Fuerteventura: a relaxing European winter vacation
Not too close, not too far. Not too cold and not too hot. Laid back, but tidy. Perfect for everyone looking for an easy-going first winter holiday with a baby.
What drew us to Fuerteventura was the windsurfing and springtime. The winter months on the Canary islands are less windy and bring more waves. Our fun backup plan, in the worst case scenario, was stroller rides and relaxing at the beach. We set off on our first vacation with our kid.
Destination: Corralejo, Fuerteventura is one of the seven Canary islands. The name means ‘strong wind’.
Time of travel: February 2013
Time difference: + 1 hour
Travel days: 21 days
Age of child: 7 months
Heaven for: those who like to spend their holidays someplace warm.
Appropriate for children: babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school children. All of the Canary islands are heaven for kids and their grandparents.
Weather: All Canary islands have a favourable spring climate even in the winter months which makes them appropriate as a year-round destination. In our experience, you should be prepared for everything on this island in the winter. You can go from sunbathing to sitting in the slipstream fully dressed in only one hour. We recommend layered clothing for the whole family. The only disappointing thing in the winter is the water temperature which, even when the air temperature is highest, goes up only to 19 °C. Swimming in the sea is reserved only for the bravest.
Flight: Air Berlin, Vienna with a stop at Lanzarote – 5h. Check out also Ryanair flights from Milano Bergamo, Germanwings flights from Vienna and charter flights at http://www.odklop.com/.
From the airport to the location: The drive takes approximately 40 minutes. We rented a car, but you can also take a taxi.
Accommodation: Apartment Oasis Tamarindo, Corralejo. A spacious and functional apartment in a beautiful resort with three pools and a wonderful garden. The only negative thing is the slightly remote location (20-30-minute walk to the centre).
Budget: apartment €30 per day, car rental for three weeks €400.
Top 5 of Fuerteventura with kids
1. A trip to the southern side of the island:
Betancuria: one of the few lovely villages in the interior of the island. The main part is a strictly pedestrian zone which is great for kids of all ages. The village centre with the church has preserved its traditional architectural style of the Canary islands. We recommend you stop at a tapas bar called Bodegon Don Carmelo (opposite the playground) and have a cup of coffee and a piece of cake.
Posing with the chipmunks: on the way from Betancuria to Pajara, at the top of the mountain pass there is a big car park where you should definitely stop and take a picture with the chipmunks. A sign says you are not supposed to feed them, but nobody takes it seriously.
Sotavento: a famous windsurfing and kitesurfing spot located on a 20-kilometre long sandy beach and is part of the SW side of Jandia peninsula. The spot does not get much tourist attention in the winter due to the course of the wind. Our summer experience was just the opposite – the wind was blowing non-stop. However, the sandy beach and the view alone are worth your time even in the calm.
Restaurant Las Playitas in Las Playitas: Las Playitas is a small village on the eastern side of the island. There are two restaurants on the beach. We recommend the one on your right if you are facing the sea. It has delicious seafood and a relaxed family atmosphere. Local, fresh, cheap and appropriate for kids.
2. Stroller rides across Corralejo and its surroundings
Up and down the Corralejo beach with your stroller! Restaurants, bars, relaxed tourists and locals, view of the turquoise sea … everything you need for a quality stroller ride, that is, if you stay near the beach. If you turn to the first street of Corralejo it will give you a completely different impression of a touristy city with kitschy stands greeting you on every step. We recommend a cup of coffee or a smoothie at the Galera beach bar and then continue past the rocky point to the sand dunes. You might get stuck in the sand in between. Dunas de Corralejo are part of the Corralejo Natural Park and are approximately a 30-minute walk from the city. They are probably the most picturesque part of the island. The stroller will not get you far on the dunes, but you can leave it by the road and have a mini family photo shoot in the sand just around the corner. Do not forget to take snacks and drinks with you. Stroller, or no stroller, this can turn into a quick trip into the wild.
White beaches, black beaches, beaches, beaches, beaches … and waves. A giant sandpit, anywhere you turn.
This was my first post-delivery vacation and I wanted to have some active mummy-time as well. I decided to take a yoga class at a Manawai surf joga school. We agreed for a yoga class on every second day. By the pool. Under the clear skies. Ahhh. Ommm.
Winter time brings more opportunities for wave surfing so consider renting a surfboard. I did not get far on the board, but the surfing scene at Rocky Point (Bajo del Medio) is interesting enough to put the neoprene suit on and give it a go. We recommend you rent your surf or take surfing lessons at Manawai surf school.
What parents traveling around Fuerteventura should keep in mind:
- Renting out baby equipment is possible everywhere.
- Activities: Fuerteventura offers plenty of additional sports activities. If your family is up to it, we recomedn some of the watter activitie as surfing, kite surfing, SUPing or windsurfing. If you are not into watter sports you have many other options as hiking, biking or running. On the island you will also find many different yoga classes.
- Food: the supermarkets offer a large selection of local fruit and vegetables. Seafood lovers can spend their days at the fish market. There is also an eco/organic shop near the bus station in Corralejo. Since our family was just in the phase of introducing solid foods to our youngster, we became regular customers. It was an extra effort to find the shop; it seems the Spanish do not care much about organic products for kids. If you are on a short visit, we recommend you bring milk and other organic foods with you. Other products for kids are available everywhere (shops, chemist’s …).
- Health: The Canary islands are heaven for kids and older population. Fuerteventura is no exception. The healthcare services are well-spread throughout the island. Fortunately, we did not have any experience with them. There is one bigger hospital in the capital city, Puerto del Rosario.
- Party (child-free): as usually, it did not happen
Additional activities near Fuerteventura:
Isla de Lobos: a sparsely populated island near Fuerteventura. There are several daily boats that can take you here.
Lanzarote: a possible excursion to Lanzarote island. There are several boats going daily to Punta Blanca (approx. €15/person for the ferry). We did not decide for the ferry and save it for our next winter vacation. Read more about it at Lanzarote – a year round family destination.
The above descriptions are based on personal impressions and experiences gained while travelling with my family. For more information, please contact us at: email@example.com