With sunny weather year round, some of the best beaches in Europe, and a volcanic terrain that adds a dramatic edge to this island, all of these things to do in Fuerteventura deserve a spot on your bucket list.
Fuerteventura is the closest of the Canaries to Africa but still greatly retains its Spanish spirit. It sees far fewer tourists than the great Tenerife, making for a peaceful island vacation. While you may be tempted to spend your entire time in Fuerteventura on the stunning beaches (I mean, who could really blame you), there is a great deal to explore all over this rugged and wild island.
Here are the best things to do in Fuerteventura to make the most of your time on this otherworldly island!
- Roll Around Dunes in Corralejo Natural Park
- Take in Postcard Views from Sotavento Beach
- Hike to the Top of Pico de la Zarza
- Drive the Bumpy Road to Cofete Beach
- Transport Yourself to Another Land at Malpais de la Arena
- Explore the Salinas del Carmen & Salt Museum
- Hit the Ocean for Water Sports!
- Go for a Soak at Piscinas Naturales Aguas Verdes
- Relax in El Cotillo Lagoons
- Explore the Fuerteventura Waters by Boat
- Descend into Cuevas de Ajuy
- Hunt for Caves at Puertito de los Molinos
- Spend an Afternoon at Oasis Park
- Wander Around Betancuria
- Count Sculptures in Puerto del Rosario
- Admire Murals in Gran Tarajal
- Learn About Windmills in Antigua
- Munch at Mercado de los Tradiciones
- Spend a Day as a Goat Herder
- Take a Day Trip to Isla de Lobos
- Explore Volcanoes and Wineries on Lanzarote
Roll Around Dunes in Corralejo Natural Park
Best known for its golden sand beaches, Corralejo Natural Park is one of the best places to take in Fuerteventura’s stunning beauty. This protected area is full of rolling sand dunes just behind a beach that imitate a desert landscape – and it was created completely naturally!
There are plenty of places to explore in the area like the road between the beach and dunes which offers spectacular views and the landscape near the sea with mountains and volcanoes in the background.
It’s no wonder Corralejo is one of Fuerteventura’s top attractions as it provides the most stellar contrast of nature’s wonders. You have plush golden sand, aquamarine water, and dark volcanic rock scattered throughout.
For a little bit of adventure here, consider taking a dune buggy tour which takes you all around the dunes in the park and then off road to other amazing spots on the island.
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Take in Postcard Views from Sotavento Beach
As far as sheer beauty goes, it doesn’t get much better than Sotavento Beach. In fact, the perfection of this place is so well-regarded that it appears on postcards for Fuerteventura, showing off the crystal clear lagoons and thrilling backdrop of rolling hills and volcanic rock formations.
Located in the south of the island, Sotavento Beach is filled with other small beaches that are perfect for enjoying a day in the sun or an afternoon out on the water. Head to Playa de la Barca for the best views and to watch wind and kite surfers shred the waves.
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Hike to the Top of Pico de la Zarza
For an adventure-filled island vacation, take a hike up Fuerteventura’s highest peak: Pico de la Zarza. It stands at a striking 807 meters above sea level and offers wondrous views of Cofete Beach (mentioned below) and the rocky surroundings.
It’s breathtaking, to say the very least.
The hike takes a total of two hours and isn’t terribly hard, but be sure to wear proper hiking shoes and bring tons of water and sunscreen. It’s best to start early in the morning to avoid the scorching heat that hits in the afternoon.
If the highest peak seems daunting, consider taking a tour with a local guide which includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, and a friendly local who is well-versed in the area’s flora, fauna, and other secrets the trek may hold.
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Drive the Bumpy Road to Cofete Beach
For pure magic where the sea meets the shore, take the long drive to El Cofete and Barlovento beaches and you won’t be able to believe your eyes.
The road to these remote beaches is anything but pleasant, but those who push on through the bumps and curves will be lavishly rewarded with the most beautiful views imaginable from Frail y Pico de la Zara.
While you’re pushing on, keep in mind that since the journey is so long and treacherous, the beaches here have remained untouched by mass amounts of tourism — a total win in our books!
