All posts by FuerteCharter

Villages to visit in Fuerteventura: Lajares

If you have already visited Lobos in one of our trips you already know the best. But there are still many places you must visit. This time we’ll tell you about Los Lajares,  a village about 10kms from Corralejo.

Lajares is a village with around 3000 inhabitants in the North of the island. Despite not being next to the sea, Lajares is the surfers’ village par excellence in Fuerteventura, as it is in a privileged location next to the best surfing peaks in this island, at the same distance from the Eastern, Western and Northern Coast.

Residents from different nationalities live in Lajares, which enriches its culture, apart from being a tourist and yet not crowded place, as the lodging offer consists of apartments or really charming houses.

Lajares is a crossroads town, as it is located between El Cotillo and Corralejo, the three of them being the most interesting places in the Northern area as far as tourism is concerned, having  a great leisure offer. In the main street of Lajares you find everything: surf and kite schools, clothes and crafts stores, apart from bars and restaurants for all tastes to have breakfasts, lunch and dinner and enjoy live music almost every day of the week: Canela Bar, Return Bar…

What to do in Lajares?

Visit Calderón Hondo Volcano
Probably one of the best preserved volcanic cones in Fuerteventura. Climbing it is a pleasure, and this will allow you to enjoy the views of the North of the island, Lanzarote and Lobos Island. It won’t take you longer than one hour, and the track is fully accessible for the visitor. The track is not hard, but recommended for all kind of people.

FuerteCharter Excursiones | Pueblos: Lajares


Strolling along “El Barranco de los Encantados”
This is probably one of the best kept secrets of Fuerteventura. It is a sandy ravine you can access on your way out of Lajares towards Cotillo. You must take the dirt road exit on the roundabout. There you can park and start the trekking. As you get into the ravine the landscape becomes impressive: you find the most original rock formations and a great deal of fossil remains. These special rock formations in “El Barranco de los Encantados” come from large antique masses of sand under the sea;  when significant drops of the sea level took place these large masses of sand were exposed forming, over time, this place of unequalled beauty.  It has been declared asset of cultural interest, with the category of palaeontological area in 2008.

©es.enjoyfuerteventura.net
©es.enjoyfuerteventura.net

On Saturdays, Crafts market in Lajares
Every Saturday from 10 to 14h different craftsmen in Fuerteventura put on a market where you can find a large variety of pieces of handicrafts. A highly recommendable visit, as thanks to the market the village is extremely lively. Besides, it is located in the very square of the town and just next to it there is a playground, so if you are travelling with children this is a perfect stop.

© Mercado Artesanal Los Lajares
© Mercado Artesanal Los Lajares

Enjoying the Jam Session on Wednesday
If you like live music, every Wednesday, in an emblematic spot in Lajares, “Canela Café”, musicians and amateurs meet to put on one of the best known sessions in Fuerteventura. Around 20h locals and tourists turn up to enjoy the gastronomic offer of this place, and around 22h music starts. You’ll be amazed to see the large number of people from different nationalities that pop up.

FuerteCharter Team

Villages to visit in Fuerteventura: El Cotillo

In our quest  to let people know about the wonders of Fuerteventura we continue writing about those places you should definitely visit to fully enjoy the island. We are based in the port of Corralejo and our favorite place is Isla de Lobos, a place where we make our tours for visitors to enjoy, but there are plenty of corners in this paradise island, one of them is the fishing village of El Cotillo.

It is the most northern town on the west coast. It is an uncrowded fishing and tourist town, as the offer for visitors focuses on the rental of apartments and small aparthotels and just one new built hotel. Its beautiful beaches, for all tastes, are some of the most beautiful ones on the island, with fantastic  natural landscapes and the charm of  a small fishing village that  turn it into  a must visit for traveller. It also has a very good range of restaurants where you can enjoy delicious local fresh fish,  as marine fauna is abundant.

Points of interest:

EL TOSTÓN LIGHTHOUSE.   Lighthouse in El Cotillo . Traditional Fishing Museum.
This beautiful lighthouse, located in a wonderful setting,  both for  its landscape and the richness of the birds that frequent it, now houses the Museum of Traditional Fishing, a representative sample of what  the fisherman trade meant to this town of El Cotillo and all over the island throughout its history.

Excursiones Fuertecharter Fuerteventura | Pueblos: El Cotillo

“MUELLE REFUGIO”
This  dock  is  a natural breakwater combined with a pier, used as a shelter dock for traditional fishing boats and small boats.

