Driving on Fuerteventura, discovering the southern sights

Having previously explored the sand dune rich north of Fuerteventura by car, we turn the wheel in the direction of the south of the amber island where, as well as picturesque historic towns and gentle windmills, there are a few curios to seek out, including a lighthouse on the closest point to Africa in the Canary Islands.

This is our suggestion for a driving route around the south and centre of Fuerteventura.

Salinas del Carmen

Salinas del Carmen, Fuerteventura

Follow the FV2 south until, just beyond Caleta de Fuste, you reach Las Salinas del Carmen (open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-6pm, entrance €5). These salt pans have been providing the salty covering for papas arrugadas (the Canarian speciality wrinkled potatoes) since the 19th century and rows of neat white mounds create a startling contrast to the shallow orange pits. There is a Salt Museum attached which is relatively interesting, and a good place to pick up some Fuerteventura 'sal', but the best bit is to just stroll around the basins, hopefully witnessing a couple of 'salineros' at work. Other sights to see at Las Salinas are the skeleton of a whale and the occasional cheeky Barbary squirrel.

Faro de la Entallada

Faro de la Entallada, Fuerteventura

Continue south on the FV2, veering off on the FV4 towards Gran Tarajal and then the FV512 toward Las Playitas. Just before you reach the town, a narrow road leads to the part of the Canary Islands closest to Africa, the Faro de la Entallada. The final section of the road isn't for the faint-hearted as the single lane track climbs into hills and you pray there's no traffic coming the other way. But the rewards are worth the nervy journey. The lighthouse at the end of the road was built in 1954 and has played a role in guiding planes as well as ships. There's a decent car park (thankfully after the drive up) and a walkway leads out over the rocks, just in case you didn't think the views from the lighthouse were dramatic enough.

Mirador Risco de las Peñas

Feeding the Barbary Squirrels, Fuerteventura

Return to the FV2 and cross over it, taking the FV20 to Tuineje and then the FV30 through Pajara to reach the Mirador Risco de las Peñas. The views are supposed to be the reason to stop here, but everyone knows it's the army of 'performing' Barbary squirrels who are the true draw. The signs say don't feed them... and nobody pays any attention. The cutest show on Fuerteventura.


Historic Betancuria, Fuerteventura

Stay on the FV30 to arrive at Fuerteventura's most picturesque town, Betancuria. There's been a settlement in the area since 1404 when it's claimed Jean de Bethencourt founded the town, and former capital, after conquering the island. Now Betancuria's perfectly preserved, and flower-lined, historic streets welcome coachloads of visitors throughout the day.

Mirador Guise y Ayosa

Mirador Guise y Ayosa, Fuerteventura

Drive onwards and upwards into the hills above Betancuria to reach the Mirador Guise y Ayosa, easily spotted as there are two huge statues of the Mahoh kings the viewpoint is named after. These two ruled Fuerteventura before the conquistadors arrived to soil the party.

From the mirador stay on the FV30 until it becomes the FV20 and follow it all the way to Puerto del Rosario, the island's capital.

Puerto del Rosario is quite an unremarkable town, but it does have an obsession with sculptures. It's worth following the quirky sculpture trail there, breaking it up with some tapas in one of the bars near the centre of the town, before calling it a day and heading for home.

For more ideas for interesting activities on the amber Canary Island, take a look at our suggestions for 5 things to do on Fuerteventura.