If you are looking to get away from the cold weather, Fuerteventura is a great winter sun holiday destination. Fly there in just under four hours from London. Near the coast of North Africa this Spanish island is the second largest of the Canary Islands.
During the winter months temperatures remain in the high teens and low 20s; making it much warmer than most places in Europe. Day temperatures should feel warm enough to sunbathe, although the sea may feel a little refreshing. I recommend packing a light jacket or warmer top for the evenings as it can get a bit chilly once the sun goes in. There are often less tourists than the summer months so the beaches and beauty spots are quieter too. If you like to escape the crowds it’s a good time of year to go.
I hadn’t realised how diverse Fuerteventura’s landscape is, not only are there beautiful beaches, but mountains, volcanoes and the incredible ever shifting sand dunes of Corralejo’s Natural Park. It is easy to see why it was named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2009.
Here are a few ideas on what to do on your winter sun holiday…
Spend time on the beach:
For Europeans this is a novelty in itself as temperatures dip across most of Europe during the winter and daylight hours decrease. The beaches are stunning with crystal clear waters and golden sand; it’s hard not to be impressed. As long as the sun hasn’t dipped behind a cloud the temperatures are perfect for sunbathing. Fuerteventura is known for being windy, for this reason you’ll spot ‘Corralitos’ on many of the beaches on the island. These semi-circular stonewalls were created to keep the wind off when sunbathing and also give a bit of privacy. Fuerteventura’s beaches are popular with naturists; so don’t be surprised to see a naked body or two! Here’s the rundown on my favourite beach spots…
La Concha Beach, El Cotillo:
Much of the west coast is pretty rough and not suitable for swimming but La Concha Beach in the quiet town of El Cotillo is a great spot. Protected by reef and rocks this horseshoe shaped bay is perfect for a dip in the ocean and a popular spot with families. Found north of the town towards the lighthouse it has parking, toilets, showers and a bar/cafe right on the sand.
Playa Hoplaco, Corralejo:
I love this little beach, in the centre of Corralejo it has turquoise waters, white sand and is great for rock pooling when the tide is out. Views of Los Lobos and Lanzarote make a picture perfect backdrop and the promenade lined with cafes and restaurants is right next-door.
Playa Alzada, Corralejo:
Out by the dunes this is my absolute favourite beach. Heading south out of Corralejo take the road to the sand dunes past Grand Playas beaches and the Rui hotels. There are a few beaches on this stretch, Alzada is pretty much one of the last crescent shaped bays. There’s parking on the side of the road and lifeguards on patrol. The sand dunes behind make an incredible backdrop. The beach is just below the road, although I really didn’t find traffic noise a problem, the gentle waves and soapy blue water make this a dreamy spot.
Glass Beach, Corralejo:
Also known as El Burro Beach and located next door to Playa Alzada, it’s a popular location. There’s a small headland to the left with the Corralito stone circles, they make a great little shelter on windier days. Lifeguards are on duty here.
There are no facilities at Glass or Alzada Beach so bring your own picnic and supplies. If you’ve got children they will love exploring the rock pools when the tide is low.
Hire a car:
The best way to explore the island is to hire a car, especially if there is a grey day. We hired a car with Drive Emotion. To really admire Fuerteventura’s diverse landscape drive south from Corralejo to Betancuria, the old capital. This scenic route will take you past Volcanoes in La Oliva and up into the mountains where jaw dropping panoramic views of the island await. Stop at the view points to take in the sweeping terrain below and follow the winding mountain road down into a lush green valley. There are a few quaint towns to drive through; Betancuria is definitely worth a stop off. A beautiful church and the ruins of an old convent give a good insight into Fuerteventura’s past and are completely different to the tourist spots along the coast.
Explore the sand dunes at Corralejo Natural Park:
The sand dunes at Corralejo Natural Park are incredible. Ever changing due to the winds and a dramatic volcanic backdrop give a lunar feel. In front of the vast dunes is the turquoise ocean, making this protected area one like no other. Park up alongside the coastal road and cross over to explore the vast dunes. It’s a fantastic way to spend a few hours, a unique spot that you just have to see for yourself.
If you like hiking the volcanic Montana Roja is a popular trek in the dunes. It stands at 314 meters high and is around a 5 hour hike. This is a walk for the more experienced and it’s worth checking routes before you go.
Enjoy dinner and drinks with sea views:
There are plenty of lovely locations to enjoy drinks or food by the ocean in Fuerteventura, my favourites are:
Sunset Lounge: Head here for laid back beach vibes and sand between your toes. Right on the beach this is a cool bar to watch surfers and windsurfers from. Serving up cocktails, mocktails and whatever else takes your fancy. The Sunset Lounge is famous for its Sunday night beach parties. A barbecue and DJ sets keep the party going into the night.
Savannah Beach: Step right off the beach into this cool venue for food with ocean views, . A glass front keeps the wind off, making it a nice suntrap. Food is reasonably priced and it’s nice to sit and watch surfers go by to nearby beach breaks.
Waikiki: This is a bit of an institution in Corralejo, right on the beach and in the centre of town. The Hawaiian vibes fit in perfectly with the dreamy sea views. If it’s too windy sit indoors, if not secure a table on the sand. There’s a playhouse for kids and the cocktails and mocktails are a tasty and refreshing treat.
La Marina: On the beach promenade in Corralejo town centre. My favourite spot for food and views, the best steak and kebab skewers I have ever had, good wine, cocktails and gorgeous ocean views.
Go on a day trip:
Lanzarote and the small island of Los Lobos can both be seen from Corralejo. Lanzarote can be reached by boat in around 25 minutes. Los Lobos can be incorporated into a boat trip or catch a ferry across from the harbour in Corralejo in around 15 minutes. Part of the Corralejo Dunes Natural Park exploring is limited to marked paths and there is only one restaurant on the deserted island. This makes it the perfect place to visit to escape the buzz of Corralejo. Stroll to the lighthouse, watch for endangered birds and relax on the beach at Playa de la Concha.
Dune buggy trips are popular adventures with tons of companies providing daily excursions. Buzz around off road exploring volcanic areas and the sand dunes in a unique mode of transport. If I hadn’t been pregnant at the time of my trip I would definitely have done this as it looks like so much fun!
Surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing are all popular sports. If you want to learn to surf there are plenty of surf schools in and around Corralejo and ideal beginner waves. Rocky Point is a good beginner spot with easy right hand waves, wetsuits boots are recommended to clamber over the rocky reef.
Fuerteventura: A winter sun holiday destination
As a winter sun destination, Fuerteventura has so much to offer. The winter months excluding December are often a quieter time of year to visit with fewer tourists. It’s warm enough to sunbathe on the beach and there’s plenty of exploring to be done if the sun isn’t shining. Hire a car and explore the islands diverse landscapes. Head to the mountains for jaw dropping views and stroll around the quaint town of Betancuria. Walk in the sand dunes, have a cocktail at a beach bar and get that much need vitamin d from the winter sun! To help plan your trip Marco Polo have a Fuerteventura guide with a useful pull out map.
For another winter sun destination check out my blog post on Mallorca: Finding Winter Sunshine in Mallorca. Although it may not reach the same temperatures as Fuerteventura it’s a nice option for a winter break.
This is a sponsored post with Marco Polo Guides. As always all views and opinions are my own.