Last Updated on June 11, 2022 by Editorial Staff
By Rachel Lankester, founder Magnificent Midlife
It was such a delight when holidays abroad finally became possible after Covid. When travel restrictions eased, we decided to visit somewhere we’d never been before, the Canary Islands. We wanted some sunshine and warmth in February!
We absolutely loved Fuerteventura where we stayed. This post is about a one day road trip we did around the whole island. We also visited Lanzarote, the island next door, and you can see the one day road trip we did on Lanzarote here.
Our base was a lovely hotel in Corralejo, at the northern tip of Fuerteventura. The town was a bit touristy but also a lovely port, and we loved being able to walk along the beach and round the bay. It was wonderful.
We struggled to find a hire car but eventually managed to get one from Wendy’s on the main tourist drag. We hired the car for two days – we did the entire island of Fuerteventura where we were staying on the first day and then a tour of Lanzarote, on the second.
This is the road trip we did on Fuerteventura. It could be doable if you’re staying on Lanzarote so long as you’re not too far from the ferry terminal in Playa Blanca and are willing to get up early! The inspiration for both this one day road trip and the one on Lanzarote was the findingupendi.com blog. We followed her itinerary almost to the letter and it was really brilliant.
From Corralejo to Playa de Sotavento de Jandía
Following the advice of Finding Upendi, we drove south along the coast from Corralejo to Puerto Del Rosario, the capital of the island and main port, passing salt marshes and then further south, the volcanic fields of Pozo Negro. It’s worth navigating through the Corralejo dunes via the FV-1a rather than going immediately onto the main FV-1 road, because then you’re able to see this spectacular place which is just south of Corralejo. We subsequently made a day trip out of visiting the Dunes Natural Park.
We didn’t stop anywhere as we made our way south towards Costa Calma. Finding Upendi said it wasn’t worth stopping in Costa Calma and we followed her advice. Instead we headed straight for the main attraction which is the beach, Playa de Sotavento de Jandía. We found the road to the beach having thought initially that we probably missed it and we headed down towards it and then came across the most incredible view. It was a long way to get further down to the beach, so we decided we’d probably seen it at its most spectacular and to head on to our next destination.
We then headed further south towards the Cofete viewpoint. You go through Morro Jable and then follow the sign off to the right towards Cofete. But this is where the paved road ends. Technically you’re not allowed to take a hire car on a non-paved road. So if you’re going to do this, be sure to hire one that is nicely elevated from the ground!
I was very glad that my husband drove this part of the route. It’s not the easiest of roads. But we’re used to driving off-road in Portugal, so it wasn’t too hair-raising. The surface is also pretty good for a non-tarmac road. The road twists and turns and takes you into one of the most remote areas of the island. We’d read on the Finding Upendi blog about the friendly goats in this area and here’s one we met.
The road winds upwards and eventually you reach the top where there is another amazing view of a beach. This one, Cofete, is 14 km long and ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in Europe. It was a bit cloudy by the time we got up there but we still got a nice view. Again we didn’t drive down to the beach because the only way back was along the same very steep and windy road. We decided we’d seen enough.
Puerto de la Cruz
Our next destination was the southernmost tip of the island, Puerto de la Cruz, known amongst the locals as El Puertito. We decided we’d come this far so we had to go all the way! El Puertito is a very small and remote village where there are a few houses and three restaurants. We were looking forward to having lunch there as recommended by Finding Upendi, but it soon became clear it would take a very long time to get lunch, and we didn’t want to miss out on seeing the rest of the island. So we passed on lunch.
We did go to Punta Jandía Lighthouse at the very tip of the island and just beyond El Puertito. This was really worth doing for the views and also because we saw a chipmunk! Yes seriously here is a picture of a chipmunk. Apparently a pair of chipmunks were let loose sometime in the not too distant past and they have thrived on this desert island. This chipmunk was very happy to share our apple.
The only way back from El Puertito is along the same road, so if you want to do this journey you’ve got to be prepared to do an hour each way on an untarmacked and very windy road.
Through the mountains to Betancuria
We then headed north again, eventually taking the FV-30 towards Betancuria, the historical capital of the island. This road is absolutely gorgeous. It wriggles through the mountains with amazing views. We drove through the small town of Pájara which looked lovely, but sadly we didn’t have enough time to stop. We did stop at the Mirador Las Peñitas viewpoint where the views were incredible including the black top of a now dead volcano in the distance.
We stopped in Bentancuria and this was really worth a visit. We didn’t arrive until quite late in the afternoon and wished we’d been earlier and had more time. If we’d had the hire car for longer, we’d have spent more time exploring this area. Bentacuria is a real oasis in the desert and it’s clear they’ve taken great care to preserve it as it used to be when it was the capital of the island. Lots of history here.
Back to Corralejo
It was already getting quite late and we didn’t really want to be driving in the mountains in the dark so we then headed back towards Corralejo. We drove back through the sand dunes just south of Corralejo as the sun was setting, which was rather spectacular. If you’re not staying in Corralejo I reckon the town is worth a look round. The dunes definitely. They are wonderful.
We really enjoyed staying in Corralejo. The old port is beautiful and walking around the bay was lovely. It’s quite windy so very popular with surfers. I took to running along the seafront in the mornings. Here’s one of the views I caught.
We had an amazing stay on Fuerteventura and packed a lot in on our one day road trip. There’s probably more variety and different things to do and landscapes to see on Lanzarote. But for spectacular views, Fuerteventura really can’t be beaten. We loved it!
Rachel Lankester is the founder of Magnificent Midlife, author, host of the Magnificent Midlife Podcast, a midlife mentor and editor of the Mutton Club online magazine. After an initially devastating early menopause at 41, she dedicated herself to helping women vibrantly transition through the sometimes messy middle of life, helping them cope better with menopause and ageing in general, and create magnificent next chapters. She’s been featured in/on BBC Woman’s Hour, The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, The Age Buster, Woman’s Weekly, Prima Magazine, eShe, Tatler HK and Woman’s Own amongst others. She believes we just get better with age. Get her book Magnificent Midlife: Transform Your Middle Years, Menopause and Beyond.