Don’t Smile while Snorkelling : lessons learnt in Fuertaventura

We visited Fuertaventura for a complete break from the world… and that is what we got. It was like stepping from the cold English winter straight into summer; a bubble containing only swimming, sunshine, and good food.

Beach 1

This was actually my first ever package holiday! I found it difficult to relinquish control but it worked out OK and it was cheaper than booking the separate parts ourselves. We stayed in a resort type hotel, so we were joined by English, French, and German tourists, all chasing the sunshine!  As the bus dropped us off I was apprehensive about staying in a resort with so many British Tourists – I like to get away from home when I go abroad, and I’m not one to eat British food abroad, so I was worried it would be too familiar to be surrounded by Brits.

As we settled into life in the resort, we embraced some of the activities put on by the hotel – such as archery and shooting. We saw the same bunch of people each day at the marksmanship sessions and we built up a little cameraderie. People were very friendly and we’d all say “hello” when we saw each other, but it never felt intrusive.

Palm Tree lined road

The hotels had beautiful gardens with tropical pink flowers, lush irrigated lawns and prickly cacti. With all the irrigation on the tourist areas it’s easy to forget how hot and dry it is, but the Canary Islands are near to Africa. The inside of the island looked dry and deserty, and I saw my first Camels giving Camel rides!

We wandered into the nearest town, nay “tourist conglomeration”, which was solely made up of hotels and amenities for the tourists in said hotels. We checked out a market selling trinkets, and strolled round the shopping streets browsing souvenirs, until we found a small marina. This was very pleasant and I enjoyed sitting on the decking with my feet dangling over the water. The sea was teeming with fish, both tiny tiddlers and really big fish that you could get a good meal out of!

Marina

Most of the holiday was spent swimming, either in our hotel pool or in the sea. When we waded into the sea we found it to also be brimming with fish, so we purchased a snorkel for about 10 Euros. This turned out to be the cheapest snorkelling ever – for the price of a cheap plastic snorkel we got unlimited snorkelling right off the shore! The water was so clear and it was a joy to bob about in the sea watching the fish flitting by, while the sun beams shone through the water.

My BF also taught me to put my mask on underwater, which is apparently a PADI diver skill. I managed it second time after almost drowning the first time (note to self: breathe OUT through nose when underwater, not in! 😉 )

Beach 2

We mostly ate in the hotel as we had half-board. Many of the hotels are all-inclusive but we opted for half-board, thinking that we would be too full from breakfast to have lunch…. This turned out to be not entirely true and we did get peckish before dinner. But our half-board option gave us the flexibility to leave the hotel and pop into town for some calamari in the marina; we weren’t shackled to the hotel.

If you don’t have dinner provided, there are several restaurants you can go to; all looked touristy to me, but that’s ok. There was also a McDonald’s which is always good to know if you’re in need of a quick snack.

This is a great place for plane spotters as there were planes landing every 5 minutes or so some hours. I was astounded how many flights land there – the island must be bigger than it appears!

Overall, despite my initial hesitation, I had a lovely time in Fuertaventura. It’s maybe not so much for people who only love culture and sight-seeing (which is normally me!), as it’s a bit thin on the ground here. But if you want a quick get-away from the real world and a few days of pure delicious summer, this is a great place to come 🙂

Next blog: Ruka, Finland

Previous blog: Public Toilets in the USA

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