Cycling on Fuerteventura?! The trend towards activity holidays goes on and thus, you can see more and more cyclists on Fuerteventura, alone or in groups, who enjoy their training or just have fun on roads with little traffic.
Fuerteventura with its 1.722 sqkms is the second largest island of the Canary archipelago and at the same time the most spearsly populated one. This circumstance makes "Fuerte" a very interesting place for bikers since the well-constructed side roads are very quiet.
The longest side of the island is about 100 kms long and the broadest side is 31 kms broad. Harsh, desert-like landscapes with bizarre lava domes, little scattered villages, lonely mountain landscapes and some lively holiday resorts characterise the island. The sparse landscapes may shock many a visitor at its first sight, but in places where there is seemingly nothing the beholder watches a world of colours, light and shadows in the next moment.
The main attractions are the milelong sandy beaches where you can find your own quiet place in any season.
Since Fuerteventura is very close to the African continent, the island's climate, which is considered to be the best one of all Canary islands, is very balanced throughout the whole year, with more than 300 days of sun and the permanently blowing trade wind.
Cycling on well-constructed roads - with both mountain and racing bikes
The tours described are tours for a whole day and require good physical fitness. Beginners can divide the tours into smaller legs.
This leg leads from La Pared over the pass of La Taplada (approx. 650 ms) to Ajuy. The climb immediately voids the impression that Fuerte is a flat island. The descent to Ajuy, however, compensates for the strenuous uphill kilometres. At "Jaule de Oro" in Ajuy you can have a rest (tip: fresh goat's cheese with tomatoes!) before returning to La Pared.
Distance: 60 kms
This tour is perfect for offroad freaks since you mostly cycle on gravel roads with numerous bumps and holes. You start at the port of the fishing village Morro Jable. After about 2 hours and a lot of dust, you reach the Degollada, with a great view of the deserted west coast of Cofete and the mysterious Villa Winter. If you are very fit you still can cycle to the scattered houses of Cofete. The small restaurant there is a good place to have something to eat and drink.
Distance: 35 kms
View of the deserted beach of Cofete
View on Sotavento Beach
For this tour you start in Pajara, the capital of "Fuertes" southernmost municipality. From there the "King's leg" leads over four climbs to Betancuria, Antigua and Tuineje back to Pajara.
After milelong climbs, you can enjoy great views of mountains and Barrancos, the sun's play of colours and the tangible silence, which is only interrupted by occasional engine noises. In Vega de Rio Palmas you can have a rest in front of the church Nuestra Senora de la Pena and have a delicious Cortado (espresso with milk), which should give you the necessary "drive".
Afterwards, you quickly reach Betancuria, the former capital of the island. The white houses of this nicely located village remind of the white Andalusian villages. Apart from the historical church in the centre, there are further sights, e.g. the ruins of a Franciscan monastery or two smaller museums.
The climb to the viewpoint Morro Velosa is again very exhausting but the great view compensates the cyclists who have managed to crest. Then you return to Pajara via the plains of Antigua and Tuineje.
Distance: 75 kms
Due to the mild, summery climate you can cycle on Fuerteventura throughout the whole year. The best time is from February to May and October/November.
The quiet, well-constructed side roads are ideal for mountain bikes, trekking bikes and also race bikes and offer good training conditions.
In the north, you find easy and medium-difficulty cycling tours near La Oliva and Corralejo. Starting from the south, e.g. La Pared, you can choose between difficult and medium-difficulty tours. For tours over El Cardon or the mountains around Pajara you must be physically fit since there are a lot of longer ascents with partly "lethal" climbs. In the centre of the island (Tuineje and Antigua) you will find easy and medium-difficulty cycling tours.
Almost always (particularly in the summer) there is a strong trade wind which must not be underestimated.
Offroad freaks and those wanting to become fans will find many possibilities to improve their driving style aside the asphalted roads. When cycling there you should, however, not forget nature conservation. The sharp volcano rocks can be dangerous when you fall off the bike.
You should always carry a good repair kit since the infrastructure for cycling tourists has not yet been well established.
Cycling group with Wolfgang Schönecker
Cyclists should choose an accommodation in the dreamy urbanisation La Pared (private holiday flats) or hotels at Costa Calma since from there, they have direct access to the network of side roads. We advise you against using the main road FV 2 because of the heavy traffic there.
We would like to thank the author Wolfgang Schönecker for his interesting article. Wolfgang Schönecker has had a great affinity to Fuerteventura for many years and was one of the first to promote race cycling on Fuerteventura. Most of the pictures were provided by Wolfgang Schönecker.