Migrating like the birds to the sunny Canaries has been a working winter habit for me for nearly two decades now. And after numerous agreeable Rambling adventures in Tenerife, Gomera and Lanzarote this spring offered a variation on the theme in Fuerteventura.
Therefore off I went the other day, courtesy of the obliging Lemsford management, to see what my fourth Canary island had to offer. So what did I expect? After many exhilarating trips to Lanzarote I felt it would be much the same – warm sunshine, breezy winds, bare terrain, shapely but docile volcanoes, low white buildings and lots of cactus. And all that was indeed true.
But the same? Not at all. Fuerteventura had a character all its own. Warm sunshine and breezy winds delighted us all week but the bare terrain was scattered with distinctive swathes of spring flowers. The volcanoes were indeed docile but older and craggier than their Lanzarote compatriots, shaped by erosion into long winding craggy mountain ridges which itched the mountaineer lurking under the skin of this particular leisurely wintering Canary migrant. The low white buildings were even sparser than over the water and the cactus spread behind the longest and loveliest white sand beaches I had ever seen (but don’t tell anyone, please, as they were idyllically quiet most of the time and we don’t want the tourist hordes getting there, do we?)
Above all Fuerteventura felt bigger, quieter and more welcoming than its more sophisticated neighbour. The system of paths was immaculately laid out and marked to welcome the rare but enthusiastic walkers. Otherwise nondescript townlets were smartly clean and decorated with charming sculptures. Only Betancuria showed traces of tourism and that was so divinely pretty it begged forgiveness. Every walk felt different and none disappointed, though the gentle wander round Lobos Island and the hour of sheer bliss along the rock terrace by the sea on the Jandia Isthmus perhaps offered the most memorable moments. The simple town hotel in Puerto del Rosario wooed us with endless smiles and free Rioja, while the Palacete in Morro Jable smothered us in four star luxury and still kept the smiles going too. And I ate too much again, sigh!
I suppose it did help that the weather gods treated us to seven consecutive days (and seven walks) of warm sun and light breeze, but then that is why one wings south to the Canaries after all! The only downer of the island is that not enough ramblers go there – my bright and bushy tailed little group of 11 would have loved your company, honestly. Go look for that brochure, because I want to go back and I know you will love it too.
And dear obliging Lemsford management (flattery has never hurt my tour applications before), I believe there are three more Canary islands out there…