Fuerteventura: The Canary Islands’ natural wonder

Sitting just 60 miles off the coast of Africa, Fuerteventura is a mesmerising island of exquisite landscapes, UNESCO-protected nature reserves and diverse wildlife.

It’s just over a four-hour flight from the UK and – at almost three times the size of the Isle of Man – best explored by car, with a camera to hand.

From the local goats of the volcanic mountains to the varied range of protected birdlife, we’ve picked out some the natural wonders that make this – the second largest of the Canary Islands – such a magical place.

Montana de Tindaya

In the north-east of the island, close to the small village of La Oliva, the 400-metre tall Montana de Tindaya is easy to spot.

Known as the ‘sacred mountain’, it was once believed to have magical properties, according to Fuerteventura folklore. It has huge archaeological value, too – more than 300 foot-shaped engravings are etched into its base.

Head up the south-west face of the mountain for a rewarding hike to the summit.

The Corralejo dunes

The breathtaking sand dunes of Corralejo are one of the most popular natural areas of Fuerteventura. Near-white sands, cobalt-blue waters and a contrasting red and black volcanic backdrop – Corralejo is a wonder to behold.

Stretching along the shore for more than six miles, the dunes are perfect for a wildlife-filled wander. It’s a designated Special Protection Area for Birds, where you might spot the local houbara bustard – a fairly large, sandy coloured bird with a wingspan up to 170cm.

If you’re here to relax, find some peace – and shelter from the sun – beneath an umbrella on a waterside sun lounger, where you can watch windsurfers and kiteboarders take to the waves.

Jandia Natural Park

This protected natural park covers the peninsula of Jandia. It’s a wild, almost untouched mountainous area, created by volcanoes, and it teems with wildlife.

The view from Pico de la Zarza mountain is worth the climb. At 807 metres tall, up here you can see Cofete beach in all its glory, with the comical bleating of the mountain’s resident goats in the distance.

While hiking through the mountainous terrain, look down and you may spot local reptiles, such as the lisa majorera – a small brown lizard. Look up to the skies, and you’ll likely spot one of the 30 different species of local nesting birds, like the robin-sized Fuerteventura stonechat, found only on the island.

El Cotillo

On the north-west coast, you’ll find the beautiful coastal town of El Cotillo, said by some to have one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.

El Cotillo is also a fantastic fishing resort, thanks to its spectacular volcanic-rock lagoons, spanning several bays and blissfully sheltered from the open sea. With just a gentle breeze and small waves, the pools are also perfect for a relaxing swim. There are no shops or sunbeds on the beach, so it’s just as nature intended.

Discover everything this beautiful Canary Island has to offer with car hire in Fuerteventura.