Curious facts: Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is a magical mystery island, strongly attached to its aboriginal roots and volcanic origins. Honouring its bonds with an eventful history and rich tradition, it has kept many old customs alive. What is more, stories told about it make it unique. Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the Canaries, but it is the oldest.
History and curious facts about Fuerteventura
- Two islands in one: Fuerteventura is in fact two different islands. Jandía became a peninsula as a result of volcano eruptions. Today, the two original islands are connected by a fascinating sand isthmus where some of the greatest beaches in the Canaries can be found.
- Turtle nests: Fuerteventura as a whole was declared a biosphere reserve. This means it is a favourable environment for the conservation and breeding of many different species. Sea turtles come to the beach to nest and hatch, and dolphins can be seen swimming along the coastline.
- The ‘Big Wall’: The peninsula of Jandía is sometimes called ‘The Wall’ in reference to the wall built to separate the two kingdoms Fuerteventura used to be divided into. Stretches of the old wall can still be seen on the island.
- Oldest island: Fuerteventura is the oldest island of the archipelago of the Canaries. According to specialists, this is one of the reasons why it features spectacular arid landscapes and long sandy beaches. Time has done its part with volcanoes, mountains and coastlines.
- The conquest: Only 63 sailors were enough to seize Fuerteventura. They were led by Jean the Béthencourt, from Normandy, whose name was immortalised in the massif: Betancuria.
- Planet of the Apes: Cofete, a marvellous unspoilt beach in the south of Fuerteventura, in the peninsula of Jandía, was chosen as the setting of the film Planet of the Apes.
- Local icon: The plant cardón de Jandía (Euphorbia handiensis) is the icon of the island. It is a thorny cactus growing only here, which was thought to have healing properties.
- Capital of Fuerteventura: Although today’s capital is Puerto del Rosario, a coastal town, Fuerteventura earliest capital was Betancuria, one of the municipalities with the richest natural, artistic and cultural heritage on the island.