OLD DOCK
It is a small but lovely dock which has a small beach of black sand and pebbles, bounded by the pier and the cliff and surrounded by a variety of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the local  fresh  fish and heavenly sunsets.

“LA CONCHA” BEACH
The beach of “La Concha” is one of the most beautiful corners of the area, located north of the village. It’s a natural pool sheltered by natural stone dikes that protect the beach from waves and made of pure white and fine sand and crystal water inviting to take a bath. In your way to El Tostón Lighthouse you can enjoy many more bays of this kind known as the Lakes of El Cotillo, because nature has wanted  this area to be made of small pools of sea protected by small stone dikes, ideal free of wave beaches to swim and enjoy with children without any danger.

“PIEDRA PLAYA” BEACH
South of town, under  a cliff with an amazing volcanic landscape behind we find this almost 2 km long sandy beach, the longest beach in the area, where year-round star sports in the island are practised: windsurfing, surfing ….

Excursiones Fuertecharter Fuerteventura | Pueblos: El Cotillo

“El  TOSTÓN” TOWER
“El Toston” Tower is a seventeenth century fortress built of stone which is accessed via a staircase connected to the door trhough a drawbridge. At its highest point there were three cannons to defend the territory against attacks by Berber , French and British pirates. Nowadays it’s a tourist information office.

Excursiones Fuertecharter Fuerteventura | Pueblos: El Cotillo

LIME KILNS
Throughout the entire geography of the island lime kilns are numerous, and  in between  the Shelter Dock in El Cotillo and El Tostón Lighthouse you can find up to four of them.

El Cotillo is definitely a place you should not miss; you can stroll along its streets or trails to enjoy the coast and swim in clean water, eat in its restaurants and enjoy an authentic  and quiet fishing village.

FuerteCharter Team

History: La Ampuyenta

Not everything will be sailing to Isla de Lobos from Corralejo, and visit this piece of paradise that Fuerteventura is. On the contrary we love you to know every corner of this wonderful island. A small corner is the quaint village of La Ampuyenta, which has a historical and cultural heritage, several landmarks, worth knowing and visiting to look deep into the history of Fuerteventura.

The Ampuyenta offers, in a small walking tour, to discover the past and get to know an important part of the history of Fuerteventura.  We are talking about the historical heritage resort of La Ampuyenta, an environment fully restored and ready to be visited, made up of several buildings:

-The House Museum Doctor Mena

In this house, Tomás Mena and Mesa was born to a humble family in 1802. His parents made great efforts to get him studying and at the age of 19 he travelled to La Havana for a doctorate at the University of Medicine, specialty in surgery, thanks to his brother’s small fortune, living in La Havana, who had an influential ecclesiastical position in that city. Later on, Tomas Mena y Mesa moved to Paris and he got a PhD in Tropical Medicine by The Sorbonne; back to La Havana he enjoys great fame as a physician and from there he travels to the US, broadening his knowledge. Such was his fame that he was made an honorary member of the Faculty of the University of Cadiz in 1846.

MENA-6

After a trip to Cadiz, he returns to his native Fuerteventura where he would spend the rest of his life, managing his vast fortune and devoted to research. But this great man never stopped providing services to others, ministering to his neighbours in his office for free.
In his legacy he left 25,000 pesetas to the people of Fuerteventura for the construction of a hospital where the needy could be taken care of.  But although such a building was built 60 years after he died, “El Hospitalito Doctor Mena” never worked as such and it is currently owned by the Church and contains the exhibition of saint platforms of Fuerteventura’s chapels.

 

The Charity Hospital of San Conrado and  San Gaspar

This is the hospital that Dr Mena y Mesa ordered to be built in his Will, and to honour his brother, the clergyman, he named it like this. It is a picturesque building built in three pavilions linked by corridors. The doctor wanted it to be devoted to charity and to be built in his home-town, but as we mentioned above it never got to serve its purpose. At present it is known as “El Hospitalito de La Ampuyenta” and it houses the exhibition of the saints’ platforms of  Fuerteventura’s chapels,  a dozen of such procession items, along with an old photo exhibition of the Festival of San Pedro de Alcantara. Outside, it has a tank which can also be visited.

la-ampuyenta

 

-The House of Fray Andrecito

In the early nineteenth century, Andrew Grace Acosta was born to a humble peasant family in this house; he worked as a goatherd but in his youth he was influenced by the Franciscans and history records that when he completed his day-to-day tasks he surrounded himself with children and taught them religion. After the death of his mother, he decides to embark on an expedition of emigrants to America caused by hunger and joblessness due to drought. First he moved to Uruguay and later on to Chile where he was related to the Franciscan order, achieving  —for his work,  strength and charity— great popularity in the humble occupation as beggar monk. He died in Santiago de Chile in January 1853.
Currently his humble and simple home is of Cultural Interest in the category of Historical Site and Fray Andresito is in the process of beatification.

