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Pete Lawrence - 16 Feb 2016
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After leaving Fuerteventura, the nature really stays with the you. The vast expanse of sky, the lunar landscape of the interior, the orange sand and black volcanic rocks and the crashing waves and clear night skies.

I first made it to the Canaries in 2001 and ended up in Fuerteventura. After a little nosing around we gravitated towards a quiet fishing village which seemed quite different to the rest of the island, retaining a rustic charm and not dominated by tourism. Fifteen years on, very little has changed in El Cotillo and it remains a real gem of a place if you like spectacular nature, scenery, a small village with a few restaurants and bars and plenty of sunshine. A perfect antidote to the depressing late winter weather in the UK, in fact!

Lonely Planet says "Fuerteventura lies just 100km from the African coast, and there are similarities not only with the landscape, but also the houses, with their North African–style architecture. In other ways, Fuerteventura emulates its neighbour Lanzarote, only with more colours. Its volcanoes resemble piles of saffron, chilli and coriander, surreal triangles of exotic spices.

Most visitors, however, are more interested in mastering the waves and the wind than contemplating the abstract aesthetics of the scenery. The second-largest island in the archipelago (after Tenerife), Fuerteventura has year-round sunshine and the biggest and best beaches in the Canaries."

El Cotillo is a haven on the north west coast, well away from the British holiday tourism of Corralejo.  A rustic, typical Spanish fishing village with a very quiet charm. It has changed little in fourteen years since my first visit there. 

North of the village is a wonderful expanse of untainted naturist beaches, sand dunes and lagoons, a fifteen minute cycle ride or 40 minute walk. There are many stone breakers thoughtfully constructed on the beach, which provide welcome shelter from the wind. Best to arrive early to get one. Rock pools for crabbing when the tide is out , water filling the lagoons for great swimming when the tide comes in. South of the town are larger beaches, more geared towards surfing and citing, often windswept and catching the full force of the waves. High season is January to March but there we’re still precious few tourists this year and I enjoyed a calm, relaxed time working in the mornings, going to the beach most afternoons, though the weather does tend to change at the drop of a hat so take a jumper or a waterproof jacket if the forecast is mixed. It was a pleasant 20-25 degrees every day and you only need a light jacket or jumper in the evenings. There are several excellent cafes and restaurants around the old harbour and I’d also recommend the bike hire place on the main street, out towards the supermarket. 

After leaving Fuerteventura, the nature really stays with the you. The vast expanse of sky, the lunar landscape of the interior, the orange sand and black volcanic rocks and the crashing waves and clear night skies. 

 

 

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