For anyone not familiar with my story, I first came to Fuerteventura over four years to spend a week recharging my batteries at Azulfit yoga and Pilates retreat. Like many others, I immediately fell in love with the laid-back island lifestyle, incredible beaches and turquoise waters - it really is the perfect place for a much-needed holiday!
However, what many of us don't discover on that first trip to paradise is that this 'rock' in the Atlantic offers so much more than a beach holiday! Further afield for those looking to explore is the island's beautiful raw volcanic landscape, a mountainous island interior and some of the most spectacular coastline I have ever seen! And one of the best ways to discover the island's hidden gems is to set out on a Fuerteventura road-trip ... it's time for an adventure!
It's up with the sun from my base in the north of the island, Corralejo and there's just time for a quick coffee and croissant before hitting the road in our wheels for the day, a 4x4 ... there's a jam-packed day ahead and we can't wait to get started!
Our chosen route sees us heading south through the lunar landscape towards Tindaya before cutting west towards the coast, some beach time and a picnic, a bit of off-roading (hence the 4x4), before wrapping things up with a sundowner and a dip at Los Molinos. Let's get cracking!
Corralejo - Playa de Tebeto, Tindaya: approx 45 minutes
Heading out of town on the FV-101 towards La Oliva, it's not long before the landscape changes dramatically from the resort centre of bustling Corralejo. As we drive towards the centre of the island, volcanoes appear in all directions and we get a sense for the road-trip adventure that awaits!
First we pass through Villaverde. This traditional Canarian village full of white fincas is a lovely place to mooch round for an afternoon, exploring a handful of shops and cafes, and perhaps taking a hike up Mount Escanfraga, but we're not staying today ... There's just about time to stop at the amazing little bakery Mi Dulce Hogar for another quick coffee and some picnic sandwiches before continuing on to our first destination.
Onwards through La Oliva, the municipal capital of the north of Fuerteventura, and soon we're on the open road where it's not too long until the impressive form of the mountain of Tindaya appears on our right. With over 300 engravings of archaelogical significance at the base, the site is considered as a sacred place with magical powers and is a protected natural area.
Driving past it, we take the right hand turn towards Tindaya and now the road-trip fun really begins! Heading towards the teeny village, we keep right and start to make our way towards the coastline we can vaguely see in the distance! At this point, it's fair to say that you might feel like you're heading into the middle of nowhere (and you'd largely be right!), but don't worry too much as long as you keep following your nose to the sea, you'll be able to pick up the route ... eventually :)
We spot a small hand-made sign pointing to Playa de Jarugo and head off left into the unknown along an increasingly sandy dirt track before eventually arriving at the cliff top above Playa de Tebeto.
OMG! Prepare to have your socks blown off! No wonder the Canary Islands are so often used as film sets for Hollywood blockbusters ... this place is INCREDIBLE!
Raw nature at its most beautiful as the powerful waves crash onto the rocks below and behind you as far as the eye can see there are just volcanoes, volcanoes and more volcanoes. Difficult to believe we're only 45 minutes from Corralejo and now there is just us and Mother Nature ... breathtaking.
Apparently there is small beach below us reachable by carefully navigating a cliff 'path' of sorts, but being on the cliff top is making my legs wobble, so it's time to head back to our car (looking remarkably here like's it's in an advertising campaign) and we set off southbound on the track.
A small word of warning at this point! I would definitely not recommend attempting this next part of the trip in a hired Fiat 500 or equivalent! Not to be one to tell you what to do, but I suspect it might end up in tears (and an insurance bill) ... we were in a 4x4 and for good reason!
Playa de Tebeto - Playa de Jarugo: approx 10 minutes:
Heading south, we arrive at Playa de Jarugo after a few minutes of slightly interesting off-roading and it feels like we've discovered a secret beach! Albeit one that 2 or 3 surf schools have found that day too, but nevertheless a picture perfect place...
As you walk through the dunes to the sandy bay the beach opens up and outstretched in front of you is an Instagram ready postcard. There are shallow inlets for paddling, as well as some pretty decent looking waves (or so I'm told - surfing's not my forte).
Grabbing a picnic spot, we watched waterfalls form as the water crashed over the back of the rocks ... #happyplace .
Whilst I'd have been very happy to lounge there all day with my book and preferably something cold and fizzy, the road beckoned once more and this time we were definitely headed into the unknown ... eek!
Playa de Jarugo - Los Molinos: approx 30 minutes
We continued south, following the path (a loose term at times) along the cliff top for a little while. There is the option to go along the track directly to Los Molinos, but we swung back east and inland to follow the edge of an amazing ravine, which appeared to be home to green vegetation and fresh water in the middle of the desert!
It all started to feel a little Breaking Bad at this point ,.. time to get back to civilisation! Spotting a cluster of houses ahead, we eventually entered the small village of Las Parcelas. Passing through, we found the FV-221 (an actual road yay) and took a right to head back towards the coast and our final road-trip stop for the day - Los Molinos!
The tiny Fuerteventura fishing village of Los Molinos is really more a collection of small dwellings, a couple of beach bars and a raft of happy ducks (yes ducks), but it has charm and personality in abundance!
If you make your way to the right hand side of the beach, there is the perfect spot to enjoy a much needed cold drink after a long day on the road. I'm pretty sure I'm yet to find a better spot for a sundowner ... sat on the terrace, watching the light dip into the ocean, drink in hand. It's no frills and plastic chairs, but that's just how I like it!
And shhhhhhhhh... the very best bit! For those with a spirit of adventure (and a sure footing), you can carefully climb over the crop of rocks to the right of the bay at low tide and be rewarded with a little Los Molinos secret...
The most spectacular, crystal-clear tide pools ... metres deep and just crying out for you to take a dip!
Floating around in nature's playground, watching the sun go down, without another soul to be seen ... that's pretty much the perfect end to a perfect day in my book and why I love this island so much!
And with a big high five to life, it's time to wrap things up before the day is done ... there's a cold drink back in Corralejo somewhere with my name on it.
Thanks Fuerteventura for a road-trip to remember.