This week we had to choose where to eat in Fuerteventura that was somewhere in the middle of the island. That was because friends of ours were here on holiday in Fuerteventura, staying in the south of the island in Costa Calma, and we wanted to meet them for lunch.
The restaurant is located in the little village of Vega de Rio Palmas which is in the mountains just outside Betancuria, roughly in the centre of Fuerteventura.
It is in a very quiet setting at the end of the village with views of the mountains from the patio. There is a lovely courtyard, which is a green oasis, and a pond with fish and terrapins/turtles and other wildlife.
The Casa de la Naturaleza restaurant was recommended by my Spanish teacher, Sally, so we decided to meet there. We were glad we did as it turned out to be one of nicest restaurants in Fuerteventura that we have eaten at. The food was good but the setting and the restaurant itself were absolutely amazing.
Whichever way you get to the restaurant means an interesting Fuerteventura mountain road drive. It is a great place for lunch in the mountains and would be good to eat there when visiting Betancuria or the Caves of Ajuy.
As we have had quite a bit of rain this winter, well for here. The island was greener than I have ever seen it before. If you are touring the island and wondering where to eat in Fuerteventura give it a try.
In this video I show the main areas of Caleta de Fuste, including the marina, the beaches, shops, restaurants, bars, some of the hotels and the golf courses. I also talk a bit about what Costa Caleta was like in 1987 when I first stayed there.
First I show the marina area which is one of the nicest parts of the resort I think.
After that the video covers the two Caleta beaches – Castillo beach and Atlantico beach. Both beaches are completely artificial. The sand has been imported to create what I would describe as a “beach theme area” rather than a beach. They are without a doubt the worst beaches on Fuerteventura, but some people seem to love them. Each to their own I guess.
I then show some of the town centre commercial areas starting with Castillo Central. Then I cover the shops in Caleta de Fuste with some of the bars and restaurants in Caleta de Fuste too. I couldn’t really show the Caleta de Fuste nightlife in this video. Another day (or night) perhaps.
There are too many hotels in Caletato cover in one video but I do show the Barcelo Fuerteventura and the Hotel Elba Carlota.
This is followed by a quick look at the Fuerteventura golf courses – first the Fuerteventura Golf Resort, which is a championship course where the Spanish Open took place in 2004. Then I show the Golf Club Salinas de Antigua which is the “public” course.
I finish the video by going to the top of Chipmunk Mountain and show some general views of the area.
When people are looking for somewhere to go to escape the cold and rain in northern Europe during winter one of their first questions is “What is the weather like in Fuerteventura in winter?”
Well in this video, hopefully, I will answer that question. I have experienced winter in Fuerteventura for the past 9 years.
One of the key things about deciding to retire in Fuerteventura was the climate. It has to have the best climate in the world year round. Rarely too hot in summer and never actually cold in winter. I used to suffer from sad (seasonal affective disorder) in the UK I think in winter. Another way of putting it is – I was totally pissed off with the weather!
The lowest average winter temperatures are in January with an average of 18°C but of course that means that many days are above 20°C.
Fuerteventura in November seemed seemed quite busy for me. Well, that is to say, I got plenty of footage, even if what I did wasn’t very exciting. I decided to split the monthly vlog into two.
Sue went off to the UK for 17 nights to visit family and I stayed here with the dogs. I decided to try and finish roofing a pergola at the rear of our house while she was gone.
I started it earlier in the year but it became too hot to spend much time up there so I delayed it until now. A neighbour of ours had their wooden lounge floor removed and replaced with tiles. The wood was going to the recycling centre so I recycled it instead. It is solid teak so very hard which meant I couldn’t nail the wood on as planned as I bent 4 out of every 5 nails. I therefore had to drill, countersink and screw every piece in place. So each section took ages.
While Sue was away I was either doing DIY or w alking the dogs. In 17 days I only spoke to one human being face to face!
We had dog walks in the Bristol Playa area of Corralejo, barrancos of Lajares.
The 30th International Fuerteventura Kite Festival 2017 took place over the weekend of 9th-12th November 2017 with kites from all over Europe taking part. It is easily the most colourful event of the year in Fuerteventura. It starts off on the Playa de la Concha in El Cotillo for one day and then the weekend is on the Corralejo Dunes Beach.