 

-The Hermitage of San Pedro de Alcantara

Despite its small size, this chapel is the most important religious building of Fuerteventura, as it contains one of the most valuable and unique artistic ensembles in The Islands. Its architecture is very simple, contrasting with the wealth it contains, the most important religious painting collection of Fuerteventura. This chapel was founded in August 1681 with the sponsorship of the Franciscan saint San Pedro de Alcantara, canonised in 1669.
Inside, you can appreciate paintings, most of them dedicated to San Pedro de Alcantara, along with other architectural assets. The mural painting of the chapel of Ampuyenta is considered one of the most important in the Canary Islands, dating from the late eighteenth century; it’s an unmatched work in the archipelago, due to the quality of the illusionist technique in which painting, architecture and sculpture are mixed.

Excursiones Fuertecharter Fuerteventura | Historial: La Ampuyenta

It’s also currently an asset of cultural interest under the category of Monument and a place worth visiting to appreciate the uniqueness of the works it contains.

For these buildings, the history of the famous people we have commented on and thanks to the work of recovery and restoration of the Island Council and the Canary Islands Government in recent years, The Ampuyenta is a must-stop for those who want to learn more about a past which is really present in this village, a great walking tour of the historical heritage resort of La Ampuyenta,  a highly recommended visit.

As we said before, not everything will be day trips to Lobos and beach days;  Fuerteventura has, besides all that,  an interesting history.

How to get there:
La Ampuyenta is located in the municipality of Puerto del Rosario,  inland, about 20 kilometres from the capital of Fuerteventura, on the FV-20 road. Old address.

Logo_ComplejoAmpuyenta

The gannet in Fuerteventura

These days we are enjoying our trips to Lobos Island from  Corralejo’s Pier (Fuerteventura) in the pleasant company of one of the largest birds in the Atlantic, the gannet, which is in the process of migration in search of warm weather to spend the winter. Let’s look at them more closely.

Scientific name: Morus Bassanus.
Order: “Pelicaniformes”
Family: Sulidae

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Gannet in Fuerteventura

The gannet, with a large wingspan, reaching up to 2 meters,  is a true master of diving,  able to dive into the sea, like a projectile, to catch prey (average size fish) 30 to 40 meters away and at high speed (100km / h) . It is found on both coasts of the North Atlantic and spends most of the time at sea only coming ashore to nest on cliffs and islands of the North Atlantic.

Description:

Adult birds weigh between 3 and 4 kilos. They have long narrow wings, with average wingspan of 1.80 meters and about 1 meter tall. Its plumage is white, with dark edges. They have a pointed and slightly curved beak.

Young pelicans are distinguished by the grey colour with white specks of their plumage. Because of the way they fish, diving into the water at high speed, they lack nostrils but they do have side nasal holes that can close when in the water; They have characteristic notches  in the corners of their mouth, through which they breathe.

To cushion the impact of their dives, they have a pneumatic bag system under their skin (air bags under the skin of their face and chest, which protect them when they plunge into the water) acting as a buffer, their plumage becoming very compact.
To withstand the high temperatures they have a layer of subcutaneous fat and dense and overlapping feathers.
The colonies are very noisy, since these birds emit a characteristic cry when they approach although they are silent on the open sea. They emit guttural sounds of short syllables: ghaghag-hoghog.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Excursiones Fuertecharter | Gannet in Fuerteventura en Fuerteventura

Reproduction:

