“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.” – Anonymous
After having enjoyed so many snow walks this winter, we decided to swap the snow for sand and we went to Fuerteventura in February. Wow, what an island! You can find so many different beaches and coastlines there, just amazing.
On my blog I often talk about small changes with huge effects and ladies, I’ve got a great example for you this week!
The first day of our holidays we went to the beach on the east coast of Fuerteventura. The second day we went to the west coast. As the island is pretty small, the change to go from east to west (or west to east) is not a big deal. The effect of that small east-west change is anything but small: it’s big, it’s huge, it’s enormous!
OK, not so big, huge and enormous as the difference between east and west we have grown up with, but still quite impressive. Have a look for yourself: Four beaches, four outfits, four stories. Enjoy!
West Coast: Playa de Cofete
Let’s start with the best of the best, since Cofete is considered the crown jewel of Fuerteventura. This beach is unique: deserted, dangerous, mysterious and majestic. It is one of the remotest (if not the remotest) beaches on the Canary Islands. You can only reach it by crossing the mountains by car over a 19 km off road piste or by walking 8 kms through a remote valley. Since we wanted to experience both, we decided to take the bus to the beach and walk back.
And what a bus it was! It was more like an XXL jeep with the look of a bus and a bus-driver who knew both his bus and his route. This charming Spanish gentleman drove at a speed that I thought very, very daring for the road, so I held on tight while he was doing his twists and turns towards the mountain pass. He stopped his bus there, wound down his window and took patiently photo after photo with literally every passenger’s phone or camera. The gesture was generous and the view spectacular as you can see.
We then resumed our fast and furious Fuerteventura experience and were at the beach half an hour later. Shaken but safe!
Since you cannot bath in the ocean because of the high waves and strong current, we took our time to enjoy just being at the beach before we returned on foot. The walk back was easy and awesome: over another pass and through a remote valley.
A lonesome, dry valley and an equally lonesome, dry tree.
In case you have seen the film “Exodus: Gods and Kings”, directed by Ridley Scott, you have actually seen lots of shots of this deserted beach and remote valley. The film is quite long, so you may prefer watching this shorter behind the scenes video.
There is a graveyard as remote as the beach itself in Cofete.
If you are a bit adventurous and keen on a beach day that is different from standard, Cofete is the playa for you.
East Coast: Grandes Playas de Corralejo
The name already provides quite a hint: the beaches close to Corralejo are large and spacious. They are also very clean with white sand and turquoise water. Dreamlike? You bet!
On top of all this, there is a National Park just behind the beaches full of dunes that give you the feeling you are in a desert. We first took our time swimming and relaxing and then crossed the road to explore the dunes. We only had to take a few steps and the road could no longer be seen, a few steps more and the road could no longer be heard.
Surrounded by sand with majestic, mysterious mountains on the horizon and sahara silence…What this experience gives you is a feeling of endless time and space and it’s just around the corner of a busy little town on a busy little island.
When you want the perfect beach for a day of swimming and sunning and a different kind of “walk on the beach”, this might be your spot. You can take a stroll along the shore, a trip through the desert or both!
West Coast: Agues Verdes and Playa del Valle
We were looking for relaxed bathing, but I sat here quite tense because of the wild ocean.
After two beaches that make you feel you are in Africa, I’d like to take you to back to the east coast for a “British” experience.
Our plan was to enjoy the famous Agues Verdes near Playa del Valle on the east coast. The Agues Verdes are natural swimming pools of clear, green water in a scenery of cliffs and rock formations.
On the photo above and the one below you can see such natural pools. Not green and quiet as we had seen on pictures, but filled with wild, white water. I am sure bathing in these pools will be a great experience when the ocean is calm, since the surroundings are super scenic. On this particular day it would have been suicide though. The Passat Winds on the Atlantic had created huge, really huge waves and they were hitting this coastline like crazy. It was awesome to watch. You feel very small standing there (even if you’re not petite).
This summer dress in one of my favourites. See here why!
As you will understand, we thought it wise to change plans and we enjoyed a spectacular coastal walk. When you have done coastal walks in the UK, you will love doing so on Fuerteventura. It’s just as spectacular, but with really warm weather and splendid sunshine, even on a day when the ocean was this wild!
Playa del Valle and its nearby natural swimming pools I would put on my must-see list for Fuerteventura if I were you.
West Coast: Playa de los Muertos ( Ajuy)
The last beach I want to share with you is one that made me realise how programmed we are. When you go to beach, you expect sand, rocks or pebbles, right?
Playa de los Muertos is a sandy beach, just slightly different from “normal”. For the first time in my life I stood on a black beach. Somehow it felt like I stepped out of my comfort zone that day: feeling familiar soft sand under my feet, yet seeing something surreal. My brain didn’t get it. My senses were confused. What I felt did not match with what my eyes saw. I just loved the experience. It is something I will not easily forget.
The name of this soft, sandy beach is anything but soft. It’s quite scary really: “Beach of the Dead / Playa de los Muertos”. It’s not because many people die swimming here (the sea is dangerous at this spot, so make sure to watch and respect the flag), but because of its Pirates of the Canarian history.
I am sure you see the huge effect of choosing east or west for a beach day on Fuerteventura. I am sure you also see the huge variety of beaches on the island.
There is definitely something for everyone beach-wise, from utterly relaxing, calm and luxurious in the east to utterly remote, wild and adventurous in the west.
“Flip-flops are mythic devices. They transport both body and mind to a comfortable, calm, casual state of being.” – unknown
What kind of beach (day) is your favourite? I would love reading about it!