Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Fuerta Birthday

First time to this amazing Canary Isle and probably not the last. It must be one of the most laid-back, tolerant, temperate and friendly places around. Off the Moroccan coast it is roughly 60 miles from the Sahara as the crow flies and would have a similar topography were it not for a prevailing breeze, which occasionally develops into a strong wind, that helps maintain a fairly constant 20c (70c F) - the breeze is quite warm and makes walking/sun bathing etc pleasant.

The environs alternate between volcanic moonscapes and desert like sands -

Las Dunas

but, oh the beaches, miles upon miles of white and gold sands sloping gently into deep aqua marine and azure seas:

Must put in a word for our hotel, Surfing Colours, in Corralejo. Wonderful large rooms, with basic self catering facilities if required, firm beds, equipped balcony, two pools, loadsa sun loungers and, yes, surfers - the Island is a surfers paradise with the breeze and reefs providing great surfing waves. The staff were magic too.


but not all surfers are safe :)

Corralejo is the northern most town on the Island with a fine harbour and regular ferries to Los Lobos, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. There are many eateries, and many have good veggie options :) A couple deserve mention. The amazing lady at Cordon Blue on the sea front does the best veggie breakfasts around. The pizza man at Da Luca is a master of his art and a wonderful fella to boot.



The volcanic Island of Los Lobos lies just off the northern tip of Fuerta, a 15 min boat ride away. Once a base for pirates the whole island is now a nature reserve. A walk round the Island takes about an hour or two, with a break half way round at the lighthouse and a welcome dip in the sheltered bay at the end of the hike.

vegetation seems to be able to grow almost anywhere !

After a visit to a trip organiser, who was a bit unsure of what day of the week it was, we decided to organise our own tour of the Island. It was a good call. The local buses are somewhat akin to luxury coaches, have v friendly drivers and meander through the Island heartland to a lot of the places of interest (and at a fraction of the price :) The capital, Puerto del Rosario, since 1860 is worth passing through and acts as a bus hub.

From here we meandered down to Betancuria, via Castillas del Angel and Antigua, within the Parque Natural. It was the Islands capital  until 1834. It was thought it's inland position would protect it from Barbary pirates, but Jack Sparrow struck virtually destroying the town and taking its 600 inhabitants captive. Nowadays Betancuria is one of the prettiest villages on the island;

If you do find yourself there, skip the tourist eateries in the centre and pop down the hill to Bodegan Don Carmelo, run by the Silvero family for 400 years - a great little find:

To the north, and on the coast, lies El Cotillo. At its southern end is the Fortaleza del Toston built to deter British and Arab pirates. Overlooking the small harbour it is also where a number of eateries are to be found,

to the north are more beautiful sandy beaches:

Love the way, on most harbour sides, the chrissie decs are made from collages of sea paraphernalia:

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