In summer gannets nest on the shores of the North Atlantic (located mainly in the British Isles and Scandinavia). They gather in colonies of up to 20,000 couples where they make their nests very close together, with algae and marine plants.
It is when they are about 4 years old that they start breeding, laying a single blue-white egg which will be incubated for about 45 days. Both parents incubate the egg alternating periods of 24 hours, taking turns with a very peculiar ceremony, a greeting ceremony among parents.
The hatched chicks are fed by their parents for about 12 weeks, born naked and dark, and after some days their white feathers start to appear and they stop needing parental warmth. These chicks leave the nest and jump into the sea without being fully prepared to fly but with a good layer of grease (1 kilo more than their parents) that provides the heat they need while they remain floating for about 10 days until they finally begin performing their first flights and fishing.
They have aggressive behaviour in the nest, although the fights only take place among birds of the same sex. A female will only fiercely defend the nest from another female;  if  a female approaches the nest of another male, the latter grabs her by the neck and ejects her from there. The struggles between males occupying a nest for the first time can become quite intense. The fights are preceded by threatening gestures and males show their neighbours the property of a nest by gesturing with their head and beak facing down and erecting their wings.
Males are the ones that look for a place to breed and try to attract a single female, about 4 or 5 years old,  flying over the colony several times before landing and showing the male,  by stretching their neck, that they allow for the wooing; the males answer by shaking their head with closed wings.
Although couples separate after the breeding, they rejoin the following year, they are monogamous, breeding together their whole lives or for many years.

When winter comes, at the end of the breeding season,  they travel south, they undertake the post-nuptial migration that will take them to the Gulf of Guinea. In Spain it is a common species during migration although they don’t nest here.

Currently the gannet is listed as “least-concern species”, as it has a very wide distribution area and the number of individuals is large enough and the demographic trend seems to be increasing.

Remain attentive to this time in Fuerteventura, as you may be lucky enough to come across one of these specimens and enjoy their peculiar way of fishing, a real show. We keep enjoying their company these days in our daily trips to Lobos Island.

FuerteCharter Team

History: The colonels’ house, power and splendour in la Oliva

One of the most interesting and emblematic buildings in Fuerteventura, with a great historical meaning as much for this majorera island as for the whole Canary Archipelago, is the colonels’ house; a feudal building, located in the malpaís of ‘La Arena’, in the outskirts of La Oliva, standing out not just because of its history but because of its architecture too.

It is a civic and military building that started to be built in the second half of the XVII Century, ruled by the Sánchez-Dumpiérrez family, and it surprises us because of its great dimensions, making a contrast with the desert landscape and the plains where it is located. The Sánchez-Dumpiérrez Family held repeatedly the office of Colonel of the Provincial Militias, which was held for life and it was hereditary. They created a military aristocracy extremely mighty, and they would dominate the island at the end of the XVIII century.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Historia: colonels’ house

Why does the figure of the colonel have so much power in comparison to that of feudal lords?
Once that Fuerteventura takes part in the Catillian Crown dominions are established, and the family Arias de Saavedra held the title of Fuerteventura’s lords. The crown is aware that their power to control their own territories is weakening, as the lands are under the rule of lords that govern their own way. So, the crown decides to create a military regiment under the rule of a colonel that would take control of the island little by little. In 1708 the militia’s regiment is settled, and their colonel holds the office and duties of ‘Governador de Armas’; the mission of this office will be to undermine the power of the island’s lords.

First of all they take away their military power, and little by little colonels become the true landowners, ruling the island from their fortress houses: the colonels’ house. Fuerteventura’s lords lived in Betancuria, but colonels settle in La Oliva, so Betancuria loses interest, and political, economic and social development starts in La Oliva, living at that time its biggest splendour.

La Oliva becomes thus the most important major city in Fuerteventura; the colonel orders the building of La Oliva’s church (the biggest one in the island) and creates and important market; the first colonel even buys the sculpture of the ‘Virgen de la Candelaria’, thus undermining that of the ‘Virgen de Betancuria’. They became the richest family in the Canary Islands. The power the colonels got was so great that they started to live as proper lords- there was a splendorous social and artistic refinement. Among the payslips found in the house there was that of a pianist brought from France, which shows the refinement and artistic sensitivity they had. Painters of a great reputation went to this house and gave expression to portraits of La Oliva’s colonels.

The architectural complex of the Colonels’ house clearly shows the power that this family enjoyed. It is a building inspired in the rustic houses of nobility in the Canary Islands (like those that at that time were built in Tenerife’s Lagoon, but improved). It was made of several areas or buildings, each one with a different function: the main square, the cistern, the stables, the ceremony area, the agricultural area…. Within this complex you also find the doctor’s house, the chemistry, the administrator’s area, the carpenter’s workshop, the blacksmith’s… and in the central area, as a powerful castle, the building where the colonel and his family lived. Colonels get their full splendor in the XVIII C, but all through the XIX C. the new economic, political and social situations bring the military power in Fuerteventura to a slow deterioration.

Populations like Puerto de Cabras and Antigua gain importance as demographic segments. Colonels will lose their political and military power, not the economic one though, which they will keep even after the colonles’ office disappeared.