As you continue down the road, you’ll reach a viewpoint just before El Cofete where you’ll have views of jagged cliffs and mountain formations and at the foot of those, there’s soft white sand with giant waves rolling in. The beach here stretches 12 kilometers, starting with El Cofete and the exquisiteness is enough to rope you into a long, sandy walk along the shore.
Unfortunately, you can’t swim here because the waves are so massive, but they’re thrilling to watch and contribute to the feeling that you’re on a far-off planet.
Transport Yourself to Another Land at Malpais de la Arena
Since we’re on the topic of far-off planets, another place that’s sure to transport you beyond the island is Malpais de la Arena, a badlands area of Fuerteventura.
I know what you’re thinking… Badlands? On an island? Why yes, yes indeed.
This area in La Oliva municipality was formed more than ten thousand years ago when the island experienced its last major volcanic eruptions. The result was this completely dry, volcanic landscape filled with black sands, black stones, and interesting vegetation that is particular to this area.
For the best views, make your way to the peak of the Arenal crater and look down at the spectacular sights below… Mars or Spain? You tell me.
Explore the Salinas del Carmen & Salt Museum
For a truly unique experience, visit Fuerteventura’s only remaining salt flats which are located at Salinas del Carmen. This place is beyond cool as you are able to learn how to make salt from the ocean’s waves, something which contributed greatly to the livelihood of people on the Canary Islands.
The flats also have a museum where you can follow the entire process and learn about the history and uses of salt.
Salinas del Carmen offers visitors the chance to take two complimentary tours: one of the museum and one out on the salt mines. How cool is that?! When you’ve finished exploring, be sure to hit the museum shop to bring home some local salt of your own!
Hit the Ocean for Water Sports!
The waves of Fuerteventura contribute a lot to local life, but mostly by providing entertainment. The beaches on this island are perfect for water sports, no matter what level you’re at.
Take a beginner surf course to learn the basics or sign up for a week-long surf camp to really hone in on your skills. You can also sign up for windsurfing and kitesurfing courses where a trained instructor and professional will show you the ropes out on the water and get you flying over the waves in no time.
This is the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, try something new, and tick these adrenaline-seeking activities off your bucket list!
Go for a Soak at Piscinas Naturales Aguas Verdes
As you make your way out to the west side of the island, you’ll notice things becoming more and more wild. It’s distinctly rocky and is certainly less explored than the rest of the sandy coastline, but you’ll be amazed if you take the chance to brave the rough terrain.
Sitting on the Betancuria shore, you’ll find Fuerteventura’s giant outdoor spa. Due to the interesting rock formations, water flows in from the Atlantic, gets trapped and settles, creating little jacuzzis to kick back in. These little pools stretch for 6 kilometers, giving you plenty of places to find a hidden escape.
The piscinas really are an island treasure, and people say that a visit here is among the most rewarding things to do on the island. If you’re looking to get off the tourist beach track, head out west and be amazed at these little pools for lounging!
Relax in El Cotillo Lagoons
Another picture perfect place for relaxation are the lagoons around the village of El Cotillo in the north. This part of the island is super laid-back compared to the surroundings, and you’ll find a nice bit of peace and quiet on the beaches.
When the tide is low, natural lagoons are created. Filled with clear turquoise water, they’re perfect for a natural bath or to splash around in for a while. It’s a beautiful sight and a very nice way to spend an afternoon.
There are also some great restaurants in the village of El Cotillo with fresh local seafood and yummy Canary Island bites so you can make a day out of your visit.
Explore the Fuerteventura Waters by Boat
As you’re on an island, it only makes sense to hop in a boat and explore the surrounding waters and all they have to offer.
There are tons of different boat tours around Fuerteventura that range in price, time, distance and of course, type of boat.
For starters, take this glass bottom boat tour which gives visitors the chance to take a four-hour cruise along the coasts of Jania Natural Park in search of dolphins and whales. Hotel pick-up and drop-off, snorkeling, and lunch is included too!
