Furteventura Canary Islands Spain!

Canary Islands, Spain
Canary Islands, Spain

Our first trip from our new home in France!  We chose Spain as we thought it may be closest to what we know as an "all-inclusive" offering for our "first trip".  What an amazing place, Fuerteventura loosely translated as "Strong Winds" or a corruption of the French term for "Great Adventure" is one oldest of the islands dating back 20 million years to a volcanic eruption, insane. At 1,660 square kilometers (641 sq mi), it is the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife which we would also love to visit, perhaps next year! It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in May 2009.  It was definitely windy but beautiful, the sand dunes Corralejo Dunes  are mesmerizing, the bus transfer took us through these winding highways with the dunes on each side, what a site to see.

Its crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, Fuerteventura is the closest to Africa and is politically part of Spain.  Fuerteventura is unlike any place we've ever been with one side boasting a coastal zone of turquoise blue waters with clear bottoms and unending shorelines and on the other side a volcanic landscape, red and ochre - all overlooked by a mountainous landscape of sand dunes. Who knew that these waters are well known for windsurfing and kitesurfing, mainly due to the International Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Championship since 1985, I can now see why.

With over 3000 sunshine hours a year it competes with the Caribbean islands for best holiday destination for Europeans.  Being an archipelago, the Canaries have an established system of ferry services connecting the seven islands. There are also ferries from the Canary Islands to mainland Spain.  Journeys between the islands can range from 20 minutes (from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote) to several hours (Gran Canaria to the north of Fuerteventura, or Tenerife to El Hierro).

The most popular companies are:

Fred Olsen Express

Naviera Armas

Trasmediterranea

If you are as interested in sand dunes as I was, you must visit the Corralejo Natural Park, rent a car and the FV-1 road, which connects the island capital Puerto del Rosario to the town of Corralejo, passes by the national park.  Trail walking, mountain biking or just simply exploring the volcanic landscape you’ll need to bring walking boots to climb the 300 metres up the Montaña Roja (Red Mountain) volcano and there you'll find incredible shots of Lanzarote and La Graciosa across the water.

We stayed at the SBH Monica Beach Hotel it was lovely, very modern and pretty, lacked a bit of Spanish personality however but we enjoyed this hotel as it was right on the beach and had good amenities.  This resort caters to German tourist and therefore the staff speak very little English, a tiny bit of French and most Spanish and German.  See our recent review on Tripadvisor.

What would be a blog entry without talking about food!  The food in Canary Islands is very latin and African inspired.  By far my favorite dish are these Papas Arrugadas (small wrinkled potatoes), boiled in salted water, served with two delicious “mojos” (sauces): the mojo picón (spicy red or orange sauce) and the mojo verde (green sauce) my personal fav.  If you are afraid of garlic then stay away!  The base for these sauces are garlic (lots of it), cumin, paprika, red wine vinegar and dried chilies for heat.  A must try, tasted slightly Indian with the cumin and did not lack any flavor!  I ate this dish every single day, lunch and dinner, with the sauce sometimes lathered over my pasta, bread or meat!  Plenty of fish was served, of the most common the Sancocho which means a fish stew and a white fish called Caldereta, all of it delicious.  For the vegetarian the Spanish love their beans, a favorite at breakfast was Potaje de Berros, a hot pot of chickpeas, with a light tomato sauce - yum.

We met some great folks from England and look forward to visiting them in Manchester, England - why not!  A great book, some lovely mojitos and some down time was all we needed to appreciate Spain and to add another flag on our map!