What are the Canary Islands really like during winter? The exact thought when browsing a flight to virtually anywhere on a late November afternoon. You see, my knowledge on the location was limited. I only really recognised the fact it’s THE summer destination for many people, alongside places like Tenerife or Lanzarote. Curiosity got to me. I mean, someone has to investigate what a typically summer location is like off-peak, right? That’s where I step in! Come with me on a tour around the island during winter. Buckle up, as if you were here physically you might experience major car sickness like I did….
You know, anything that helps with giving context. Let’s start with accommodation. I stayed at ‘Occidental Jandía Mar’ for 4 nights with food included, costing 350 euros & grabbed a flight with Ryanair from the UK for just over 50 pounds. Considering I was abroad for almost a week, I felt these prices were affordable. To be honest though, nothing would have stopped me from grabbing my passport as I was craving adventure. The temperature was around 22-23 degrees Celsius but the first thing you’ll notice is how windy the island is. That’s not to imply it was cold, however. Locals tell me the island is notorious for winds, with some even suggesting the name itself, Fuerteventura, emphasises such climate. I mean, in a literal sense, it would be understandable as ‘Fuerte’ is strong in Spanish. I did ask whether such winds were noticeable during summer months and received a laugh, followed by a friendly ‘of course, all year’ as a response. Yikes.
So What Did I Get Up To?
The thing with Fuerteventura is that anywhere you look, you’ll see mini hills/mountains. Not the green kind, but the type to make you feel like you’re browsing the desert. I’ll attach a photo so you have a better idea of what I mean. The fact you can stop, safely of course, on the side of a road to explore adds plenty charm to a day of activities. That’s why, if you’re looking for a place to take photos, pulling up in a quiet area will be a fantastic shout. That’s what I did in the morning of my first day.
After a very spontaneous photo shoot, the next place I stopped at was ‘Betancuria’. Located in the western area of the island, this small town was one of those places where I could’ve spent the entire morning if I wasn’t pushed for time. Betancuria is a pleasing location for grabbing a bite to eat, browsing souvenirs and admiring architecture. Let’s not forget the fact that the town is actually a first capital, with religious/historic references spread out wherever your eyes take you.
From Betancuria, you’re close to ‘Museo de Queso Majorero’. For around 4 euros per adult, you’ll find out about the island’s notorious past, present and future with cheese. Whilst a place you won’t spend more than an hour or two, the museum grounds feature an exhibition area, small windmill, cactus garden, terrace and café for anyone who wants to try the goods. My thoughts on the cheese aren’t particularly valid as I’m not a fan in general (plus I’m lactose intolerant haha), but that’s something for you to discover! It’s worth noting the interactive features and bitesize information could win over even the most impatient individual. If museums aren’t typically your thing, you’ll be impressed with this one.
Let’s talk about my feature picture for a second. ‘Molina de Tefia’. My mind was blown when I came across this windmill in the middle of nowhere, but even more so when I was the only person there. The windmill is charming, but it’s exactly that. A windmill. However, the views elevate this location as you’ll notice hills in the distance. Not bad for a quick 5 minute stop before driving onto your next location.
Ready for an absolute gem? ‘Barranco de los Enamorados’ is what needs to be priority on your bucket-list. You’ll find these caves in the northern region of the island, although they’re easy to miss due to being hidden under surface level. Be warned that some humidity turns the sand to clay so don’t wear nice shoes like I did… As you can imagine, it was a nightmare to clean after. That didn’t stop me from running around, climbing up rocks and falling into sand though!
Another unexpected location which provided much entertainment was ‘Tostón Lighthouse’. Yes, the lighthouse was nice and all but it was the rockpools which gained my attention. As the fisherman museum was closed to maintenance during my visit, I had to get creative and explore nature instead. This went down a treat because I could get close to the waves and try to navigate my way around the rocks. Slippery? For sure. Fun? You bet.
As my visit is coming to an end at this point, I realised the beaches needed to be checked out! I mean, what’s a summer comparison if I don’t go to the beach? Popcorn Beach, A.K.A ‘Playa El Hierro’ was the main one for me. The name comes from the fact the stones here resemble popcorn. I’ll let you be the judge but I was pretty convinced. There’s a video on my Instagram account if you want to have a sneaky look.
The one place on my list which I didn’t get to visit was ‘Cofete Beach’. Locals tell me catching a sunset or sunrise here is genuinely magical, and that it’s one of the most picturesque spots on the whole island. Any excuse to go back, right?
All in all, I think off-peak holidays are the way forward for me. At least to warm locations. The thing is, if I can see everything in 23 degrees Celsius, why would I want to suffer from heatstroke doing the same in summer, when prices are inflated and every inch of the island is crowded? Canary Islands, you’ve won me over even during the middle of winter. In fact, maybe I should have a look at what the nearby islands are saying…
By the way, if you find yourself in Barcelona before you hit up the Canary Islands, check out my free guide below:
Until then, see you in the next post!