Fuerteventura, the island of the wind
Fuerteventura is the island located to the southeast of the Canary Islands and also the oldest, with an estimated age of 21 million years. That antiquity has given a lot of time to the natural erosion of the landscape and to make a territory that the successive volcanic eruptions raised up to 4,000 meters above sea level. For that reason, it does not seem strange that in ancient times the classics knew Fuerteventura as ‘Planaria’.
Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the Canary Islands and its profile, as you can see on any map, is very long from north to south, covering a length of 98 kilometers.
The island is separated from Lanzarote by a narrow strip of sea called La Bocayna and the distance to the African continent from Isla de Lobos is just 96 kilometers. Fuerteventura is the island with the lowest population density per square kilometer and, on the contrary, the one with the highest tourist index and per capita income of the Archipelago.
Betancuria, in the island center, is the founding town. It owes its name to Jean de Bethencourt, the first European conqueror who dared in the early fifteenth century to dominate his natives, the majos, hence the local gentilicio de majoreros.
In the area of Betancuria, you have to see its small historic center, the museum, its church of Santa María and, not far away, Vega de Río Palmas and the Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Peña, with its small alabaster image.
The capital of Fuerteventura is Puerto del Rosario, which was founded in 1797, known until 1939 as Puerto Cabras. It is the main commercial port of the island and among the majoreros the capital is simply ‘El Puerto’.
The name Fuerteventura is an unequivocal heir of the combined expression of ‘strong’ and ‘wind’. A factor that has become the engine of the local economy, formerly to boost windmills that helped grind the grains that fed past generations or illuminate groundwater for agricultural use. Today, that same wind is a decisive factor in the international windsurfing competitions that choose the island for the constancy and goodness of those oriented airs.
Another of the main attractions of Fuerteventura is that of its long, long beaches of white or yellow sands, such as those of Cofete and Sotavento in Jandía.
Any of the roads that lead to the Jandía Peninsula, represents an opportunity to get to know other towns of interest in the center and the south majorero. As Antigua, first, and Tuineje or Pájara, later, the latter with its curious Church of Nuestra Señora de Regla.
To the south, Gran Tarajal is a small local fruit port, Toto, a small town full of tipism and Morro Jable a place to eat good fish and to choose how to discover Jandía. To the north, the Tindaya Mountain, the nucleus of La Oliva, the beaches of Corralejo and El Cotillo are other opportunities to complete unforgettable routes.
Fuerteventura, the island of the wind.
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