Nowadays The Colonels’ house is a museum that hints at the power that Fuerteventura held in the past.

FuerteCharter Team

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Historia: colonels’ house
© Ayuntamiento de La Oliva

The Canary Islands and its cycles as volcanic islands

The Canary Islands are volcanic islands and, unlike the islands that come from continental fragments, they have a life cycle similar to living beings’: they are born, grow, erode and eventually disappear.

This cycle of the oceanic islands is called insular ontogeny, and is defined by the following stages:

  1. Birth: it refers to the underwater formation of the island, caused by a hot spot in the oceanic crust.
  2. Growth: it refers to the sub-aerial construction and drained stage.
  3. Erosion or dismantling, due to the erosive agents of air environments.
  4. Basal plain stage, with low height habitats.
  5. Final disappearance stage.
  6. Flat-topped seamount stage.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Ciclos de Canarias

In the Canary Islands, as in the rest of the archipelagos that make up La Macaronesia, there is evidence of these cycles of the islands. For example, when exploring the seabed, flat top submarine ridges have been discovered around the emerged islands,  which can be called “Paleomacaronesia”, which are remnants of islands that once emerged to the surface. Thus, between the Peninsula and the Canaries  we find Lars, Anika, Nico, Last Minute, Dacia, Concepción, Amanay … that were created in the Paleogene (64-25 million years ago) by the same hot spots that 25 million years ago, in the Miocene,  made emerge the isles that we know today.

These seamounts of Paleomacaronesia are about 120-130 meters deep, which coincides with the maximum sea level fall in the ice age. In those periods when the sea level drops, these islands would almost emerge, forming a chain of islands, which would link the current Macaronesia with the African and European continents.

On the other hand, in some areas such as Southwest of the island of El Hierro,  peaked summit seamounts have been found, which is the characteristic that proves that they have never emerged nor been subjected to erosion. This applies, for example, to the seamount called “Las Hijas”, where the accumulation of material has not been yet enough for them to emerge. Should they ever emerge,the number of islands in the Canary archipelago would increase.

The following diagram may be the age of the islands and the cycle phase they are.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Ciclos de Canarias“Las Hijas” would represent therefore the birth phase of the volcanic Canary Islands.
El Hierro, Tenerife and La Palma would represent the drained and sub-air construction phase, and they still keep volcanic activity and they can keep amassing materials and height.
La Gomera and Gran Canaria are the example of the cycle of dismantling, because in the past they were much higher than today, so erosive agents are playing their role, and the destructive processes predominate over the constructive ones.

The Mahan volcano, comprising Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and surrounding islets, would be the representative of the basal plain stage with their own habitats of low-lying areas.

In the Canary Islands we have no representation of the terminal phase of disappearance. This phase is well represented in The Savage Islands, with structures that emerge barely 30m above sea level, which predicts their future disappearance.

Amanay, Concepción and Dacia, in the Canary Islands, would be the example of phase flat-topped seamount that would emerge only when sea level came down considerably.

Fuertecharter Team

Time of “Dorado” in Fuerteventura

It’s already many the trips we make to the nearby island of Lobos, on our catamaran from FuerteCharter , and we do it in company of the spectacular Coryphaena hippurus, known as “Dorado” in Fuerteventura.

Elsewhere it is known as “gran corifena”, dolphinfish or “llampúa”, golden dolphin, “lirio”, “perico”, amberjack or mahi-mahi.

“ Dorado” is a bony fish of the family of the “Coryphaenidae”, spread all over the globe, in tropical or subtropical waters.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Dorado en Fuerteventura
©animalandia.educa.madrid.org

HABITAT
They live in the sea surface, between 5 and 10 meters deep, and they make large migrations throughout their life. They live in shoals in the high sea, but sometimes they are also found near the coast to breed.

There is already evidence of men catching fish of this species from 2600 years BC, as it can be seen in the wall of the Minoan civilization of Crete.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Dorado en Fuerteventura
©en.wikipedia.org

It is very common to see them through the Canary Islands in summer and autumn seasons, so at this time of year it is an exceptional companion in our excursions.

MORPHOLOGY
This species is characterized by its size and colourful appearance.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Dorado en Fuerteventura
©www.fishmountstore.com

The usual size is about 100cm long, although up to 200cm specimens have been recorded, weighing 50kgs.

They don’t feature thorns in the anal or dorsal fins, which have soft rays. The dorsal fin runs from the cervical region to the tail and the anal one is shorter, going from the middle of the body to the tail. The caudal fin is forked, and is attached to the body by a stalk, which allows it to swim very fast.

