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Shaped like a leg dressed in plus-fours, the island's 340-km gilt-edged coast surrounds a relatively flat interior of gentle hills and sweeping plains. The unique dessert landscape and long-dead volcanoes are a sight to behold, and earned the whole island the title of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2009. Goat herders and fishermen once ruled the island, living a simple life of relative solitude. Nowadays, tourism is the driving force, centred around the lively resorts of Corralejo in the north, Jandía in the south, and more recently, Caleta de Fuste on the east coast.
Most of tourists who visit Fuerteventura do so for the blue skies and pleasant temperatures, seeking rolling waves and a rocking nightlife. However, away from the visitor hubs, the tranquillity of old is easy to find, even on the beaches - with such a profusion of broad sandy strips, towel space is never going to be a problem. Away from the shoreline, desolate roads lined with squat, round windmills link tiny villages of sugar cube cottages. Here, the population ekes out an existence producing world renowned cheese and ruby red tomatoes.
Unsurprisingly, fish is predominant in most of the island’s restaurants, especially those on the coast, with swordfish, sea bass, octopus and limpets as some of the more favoured delicacies. Inland, the ingredients favour more pastoral palettes with goat, rabbit, gofio (roasted corn meal) and the famous Maxorata cheese on the menu. Most main dishes are served with the ubiquitous accompaniments of fiery red mojo sauce and 'wrinkled potatoes' (papas arrugadas).
Café culture is most predominant in the quayside bars of Corralejo, Puerto del Rosario and Caleta de Fuste. An early morning knock back of industrial strength espresso will get you up to speed in no time.
Fuerteventura is nowhere near Tenerife when it comes to clubbing, but instead the island has a chilled out vibe with a smattering of heavy decibel clubs. Since this is a water sports Mecca, most of the ocean side bars lure the surf set with large screen video footage of rolling waves and board acrobatics.
You can take your pick of shopping experiences in Fuerteventura – stock up on duty-free goodies, get some island souvenirs, add some colourful threads to your wardrobe or browse for some Canarian knickknacks at a market.
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