Destinations Spain Travel Blog

FUERTEVENTURA: ITALY’S HIDDEN GEM

fuerteventura

“Fuerteventura?”

Italy? – I thought it was Spanish.”

It was, we mean..it is Spanish.

So we thought.

fuerteventura

The pizza @ The Return Bar, Lajares.

Intrigued?

Thought so.

Fuerteventura, Canaries completely exceeded all of our expectations.

We wanted to prove that tourism hadn’t ruined the island.

We found out that most of the island is in fact “hidden” and not seen by tourists.

Perfecto!

We feel totally at home when we choose our holidays in Fuerteventura.

So much so, that we visited twice within 2 months, and the most recent time, didn’t bother leaving for 3 weeks. But this was mostly because our accommodation in Fuerteventura was just so darn cheap!

But that’s what holidays in Fuerteventura are all about – value!

We both have a burning desire to do something different

“One day, we will be living abroad”.

We think we may have found the place to finally settle…

Do you want to get away from:

  • The TV?
  • Hustle and bustle?
  • Busy roads?
  • Consumerism?
  • Typical tourist destinations?

Then read on…

What you didn’t know

  • Honorary locals are Italian, German and Albanian
  • There are more goats than people on the island
  • Translated can mean “Strong Winds

First thing we noticed was, it’s a pretty cool place.

It oozes “I’m not in the rat race“.

Apart from the odd rental car, the sides of roads are often seen with parked camper homes and caravans.

Homes of people who have give the middle finger to the regime and done things their own way.

A bit of a Nomad destination – that’s the word, Nomad.

In fact, it’s the only place we have ever been to where of an evening, you’re too overdressed if you decide to ditch the board shorts come hoody, and opt for some jeans and a top.

If you’re looking for laid back, “different”, then choose your holidays in Fuerteventura.

Fuerteventura wind

You won’t like Fuerteventura, it’s too windy” – said one jealous mother in law (we won’t say who’s).

When we visited Fuerteventura in December, we were totally bewildered and confused about all of the hype surrounding the wind that apparently hits the island.

Is Fuerteventura windy?

fuerteventura

Yes – that is a beach towel of Crete, in Fuerteventura. Shameful.

 

In a word yes.

And no.

If you plan to go on your holidays to Fuerteventura in December, you’ll be fine.

However, if you decide to visit the island in let’s say…March/ April, it’s a different story.

However, this depends which beach you are on and which part of the island you’re on.

There were a few occasions where a fort would have been much appreciated.

But instead, to avoid the wind, some clever Spanish, or Italian, or Dutch, or Albanian local has solved the problem.

fuerteventura

“Corralitos” typically found in El Cotillo

Wind shelters!

Or known locally as “Corralitos

These truly are amazing.

Simple, but amazing.

Spanish/ Italian/ German engineering at it’s best.

It can be blowing a strong gale off the sea, sand in your face, until you sit in these curved rock garden shelters – VOILA!

These can be found at El Cotillo, the best Fuerteventura beach location and the where  tourism is low. In our opinion. But the beaches here are amazing, and it’s not all that busy.

The best Fuerteventura beach

Look where Fuerteventura tourism levels are low.

As with almost every destination in the world, you’re guaranteed to find the typical high demand, €1 beer mecca’s (We like the €1 beer part, of course) but here, the resorts in Fuerteventura are all mostly fairly quiet and low key.

In our opinion, the best Fuerteventura beach has to be Playa de la Concha, or just La Concha for short.

fuerteventura

Play de la Concha – El Cotillo

Look at those colours!!!

We took a trip to Punta Cana last year and saw no difference in the beach here at el Cotillo and the white sand beaches of Caribbean.

And if the wind is right, you’d believe you were in the Caribbean too.

Looking out to sea, the waves can be at their strongest, La Concha beach enjoys gentle, if any waves due to its natural horseshoe-shaped reef.

It’s definitely a place to go if you decide to visit Fuerteventura.

This amazing beach can be located in the North Eastern side of the island, in EL Cotillo.

Fuerteventura weather

One word – nice and warm…ok, that was three.

The island of Fuerteventura Canaries, has been likened to visiting Mars.

fuerteventura

Why do people move to Fuerteventura?

Simply put, the weather is perfect.

Almost.

If you’re from the UK and in need of some sun, desperately, so much so that your bones are literally crying out from below your skin “save us!” then a mid winter break here is just what the doctor ordered.

Fuerteventura weather forecasts for the winter months, are usually better than those of preceding months.

While it was -1 degrees in the UK in December, we were lying on the beach, cocktail in hand. (Take us back)

Forecasters say the average temperatures during the winter are around 23 degrees, in the shade.

Perfecto!

And better yet, flights can be picked up for £29.99pp return and package holidays can be picked up for £100!

We paid £48.99 for flights with Ryanair from Manchester, cheap as chips.

Resorts in Fuerteventura

You either hate it, or you love it…like Marmite

Although it’s known for it’s cool surfer, boho vibe, there are always going to be places you can buy a donner kebab and chips with a pint of beer for €2.

The British love it.

