for being the signature dish in the Canaries. Other local specialities include Majorera goat and kid meat, octopus, rabbit stew and some of the best goats cheese you’ll ever taste.
5. Take a stroll around Betancuria
Betancuria is the oldest village in Fuerteventura. In fact, it dates back to 1404 when the Norman conquerors landed here and named it the island’s capital. You’ll find it in the centre of the island, not far from the Mirador de Morro Velosa lookout point.
Some travellers claim that Betancuria is nothing more than a money-making tourist trap. And I kind of understand why: its (slightly overpriced) gift shops and restaurants are definitely targeted at the coach loads of visitors who stop off here.
That said, outside of peak season, Betancuria is well worth a visit. The white-washed buildings, Santa María Church and pretty cobbled courtyards create a charming place to stroll around. At Casa de Santa Maria, you’ll find a 3D cinema, museum, café and pretty restaurant. It’s quite pricey and has mixed reviews, so my tips is to just go for a drink and then head to Restaurant Valtarajal for goat stew or traditional meatballs for half the price.
6. Get a bird’s eye view of the island from Mirador de Morro Velosa
The drive up to Mirador de Morro Velosa visitor centre feels a little hairy in parts (especially if you’re scared of heights like me). But it’s well worth the sharp ascent for the views you’re greeted with when you get there.
Perched at 650 metres above sea level, on top of Montana Tegú, you can also hike to this lookout point if you’re following the Antigua to Betancuria trail mentioned above. Stop by the café for a coffee and admire the views of the rolling volcanic hills from behind the visitor centre’s huge glass windows (entrance is free). If you fancy stepping outside onto the viewing platform, hold on to your hat, it’s very windy! This impressive building, by the way, was designed by the famed architect César Manrique, who you might have heard of, especially if you’ve visited his home on the neighbouring island of Lanzarote.
7. Learn about the island’s geological history
While you’re at the Mirador de Morro Velosa, you’re in the right place to explore the geological history of Fuerteventura. A few small exhibitions can be found in the visitor’s centre and they’ll offer a brief look at the island’s earliest aborigine settlers and how the creation of the island began some 23 million years ago. Fuerteventura is the oldest island in the Canaries and its volcanic landscape was created by the same geological processes within the earth’s crust that led to the formation of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
8. Try some watersports
Being the ‘windy island’, Fuerteventura was made for watersports. And you’ll find everything from kitsesurfing and windsurfing to stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling and diving here. There are a number of watersports centres that offer tuition but one of the most popular is the Flagbeach watersports center on what they call the ‘Kite Beach,’ just north of Corralejo Dunes. It’s also around here on El Burro beach, where you can catch the Kite Festival in November. As I said in this post, if you’re not the active type, it’s a lot of fun just watching the kitesurfers leap into the air above the water.
9. Visit Corralejo Dunes
If you love the beach, you’ll want to put the Corralejo sand dunes on your list of things to do in Fuerteventura. Known as the Parque Natural de Corralejo, this protected, desert-like area, stretches for around 10.5 by 2.5km and you’ll have a lot of fun sliding, rolling and jumping down its undulating mounds. Many hotels offer shuttle buses here or it’s really easy to drive to as the main FV-1 road runs right through them. The beach which runs alongside Corralejo Dunes is one of the best on the island. Unless you pitch up by the big hotels, you’re unlikely to have any shade or supplies (although there are one or two small beach bars) so bring a hat, a picnic and plenty of water.
10. Explore the Natural Parks
There are three Natural Parks in Fuerteventura. And the third natural park after the Parque Natural de Corralejo and Las Isla de Lobos, is the Jandia Natural Park, found on the Jandia peninsula, in the south.
I didn’t make it down here, but if I ever re-visit, I’ll be adding it to my top sights. It’s the largest of the three and is home to all sorts of birdlife. It’s also flanked by gorgeous beaches either side (one of them the ‘spiritual’ Cofete), and is home to La Zarza, the island’s highest peak. One for next time!
11. Explore the weird rocks at Tostón Lighthouse
If you are visiting El Cotillo, I highly recommend you squeeze in a visit to the nearby Tostón Lighthouse (also known as El Cotillo Lighthouse). This working lighthouse at the northern tip of Fuerteventura is surrounded by swathes of black volcanic rock. Among the rock pools and paths, you’ll also find all sorts of weird rock towers which past visitors have made here.
As it’s surrounded by crashing waves on all sides, there’s something quite wild yet peaceful about this spot and a visit here is possibly one of the most relaxing things for outdoorsy types to do in Fuerteventura. While we were there, there were cyclists, runners and people practicing Tai Chi.
You’ll want to stay for sunset – it’s quite spectacular as the dipping sun casts shadows behind those otherwordly rocks.
There are all sorts of other attractions across the island, from the Aloe Vera Museum to the historical town of La Oliva, but these are the top things I experienced. If you have any of your own recommendations for things to do in Fuerteventura, feel free to leave your tips in the comments below. The Fuerteventura tourism website is also quite a handy source of inspiration too.