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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Fuerteventura

Things to do in Fuerteventura

There's plenty to keep you amused in Fuerteventura apart from the amazing beaches and abundance of watersports, you can take a ride across the dunes on a quad bike, feed giraffes at the animal park or sample the art and music of the island. For those with an inquisitive mind, visit the aloe vera factory or salt museum to see how these local products are produced.

Quirky trips

If you want to get out of the heat for a while or keep yourself occupied on one of Fuerteventura's rare rainy days, then take a visit to Dreams House Model Museum in Caleta de Fuste. Run by an enthusiast who is happy to talk to you about his collection, you will find an extensive range of model trains, dolls, cars, aircraft and military pieces here made into miniature scenes.

Europe's biggest aloe vera factory is in Fuerteventura, where you will see row upon row of the alien-looking spiky plants growing in their fields. Catch a demonstration on how the plants are used to heal wounds, wash with and even eat, then buy products in the shop – you might come away looking years younger.

Unusual transport

You will find many different modes of transport on Fuerteventura from which to enjoy the scenery and feel the wind in your hair – some practical, some a bit more wacky. You can hire Harley Davidson or three-wheeler motorbikes and take them for a spin along the mountain roads. Or for a slower pace, segways, bicycles and motorised scooters are available. There's no better way to enjoy the Corralejo Dunes than by taking a camel ride, quad bike or dune buggy – you'll think you're in the desert.

Guided 4x4 tours are available to tackle the back roads and learn about the history and geology of the island. With Cross Island tours you'll get picked up and dropped off at your hotel to visit volcanoes and dry river beds and eat lunch with a picture perfect island view.

Island Culture

Fuerteventura has heaps of history and is generally acknowledged as the oldest of the Canary Islands. Visiting Tefia Craft Village will give you a taste of how islanders used to live, with the whole village serving as an outdoor museum. Within its quaint stone buildings are local people making pottery, lace and baskets to buy, as well as bread and the traditional island meat of goat cooked in a home-made oven.

In the former capital of Betancuria time seems to stand still. It also has an impressive location as it's situated in the crater of an extinct volcano. Explore the beautiful 15th century cathedral, buy some souvenirs or simply chill out with a drink.

Music and festivals

Fuerteventura holidays are known for fiesta season – some rival Rio in their size and spectacle. Every village and town here holds its own carnival celebrations and the majority are between January and April. Various other celebrations run throughout the year so it's worth checking before you go so you can get involved with these quirky and colourful parties and parades.

Musical influences on the Canaries include various Latin and African vibes and its festivals give you an opportunity to experience top musicians. The International Festival of Jazz takes place in Fuerteventura every July and in 2016 will be in its 25th year. Or if blues is your thing, Corralejo hosts an annual Blues Festival at the end of each March.

Take to the ocean

A boat trip is an ideal way to view some of the wildlife native to the Canaries' shores, including dolphins, turtles and whales. To see turtles up close and personal, and even get a chance to release them back to the waters, visit Cofete beach between August and early September.

Boat trips also run regularly to two neighbouring islands with very different appeals. The small island of Los Lobos to the north has a real castaway feel. It is a tranquil nature reserve, which you can wander around in a couple of hours and see plants and animals not found anywhere else on the planet. Or head further north to Lanzarote. Here you can visit popular tourist haunts or take the Volcano Express to see striking lava fields and have food cooked in a 'natural oven'.

Watersports

The surfers' paradise of Fuerteventura is an island for anyone who wants to try their hand at water sports. From windsurfing and paddle boarding to sailing and kiteboarding, the warm winds here make it all possible.

To watch the pros in action, Sotavento in the south is home to the Professional Windsurfers Association world windsurfing speed and slalom event, usually running from July into August.

Or, if you are planning to visit Fuerteventura in November, the International Kite Festival is held in Cotillo, in the Corralejo Dunes Natural Park. Go there to watch skilled kite flyers and enthusiasts from around the world.

Shopping

The high streets and commercial centres, which can be found in all resorts across the island, will keep you well-stocked with groceries, gifts or things to treat yourself with after taking advantage of our deals on cheap holidays to Fuerteventura.

The more seasoned shopper will head to Las Rotondas Centre in the capital Puerto del Rosario. It has enough well-known Spanish and English high-street shops to keep you busy all day – Zara, H&M, Game, Quiksilver and more. Or Antigua has a good selection of interesting souvenirs and crafts.

It's worth knowing that – as the Canary Islands are duty-free – tobacco, alcohol and perfumes are cheaper than in the rest of Europe. You might want to pack light on the way to leave room.