Oh well, summer is well and truly over here in the UK – it’s blowing a hooly, tipping with rain and the temperature has dropped. It seems ages ago I was on holiday instead of the two weeks since my return. A last minute decision and booking saw my two sisters, my niece and me jetting off to sunny Fuerteventura, the longest and oldest of the Canary Islands, for a week of sun, sand, sea and sangria.
On our way by coach to our hotel in the north of island, all four of us wondered what on earth we had come to. It was bleak, desolate, many buildings empty incomplete shells covered in graffiti, and not a tree in sight. Okay, so it is a volcanic island but everyone was telling us it was a beautiful place. Were we missing something? Had we landed on the wrong island? Suddenly the black rocks gave way to sand. White sand, miles and miles of it.
We’d hit the best beach on the island – long, wide dunes, all 2,600 hectares of them that form the Las Dunas National Park, made up of soft, clean, white sand (even better than that in Barbados) that must have over millions of years blown across the Atlantic from North Africa, not a million miles away from the island. So, if anyone tells you the Canary Islands are nothing but black volcanic sand beaches, you can tell them they are wrong.
Our hotel, a multi-storey complex right on the beach, was perfect and most days were spend relaxing on the sand. We’d booked a family room so we didn’t have to part company at night, and found ourselves in a separate part of the complex, called The Village, made up of two- and three-storey apartments with its own pool area, bar and restaurants.
Our apartment was on the ground floor, with a double twin room, dining area, and vast living space with two sofa beds. I have to admit these sofa beds were the most comfortable I’ve slept on. The bedroom had its own walled private terrace, and leading off the living area was an open terrace facing beautifully kept gardens and lawns, secluded and visited by birds, rabbits and a goat!
We could not fault anything – the staff, the food, the drink, the ambiance, the temperature of the sea, the cleanliness of the complex. Our only disappointment was the evening entertainment. We’re not into karaoke or bingo and the shows and cabaret put on were rather lame, mainly dancers and singers who mimed to everything. Not our thing. We are more used to strolling out of an evening, window shopping and people watching etc. The hotel was some hour-an-a-half walk from the town of Corralejo – too far. We took a taxi there one morning and had a walk around but were again disappointed as it was not the pretty harbour everyone was talking about. Pleasant, yes, with plenty of bars and restaurants, but nothing we would want to go back to. And as we were staying all inclusive, we had no need.
Had we’d been staying longer, we might have explored the island more, but a week was enough. We came home relaxed and refreshed and determined next year, we will look for a villa again as we did miss our own private space and pool, and research the area more before we book. I think another Greek island is on the cards, but we are glad we went. We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, a lot of food and a lot of drink.
Oh, just one thing. Don’t be tempted to buy a swimsuit with a skirt thing attached – a swim skirt they call it. It looked good, certainly covered my horrible thighs, but was absolutely totally useless for swimming in! The skirt floated up to my neck, looked ridiculous and hampered any swimming, whether in the pool or sea. It’s now consigned to the charity bag. Another excuse to go shopping!