This article is about Corralejo, the main touristic spot in the north of Fuerteventura Island in Canary Islands, Spain.
Corralejo is currently catchy, cute and funny. It has everything you need to spend the perfect vacation either if you come in a couple, with a group of friends, family or even alone. It does not matter if you are planning a short trip or a long relaxing stay. Corralejo will not let you down.
There are amazing beaches, a singular natural environment, awesome fresh fish and traditional Canary kitchen, a vibrant nightlife with cute cocktail bars, and extraordinary ocean views of a white village with small beaches as improvised harbours where the old anglers used to dock their boats.
Yes, all at once. Moreover, since all is set up, you will realize immediately that English, German and especially Italian is as spoken on the street as Spanish by people whom apparently live here. How they could fit in a traditional angler village in the less populated island (also the less developed) among all the Canary Islands?
New residential neighbourhoods of familiar houses surround the old white part of the town, close to the port and the small cute villages. The road from Puerto Del Rosario ends in a modern avenue with full of bars and restaurants, and with a huge modern shopping mall. In Corralejo the church is very new and the town itself is not even a proper independent municipality (belongs to the very small inner village of La Oliva) despite of being more vivid than Puerto Del Rosario which is the capital of the island.
Visiting La Oliva we asked a local guy that was selling the tickets to get in La Casa de los Coroneles, if Corralejo was in the past a small village. He said, “in fact, there were four houses for fishermen there and nothing else! My wife is from there, she was born in 1986, and she explained that when she was a kid the streets were actually sand corridors in between the houses. It has grown a lot in the last twenty years…”
When the conqueror Jean de Béthencourt arrived to Fuerteventura in 1402 found practically nothing around the current territory of Corralejo, so the village took centuries to develop, and has got its current appearance and its relevance as a touristic centre very recently. It was quite late but very worth anyhow. Let’s see what to expect as visitors and what to do there!
Corralejo is located on the coast with many beaches. Walking along the nice white ocean front into South direction from the Port, you will reach some small and very picturesque beaches. All of them are in walking-distance to the old town and there are plenty of bars and restaurants close to the sand. On North-West direction, there are amazing beaches too but enough further away to consider going by car.
Just in the village, the variety of the beaches is big and impressive in terms of quality as well.
Playa de la Clavelina is probably the most instagramer since you can capture from a cute small breakwater the white houses, the small piece of pale yellow sand and some of the old angler’s boats. Those seem to be abandoned on purpose just for the perfect picture.
Walking South you will get to Playa de Corralejo Viejo which is wider and indeed very nice. If you have been in Brazil you will get the feeling of beeing there because of the perfect sun and nearby beach bars.
If you keep walking South you will arrive to some more beaches, same nice and perfect to capture the best image of the white Corralejo from the distance while enjying a drink close to the sand. From North to South these are the options: Playa de los Verlitos, Playa de Punta Prieta, Playa de la Barreta and Playa Puerto Remedio.
Probably if you want to get further you will need to catch the car. Corralejo is not a bad place still to park (nowhere in the whole island is), so feel free to move by car. In the North Coast there are very nice beaches which are very worth to visit, in a route that follows the coast from Corralejo to El Cotillo via Majanicho. The road is not that good as it is if you go South.
In this article we will recommend to go in a short drive to Dunas de Corralejo, an awesome natural environment which is actually a natural park and includes some dunes and outstanding beaches on the left side of the road. In less than ten minutes you will be able to reach it, just park on the side of the road wherever you feel like and cross it. You will cross some dunes walking till arrive to the water. Maybe you will need more time to walk under the sun than driving but it is really worth it.
There you will be able to choose into Playa del Pozo, Playa del Medano, Playa del Viejo, Playa Bajo Negro, Playa Larga and Playa de los Matos. All of them are very similar, wild, virgin and with a lonely baywatch in the distance as the only service provided. Those are our recommendations.
If you prefer to catch up with more people and have a proper parking place and some other facilities just drive a pair of minutes more and you could choose in between Playa del Dormidero and Playa del Moro.
