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Fuerteventura is located between Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. It coversan area of 1658 km2. It is the oldest out of all the islands that make up thethe Canary Islands. It also has the smallest population with approximately 70,000inhabitants - Puerto del Rosario has the largest population of 24,175 inhabitantswhile Betancuria has just 708.
Climate: It is an arid island withvery little vegetation and it is always windy. The average annual temperatureis around 20ºC.
Fuerteventura can be divided into2 different areas: la Maxorata, this is the largest area where most of the island'sinhabitants live and the Península de Jandía, which is an arid,sandy area. Fuerteventura used to live from agriculture and cattle raising. Thereis no fishing industry. The agricultural area is located inland in Betancuria.The island's ports (Puerto del Rosario, Tarajal, Corralejo and Morro Jable) arealways very busy.
However, tourism is now the biggest earner for the islandgiven that it has 152 beaches where tourists can go diving, do watersports orjust relax. Fuerteventura has some very good hotels with excellent facilities.
A great way to see the island is to hire a car or go on a organizedcoach tour. The island is very easy to get around by road. The airport, calledEl Matorral, is located 4 Kms from Puerto del Rosario. It is an internationalairport with flights to destinations all over the world. It also connects to theother Canary Islands : La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria,Tenerife and Funchal. Fuerteventura's ports are always busy. You can get to theother islands by ferry - Puerto del Rosario, Morrojable and Corralejo have ferriesto Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Playa Blanca and Arrecife (in Lanzarote), Las Palmasde Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de La Palma.
Fuerteventura is divided into6 districts: La Oliva, Betancuria, Antigua, Puerto del Rosario, Pájaraand Tuineje. Los Lobos is a tiny island opposite La Oliva.
Fuerteventura was conquered in 1404 bythe French. Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle were responsible for creatingthe island's capital city Betancuria, located inland. On their arrival and occupationof Fuerteventura they discovered it was divided into 2 different kingdoms: Maxorataand Jandía.
They built a Franciscan convent which was dedicated toevangelizing the people known as 'los guanches'. In fact the Gaunche kings Guizeand Ayose were baptized with the Christian names Luís and Alfonso.
Inthe 15th century the island was conquered by the Spanish and became part of thekingdom of Castilla. From the 19th century onwards the islands were fully integratedas part of Spain.
Thisis an area that crosses the island from east to west. Puerto del Rosario wasbuilt in 1797 and was first given the name Puerto de Cabras, because the goatshepherds brought their goats here to graze. It kept this name until 1956 whenit changed to its present name, Puerto del Rosario.
It became thecapital of the island in the 19th century due to the boom in activity in its portthat went hand in hand with an ever increasing population. All the island's administrativeheadquarters, government buildings and commercial organisations were establishedhere in order to take advantage of the boom in economic activity. Nowadays, ithas 24,180 inhabitants. Its port and airport are usually very busy.
Fuerteventura has lots of nature reservesaimed at conserving the islands endemic species of plants and animals.
Fuerteventura has some truely beautifulbeaches, most of which are unspoilt, natural areas. Here is a list of some ofthe best beaches:
Fuerteventura is an ideal place for doing allkinds of sports, especially water sports, because of its climate. There arelots of places where you can get classes in diving, wind surfing, surfing. Youcan also go on organized boat trips.
Here is a list of the best placesto go:
Other popular sports on the island are thosewith roots in the Gaunche culture such as:Juego del Palo, Juego de la Lata,la Pina, Pelotamano, Levantamiento del Arado, Tángana, Bola Canaria....
There are lots of handmade goods on sale. Commonthings to buy are: Different types of cheese, hand embriodered table cloths, woollenblankets, things made from wicker, musical instruments (violins, guitars), claypottery, straw hats, ...
This is by far the prettiest town on the island. It is located on a plain between mountains in an area with volcanic remains with brightly coloured stones. It is situated above a crater of a volcano that has been dormant for many years. It only has 709 inhabitants.
Betancuria was the capital of the island from 1404 when it was founded by the French. It remained the capital until the 19th century.
Things to see:
Thishas occupied a very important place in the island's history. Following the conqueringof Fuerteventura by the Castellanos the Spanish military command made a base here.It used to be a mainly agricultural area which supplied most of the island.
Nowit is an important tourist centre with infrastructure to support it (there arelots of hotels around Corralejo). It is also a natural area withprotected beaches which are surrounded by sand dunes. It is predominantly a fishingvillage and its small harbour is always full of life. You can find lots of typicalrestaurants around the harbour area serving local food. There are also diving,wind surfing and sailing schools as well as organised boat trips to the IslaLobos. There are many hotels and apartments in the area. Its unspoilt beachesare excellent with white sands and crystal clear water.
Thisarea covers 250 km2 and has around 3000 inhabitants. It is the oldest city onthe island, founded at the beginning of the 18th century. It is a very flat, ruralarea with windmills and many typical farmhouses. Popular for rural tourism. Italso has an interesting coastline and Caleta de Fustes, is one of thebusiest tourist areas on the island. Hotel chains with excellent facilities attractlarge numbers of tourists.
Things to see:
Thisis where the Jandía Natural Park is located. This town began toevolve in the 16th century. The town hall was built in 1711.
This iswhere most of the island's beaches are together with most of the islands hotels.This area is the least populated area in Fuerteventura. Tourism is the main sourceof income here. Things to see: Costa Calma, Puerto de Morro Jable,the fishing harbour where there are boat trips and facilities for water sports.Barlovento, is a very windy, dry area with subtropical marine life. In sotaventoyou have the Jandía beaches which are a paradise for divers due to thevaried marine life. Its beaches are unspoilt, with fine golden sand and crystalclear water.
Things to see:
Tuinejecovers 276 km2 and has 12,900 inhabitants. It is located in the southwest of Fuerteventura.Its main source of income is agriculture and cattle raising. The best beachesare Las Playitas, Gran Tarajal, Giniginamar and Tarajalejo. They are characterisedby their fine black sand and stones and calm sea despite the fact that they areoften very windy. There are hotels, restaurants, beach bars and some promenadesnear and around the beaches.
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