Fuerteventura (including rainfall and temperature averages)
The second largest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is also the oldest. Known
in antiquity as Planaria, in reference to the flatness of most of its landscape,
it has a different heritage to its neighbours. The Mahos, who were the first settlers,
are believed to have come from North Africa. They lived in caves and semi-subterranean
dwellings, a few of which have been discovered and excavated revealing relics of
early tools and pottery. Phoenician colonists arrived in the 11th century BC – as
far as we know, the islanders lived peacefully until the 14th century AD, when the
European navigator Jean de Bethancourt landed, bringing with him slavery and disease.
The island’s name is believed to have come from his exclamation, “Que forte aventure!”
(“What a grand adventure.”) Name notwithstanding, life there was always very peaceful
until the arrival of tourism in the 1960s.
Today the island is also known as the “island of eternal spring” for its wonderful
climate. The average temperature in winter is 18.5º rising to a mean of 27.5º. The
only downside is the Calima, a wind that blows from the southeast bringing with
it the fine white sand of the Sahara and a 10º rise in temperature.
Surrounded by sea, Fuerteventura is a magnet for scuba divers, sailors and big game
fishermen, who are drawn by the turtles, sharks and dolphins that are such a common
sight here. Clear waters and an abundance of tropical fish make this a great place
to go out on a glass-bottomed boat. The summer Trade Winds and winter swells of
the Atlantic make this a surfers' paradise all year round, while the coastline is
still largely pristine. Lavascapes, wide plains and volcanic mountains form the
interior, which can be explored in 4X4s or on motorbikes for the more daring. Wherever
you stop on your drive, you’ll find friendly people in low white villages.
Capital of the island since 1835, Puerto del Rosario was originally called “Puerto
de Cabras” – the Port of Goats – which reflects its humble beginnings. It continues
to be primarily focussed on fishing, although in the last five years the local government
has started to upgrade the beaches in the hope of attracting more tourists. Although
very pretty, these beaches have strong currents and swimmers should take care. Poetry
lovers might be interested in the home of Miguel de Unamuno, which is now a museum.
The best time of year to visit is late February, when Carnival takes over the streets.
Beauty pageants, a raft race and exuberant dancing go on for seven days.
Olives, bananas, tomatoes and seafood are the staples on the island. Many of the
local specialities are centuries old: a particularly unusual one is gofio amasado,
which is made from gofio (a grain flour similar to polenta) mixed with water, milk,
broth, potatoes, honey and wine and served in a leather bag! Typical tapas include
pejines- tiny fish dried in the sun then baked, grilled or cooked in alcohol. The
other must try is locally made goats cheese – queso majorero – which is made in
three ways: rubbed with oil, rubbed with pimenta or rubbed with gofio. Afterwards,
kick back on the waterfront in Puerto del Rosario. Fuerteventura isn’t about hectic
clubbing but there are plenty of relaxed bars where you can soak up the evening
Monthly temperature and rainfall averages for Fuerteventura
Average minimum temperature
Average maximum temperature
Absolute minimum temperature
Absolute maximum temperature
Average daily rain
Avg monthly rain
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