It’s a species created for speed, with very elongated and laterally compressed body. They’re very soft to the touch, as they have really small scales.

They have small, oval and strong teeth, in a big mouth, where the first set is curved backward.

Males have a prominent bulge on the forehead, so they have also been called horned.

But if something makes them truly spectacular to the sight is the colour they feature, ranking as the most colourful fish in the Atlantic: they have golden reflections on their sides, hence their name; blue and green foil on the top and sides, and their bottom is yellow or white.

They have a very vivid colour when they are just taken out of the water, and they seem to be lit on, hence the name of “lampga” (dolphinfish), which could be translated as torch. However this striking colour disappears after a while of being out of the water when they get a grey tone that has nothing to do with their colours in life.

REPRODUCTION
This species reaches sexual maturity between 4 and 5 months old, and they are not very long-lived, since they usually die within six years.

Not much is known about their breeding habits, although it is presumed that they mate several times a year, especially in spring. Eggs are pelagic, and the young specimens remain in the coastal zone until they reach a certain size.

FEEDING
They feed on a variety of small fishes, squids, crustaceans and zooplankton. Horse mackerel, mackerel, anchovies and sardines are the main pillars of their diet, although they love flying fish, which they chase almost to exhaustion.

FISHING
This species is quite coveted among anglers, and for a while it has been valued also for commercial purposes, sometimes still common in markets and fishmongers.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Dorado en Fuerteventura

It is a species that in its juvenile stage is considered as blue or fatty fish, but adult individuals are considered white or lean fish.

If you want to get first hand knowledge about this amazing species, we recommend you come to one of our trips at this time of year.

FuerteCharter Team

HOLIDAYS IN FUERTEVENTURA WITH CHILDREN

The island of Fuerteventura is a rough diamond, large and wild, with endless beaches to enjoy sunbathing and cristal clear warm waters, where you can play with the waves on the shore, with shovels in the sand or have fun making sand castles.

If you visit the island with your children, nephews, children of friends … it’s good for you to know some of the activities you can do with them, so these become memorable and enjoyable holidays for everyone.

CATAMARAN EXCURSION TO THE ISLAND OF LOBOS
Visiting the island of Lobos, northeast of Fuerteventura, on a catamaran is an activity that kids love, because it is designed for the fun of the whole family. With FuerteCharter, young apprentices will take the helm as true masters, enjoy snorkelling and feeding the small fish from the clear waters of Lobos; they can practise Stand Up Paddle, Kayak, jump into the water in many different ways, and have photos of the whole experience. Fun is guaranteed!

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Vacaciones en Fuerteventura con niños

SURFING LESSONS
The coast of Fuerteventura invites to water sports, highlighting surf as star activity. It’s true it looks like a simple sport, where simply having a table the children can play in the waves on the shore, but on the other hand is a risky sport, because of the currents on beaches, and it has a technique which is very difficult to learn by oneself; so from here we encourage you to contract some surfing lessons for children, because it will be much safer, they will learn more and this will also mean a few hours of relax for parents, leaving their children to instructors, if they want, or perhaps they take heart and sign up for surfing lessons, to share this fun activity with their children.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Vacaciones en Fuerteventura con niños

AQUA WATER PARK
In the town of Corralejo, you can find this water park with various swimming pools and water slides of different heights and levels of difficulty. There are shallow pools , where the youngest children don’t stop splashing, pools where you can dive and swim, for those who want to be more relaxed, and swimming pools with different attractions, so that the liveliest ones can vent as much adrenaline as possible . There is also a giant jacuzzi and a pool with wavelets.

Acua Water Park, Corralejo

A RIDE BY QUAD
The volcanic and semi-desert landscape of Fuerteventura is ideal for an excursion by quad. There are many companies that will take you for a ride in these vehicles, among volcanoes.
For the youngest guests, there is a closed circuit in Corralejo, so they learn to drive buggies by themselves, safely.

OASIS PARK IN LA LAJITA
If your children enjoy zoos, in Oasis Park in La Lajita (south of the island of Fuerteventura), you will find the zoo with over 250 animal species (giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, chimpanzees, …), and shows of sea ​​lions, reptiles, hawks, eagles, parrots …
In Oasis Park we find the largest camel preserve in Europe, so you can enjoy riding them, and children can also learn how the food that feeds them is cultivated, and you’ll also be taught some interesting facts about this species such as that camel milk has very positive properties for humans, because, among other things, it regulates the levels of sugar in our blood.
The youngest ones will be able to take a pony ride, and there are playground areas with trampolines.
Inside the park, you will also find a spectacular botanical garden, that will appeal to children and adults alike.
Also, on Sunday you will enjoy a craft market, with organic food: fruit, vegetables, cheese … and craft stalls.

