I’ve just returned from a spontaneous trip to Fuerteventura and have lots of photos to share…
Having never been abroad to a hot country (or at all for that matter!) during British Autumn/Winter-time, it definitely felt odd going from a brisk 9 degrees watching the fireworks on bonfire night in London, to boarding a plane and landing in 25 degree warmth in the Canary Islands the next morning!
People have always recommended the Canary Islands to me to visit; being just off the coast of North Africa, the archipelagos are hot and sunny all year round – plus they speak Spanish which is a bonus for me (even though my memory of it is more than a little rusty, admittedly…).
Specifically, we were visiting Fuerteventura, the second largest of these volcanic islands, known for white sandy beaches and surfing spots. Below are some of the things we got up to during our 9 day trip!
1. El Cotilo beach
On one of our first days we headed over to Corralejo to catch the ferry to Isla de Lobos, but ended up missing it so came up with a new day plan instead.
We drove a little further West to El Cotilo, a seaside town famous for its amazing beaches, with a beautiful lagoon area for swimming, as well as a long stretching bay that runs along the coast that’s perfect for surfing.
^ Anklet from Roo’s Beach
On our first visit to this area, we walked around the lagoon area – the weather was a little more cloudy than the other days but it was still warm enough for a quick sunbathe and a walk. The funny thing about the beaches in Fuerteventura is the little volcanic rock circles that are dotted all around as shelters/wind-breaks for beach-goers.
The second time we went to El Cotilo, we went to the beach on the south-side of the town instead, which is known for the enormous waves. This was potentially one of the windiest days during our stays, so the waves were huge and amazing to watch!
2. Volcano restaurant
We were based in Caleta de Fuste during our stay, and ended up eating out there most evenings (bar two evenings at the sushi restaurant and one evening when we made up a BBQ feast at the house!).
One of our favourite meals was at Volcano, which is rated 6th best on Trip Advisor in the area. It was a little more pricey than some of the other restaurants we visited, but it was definitely worth it! My seafood paella was amazing.
3. A Day on the Catamaran
Alex planned for us to go on a catamaran day trip on one of the days, and booked it before I’d had a chance to gently warn him that I get seasick. So naturally, I didn’t tell him.
The day came and as we walked down to the harbour on another of the windiest days of our trip, I could see the huge, choppy waves out to sea and I immediately regretted not bringing any travel sickness tablets with me. But I still didn’t say anything – I just REALLY hoped I wouldn’t get sick and ruin the day.
^ Seaglass bracelet from Tideline Treasure (Use code ANNA10 for 10% off!)
Yes, the waves were enormous, probably a 10ft swell and definitely the roughest sea I’ve ever been on, but miraculously I didn’t feel sick at all for the entire day! As many of the other tourists around us were feeling horribly ill, I was waiting for the wave of sickness to hit me, but it thankfully didn’t and we had a great time.
Despite the windy weather it was hot enough to strip down to swimwear and lounge about with drinks, enjoying the view as we went. We stopped for a while in a bay for lunch and jump into the ocean (which, by the way, is a beautifully pleasant temperature, considering it’s still the Atlantic!).
4. Shou sushi restaurant
Sushi being our favourite food, we couldn’t give this a miss! Located just up the road in Puerto del Rosario, this Japanese restaurant does the most amazing sushi… so good we ended up going to Shou twice during our stay.
We did struggle a little with ordering though, as the staff are all Spanish with no English knowledge whatsoever, but I guess it helps you brush up on your language skills a bit.
5. Surfing at Drop beach with 7 Island Surf*
One of the activities we knew we wanted to do while we were away was surfing! Considering Fuerteventura is pretty well known for the sport, it had to be done.
We drove down to Drop beach for the afternoon to meet Zac from 7 Island Surf, our instructor for the day. Drop beach (one of the first beaches you get to on the south edge of the Corralejo Parque Natural) is stunning – with totally white sand and dunes stretching back into the desert for miles!
The conditions there are usually really good for beginners, so there were lots of surf schools there when we arrived. However, once we’d done our warm up and introduction, it was starting to get emptier so we nabbed our spot in the water to get started!
The great thing about 7 Island Surf was that we were in such a small group (something they do deliberately to make sure everyone gets the most out of each session) – there were just 4 in our group for the day which was great as it meant loads of one-on-one time with the instructor.
I’ve done some surfing before in Newquay with Corinne, and in Portugal at the Salty Pelican, but I’m still very much a beginner. Zac was awesome at keeping an eye on my pop-up technique and showing me where my downfalls were and how to improve – and had me popping up without using my knees (apparently a bad habit – I didn’t realise!) in no time at all. I even managed to catch quite a few waves on my own.
7 Island Surf offer surf lessons, courses and even have their own surf house just outside Corralejo available for rental throughout the year, with surf and yoga holidays/packages you can add on too. Would definitely recommend checking them out if you’re keen for a surf in Fuerte!
Rated the 2nd best restaurant in Caleta de Fuste, and located in a particularly cute nook of the town, we knew we had to book a table here for one of our nights.
While Alex had fishcakes, I went for fried brie, gouda and goats cheese for starter (obviously!), served with red onion jam. It was amazing and filled me up quite a bit before my main – oops!
However, the portion sizes were perfect in 15, and I comfortably ate my delicious salmon with room for desert too… we couldn’t resist the long list of cheesecakes on offer.
We may have ordered two… in hindsight, we should have just got one and shared it but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. We ended up mostly eating the malteser flavoured one, even though both were insanely delicious!
7. Isla de Lobos
After finally managing to make the ferry in time, we headed off for our day trip to Isla de Lobos – an uninhabited nature reserve just a 15 minute boat ride north of Corralejo.
It was a beautiful trip across the sea over to the island (this time on a calm, flat day – thank goodness!) seeing the hazy silhouette of Lanzarote in the background of the island’s mini mountain.
As soon as we arrived, we walked over to the island’s tiny restaurant to book our table for their 2pm sitting, where they were serving either a paella or fresh fish and potatoes – this is essential as it gets booked up very quickly and you don’t want to be left on the island without any lunch!
The lagoons all around the island were absolutely stunning, with crystal clear turquoise water, it was a haven for photo taking, so apologies for the spam!
It was honestly like being back in Mexico with the stunning shallow bays to swim in, except instead of being surrounded by pelicans and palm trees, there were volcanic rocks and small desert mountains all around us.
We climbed up a few small ones to get a good view of the island and to look over at Corralejo, and Drop beach where we’d been surfing a few days before.
While we did spend a lot of time around our base of Caleta de Fuste (just a 10 minute drive from the airport), getting around the island was so easy and I’d definitely recommend hiring a car out there to reach the harder to get places.
* Our surf lesson with 7 Island Surf was in exchange for a review, but all opinions are truthfully my own! :)