One of the Canary Islands – a small Spanish archipelago located just off the southern coast of Morocco – Fuerteventura is a mere four-hour flight away, has year-round sunshine – temperatures reach 24 degrees even in December – and is packed full of adventure activities.
TNT finds out the best ways to get your adrenalin fix – and the perfect place to unwind when all you want is a sunbake and a beer.
Quad bikes and monster buggies
The dry and dusty landscape of the volcanic Fuerteventura may not be that pleasing to the eye, but it is pleasing to four deep-tread tyres. Kick up the aforementioned dust with a roaring quadbike, or bounce your way around in a nippy buggy (which have a helpful roll cage should the worst happen). Quad Adventure & Buggy Safari (quadadventure.net) will take you through dry riverbeds and desert dunes along the west coast of the island for two or four hours, while Fuerteventura Full Power (0034928 547 243) offers a monster buggy excursion for six hours . Both offer hotel transfers and a driving licence is required.
Jet skis and speed boats
If you prefer the idea of face-planting into water rather than dirt (although both would be painful and should be avoided), tear around on the quadbike of the sea, the Jet Ski. Full-throttling over the waves in open water is pretty epic, but if you don’t have the balls to take the reigns, you can go on a speedboat captained by a pro. You’ll still need to hold on tight though as these babies can reach 35mph (which feels really fast when you’re on the water, honest). Excursiones Mar Y Tierra (excursionesmarytierra.com) offers both off the coast of Morro Jable.
Kite boards and surf boards
Although Fuertaventura boasts year-round sunshine, due to its exposed position in the Atlantic Ocean, it also gets rather windy. This means its beaches are bad for sunbathing, but great for kite boarding and surfing. There are a wealth of companies that offer lessons and equipment rental. You can dedicate anything from four hours to six daysto learning to surf with Adrenalin Surf School (adrenalin-surfschool.cm) orWaveguru (waveguru.de). For those who like to have a kite strapped to them, Surfers Island Kite & Surf School (surfers-island.es) and Club Mistral (club-mistral-fuerteventura.com) are where it’s at.
Snorkels and scuba dives
If you like to dive, chances are you want to suss out what’s going on below the deep blue wherever you go – and Fuerteventura should be no exception as it’s home to with more than 20 diving spots around the island. Try Tauchschule (tauchschule-fuerteventura.de) which has daily excursions. If you’re more about having fun above water, embrace your inner child and go on a pirate tour (excursions-barco-fuerteventura.com). Climb aboard a classic pirate ship, where you can get involved with games and skulduggery before walking the plank for a swim and snorkel.
Bicycles and segways
If you’re all about the pedal power you are sure to embrace the challenge of powering up a volcano. Volcano Bike (volcano-bike.com) offers tours – from easy, to action, to trails, which will take in the explosive side of the island, with the volcanic rock making for a unique and challenging ride. If you prefer to be on solid ground, you can explore with Fuerte Rent A bike (fuerte-rent-a-bike.com), which charges from just 7 Euros for six hours and offers cycling route maps. For the really actively challenged, you can let the machine do all the hard work by riding a segway to sites including a windmill museum and aloe vera farm with Senda Ventura (segway-fuerteventura.de).
Where to stay (and relax!)
With all that action to take it out of you (well, unless you’ve opted for the segway that is), you’ll want somewhere to truly unwind in the evenings or on the days when all you want to do is chill. Fuerteventura is full of big chain hotels offering package holidays to young families – and the BarceloJandia Playa is no exception. But it also offers a hell of a lot more for those willing to spend a little bit more. If you sign up for the Barcelo+ option you get access to a peaceful adults-only pool – which is also a great sun trap and sheltered from the wind – and all you can eat and drink. Not just that, but you can do said eating and drinking in premium-only bars and restaurants. So no screaming kids will distract you from tucking into the breakfast and lunch buffet or the amazing meals from the a la carte restaurant. Plus, you can drink grog from the moment the bar opens until it closes, which is 13 hours. Trust us, we know.
Standard rooms at Barceló Jandia Playa are grand, clean and spacious. Rates start from €134 (£95) per room per night on a B&B basis, including taxes. The cost of upgrade to Club Premium is €39 (£27) per person per night. barcelo.com