2. The Port and the Ocean Front
The Port in Corralejo seems to be built rushing. You can find there mainly small yachts and sport boats rather than angler’s staff. From there depart the ferries to Lanzarote and the boat excursions to the close Isla de Lobos. There are ticket offices of the main three ferry companies: Naviera Armas, Líneas Romero and Fred Olsen.
From the Port to South direction, continue walking will be a delight because of the nice views of the Ocean and the white oceanfront splashed by bars where you can take a break and enjoy some of the local drinks.
3. The old town: Molinos, Molinas and a new church
Due to the fact that our accomodation was located in the heart of Corralejo, we passed at least two or three windmills almost every day. The main difference between a Molino and a Molina is the location on the structure and the number of its propellers. A Molino usually comes with 4 propellers located on the roof of a circular building, while a Molina has 6 propelers upon a wooden tower on a square small building. In the main old centre of Corralejo you will be able to catch up with some, even though their are not marked on Google Maps(!).
Molinos were introduced in Fuerteventura in the 18th Century as part of the agriculture development and Molinas in 19th Century as a simplification of the system to achive the same targets on lower prices. There are many Molinos and Molinas around the island. In Corralejo we recommend to visit three of them which are very close to each other: Molina Juan Morera, Molina de Manolo Hierro and Molino Domingo Estévez Rodríguez.
In Plaza de la Iglesia there is a church, next to a cultural centre and a school. Recently, they have planned kind of a cultural centre there. As everything in Corralejo, it is also very close to the Ocean.
4. The new centre
If you are looking for something catchy or authentic this centre is not your place. More than a centre, it is a modern avenue called Avenida de Nuestra Señora del Carmen. We have passed many times coming back home with the car and even walking from the Southern beaches. There are many restaurants and modern clothing storechains. Everything you may need from the 21th Century could be find there.
5. Fresh fish, traditional Canary kitchen and the night life
In Corralejo you can find the most famous traditional majorero (from Fuerteventura) kitchen and Canarian too. You shouldn’t miss the fish soup and the fresh fish overall, specially in coast spot as Corralejo.
For traditional Canary food we could recommend Avenida Restaurante as the best place for all traditional food, including amazing fresh fish on a budget and Bar Los Compadres as one of the best into local tapas for very low money. There are many, we just underline those which are excellent according to our opinion.
On the beach, Chill Out Playa De Corralejo in Playa de los Verlitos is excellent for its views on the bay and the old town.
Since there are a lot of expats in Corralejo you can find German and specially a lot of Italian places. I will explain my opinion with a real example: we went for breakfast to Piazza Grande, we didn’t realize before arriving that was an Italian place. I love Italian cuisine and I appreciate the improvement of qualitity they are providing on the coffee taste all over the world where they are present as a community. I ordered there a toast with ham and tomato on the bread, which is too Spanish (Catalan mainly) and they served a good coffee and a toast with chopped tomato on the top of the ham ruining its taste. So, it is up to you if you prefer local food or not, but check before ordering where you sit down.
Más que nada could be a good alternative for expat and local especiallities!
For bars and nightlife in old Corralejo Calle Iglesia is our favorite. There are many options but we could recommend Kaktus Bar because of their fancy and creative cocktails.
6. Natural environment
Dunas de Corralejo is a must. Besides the amazing dunes and the beaches on the East side of the road, the area is a natural park, important for the ecosystem and the survival of the local birds.
Regardless of being the most impressive of the natural environment of Corralejo is the Ocean, you should not miss to drive a bit and get lost into the deserted inland territory full of naked mountains. You won’t regret that!
For a natural excursion on the coast with excellent beaches and views to the waves take the dirty road to El Cotillo that follows the coast via Majanicho.
7. Where to go nearby
In 20 minutes from Corralejo you can reach El Cotillo, which is a very nice fishermen town with a historic defensive structure and a cute white old town on the Ocean shore.
Majanicho is a small village with a very recommended and calm beach and if you wish to learn a bit of history of the Northern part of the island, you shouldn’t miss La Oliva, which is still the capital of the region.