Dear Mummy, we’ve just got back from the most amazing break on the windy island of Fuerteventura. We stayed in Corralejo at the Hesperia Bristol Playa which was north of the island and only a ferry hop from Lanzarote. On arriving at the hotel after an hour and half by coach transfer (manly due to the number of hotels we had to stop at on the way) we were greeted by friendly staff and a hotel complex made up of mainly 1-2 bed apartments with no more than three levels so it felt very much as if we were in a small village.
We went self catering which kept the cost down and allowed us to have lovely breakfasts at our leisure and alternate between lunch and dinners out in the town. The hotel was in very good order and I enjoyed the kids club and the lovely Caterina who looked after all us kids for a few hours a day. It never felt busy and the atmosphere was lovely. I enjoy meeting new people and little ones like me and had lots of fun getting to meet new holiday friends.
It was our first trip to the Canary Islands as a family and we soaked up the sun for two weeks. We were most impressed with the sandy beaches, the friendly locals and the superb weather. This island definitely has it all. Check out our holiday vlog to see all the action!
So what do you think of our video? These are our suggestions of things to do in Corralejo:
Explore the bustle of the main street:
With every tourist destination there tends to be a main thoroughfare with shops, bars and restaurants. In Corralejo it all revolves around a large Burger King sign which can be seen from most areas of the resort especially as you walk down Av Ntra Sra del Carmen. It has a lovely mix of bars, restaurants, market shops and larger branded stores catering for just about every age and preference. It took less than 10 minutes for us to reach the main strip once Daddy worked out the shortcuts! Like New York it really never sleeps it seems, as we found places open even after 11pm (ssshhh don’t tell Mummy as Daddy took me out for diner and ice cream one evening when Mummy was relaxing at the hotel)
Discover the old town and harbour
We loved watching the land train taking people around the town and it’s a great way of getting your bearings however even my little legs and the occasional shoulder ride on Daddy allowed us to walk most of the town. There are ferry’s that take people to the other islands and on excursions if you fancy island hoping. I loved the quirky shops and vegan cafes, Ice cream parlours and waterfront restaurants.
Experience different types of beaches
From Popcorn Beach to the crystal clear waters of Harbour Beach, there are many to discover on the island of Fuerteventura. Some of the best beaches are North East of the island. They were very clean and on some of them you would regularly see sand sculptures which I really enjoyed seeing. Harbour Beach became one of our favourite places to go and watch the world go by as it was near our hotel. We enjoyed lovely meals at two of the many restaurants that overlooked the beach. I felt safe playing in eye sight of my folks and the sand was brilliant for building castles.
There are a couple sandy stretches in Corralejo town which are popular with sunbathers, families and watersport enthusiasts with its clear water and fine sand. You could walk the length of the Corralejo coast in about 20 minutes (though daddy’s shoulders made it easier) and enjoy beaches with volcanic rock pools too, ideal for trying to catch crabs, fish and shrimp. Bars and restaurants are never far away which happily catered for families seeking lunch, snacks and ice cream away from the midday sun. Not all the beaches had showers so we had to be clever with just how much I buried Daddy in the sand!
Each beach brought something different and if you enjoy windsurfing, paddle boarding or kite surfing then these beaches offer a great opportunity to learn by taking lessons thanks to the wind and helpful instructors. I enjoyed watching the lessons.
Try the paella and fresh fish
I tried my first seafood paella at Gregorio El Pescador, enjoying the prawns and enquiring what the weird shaped tentacles were, much to my folks amusement. What pleased me the most was the live music from the buskers in the walkway between the many restaurants along with the street dancers as well. It made it extra special that everyone from staff to entertainers seemed genuinely friendly. We also enjoyed meals at Restaurante La Playita and Restaurante Vistalobos which both served a large selection of lovely food and drink. Prices were reasonable and offers were available if you looked. Daddy enjoyed sampling the fresh fish that was available which isn’t something you get to do that often in the UK.
There are surf shacks and watersport shops everywhere. It’s not hard to organise a windsurfing, kite surfing or surfing lesson here. As it’s windy on the coast it’s the ideal place for watersports. Kite Beach beyond the town makes an ideal spot. I had fun watching the kitesurfers, windsurfers and even tried to pretend to be a surfer from the beach. When the wind died down the natural forming dunes also make it great for dune buggy excursions which Daddy wanted to do but didn’t on this occasion.
Grab a net and try rockpooling
There are loads of little rock pools that form on the Corralejo coast thanks to the volcanic rock. Emerging from the amazing turquoise waters. So we bought a cheap fishing net to find silver fish and small hermit crabs! The water is so clear you can see everything.
See the natural wonder of the Sand Dunes
We chose the last days of our trip to visit the dunes as it was less windy and warmer. These are easily reachable by buss or taxi from the main strip and found close to two large RIU hotels. We found a couple of beach bars/restaurants to shelter in when the wind did pick up. Whilst the water is clear, the tide can be quite strong for us little ones so I didn’t venture too far in and made sure I was with mummy and daddy when I did.
Enjoy the themed bars and restaurants
From Irish bars, rock and metal bars, to surf shacks and disco karaoke bars there’s enough to keep the whole family entertained. We particularly liked the open spaces with play parks in old town and the music square in the harbour. Bars of note were Wakki, McCarthys, Australian Tuxedo and Flicks. We found restaurants accommodating to families and the quality food excellent in the ones that we ate at whether it was Asia Garden to the Steak House to the smaller restaurants in our harbour beach.
Visit the zoo – Oasis Park Wildlife Reserve
Now this might not be in Corralejo but nearly 2 hours away on the free bus but Oasis Park, near Jardina south of the island is a must see, especially if you are animal mad like us! The bus picked us up from outside our hotel at the stop (no booking required or cost) and took us there. On arrival we were greeted by multi-lingual staff and options for the different attractions. We opted to go on a camel excursion which was my first time on one. We enjoyed a 35 minute camel ride (watch our video) which gave us a great view of the park and of the coast. We also had the opportunity to feed Limas which I thought was amazing as they were very cheeky and jumped all over us and on daddy’s head. The rest of the park was easy to navigate and the variety of animals there wonderful. I got to see elephants, exotic birds, Meerkats, turtles and so much more. We enjoyed a brilliant Sea Lion show and what made me happy was how well the animals looked and how much care seemed to be given to them.
Depending on where you stay I’m sure a pool will be close by. We stayed at Hesperia Bristol Playa Hotel which was on the far pinnacle of Corralejo and it was rather windy as we were right on the main channel. Thankfully we were only 10 mins from the beach and 5 mins from the hustle and bustle of the harbour as we were in the older part of the town. Other main hotels like the RIU resorts were on the outskirts of town, so maybe a bit more sheltered further down the coast but away from the action of the town. You are spoilt for choice for hotel on this island as we stopped at at least 5 on our way to our hotel and when we went to the Oasis Park. All of them looked wonderful so it’s really a case of deciding where you want to be in relation to beaches and the main strip plus your budget.
Other cool things
Other attractions to note was the aqua park which was still off season but opened towards the end of our holiday, the natural pools on the west of the island. Costa Calma with its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, popcorn beach with its weird shaped stones and the pretty Isle of Lobos.
I’m sure these would all make fantastic Instaworthy photos and are on our list for the next time we visit. Also with Lanzarote in the distance a day tour across on the ferry would have been an adventure.
Have you guys been to Fuerteventura before? If so, let us know your favourite places to visit and things to do in the comments below x
Love Bella x