Or opt for a catamaran cruise where you’ll get to visit three different islands and enjoy a traditional lunch onboard.
For the more adventurous travelers, be the captain of your own ship (well… kayak) and steer around the wild sea around Fuerteventura. On this kayaking tour, you’ll be accompanied by an instructor who will bring you to hidden beaches full of the best snorkeling around.
No matter which way you choose to go about it, seeing Fuerteventura by sea is an opportunity that can’t be missed on this island!
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Descend into Cuevas de Ajuy
So by this point, it’s easy to tell that Fuerteventura is all about beaches, but there’s so much more to the natural landscape than just sand and water.
Take the Cuevas de Ajuy, the oldest rock formation in the Canary Islands, which dates back more than 70 million years and is filled with enormous caves for exploring.
To get to the caves, you travel over a black sand beach, along a cliff edge to see a million year-old rock that was once at the bottom of the sea, and then finally down a staircase to these huge sea caves created from black stone.
The size is nothing short of extraordinary, as is all of the scenery that it takes to reach the end point. Just be sure to wear sneakers or hiking boots when headed to the caves as the journey can be rather treacherous.
Hunt for Caves at Puertito de los Molinos
Another amazing place to go hunting for caves is in Puertito de los Molinos, a small village on the west coast of the island. This little town has very few houses and is generally reserved for those looking to escape the crowds, so it’s a nice and quiet place to hang out.
Besides the lovely atmosphere, when the tide recedes enough at the Puertito de los Molinos beaches, you can walk out into the ocean and explore caves that are sitting around the beach.
It’s important to be careful and stay up to date with the tide movements, but getting to cross the open ocean and hunt for hidden spots is one of the most special things you can do in Fuerteventura.
Spend an Afternoon at Oasis Park
A fun-filled adventure for the whole family, Oasis Park is one of the largest zoos in the Canary Islands, complete with glorious botanical gardens and plenty to keep you entertained.
Oasis Park is perfect for any animal lover or those looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon. There are animal shows and exhibitions, camel rides, a giant collection of cacti, and a bustling market (Mercado Agro-Artesanal) where you can pick up a handmade souvenirs!
These tickets include bus transfers, access to four animal shows, and entrance to the botanical gardens, so you don’t have to worry about waiting in a long queue to purchase them at the park.
Wander Around Betancuria
Beach, nature, boats, you’ve got it at this point. But what about all the cities and towns that populate this magical island?
One of the best things to do in Fuerteventura is to pay Betancuria, the old capital, a visit. Besides being the capital of Fuerteventura, Betancuria was also once the capital of the Canary Islands. It was founded in 1404, so you know there’s plenty to learn here especially because the city retained its old world charm and traditional style.
This is the place to be to learn all about the island’s deep history and rich culture. The old buildings that make up most of this city are enough to show you how far back Fuerteventura life goes.
Betancuria truly is one of the most charming places to walk around, with classic whitewashed buildings overflowing with flowers and tiny little eateries serving up the finest local cuisine.
Count Sculptures in Puerto del Rosario
Puerto del Rosario is the “new” and current capital of the island, and it’s worth paying a visit to learn about present day life in Fuerteventura.
There’s not a whole lot to see and do here compared to the rest of the island, but it’s a beautiful place to stroll along the coast and discover hundreds of sculptures that are scattered throughout the city. For a day of fun, seek out as many of these sculptures as possible!
Admire Murals in Gran Tarajal
There aren’t a ton of museums on the island, but you can find all sorts of art outside around Fuerteventura.
One of the most notable places to do so is Gran Tarajal which has buildings covered in unique murals! These large, colorful paintings brighten tall building walls to give the city an extra burst of life.
Besides the murals, there’s a nice beach in Gran Tarajal to relax on and wildly colorful houses which fit right in with the brightly painted walls all around the city.
Learn About Windmills in Antigua
As you drive around the island, it’s hard to miss the windmills scattered across the land. With their fat white bodies, these giant structures provide a stark contrast against the rather dark landscape. They’re fun to take pictures of, and even more interesting to learn about!
