Last Thanksgiving I whisked my boyfriend off for a surprise adventure to relax together after spending the first six months of our relationship with him deployed. I wanted to go somewhere that we could relax, eat good food, and do adventurous activities. The only problem was that NOWHERE IN EUROPE IS WARM DURING WINTER. Well, after copious amounts of searching and researching I found the place: Fuerteventura. Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands that technically belong to Spain, although geographically speaking, it is pretty much Africa.
Fuerteventura has an intensely rugged landscape and is mostly desert. There are few trees, but it is beautiful in its own distinct way. For some reason it reminded me of the moon. It’s mountainous, thanks to being formed by volcanoes (but don’t fret- the last volcanic activity was between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago). Incredible sandy beaches dazzle the perimeter of the island, including a black sand beach at Ajuy. On sunny days, it is particularly picturesque. The immense contrast between the water and the sometimes rocky shore is breathtakingly beautiful.
Fuerteventura is known for being warm during winter. The ‘high’ temperatures during the cold months average 72 F, which is much warmer than the other parts of Europe. It is a renowned area for kitesurfing and windsurfing due to the constant strong winds. This isn’t something to overlook- it is surprising how strong the winds can be. When you go, be sure to only bring hats you can fasten to your head and know plenty of up-dos for your hair. There is almost no way to keep it neat and presentable. Luckily, there are on average 16 rainy days per year.
In my opinion, the best place to stay is the Northern tip of the island in Corralejo. You are right in the hustle and bustle of the island. There are tons of options for food. This isn’t the best place for clubbing, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any night life.
Why should anyone go to Fuerteventura? I’m about to blow your mind!
1. Fuerteventura is a giant surf community! The beaches are beautiful, the waves are great. On one side, by Corralejo, the waves and shore are perfect for all levels of surfers. Over in El Cotillo there are MUCH larger waves that should only be attempted by professionals. It looked extremely dangerous while I was there. Be cautious if you find yourself in this area. Other than that, the water is just lovely!
2. It’s very clean. I was blown away by how non-touristy the areas were. There was a little bit of construction going on, but even those areas were very clean.
3. The people are amazing. They are beyond friendly, beautiful, and are extremely patient if you attempt to speak in Spanish to them.
4. Great Food! The American tradition of feasting on Thanksgiving was not lost on this vacation. Immediately after landing, Trevor and I sniffed out a local cuisine joint and had the most delicious tapas, wine, and Sangria we had ever encountered. There was even a live band playing. One of the guys only had one eyeball and totally rocked out.
5. IT IS WARM DURING WINTER. SERIOUSLY. What more could you want
Places that tickled my fancy:
Soul Barcafe: This is a cocktail bar that I will remember my whole life. When we first arrived we described our tastes in drinks and asked the owner what he recommended. Shortly after, he brought out the most magnificent, perfect, mouthwatering drinks I had ever had. This place was the highlight of our trip. After having our taste buds blown away, we finally asked the owner where he got the recipes from. He let us in on his little secret. This book right here! The drinks were literally so good that I bought two copies of the book so that I could attempt to make a drink half as delicious as the ones there, as well as give the book as a gift for fellow alcohol enthusiasts. Seriously, if you go to Fuerteventura- DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE.
Pizzaria da Fabbio: Incredible food at an affordable price. We tried coming back here several times (something I never do on trips) but unfortunately they were closed when we were hungry. The pasta is cooked to perfection. Right across the street is the perfect coffee house/gelato lounge that is amazing for dessert. This was some of the best food we ate the entire trip.