This year seems to have been even more popular with spectators than normal as I got stuck in my first ever traffic jam here on the way to the beach. It took me an hour from the end of the queue to get parked by the beach.
There were many 3d kites flying along with lots of other types of kite. I particularly liked the little Minions kites.
The kite flyers spend all day on a lovely beach topping up their tans. Doing a kite flying festival is not a bad hobby really!
Unfortunately the giant octopus kite wasn’t flying while I was there.
Quite a busy month in September 2017 with both my brother and my son and his wife visiting – see my previous video https://youtu.be/K0CxYm1K5Og
This is what happened in the rest of the month.
We were indoors watching tv one evening when a motorbike went by, followed by a bang. When we went outside, the motorbike was against a wall and had caught on fire. The rider was nowhere to be seen. It took the Bomberos (fire brigade) over 20 minutes to arrive which doesn’t bode well if we have a house fire. They do have to come from Corralejo though.
When I loaded this video it had a little more footage in the sports bar in El Cotillo, where the football was being shown. Within 10 minutes of uploading the video, La Liga (Spanish League) claimed copyright of the video. So I received a copyright infringement on the video. This means that any of the small amount I received when people watch the adverts would go to them. Bugger that! I re-edited the video and uploaded it again. Up yours La Liga!
So many people seem to think that the life of an expat here in Fuerteventura is just one big holiday. If only that were the case.
What most people overlook is that once you live somewhere, as opposed to coming on holiday, life takes over. We have to do the shopping, do housework, do the washing, walk the dogs, and, in our case, turnaround our rental apartment.
When we came here on holiday for a week or two we ate out most nights. We spent most days on the beach. But of course, the life of an expat can’t be like that.
The “dream” sequence: By the way, Jenny Agutter has always been a favourite of mine. In 1973, when I was 18, I was just coming out of a station in London. As I exited I, literally, bumped into the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. We smiled at each other, said “Sorry” and immediately fell in love. I didn’t know who she was but as she walked away I heard someone next to me say “That was Jenny Agutter”. She was about 19 at the time. Unfortunately, it was only one-way unrequited love it seems as she hasn’t tried to find me as far as I know – but I still live in hope!
If you are an ex-pat, let me know if your life is one long holiday in the comments below.
I have been having learning Spanish in one-to-one lessons for a couple of years now. The biggest problem I have is that I don’t get much chance to actually practice speaking Spanish. This is rather sad when you consider that I live in a Spanish speaking place.
Although I don’t live in a predominately expat area I still don’t have any Spanish friends that I can practice speaking with. And speaking it is the key really. You can learn as much of the theory as you like but unless you can practice it doesn’t really help.
I can understand quite a bit of Spanish. If I listen to someone’s conversation, or the radio, then I can usually get the gist of it as you don’t need to know every word. But speaking Spanish is a different matter. You can’t just say a few words to be understood but need all the words to make sense.
My Spanish teacher is Sally who is based in Corralejo – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1425068397797916/
Another in the series of “JP drones on about something” videos. Watch in Youtube.
There are mile upon mile of beautiful sandy beaches in Fuerteventura dotted all around the coast. It was the beaches that pulled me here in the first place and I have ended up living here.
Fuerteventura really is a beach lovers’ paradise. When it comes to choosing the best beaches in Fuerteventura you are so spoiled for choice that it is hard to actually choose. There are very few bad beaches in Fuerteventura and such a variety that there is one to suit everyone’s taste.
Whether you like busy beaches with amenities or a secluded completely natural beach, perhaps to yourself, then Fuerteventura is the place to head to. Holidays in Fuerteventura are all about sun, sand and sea, so are perfect for a relaxed away from it all holiday.
I think they are some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, if not the best, and they are certainly the best in the Canary Islands. Islands such as Lanzarote can’t even come close.
My Favourite Beaches in Fuerteventura
These are just my personal favourite best beaches in Fuerteventura, not that there aren’t some other lovely beaches in Fuerteventura. I have chosen these as not only are they beautiful but they are easily reached by car or public transport.
El Cotillo Beaches
El Cotillo is on the north-west coast and is about a 25 minute drive from Corralejo (or a 40 minute bus ride on the number 8 bus).
The beaches of El Cotillo include the lovely lagoons to the north of the village and the more rugged beaches to the south. The lagoons have calm safe water to swim in and lots of little beaches and areas to sunbath in.