©visitcanarias.com
©visitcanarias.com

CLIMBING A VOLCANO
If children are older than 5-6, a really fun and interesting activity is to climb to the top of a volcano.
The volcano of Lajares, Calderon Hondo, has a path leading to the top, from which you can see a perfectly circular volcanic caldera, plus stunning views of the north of the island of Fuerteventura.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Vacaciones en Fuerteventura con niños
©francisvidicfuerteventura.com

Happy holidays with your little ones!

Fuertecharter Team

Some curiosities of the island of Fuerteventura and the Canary Islands as a whole (part II)

We continue in this new post on our blog telling, tourists and residents, some curiosities on the island of Fuerteventura.


FUERTEVENTURA, THE ELDEST OF THE CANARY ISLANDS
Fuerteventura is the eldest of the Canary Islands. It originated, like the rest of the Canaries, through marine volcanic processes, which began to surface about 22 million years ago, and it is uncommon to find volcanic islands over 6 million years old, so it is a true challenge of nature.
The last volcanic eruption on the island was about 10.000 years ago, and it was the one that formed the Volcano of La Arena, in the municipality of La Oliva, with a magnificent landscape, known as “Malpaís de La Arena”.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Curiosidades sobre Fuerteventura 2
© cuadernosdeetnografia.blogspot.com


MAXORATA AND JANDÍA
Fuerteventura was originally made up of two separate islands, separated by a sandy isthmus that, after several volcanic episodes, grew and lformed a single island. However, throughout history these two parts continued somewhat divided. When conquerors arrived in Fuerteventura, called Erbania then, the island was divided into two kingdoms: Maxorata (north) and Jandía (south), each ruled by a warrior: Guize in the north and Ayoze in the south. When the conquerors arrived, these great warriors finally laid down their arms and surrendered, along with their men, the island becoming part of the Crown of Castile in 1476. The first capital of the island, Betancuria, is then set (up to XIX century), after the Norman conqueror Jean de Bethencourt.

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© es.enjoyfuerteventura.net


THE ADJECTIVE “MAJORERO”
At the time of the conquest (XV C.), the word “Maho” was used to refer to the Amazigh people who were on the island of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote when the conquerors arrived. There are two hypotheses of the etymology of the term: first it was thought to come from the Amazigh word “Mahu” which means “to skin, that is, to remove the skin” in relation to a type of footwear made of the skin that was used at the time. Another hypothesis, perhaps best known, assures that it comes from the word Maxorata, the Amazigh “Mahâr-at”, which means sons of the country, and that was the name that was given to what is now the northern part of Fuerteventura, to the isthmus of “La Pared”. Later on, “majorero” began to be used exclusively to refer to the people born in Fuerteventura.


“CANARY BEACH”
Its nearly 80kms of beaches turn this island into the best prepared for bathing and for water sports of all the Canary Islands. Many people from the rest of the islands come to Fuerteventura in summer to spend their holidays, due to the charm of its beaches.

Fuertecharter Fuerteventura | Wind and beaches in Fuerteventura
Los Ojos beach: ©visitfuerteventura.es


BIOSPHERE RESERVE
All the territory of Fuerteventura has been declared Biosphere Reserve since May 2009 due to its wild nature.
Despite its arid nature, this island has a rich biodiversity and is the largest representation of steppe and desert habitats in the whole archipelago, and also in the European Union, being a perfect Geo-paleontological observatory (50 sites with fossil records).
Its marine environment is undoubtedly the richest in the Canary Islands.

STARLIGHT RESERVE
On July 31st2015, the sky of Fuerteventura was definitely acredited with a certificate for the quality of its skies, becoming the third Starlight Reserve in the Canary Islands, with Tenerife and La Palma, out of the 7 existing throughout the world: Sierra Morena and Sierra Sur de Jaén (Andalusia), Montsec (Catalonia), National Park Fray Jorge (Chile)and Acadian Skies and Mi’kmaq Lands (Canada).
With this certificate, Fuerteventura is committed to protecting the quality of their night sky, also associated with cultural, scientific, astronomical, or natural values.

