Lap­ping It Up in Fuerteven­tura Ca­nary Is­lands, Spain

Upscale Living Magazine - - Contents - By Adam Ja­cot de Boinod

De­spite the vol­canic na­ture that you get on all the Ca­nary is­lands, on Fuerteven­tura I dis­cov­ered long strands of white sand on beaches de­void of any jagged rock for­ma­tions or black lava. Per­fect for walk­ing as the odd na­tur­ist also thought. The Playa de Bu­ti­hondo north of Morro Jable has a won­der­ful stretch, as does the Playa de So­tavento just south of Costa Calma.

Is­tayed first at the Gran Ho­tel At­lantis Bahia Real (www.at­lantis­bahiareal.com). The ho­tel has its bell­boys re­s­plen­dent in semi-Alpine uni­forms with red waist­coats and black felt hats. There are 242 rooms and a se­lec­tion of restau­rants. At the Span­ish gourmet ‘Las Colum­nas’ they cer­tainly push the boat out though hope­fully not the belly! I en­joyed some pump­kin cream soup and a piquillo pep­per filled with seafood, be­fore re­sist­ing a menu of eight tapas. I then ex­panded into a sea bass set in a rock salt case, a process of re­lease from which mes­merised the neigh­bour­ing chil­dren. And all helped along with a salad of trop­i­cal fruits, cherry toma­toes and king prawns. They typ­i­cally mix fruit into their sal­ads. To round things off I tried a choco­late souf­flé with red fruits that were doused in a rose­mary aroma and car­damom ice cream. All thor­oughly thought through!

Look out at the ho­tel spa, the ‘Bahia Vi­tal’, for Daniella. No or­di­nary masseuse as my girl­friend lifted her­self out of her chair she was pulled up and knew in­stantly that she was in great hands. In­deed she left in great shape both lit­er­ally and sen­su­ally as a re­sult of Daniella’s in­tu­itive un­der­stand­ing.

At the ho­tel’s Coco Beach Bar I loved the sen­sa­tion of be­ing sur­rounded by the waves that span and lapped around me. Be­fore I tucked into a Sal­morejo Cor­doba-style with top­pings I sam­pled a Ca­narian sta­ple, namely ‘pa­pas ar­ru­gadas’, wrin­kled po­ta­toes that come with their ‘mojo’ sauces of gar­lic, chili pep­pers, cumin, pa­prika and vine­gar. For pud­ding I en­joyed a fruits of the sea­son with apri­cot sor­bet. All ac­com­pa­nied by both Yaiza and Ber­mejo Dry white wine. Lo­cally grown are the po­ta­toes, ba­nanas and toma­toes along of course with the fish that is caught lo­cally in­clud­ing oc­to­pus and squid.

Cor­ralejo is a town half for tourists (and many Brits find it re­as­sur­ingly fa­mil­iar with their shops and bars) and half for lo­cals with Calle Igle­sia a charm­ing part. It re­tains its fish­ing vil­lage at­mos­phere and the lo­cals are an­i­mated and ges­tic­u­lar in sim­i­lar fash­ion to those along the Mediter­ranean. The is­land is to­tally safe both for old and young alike. In­deed the tra­di­tional Bri­tish bucket and spade hol­i­day is much in ev­i­dence.

I took one of the many boats and fer­ries at the town’s har­bour across the twenty minute ride to Isla de Lo­bos. Here there’s one gui­tar-play­ing man called Elias and his wife who live there the whole year round though there are ten guest houses. Ram­shackle but au­then­tic. Per­haps for the more hardy. Here there is the typ­i­cal black lu­nar land­scape. It’s a great and safe two hour walk to go round it all, in­clud­ing the light­house, and a fur­ther hour if you want to climb the vol­canic peak.

And I was lucky enough to stay next at the Oc­ci­den­tal Jan­dia Royal Level Suite. (www.barcelo.com/en-gb/ho­tels/spain/ca­nary-is­lands/ fuerteven­tura/oc­ci­den­tal-jan­dia-royal-level). My room was set on a hill­side high above with a won­der­fully panoramic view out over the long strand of beach. The ho­tel is fully func­tional and there’s def­i­nitely some­thing for ev­ery­one. Kids are given a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties to en­joy while par­ents get a chance to un­wind.

I strongly rec­om­mend Fuerteven­tura strong winds and all. | Adam Ja­cot de Boinod was a re­searcher for the first BBC tele­vi­sion series QI, hosted by Stephen Fry. He wrote The Mean­ing of Tingo and Other Ex­tra­or­di­nary Words from around the World, pub­lished by Pen­guin Books.

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