The only beach bar in El Cotillo is located on Playa de la Concha which is the largest of the lagoon beaches.
The beaches south of the village are popular with surfers and kite surfers.
These beaches run along the beautiful sand dunes national park for a number of miles and include soft white sand and clear waters. All can be walked to from Corralejo town (a fair walk), alternatively get the Puerto del Rosario bus and get off at the two hotels or you can park a car at a convenient point on the road.
There are beach bars near the two hotels as well as sun loungers etc if that is your thing. As you progress further towards where the dunes meet the sea it becomes completely uncommercialised. This is the area you are most likely to come across naturists, although not only in this area.
There is another small beach bar the other side of the dunes area near the first beach by the road.
The Jandia beaches are located in the south west of the island. They run for about 20 miles from Morro Jable in the south to Costa Calma at the northern end.
There are various roads coming off the main road which lead to the beach all along it’s length. Try Esquinzo, Butihondo, Sotavento and Esmeralda beaches which all have exits signposted off the main road.
Sotavento beach is very popular with kite and wind surfers as well.
La Pared is located towards the south west of the island. It is popular with surfers.
It is never really crowded so can be a great place to head to for a quiet day lying on the sand. There are no amenities on or near the beach (thankfully) so make sure you take your drinks and food with you.
Cofete is located right in the south of the island and involves a spectacular drive to reach it. It is well worth the effort and you really may find much of the beach entirely to yourself as it is a large beach and probably the least visited on the island..
In 2013 they filmed much of the parting of the Dead Sea scenes in the Hollywood film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, starring Christian Bale on the beach in Cofete.
Most of the beaches in Fuerteventura are used by naturists, at least in part. Naturists and non-naturists generally co-exist quite happily. The town beaches aren’t naturist, particularly those in Caleta de Fuste, but most are at least naturist friendly.
I believe that Spanish law states that it is perfectly legal to be nude in any “natural” areas – which is why it doesn’t take place on the town beaches.
I must admit though that many of the beaches are not as naturist as they were when I first came to Fuerteventura 30+ years ago. Even the beaches by the road in the dunes of Corralejo were predominately nude back then but these days it is rare to see anyone nude there. I think it is a shame as it shows how things become less relaxed once mass tourism hits.
The most popular beaches with naturists are:
The main dune beach area of Corralejo
The lagoon beaches of El Cotillo towards the lighthouse
Steps beach outside El Cotillo
Much of Sotavento/Jandia beach in the south
If you don’t want to see nude people on the beach then don’t go to these beaches. Don’t go to them with the intention of being deliberately “offended”. Believe it or not, people actually do that.
I remember going to a beach in Dorset which had a naturist section, with signs either side defining the naturist area. It made me laugh to see that the most crowded parts of that beach, by far, were the two areas immediately outside the naturist section!
My advice would be – If you haven’t tried it – don’t knock it. Perhaps your holiday in Fuerteventura is the ideal time to give it a go.
I think naturists are actually very accepting people. An example would be, if a large woman wore a skimpy bikini on a clothed (textile) beach lots of people would look and think “Look at her. How can she wear something like that!” whereas on a naturist beach, if the same woman was nude, no-one would take any notice.
Fuerteventura Beaches Video
Finally, the following video will give you a great idea of what the first three of these beaches are like so please check it out.
In the middle of July we had a Calima, which isn’t unusual, but then we also had a thunderstorm. Because there was so much dust in the air, due to the Calima, once the rain dried it left dust stuck to everything.
It took days to clean the terraces, windows and then the swimming pool. In fact, I had to clean the pool on the waste setting. This was because the dust was so fine that the filters could not cope with it. By cleaning on the waste setting all the dust and water sucked up from the bottom goes straight out into the front garden, rather than being recycled through the filter. It took 4 hours to top the pool up afterwards.
What is a Calima?
A Calima is a wind that blows from the Sahara Desert in the east towards the Canary Islands. Generally it brings very hot weather and lots of dust. It has been known to bring a plague of locusts a few years ago.
It is very rare for us to get rain in Fuerteventura at this time of year but at least it is good for the garden and the wildlife. Fortunately the Canary Islands weather is 99% good year round with just the occasional blip.
NOTE: It is now early August and we have another Calima but it is hotter than before. Hopefully we will not get any rain to go with it.