Ca­nary is­land has so much to of­fer

RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL vis­its a newly-opened re­sort on Fuerteven­tura

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

IF you fell asleep on the plane to Fuerteven­tura and woke up on ar­rival, you’d be for­given for think­ing you had landed on the moon.

The land­scape is so bar­ren and black it looks as if any sort of life would strug­gle to thrive.

With miles and miles of char­coal land­scape punc­tu­ated only by the man-made golf cour­ses in the ho­tel re­sorts, you couldn’t be fur­ther from the rolling green hills of Eng­land.

But give it a day, go to the beach, eat tapas and drink san­gria on the ve­randa, and you will dis­cover that there is plenty of life on this Span­ish is­land, and it’s ac­tu­ally quite won­der­ful.

Like all the Ca­nary Is­lands, Fuerteven­tura was formed out of a se­ries of un­der­wa­ter vol­canic erup­tions, which ex­plains the charred land­scape and loom­ing dark moun­tains.

But as the days turn to nights, and dusk turns to dawn, thou­sands more colours are re­vealed to cre­ate a mag­i­cal place like no other.

Not to men­tion the stunning beaches, all-year-round sun­shine and cloud­less blue skies.

I took a trip to Fuerteven­tura with Pierre & Va­cances and stayed at their newly-opened Origo Mare re­sort to the north of the is­land.

It’s per­fect for all types of hol­i­day mak­ers, with an adult-only pool, à la carte restau­rant and spa for those who want a re­lax­ing hol­i­day, and a fab­u­lous kids’ wa­ter park with wave pool, mini golf and ten­nis courts for those who pre­fer a lit­tle more ac­tiv­ity on their jol­lies.

It’s laid out like a hol­i­day vil­lage, so it’s par­tic­u­larly great for fam­i­lies. Five cul-de-sacs of apart­ments each have their own pool, and there’s a shop so you can cook for your­self if you’re on more of a bud­get.

While the re­sort has plenty to of­fer, I would rec­om­mend get­ting a hire car for the du­ra­tion of your stay as it’s 50km from the air­port and the near­est town is too far to walk. Even though it is bike-friendly, it’s a lit­tle too far if you want a night on the town.

The re­sort is based in the north of the is­land, be­tween El Cotillo and Cor­ralejo. Cor­ralejo has miles and miles of per­fect beaches, and like any area the fur­ther you go away from the town, the qui­eter they get.

Fuerteven­tura trans­lates as ‘strong winds’ and this tran­spires when you hit the beach, the wa­ter is warm and the beaches are beau­ti­ful, but the waves are very strong – great for big kids and surfers, but the smaller la­goons are per­haps more suit­able for those with younger chil­dren.

The most im­pres­sive beach near to the re­sort is in the Na­tional Park – Las Du­nas de Cor­ralejo – beau­ti­ful sand dunes cre­ated from wind blown across from the Sa­hara cre­at­ing the per­fect back­drop to an af­ter­noon on the beach.

Cor­ralejo it­self is typ­i­cally touristy with plenty of restau­rants to cater for Bri­tish needs and mar­kets sell­ing thou­sands of trin­kets.

From Cor­ralejo we took a ferry to Isla de Lo­bos, which is con­sid­ered one of the most im­por­tant na­ture re­serves off shore, with beau­ti­ful iso­lated beaches away from crowds.

We also spent the day in La Oliva, a rustic vil­lage that used to be the cap­i­tal of the is­land and is steeped in his­tory. The Ruta de los Corone­les – a char­ac­ter-led tour around the town – is a par­tic­u­larly fun and en­ter­tain­ing way to learn its his­tory and a high­light of our trip. It takes in the Colonel’s house – he orig­i­nally presided over the en­tire vil­lage – and the Ca­narian Arts Cen­tre, which is also a great way to see some lo­cal art.

Cotillo Beach is also worth a visit, a typ­i­cal fish­er­man’s vil­lage it has a lit­tle more char­ac­ter than Cor­raljo and has plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties for kids and fam­i­lies. Here we en­joyed horse rid­ing and a snorkelling ses­sion

If you get the time, or if you can drag your­self away from the beach, it’s also worth mak­ing the trek up the old vol­ca­noes. The walk is a bit of a chal­lenge but suit­able for most abil­i­ties, but the spec­tac­u­lar views and thrill of look­ing into the void of an old vol­cano makes it worth it.

And if you take some food up with you, you will al­most def­i­nitely get to see the na­tive bar­bary squirrels, who are very tame and will­ing to pose for pho­to­graphs in re­turn for food.

Fuerteven­tura has so much to of­fer it’s the per­fect des­ti­na­tion whether you are look­ing for a fun fam­ily get­away, some bar­gain win­ter sun or a bit of cul­ture, and the Origo Mare is a per­fect place to start.

●● The Origo Mare re­sort in Fuerteven­tura

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