Book Your Holiday Online 24/7 or call one of our travel team Monday to Sunday 9am to 8.00pm
Basking in a year round climate of warm, dry sunshine cooled by gentle breezes from the Atlantic, Fuerteventura is the furthest east of the Canary Islands, lying just 100 km off the coast of Western Sahara on the African continent. The volcanic landscape of the interior, like much of the archipelago, is arrestingly wild, dramatic and eerie in places, but in contrast to its neighbours, the coastline boasts a string of pristine, soft white beaches and dunes formed by sand that has drifted over naturally from the Sahara.
Just a 30 minute drive north of the island's airport at Puerto del Rosario, the inland village of Villaverde enjoys unrivalled views across the mountains, the beaches of the north coast and across the ocean to Lanzarote. Villaverde began many years ago as a smattering of smallholdings on the hills where flour was ground in windmills and local shepherds led their donkeys along ancient trails.
Today it has grown into a quiet but expanding town popular with ex-patriates, who enjoy the home-from-home feel of a residential area made up of individually designed villas, many with private swimming pools. The town has all the basic amenities including supermarkets and small hotels, and its selection of great restaurants and tapas bars make it an ideal away-from-it-all location for anyone seeking a quiet self-catering holiday.
Staying around the village of Villaverde itself, you will find yourself enjoying lazy days in surroundings conducive to relaxing in the sunshine. Once you have sampled the local cuisine in Villaverde there are further dining opportunities in the adjoining village of La Oliva to the south, as well as a number of shops, and the area's traditional windmills have always proved a popular landmark and make great photographic souvenirs of your stay.
If you are interested in the local culture, visit Villaverde's agricultural museum to learn about the island's traditional crops and how aloe vera is becoming an increasingly popular export. In the neighbouring village of Lajares to the North-West, the local craft shop offers a real feel of yesteryear with local ladies embroidering and lace-making by hand, with the chance to pick up a selection of traditional handicrafts.
Hiring a car is strongly advisable for anyone staying in Villaverde who wants to explore their surroundings and appreciate everything the area has to offer. The closest beaches are just a short drive west at El Cotillo, where warm, turquoise lagoons meet deserted swathes of soft dunes that put the accent on solitude and relaxation, whilst a short distance to the west, rugged cliffs and Atlantic waves stir up currents ideal for windsurfing.
El Cotillo itself, a traditional white-washed Canarian village, although remaining unspoilt, has an increasingly cosmopolitan feel with a number of great bars and restaurants. Head north to the town of Corralejo for even more relaxed, idyllic beaches many of which are popular with naturists, and energetic watersports including kitesurfing.
Life in Corralejo centres around the old harbour, popular for both fishing and people-watching. For fun-packed family days out, the nearby Baku Water park offers ten pin bowling, a crazy golf course and a driving range as well as water slides, chutes and wave pools. At night, the town's Atlantico Commercial centre is the venue for some of the liveliest bars and restaurants on the island.
Holidays in Villaverde can of course be as relaxed or as active as you wish. Although driving is undoubtedly the best way to get around, Fuerteventura is also a fantastic landscape for walking and hiking, with many trails only accessible on foot or by mountain bike. Venturing out into the countryside from Villaverde itself you will discover an extraordinary moon-like terrain resulting from millions of years of erosion of the original volcanoes that formed the island.
Following the popular crater route from the nearby village of Lajares to Corralejo reveals no fewer than five extinct volcanic craters and stonewalled plains that stretch to the cliff edges. The island's volcanic origins are even on show in Villaverde itself at the unique Cueva del Llano, an eerie volcanic cave formed from a lava tube dating back a million years, with a fascinating history and an endemic spider-like arachnid.
Getting to Fuerteventura is easy, with flights available throughout the year from all major UK airports including Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle. If you are planning a fly-drive holiday, you will find a wide choice of car-hire options available with a number of car rental companies represented at the airport in the baggage collection area, although it is always advisable to research and book online as early as possible before your trip.
You will find the island's roads of good quality, uncrowded and easy to navigate even if you have had no experience of driving abroad. With just four hours flying time between the UK and the Canaries, a break in Villaverde offers the perfect solution for anyone wishing to escape to the sun for relaxation, whilst maintaining all the essential home comforts and enjoying the freedom to do their own thing.