Our trip to Fuerteventura with kids in December was a big hit, and we would love to return one day to explore more of this beautiful island.
We started our family holiday in Lanzarote before hopping on a ferry with our rental car to explore its neighbouring island, Fuerteventura. While the two Canary Islands may seem like identical siblings due to their close location and similar landscapes, our three-day adventure in Fuerteventura showed us they each possess a charm of their own. Fuerteventura felt more peaceful, earthier, and more untouched. The hum of everyday life was slower, the energy was more laid-back, and its untamed nature held the spotlight.
Some of you will know that I absolutely love watching sunsets, and Fuerteventura gifted me some of the best I have ever seen.
Fuerteventura has over 150 kilometres of coastline and many beaches to discover. Over three days, we set out to explore four of them. Not every beach in Fuerteventura is suitable for children. Some are notably windy, others are rocky, and a few have strong rip currents. Therefore, when planning a beach day with children, keep an eye on the weather conditions and get local advice on the beaches you plan to visit. Below, I share our experiences with kids on each beach we’ve seen.
Read on to find out what we got up to during our trip and what activities you can do in Fuerteventura with kids.
Where to stay in Fuerteventura with kids
We rented a villa to share near La Oliva, a town in the island’s northern part. We liked that it was in a quiet area, yet it was not far to drive to points of interest nearby – the Mountain of Tindaya and the beaches.
Our villa was between the towns of Corralejo and El Cotillo, and it was a great base from which to explore the island’s northern side. Corralejo in the northeast is a lively and popular spot for families to stay in because of the proximity to restaurants, shops, and beaches. The coastal town of El Cotillo in the northwest is a quieter alternative with fewer accommodation options but close to some beautiful lagoons and restaurants.
The island is pretty big, so it’s unrealistic to see all highlights in only three days, especially with kids. You can, of course, but you will spend much time driving daily from one side of the island to another. Focus your exploration on the area you’re staying in if you only visit for a few days.
Getting around Lanzarote
I highly recommend renting a car during your stay in Fuerteventura. The roads are well-maintained and the cost of car hire is very affordable. RentalCars is a convenient platform to let you compare prices and book a rental car in Fuerteventura.
What to do in Fuerteventura with kids
1. Hike to Calderon Hondo
We decided to hike the volcano Calderon Hondo during our first day in Fuerteventura, bringing the children along. Noted as one of the most well-preserved and accessible volcanoes in the area, Calderon Hondo is often hailed as the top hike on the island. The hike is relatively easy for adults, but depending on the age of the children, it can take more than the average hour to complete by the whole family. The stone route is not particularly steep, but I don’t recommend the hike for children under six. The reward for reaching the summit, however, is the sight of the sprawling, 70-meter-deep crater, accompanied by a panoramic view of Lanzarote, Lobos Island and the landscape of Fuerteventura.
There are several trails to reach the volcano, and each will take a different amount of time to complete. We began our hike from our parking spot at Camino Calderas, and the entire journey, from start to finish, took us approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. We stopped multiple times along the way to take photos and rest, considering that we had a four-year-old in tow.
Following the trail from the parking lot, we reached a viewing platform perched atop the volcano. From there, you look down right into the crater. This platform has a protective railing so the children can’t get too close.
Walking around the volcano’s rim is possible, but there are no railings around the edge and no clear footpaths to follow. This path may be suitable for some brave adults, but I wouldn’t advise it for families with young children.
You can visit Calderon Hondo at any time of the year and at any time of the day. We opted for a late afternoon visit to watch the sunset from the top. Remember to bring along water, wear shoes that grip well, and pack an extra layer of clothing in case of strong winds.
2. Visit Corralejo Dunes Nature Park
Corralejo Dunes Nature Park is one of the main attractions on the island. It’s also an excellent location for a family day out on the northeastern coast of Fuerteventura. The park is renowned for its sprawling golden sand dunes stretching several kilometres along the coastline. These dunes shape a beautiful desert-like landscape, contrasting remarkably with volcanic backdrops and the turquoise blue of the sea. With a 10-kilometre coastline, the park offers many beaches for swimming, windsurfing and other water sports. The sand was soft, and the kids had fun running up and down the sand dunes. Beaches on the northern side of the dunes are the most kid-friendly and have calmer waters for swimming, e.g. Playa del Viejo and Grandes Playas Corralejo.
You will find stone-made shelters on the beach, often used for changing clothes, storing belongings, and sheltering from the wind. Most beaches on the island are nudist-friendly, so don’t be surprised if you encounter any, especially emerging from the stone shelters. Very few people were around when we visited, and it was very peaceful. Amenities are practically non existent along the beaches, so pack refreshments.
If you visit Fuerteventura in November, don’t miss an impressive Kite Festival held yearly at El Burro Beach in the Corralejo Natural Park. Both enthusiasts and professionals bring their kites to fly them over the sand dunes, and I’ve heard it makes for a beautiful sight to watch.
3. Visit Popcorn Beach (Playa El Mejillón)
Somewhat off the beaten path, you’ll find Fuerteventura’s Popcorn Beach. Officially known as Playa El Mejillón, the beach is covered in calcified marine algae known as rhodoliths, which look just like pieces of popcorn.
Unlike some photos you may see, the beach is not a sea of white popcorn all around. There are areas where there are more of them, but generally, they’re mixed in with the sand and rocks. The kids had great fun combing through the beach to find the rhodoliths, which were so surprisingly light in weight. However, removing them from the beach is forbidden, so they stay where they belong!
It’s an unusual beach to visit but not suited for swimming. There are too many rocks near the water, and you really just come to the beach to look at the popcorn! So, spend less than an hour here and then head to a more kid-friendly beach like the ones in Corralejo Dunes National Park.
4. Visit Piedra Playa
The remote Piedra Playa beach near El Cotillo is a beautiful beach where you can unwind, read, relax, build sandcastles, and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. This beach is not for swimming as the constant waves are very high and the rip currents are dangerous. However, observing the raw power of the sea as you quietly relax on the beach was really special. I couldn’t take my eyes off the crashing waves and the surfers trying their luck. There are no facilities or restaurants near the beach, so bring water and snacks.
We stayed to watch the sunset and it was magnificent. It was the most memorable part of my whole trip.
5. Visit Playa de la Concha
The north-west of Fuerteventura serves as a fantastic vantage point for watching sunsets. So, this is why we decided to head to La Concha Beach in El Cotillo one afternoon.
This beach, guarded by a horseshoe-shaped reef, offers protection from the rough waves, making it a safe haven for swimming with little children. Indeed, it was the most child-friendly beach we experienced during our trip. Although busier than other beaches, it offers white sands, turquoise waters, and the assurance that children can safely frolic near the water.
Plenty of facilities nearby include showers, cafes and a lifeguard service, so it’s easy to spend the entire day enjoying this beach.
Other things to do in Fuerteventura with kids
We didn’t have time to explore other parts of the island as part of this trip, so here are things we’ll be checking out on our next visit to Fuerteventura with kids:
- Oasis Wildlife Park: zoo and botanical garden where children can learn about animals and exotic species. Camel rides are available through the desert.
- Day trip to Lobos Island: volcanic island just 15-minute ferry ride away from Corralejo.
- Visit Ajuy Caves: caves dating back more than 70 million years and the nearby Playa Ajuy with black sand beach.
- Dsicover more beaches in the south: Cofete Beach, Sotavento Beach and many, many others!
Thanks for reading!
I hope this Fuerteventura guide has been helpful. If you’ve been to Fuerteventura, hearing your best tips in the comments would be awesome. If you plan to travel to Fuerteventura and have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.