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© www.tripadvisor.es


FUERTEVENTURA: SEA TURTLES NEST
The coast of Fuerteventura, especially the Jandía peninsula in the south, is one of the favorite places in the world for sea turtles to nest and breed. Out of the 8 species of turtles in the world, 4 of them frequent the “majorera” coasts.


COFETE BEACH: BACKGROUND OF FAMOUS FILM SHOOTINGS
Cofete beach in the municipality of Pájara, has been chosen as setting for Hollywood blockbusters, including “The Planet of the Apes” (1968) and, more recently, the movie “Exodus” (2014), all because of its spectacular landscape.


LIGHTHOUSES IN FUERTEVENTURA
The island of Fuerteventura has 4 lighthouses: one in Cotillo, another one on the island of Lobos, one in “Punta de Jandia” and one of special beauty, the one on “La Entallada”, built on a cliff.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Curiosidades sobre Fuerteventura 2
© www.panoramio.com


FuerteCharter Team

Some curiosities of the island of Fuerteventura and the Canary Islands in general (part I)

If you have visited the island of Fuerteventura, if you are going to visit it soon, or if you are one of its residents, but do not know the history of this Atlantic island thoroughly, here we leave some curiosities that you”ll surely like to know about both Fuerteventura and the Canary Islands as a whole.


THE CANARY ISLANDS ARE PART OF LA MACARONESIA AND MYTHOLOGICAL ATLANTIS
La Macaronesia is the set of five of the North Atlantic archipelagos: Azores, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira and the Savage Islands. It comes from the Greek word makárôn nêsoi, which means “happy or fortunate islands”, where it was assumed that deceased heroes of mythology would abide.
Macaronesian islands were never connected to the continent, as they are volcanic islands that emerged from marine eruptions, and according to mythology, it was thought that these islands were the summits of Atlantis (submerged continent), emerging to the surface. Atlantis, according to mythology, was the continent that Zeus sank in punishment for its inhabitants” bad behaviour.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Curiosidades sobre Fuerteventura
www.docfiles.cl

ETYMOLOGY OF THE WPRD “CANARIAS”
These islands received its name because after the first expedition sent by the king of Mauritania to meet the ends of the ocean, beyond the Pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar), what they found when they reached these islands was a fierce breed of dogs (the Latin: can, canis), so the name the islands received was “Insula Canaria” (Isle of Dogs).


“EL GOFIO”
Energy food derived from some roasted and ground cereals such as wheat, rye, corn, barley … Its highly nutritious properties turned it into the staple food of this people for many years. This powder is often added to milk at breakfast, also to “el potaje canario”or kneaded , resulting into “la pellla de gofio”.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Curiosidades sobre Fuerteventura
©commons.wikimedia.org

“MAJORERO” CHEESE DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN
“Majorero” goat cheese enjoys appellation of origin from the February 16th , 1996, and it can be made only with goat milk from the island or a mixture of up to 15% of Canarian sheep milk, before letting it age.
In the case of mature cheese it features the palm leaf on its bark, which is used in “empleitas” to make the mould that shapes it. The most famous ones are cured with gofio, paprika or oil, although other varieties are found.


THE SALT
In the early twentieth century, salt was one of the resources that allowed the islands to generate more revenue. The climate of the Canary Islands is ideal for the production of sea salt, which was exported all over the world, and which also was of great importance to preserve fish, when the phenomenon of freezing had not yet been discovered.


COCHINILLAWAS ALSO TRADED
The cochineal is a parasite insect of the cactus, from which a very bright red dye is obtained out of its blood , used in ancient times to dye fabrics. Until the mid-nineteenth century it was a precious commodity, as the high society’s garments were dyed with it. Eventually, much cheaper but less safe synthetic dyes were discovered.
This dye is used today as a food colouring (E-120) and in the pharmaceutical industry, and small productions are preserved on the island of Lanzarote and La Palma.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Curiosidades sobre Fuerteventura
© www.faunaexotica.net

CANARIAN WRESTLING
This sport has a long history among the Canarian population, as it has been practised in the island since these were inhabited by “los Guanches” (ancient inhabitants).
It consists of unbalancing the opponent and making them touch the ground with any part of his body other than their sole.
It is played on sand enclosures called “Terreros”.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Curiosidades sobre Fuerteventura
© www.hablocanario.es


EL TIMPLE
Plucked string instrument, typical of the Canary Islands, of small dimensions (38-40cms) and due to its curved back, hump-like, it’s recognized as the ” resounding little Camel”.

 

FuerteCharter Team