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Fuerteventura, divided into buzzing tourist resorts and wild, volcanic mountainous areas of natural beauty, is one of the loveliest of all the islands in the Canaries archipelago. Wind surfing, surfing and kite surfing are three of the favourite beachside occupations here, either in the resorts or on remote beaches, many of which are only accessible by with a rental car. Puerto Rosario, Betancuria and Corralejo are the main island towns, with the latter boasting great beaches and miles of golden sand dunes. A wide expanse of perfectly-flat beaches is also found on the southern shores around Jandia.
Who to Book With
Trusted international car hire companies represented at the airport in Porto Rosario and in the beach resorts of Jandia and Corralejo include Sixt, Avis and Hertz. There is also a plethora of local Spanish car rental companies. During the busy seasons, car hire rates increase, making booking your chosen vehicle online in advance the best way to save money and ensure the car of your choice.
Best time to go
The Canaries archipelago is known as the ‘islands of eternal spring’ for its year-round warm weather, although summer is still the most crowded season. December to February are the most expensive months, with March to May (excluding the Easter holiday) being the cheapest time for car hire, flights and hotels.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following documents at the car rental pick-up point:
- A valid UK or EU driving license or an international driving permit
- A separate photo ID, such as your passport
- The credit card used for the online reservation
- Proof of your rental confirmation, such as a printed-out receipt
The entire island of Fuerteventura is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, with self-drive around its wilderness areas the only way to see all it has to offer. Driving here is normally a treat for motorists used to crowded city roads, as main roads are largely clear, well-maintained and well signed. However, the mountain roads and unpaved stretches call for extra care and preferably a 4x4 vehicle. A driving license, two warning triangles, a reflective jacket, spare light bulbs, valid insurance and your car hire documents must be carried, and seat belts must be worn. Mobile phone usage while driving is illegal, and drink-drive limits are exceedingly low. Parking, even in the resort areas, isn’t difficult. Visitors form the UK should remember to drive on the right.
Getting around Fuerteventura and its towns can be done by bus, tram, taxi or car rental. Taxis are the most expensive option, and bus services are somewhat sparse, making self-drive the best option for touring. There is no train service on the island.
Taxi services on the island are run by the local government, are metered, cannot be hired in advance and are not allowed to pick up passengers outside the area for which they are licensed. The fare from Fuerteventura Airport to Corralejo costs around £36, while to Jandia it’s £77. Airport shuttles are also offered by Holiday Taxis.
Buses and trams on the island are run by Tiadhe, which offers a 16-route limited service in the resort towns and Puerto del Rosario and more reduced timetable outside the urban areas. Corralejo is linked with Puerto Rosario by bus no 6, which runs every half hour or so, with the journey taking 40 minutes, and 11 buses daily run between Morre Jable and Costa Calma. A discount card, which can be bought from the bus driver, takes effect immediately.
Driving around this volcanic island opens up glorious views of unspoilt protected scenery and hidden bays with sandy beaches and clear azure waters. For the more remote beach locations, you’ll need a sturdy four-wheel drive vehicle, as most roads are merely dirt tracks.
Jandia - Known for its stunning beaches, water sports and lively little quarter, complete with bars and restaurants. The drive from Puerto Rosario or direct from the island’s airport now takes less than an hour since the new motorway was completed. It’s a scenic run, giving a great overview of the countryside.
Cofete - For magnificent views, take a drive over rough roads to Cofete. You’ll need to have hired a 4x4 vehicle, but you’ll be rewarded by five kilometres of glorious beach and a charming village overlooked by soaring Mount Jandia, the island’s highest peak. The quality of light here is outstanding due to the changing formations of the clouds that encircle the mountain.
Betencuria - A full-day tour from Caleta to Betencuria and back is a great way to get to grips with the island’s volcanic topography, as well as its pretty small towns and villages. The drive takes in Antiqua, Tuineje and Pajara, before returning via Los Molinos and Antigua. Along the way you’ll find historic churches, quaint squares, narrow, winding mountain roads and Betancuria’s archaeology museum. Overlooking Betencuria on the road home are the famous images of the two men who ruled the island before it was united into one kingdom.