18. – 25. März 2023, Wanderreise Aktiv und Entspannt mit Wikingerreisen
Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean and is part of the North Africa region, politically part of Spain. At 1,660 square kilometres, it is the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife. Fuerteventura in 2018 had 113,275 inhabitants. It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in May 2009. Its capital is Puerto del Rosario.
Several Spanish and Portuguese expeditions to the islands were organized around 1340, followed by Moors and European slave traders. At the end of the Iberian conquest, the island was divided into two Guanches kingdoms, one adhering to King Guize and the other to King Ayoze. The territories of these kingdoms were called Maxorata (in the North) and Jandía (in the South) respectively. They were separated by a wall, which traversed the La Pared isthmus. Some remains have been preserved. The ancient name for the island, Erbania, is derived from this wall’s name.
The island’s conquest began in earnest in 1402, commanded by French knights and crusaders Jean de Béthencourt and Gadifer de la Salle. They arrived with only 63 sailors out of the original 283, as many had deserted along the way. After arriving and settling inLanzarote, the invaders made some first excursions to the neighboring islands. In 1404, Bethencourt and Gadifer founded Betancuria, on the West coast, the first settlement on the island. After numerous difficulties, Gadifer took charge of the invasion, while Bethencourt returned to Spain to seek the recognition and support of the Castilian king. In 1405, de Béthencourt completed his conquest of the island, establishing its capital in Betancuria (Puerto Rosario took over the mantle as island capital in 1835). Over time, the island endured numerous raids. ABerber-led expedition invaded in 1593, sweeping as far inland as the capital.
The first tourist hotel was built in 1965 followed by the construction of Fuerteventura Airport at El Matorral, heralding the dawn of a new era for the island. Fuerteventura, with its 3,000 sunshine hours a year, was placed firmly on the world stage as a major European holiday destination.While having fully developed tourist facilities, the island has not experienced the overdevelopment found on some other islands.Nonetheless, it remains a destination for predominantly but not exclusively European tourists.
The summer Trade Windsand winter swells of the Atlantic make this a year-round surfers’ paradise, with more exposed areas on the north and west shores such as Corralejo and El Cotillo proving most popular. Wind surfing takes places at locations around the island. Sailors, scuba divers and big-game fishermen are all drawn to these clear blue Atlantic waters where whales, dolphins, marlin and turtles are all common sights. With many hills present throughout the Island, hikers are also attracted to this Island.
Excellent sandy beaches are found in many locations. Western beaches, such as those around El Cotillo, can experience strong surf. The beaches adjoining the extensive sand dunes east of Corralejo are popular, as are the more protected extensive sandy shores of the Playa de Sotavento de Jandia on the southeastern coast between Costa Calma and the Morro Jable.
Much of the interior, with its large plains, lavascapes and volcanic mountains, consists of protected areas, although there are organised tours and vehicular access across them.
Sites of interest include Corralejo and El Jable to the north which are made up of fine sand dunes whilst the south is filled with long beaches and remote bays. The constant winds blowing onto the beaches provide a paradise for windsurfing. Surfing is common on the west and north coasts where there are large waves. Windsurfing is common around Corralejo and Playas de Sotavento and wave sailing (windsurfing on the waves) on the coast along the northern half of the island. El Cotillo is a small fishing village in the north-west of the Island famous for a very long beach to the south of the village and few very calm beaches to the north. The northern beaches frequented by snorkeling enthusiasts and sun worshippers alike are referred to as lakes by the locals.