Head to the town of Antigua to visit the Antigua Windmill Craft Center where you are able to learn about not only windmills, but other traditional arts and crafts made in Fuerteventura. The center is a great place to visit, especially if you’re into art, as there’s a whole room full of paintings and archaeology artifacts (it’s not just windmills!).
Once you’ve finished touring the center, you can even enter a real windmill and learn how it works from right inside!
Before taking off, take a few minutes to learn about the folk history and lifestyle of those on Fuerteventura and take a quick gander through the cactus garden.
Munch at Mercado de los Tradiciones
If you’re on the hunt for the best bites on the island, one of the best things to do in Fuerteventura is to hit Mercado de las Tradiciones.
Located in La Olivia, no proper Spanish town (or island) is complete without a bustling market full of the finest local goods. Mercado de los Tradiciones is no exception; it is one of the best places to find fresh fruits and vegetables, local cheese, and lots of little arts and crafts (think ceramics, needlework and embroidery).
This is the perfect place to pick up snacks for a beachy picnic. Just be sure you don’t leave without some fresh goat cheese, a Fuerteventura specialty!
Spend a Day as a Goat Herder
To go directly to the source of Fuerteventura’s famous goat cheese, spend a day as a goat herder and see how this delicacy comes to life!
Disclaimer: you won’t actually be making cheese or learning too much about the cheese-making process, but you will get to trek through island wilderness with these fun creatures and learn what it takes to become a goat herder.
At the beginning of the day, your local guide will introduce you to five island goats. You’ll get to bottle-feed them, walk them around, and watch them run free… There’s nothing so gratifying as hanging around these sweet animals!
Afterwards, you’ll take a guided hike through parts of the island where goat herders still live today, and then get to snack on goat cheese as part of a traditional lunch.
Goats aside, the landscape where you’ll be hiking is truly out of this world and the panoramic views are ones that you’ll remember forever. But if that’s not enough… Goats!!!!!
Take a Day Trip to Isla de Lobos
Just off the northeast coast of Fuerteventura sits Isla de Lobos, the perfect escape from the resort-going tourists.
This island has been mainly uninhabited since the 1960s but offers visitors wild volcanic landscapes combined with golden sand beaches and clear blue waters. There are no cars on the island (besides the one that picks up trash) and very few roads, so on a visit here, you’ll likely spend your time adventuring and exploring this unique terrain.
A complete walk around the island takes about four hours but if you’re just looking to hit the best spots, make sure you stop by the beach, climb to the lighthouse or up the volcano, and bask in the water around the little fishing village.
If the waters surrounding the island call to you, consider taking a snorkeling and diving excursion to see the exhilarating marine life that lies below.
Ferries leave regularly throughout the day from Corralejo and you can get your round-trip tickets here.
Explore Volcanoes and Wineries on Lanzarote
Looking to hit an island a little bit further from Fuerteventura? This day trip excursion shows you the best of nearby Lanzarote!
You’ll be picked up at your hotel or resort and after taking a ferry to Lanzarote, you’ll enter Timanfaya National Park to explore volcanic landscapes and other attractions at the park.
Then the real fun begins…
Your group will head to the wine region of La Geria where you’ll get to learn all about their circular vineyards (cool, right?), taste local wines, and see how the volcanic atmosphere interacts with the winery!
After you’ve had your fill of drink, you’ll be going to an aloe vera museum to learn about the local crop. Then, you’ll have a scenic drive along the south coast, with a stop at Charco de los Clicos lagoons to marvel at the magnificent cliffs.
Once you finish up your full day, you’ll make your way back to Fuerteventura for a good night’s sleep!
After seeing how wild Fuerteventura is, aren’t you ready to head there now? It’s a place that should be on any adventurous traveler’s bucket lists due to the rare contrast in landscapes that can’t be found elsewhere.
From the dune-covered beaches to the top of volcanoes, down to deep and mysterious caves and out on the open oceans, all the things to do in Fuerteventura offers visitors a sensational experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their life!
See ya there!
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