And so do Italians. There are reportedly more Italian expats living in Corralejo than there are Spanish natives.

If you’re looking for the liveliest resort in Fuerteventura, then you’ll find it.

And if that’s your thing, great.

But it’s not for us. We always try to find the places where the locals go after work to wind down.

But the liveliest resort in Fuerteventura has to be Corralejo.

fuerteventura

The classic “Rock Cafe” – everywhere has one.

Now that’s not a bad thing.

Because surrounding Corralejo are small clusters of villages.

And if you’re looking for accommodation in Fuerteventura, fill yer’ boots! There are hundreds of places to find cheap accommodation here.

For us, well, it’s not for us. And if you like to have all of your home comforts and eateries on your doorstep, stay Corralejo, one of the busiest resorts.

Tourism is highest here.

But if €1 beers and Linekers bar isn’t your thing, there’s another great reason to visit these resorts in Fuerteventura.

The beaches…

fuerteventura

Grandes Playa, Corralejo

Your thinking…

“Ah, nice” –

So now you know why we want settle down here.

Fuerteventura: Places to eat

Leaving the liveliest resort behind now.

If you’re a surfer, which chances are, you might be, then accommodation in Fuerteventura will be popular in the town of Lajares.

This little town stole our hearts.

fuerteventura

 

We stayed Airbnb here. It’s perfect if you love cool, individual bars and places to eat and hang out.

As we walked around the town, we noticed that everyone was saying “Ciao“-

Uh?

And as we ordered our drinks at a cafe..

Come va?”

we soon realised..

Aaah” – There’s a lot of Italian’s here.

Hmmm, explains a few things. Like the title of this post.

Exactly.

Everywhere we went, particularly in the north of the island, we noticed a huge unknown (to us) Italian community.

Which we love.

So if you like:

  • Traditional Italian coffee
  • Real Italian pasta
  • Real Italian stone baked pizza

Then stay in Lajares. 10 minutes by car from El Cotillo and Corralejo.

If you’re looking for tourist mecca’s, don’t stay here.

We recommend eating at The Return Bar in Lajares, the pizza (shown above) is amazing. And cheap.

The best surf destination in Europe

If you’re a surfer, visit Fuerteventura.

If you’re not a surfer, visit Fuerteventura.

fuerteventura

Piedra Playa, El Cotillo.

The waves here are perfect!

But make sure you learn with a good surf school that actually teach you to “surf”.

Try Billabong Surf School in El Cotillo. But there really are hundreds are surf schools to choose from.

Most of the resorts in Fuerteventura will have a few surf schools to choose from.

Should I visit Fuerteventura?

Yes.

Why?

Here’s three reasons:

  • Fuerteventura weather is amazing
  • Fuerteventura beach towns are amazing
  • Fuerteventura places to eat are Italian, and amazing

What more could you want?

We wanted to prove that this beautiful island was still a hidden Europe destination.

Not all typical tourist destinations are full or ruined by the odd town that’s geared towards tourists.

However, we did notice one thing it lacks…

CULTURE.

This is a place where the Goat and Chipmunk dominate, along with beautiful beaches and bright blue seas.

But if Goats are your thing, hey, choose your holidays in Fuerteventura this year.

Our verdict

It’s like Marmite, you either hate it or you love it.

We love it.

Mainly because it’s so laid back and different to what we are used to in the UK.

And that’s why we travel, because it’s different! Isn’t it.

So give Fuerteventura a try.

Let us know what you think? Have you visited the island before? Comment below.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

You Might Also Like

  • Tonya
    April 11, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    That beach! It is so stunning. We (my dog and I) are about ready to head to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We are so ready. Your great photos have me counting the days (32).

    • James
      April 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Perfect. If you’re ever in Europe, Fuerteventura is definitely a destination worth visiting. Would love to visit South Carolina, heard nothing but good things about the place. Enjoy!

  • jessica
    April 11, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    the beach looks lovely and i could certainly use a little beach time…especially in italy!!

    • James
      April 11, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Yes, Fuerteventura has amazing beaches. But don’t be fooled, it’s part of Spain. But has a large Italian expat community which has influenced the way the island operates, for the better in my opinion.

  • Kate B
    April 16, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Great photos James and Laura! They feel more personal, like you are letting us in on your little secret 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the north of Fuerte (with a heavier Italian population than versus the south). Please please, come back and visit the south – you will find it dominated much more by German and Scandi tourists – although we are starting to see a shift and have increasing Polish, French, Italian and English in the south too.
    Do let me know if you´re coming back – would love to meet up with you both, to swap travel stories and show you some amazing places in the south – and share a nice cold beer of course 🙂

    • James
      April 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Thanks a lot! Yes, we did only travel as far as Puerto, but next time we visit (and there will be a next time) we will have to check the south out for sure. We will give you a holler next time we are visiting. Thanks again.

  • Natasha
    April 22, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Our favourite beach was in Puerto Del Rosario! Though they are gorgeous all over the island. Totally agree with feeling like you are in the Caribbean

    • James
      April 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Ah yes, great beaches in Puerto. It’s such a great European destination. Thanks for the comments.