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For a holiday of pure relaxation, look no further than Fuerteventura, a laidback island that promises sun, sand and sea…

Fuerteventura is a classic getaway destination. For a break that consists of relaxing on the beach, tucking into fresh local delicacies and perhaps taking a dip or two in the warm sea, this Canary Island should be at the top of your list.

The archipelago’s Spanish influence means that an afternoon nap on the beach is perfectly acceptable – just remember to call it a siesta! Embrace Fuerteventura’s local laidback attitude and enjoy total relaxation during your holiday. You can also go beyond the beaches by exploring the island’s charming towns and local museums to discover more about how people used to live here in the past.

 

Culture and history

Fuerteventura and the other Canary Islands are hugely influenced by Spanish culture. As a result, most people from Fuerteventura are Roman Catholic. Religious holidays are particularly important, and the most significant one occurs on the 6th of January. This celebration takes place on the day that the three kings arrived to present baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

This holiday is considered even more important than Christmas, locally, and parades are held across the island in celebration of the event. Children get most of their presents on this day, too, and will wake up to find gifts under their shoes – or a fake lump of coal if they’ve misbehaved. 

As you might use the word ‘Brits’ to describe people from Britain, islanders from Fuerteventura are often referred to as ‘Maho’. The term comes from the ancient word ‘mahos’, which was used to refer to a type of goatskin shoe. The word was used by the island’s first settlers who came from North Africa, and is one of the few remaining traditions in Fuerteventura from this time.

As in Spain, food is very important in Fuerteventura. Goat is one of the island’s most popular meats and is usually eaten roasted or stewed. Milk from goats is also used to make Fuerteventura’s speciality cheese, majorero. Similar to manchego, this cheese can be eaten on its own with pear products, or used when cooking with potatoes, pasta and vegetables.

Things to do

Whether you’re opting for a Canary Islands cruise or a week-long all-inclusive holiday in Fuerteventura, Saga has plenty of things for you to do. Join us on a group visit to Oasis Park, join a travelling partner on an expedition of historic discovery, or head out on your own and see what the island has to offer…

Betancuria

The town of Betancuria is situated in a scenic valley and was once the capital of Fuerteventura until people moved away due to a lack of farmable land. It was chosen for its highly defensible position, which was safe from pirate attacks – except for one notable incident in 1593.

Take a visit to Casa Santa Maria, a flawlessly preserved 17th-century house in the centre of Betancuria. Here, you’ll wander through luscious gardens, browse ancient farming utensils and see how traditional handicrafts are made. For more historical discovery, visit the small Archaeological Museum, where you can learn about the island’s original inhabitants and how they lived.

Jandia

Some of the island’s best beaches can be found in southern peninsula of Jandia. Strong winds from the Western Sahara frequently blow sands across the sea to Fuerteventura’s shores. This soft, white African desert sand makes Jandia’s beaches so special, and the coastal winds make the area especially popular with wind surfers as well as sunbathers, so you’ll never run out of people to watch! 

The quaint nearby town of Morro Jable is also worth visiting. Here, you’ll witness old fashioned island life, complete with a picturesque fishing harbour and nearby seafood restaurants that serve up the most delicious catches of the day. You can eat a delicious fish meal outside in the sun as you watch boats make their way across the sea.

Flight time

Flights from London to Fuerteventura take just over 4 hours. Pick up a magazine at the airport, or take a good book, and the time will fly by.

Currency

Euro

Passports and visas

As long as your passport is valid for the duration of your holiday in Fuerteventura, then you won’t need to worry about anything else. British citizens don’t need a visa to visit Spain, so you can sit back and relax.

Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports and visas.

Timezone

Good news – there’s no time difference between Fuerteventura and the UK.

Electricity

Fuerteventura uses two-pin sockets which are suitable for use with a Type C plug European adapter. Pick up a European adapter before you head off to the Canary Islands, or you may not be able to use plugs in hotels.

Language

Spanish; Castilian

Tipping

A small tip is expected in recognition of good service, but tipping isn’t compulsory. If your restaurant bill doesn’t include a service charge, then a tip of around 10% is considered fair

Tipping in taxis and bars is uncommon, but these staff will always be happy for you to round up your bill to the nearest euro or leave loose change as a tip. You can also leave a small envelope, with one or two euros per night of your stay sealed within, for the hotel’s housekeeping staff.

Climate

An ideal holiday destination at any time of year, Fuerteventura always has consistently warm temperatures. If you’re in need of some winter sun, then you can expect average temperatures of between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius from November to February.

A trip during the high season months of July to September will have higher average temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius and highs of 28. Average sea temperatures rarely dip below 18 degrees, even in December, so there are no excuses for avoiding a dip! Make sure to pack up your swimming costume to take advantage of Fuerteventura’s lovely warm waters.

Health

The best way to prepare yourself for your holiday is to arrange a GP appointment at least 12 weeks before departure. Your GP will be able to advise you of any precautions you need to take.

If you’d like to do some extra research before or after seeing your GP, then you can find country-specific information and advice on potential health risks through the National Travel Health Network and Centre. You can also find information for British nationals travelling abroad through The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit.

Population and size

After Tenerife, Fuerteventura is the second largest Canary Island with a size of 1,660 square kilometres, roughly the same as Hertfordshire. The local population reaches just over 100,000 people, although only around a quarter of those people were born on the island.

Many Fuerteventura residents come from Spain, other Canary Islands and from all over the world. The biggest contributor to population growth recently has been immigration from other countries. Fuerteventura is a desirable place to live, and with the island’s year-round warm temperatures it’s not difficult to see why it’s so popular!

Smoking

Spain’s smoking ban is in effect across all of Spain, Fuerteventura included. Smoking is prohibited inside public places such as workplaces, bars and restaurants.

These no-smoking areas are clearly marked, but most outdoor areas are fine to light up. If you’re ever unsure, take your cue from the locals – if they’re smoking in an area, then it’s probably ok to smoke there. To avoid smoke, choose to sit inside or upwind if you’re eating outside.