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Fuerteventura is the second largest Canary Island (which belong to Spain). The name means 'powerful wind', and the island's climate is different from that on the other islands. There is often a chilly wind (Gota Fria), alternating with a hot wind from the Sahara (Calima). That wind makes the island a paradise for surfers. There are beautiful beaches, but the interior is rugged, barren and dry.
The island has only 45,000 inhabitants, which makes it the most sparsely populated of the Canary Islands. More than half of the people live in the island's capital Puerto del Rosario (which, incidentally, is not particularly attractive) on the east coast.
Fuerteventura is about 100 kilometres long and 5 - 30 kilometres wide. It is located at less than 100 kilometres from the coast of Morocco. The island is located to the east of Gran Canaria and to the south-west of Lanzarote. The main tourist locations are Corralejo in the north and Morro del Jable in the southern land tip Jandia. Straight to the north of Corralejo lies the small island of Los Lobos with a 127 metre high volcano. Central on the island lies the old capital Betancuria, the oldest city on the island with a beautiful cathedral, the Iglesia Santa Maria. The archaeological and ethnographic museum (Museu Arqueologico y Etnografico) is also well worth a visit.
Like the other Canary Islands, Fuerteventura also depends largely on tourism. In addition, livestock is an important pillar, which can clearly be seen on the island: there are goats everywhere that are bred for their meat and milk. Also, tomatoes and potatoes are grown. The port of Puerto del Sosario plays a (modest) role in the local economy.
The airport of Fuerteventura is located at only five kilometers to the south of the capital Puerto del Rosario, near the tourist centre of Caleta de Fuste. The airport is situated on the main road FV-1. On a column near the taxi stand there are fixed rates for various destinations on the island. There are shuttle buses to the capital, Caleta de Fuste and Morro del Jable.
It is likely that within a few years a second airport will be opened in the south of the island.
Although public transport by bus has improved in recent years, it is still fairly limited. There are bus connections between the most important destinations and the capital, but they do not always follow the shortest route. It is nice if you want to sea the island in a relaxed way. You cannot always count on the official departure and arrival times. Ask the local population for the timetable of the buses.
There are plenty of taxis. It is a fairly cheap way to travel.
The main road that runs from north to south via the capital is a good and fairly broad road. Some other main roads are good as well, but otherwise the roads on the island are paved with gravel or sand. The smaller roads go through the mountains, which means there are lots of curves. If you want to turn left on the main roads, you often need to position your car to the right and then cross the road. This way the traffic behind you can keep moving.
The road network is good. There are paved main roads and various categories of sandy roads. There is no motorway, but the main road connecting the north of the island to the south is a good road with one lane in each direction. You often drive in mountainous terrain with lots of curves, but the roads are wide enough for cars to pass each other. On smaller roads the horn is a handy tool to warn people coming from the other direction.
Parking is virtually nowhere a problem. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to park at curbs with a yellow or white line. A blue line means that you have to pay to park.
Fuerteventura has a good supply of hotels and holiday cottages, but not for every budget. There are hardly any budget accommodations. There are no campsites, although in some places you are allowed to pitch your tent (ask on site!). Tourism on the island is not nearly as well developed as it is on, for instance, Gran Canaria. Holiday cottages are sometimes located in remote locations (but they are very beautiful!), so a rental car is a must. During peak season you have to book in advance.
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