From the ancient capital of Fuerteventura to a converted fishing village, passing through some of the most important gastronomic locations: if you want to explore a new side of the Canary Islands, you cannot miss a visit to the three villages of Betancuria, Tuineje and Pajara.
Below we see what are the strengths of each of these destinations to include in your next trip to Fuerteventura.
Betancuria, the ancient capital rich in history and culture
Betancuria takes its name from the Norman knight Jean de Bethencourt, who founded and first colonized this area of the Canaries in 1404.
The importance of this place, identified by the knight for the construction of a defensive structure far from the sea and therefore more sheltered from raids of the pirates, is destined to grow over time, thanks above all to the particularly fertile soils.
Despite its not easily accessible location, Betancuria was the capital of Fuerteventura until 1834.
This small town remains today a place that proves capable of telling an extraordinary story.
What to see in Betancuria
From an architectural point of view, Betancuria manages to amaze visitors by virtue of its unique-looking religious structures. The most important building in Betancuria is the Church of Santa Maria, which dates back to the first years after the foundation of the city.
Despite the pirate attacks that took place between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the structure still manages to amaze visitors today thanks to its Gothic-Baroque mix in which clear Moroccan influences make their way.
San Buenaventura was the first Franciscan convent in the Canaries. In line with the philosophy of this religious order, it was originally a simple construction made with cheap materials including palm wood. Due to a raid by pirates towards the end of the sixteenth century, the convent was completely redesigned. The nearby Hermitage of San Diego is a very traditional structure with two naves, where you can breathe an atmosphere of calm spirituality.
History buffs really can’t miss a visit to the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, which allows you to discover the history of Fuerteventura starting with the native aborigines of the island. Finally, Betancuria offers many alternatives to satisfy food and wine lovers, thanks in particular to the dairy specialities.
Tuineje: a small rough gem to be discovered
The small village of Tuineje, which was once the scene of a bloody battle between the Spanish and the English, is located on the south of the island and boasts a beautiful church that is still used today. Located along Paseo de la Libertad, San Michele Arcangelo dates back to 1695 and is a very particular building, originally with a single nave.
The most culturally interesting aspects of Tuineje can be found in the clear Moorish influences of some buildings. The latter were once built by the inhabitants of Arab origin without the classic white paint, in order to blend in and thus escape the raids of pirates.
On the border with Antigua is the Natural Monument of the Caldera de Gairía, particularly appreciated by lovers in the desert landscape.
Here you can admire many protected species, including vultures, eagles and falcons.
For those with more time on their hands, the village of Giniginámar is particularly suggestive, thanks to the small white houses that stand out against the black pebble beach.
Pajara: a perfect mix of scenic landscapes and excellent cuisine
Pajara is the largest municipality in all of Fuerteventura and therefore boasts numerous points of interest, ranging from landscape to cultural aspects.
Morro Jable stands out among the places not to be missed during a visit to Pajara.
This old fishing village is today a very popular tourist resort, thanks to the many beaches of golden sand and rocks, as well as a historic center where you can taste some of the best fish dishes in all of the Canary Islands.
For those who prefer to explore the quieter and more reflective side of Fuerteventura, not far from Morro Jable is Jandía. Here a stop at the lighthouse of the same name is mandatory, which is located in a square that is generally not frequented by tourists and is the ideal place to relax and indulge in the suggestions of other times.
One of the pearls of this municipality on the island of Fuerteventura is undoubtedly Playa de Sotavento. The scenic sand dunes are sculpted by strong winds, ideal for surfers, and contribute to the impression of being in the middle of the desert.