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A Brief History of Fuerteventura

Before the Spanish colonization: The first important immigration on the island was that of the Berbers who settled there around - 500. They formed the Majo people who lived from the collection of plants, livestock and fishing, and can also be of elementary agriculture. Before the arrival of the Europeans, the island was divided into two kingdoms separated by a wall: Maxorata to the north and Jandia to the south. The Majos left rock engravings in the form of feet, or spirals, and texts written in a Libico-Berber script. We do not know much about these aborigines.

Conquest: The conquest of the islands began in 1402, under the command of Normans Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle. In the beginning, Bethencourt negotiated with the Majos to settle in the island of Fuerteventura, without any fighting. They founded Betencuria in 1404: it was the first capital of the island. Bethencourt left to go to Spain. Gadifer then had to face many problems and he began to conquer the island militarily it was now controlled by the Spaniards with Bethencourt as leader at the beginning, Gadifer having left the island. The aborigines were Christianized.

The island has subsequently undergone numerous pirate attacks; in 1593 in particular, pirates invaded the island and razed its capital. The inhabitants also built many castles and towers along the coast, and a captain-general appointed by Madrid was charged with the defense of the island. In 1708 a regiment of militia was created, of which the colonel assumed the role of governor. From this creation, and for nearly 2 centuries, the colonels ruled the island, the charge being hereditary.

With the war between Great Britain and Spain, in 1739, the island was often attacked by English privateers who plundered the cities and took boats. But the troops of the island routed them twice. In 1742, the colonels moved from Betancuria to La Oliva, where they built the beautiful Casa de los Coroneles. They became more and more powerful and authoritarian; they maintained their power until 1870.

In 1860, the capital was transferred from Betancuria to Puerto Cabral, which was later named Puerto del Rosario. The island then followed the same development as the other Canary Islands and its main resource became tourism.

 


Fuerteventura attracts tourists for its beaches which are beautiful and for its pleasant climate. The island is not as touristy as the others, which is perhaps a good thing for those who prefer tranquility. The two main types of excursions are those which make discover the very particular wild nature of the island due to its volcanic character and those which reveal its archaeological past.

Excursions in nature:

Parque Natural del Islote de Lobos: The island is home to 130 plant species and many species of birds including silver gull and bustard. We must follow a marked path.

Parque Natural de Jandia: A beautiful wilderness: mountain peaks, U-shaped gorge, desert area. Many endemic birds and rare plants.

Cueva del Llano  : volcanic tube 400 m long with a center where volcanic phenomena are explained.

Cueva de Ajuy: a path leads to a huge volcanic cave that allows you to see impressive ancient formations and fossils.

Las Salinas del Carmen  : saltworks still in activity and a museum where explanations on geology are provided, complemented by a visit to the saltworks.

Barranco de los Enamorados o de los Encantados: an extraordinary landscape created by a succession of geological phenomena.

Oasis Park  : an 80 ha park with 6800 species of tropical plants and a zoo where animal welfare is the priority.

 

Archaeological Excursions:

Montaña de Tindaya  : a sacred mountain for the Mahos with 300 interesting rock carvings in the form of feet. Guided tour only.

Centro de Interpretación del Yacimiento Arqueológico de la Atalayita  : The Mahos lived in this valley until the fifteenth century. There are still 115 houses of different types.

Montaña Arqueología de Montaña Blanca de Arriba  : a mountain with 51 panels bearing scriptures using the Líbico-Canarien alphabet or the Líbico-Berbère alphabet. And geometric engravings rectilinear or in the shape of a boat, games and curiously a palm tree

Asentamiento aborigen del Barranco de la Muley  : a village with remains of stone houses superimposed which was inhabited by mahos breeders and shellfish collectors.

 

Towns: 

Puerto del Rosario  is a tourist town of 29000 inhabitants. It offers beautiful beaches and interesting cultural possibilities.

Corralejo is a tourist town of 17000 inhabitants with beautiful beaches and large stretch of dunes very close. It allows an excursion on the island of Lobos and towards Lanzarote.

Culinary Specialties:

  • La Vieja  : a special fish from the island that is eaten with potatoes accompanied by mojo rojo or mojo verde sauce made with garlic, oil and peppers or cilantro.
  • Garbanzada: chickpeas, pork and sauce.
  • Goat meat is eaten in multiple forms.
  • Sancocho : grouped  with batata (a form of potato) accompanied by gofio, a roasted corn flour.
  • The Puchero  : goat meat cooked with many vegetables: cabbage, carrot, whole corn, green beans and chickpeas.

Going out at night:

Corner House Bar: 2, Juan de Austria, Corralejo,   Chill Cocktail Bar: Calle Iglesia 16, Corralejo,  La Tierra  : Jazz bar: Calle Eustaquio Gopar 3, Puerto del Rosario.

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