Hopping Along the Canary Islands pt. 3: Lobos Island and Fuerteventura

As you may know from my previous post, I had somewhat spontaneously decided to embark on a solo escapade, and my first solo stop was Fuerteventura. Well, it wasn’t completely solo since I traveled to the island by ferry with two girlfriends who had just come to visit me in Lanzarote.

The evening I arrived in Fuerteventura, we went our separate ways as I explored the town and had dinner on my own.

Good evening Fuerteventura!

The next day we all met up again to adventure to Lobos Island together. Lobos Island is an islet just north of Fuerteventura. It comprises a largely uninhabited nature preserve with crystal clear waters and volcanic mounds. A stunning place, and we had a really great time exploring.

In retrospect, the little island is actually quite beautiful, very similar to Lanzarote. Simply a big volcano, super barren with some small dunes.

The tour took us on a lovely boat ride around the island, and then we were dropped off and guided to this local tourist hut where they had lots of local things for us to try. They also rented SUP boards, mountain bikes, and some snorkel gear to go explore the little lagoon nearby.

If you know me, you know I am passionate about snorkeling, so I couldn’t resist. It was really nice to snorkel in the lagoon. We also rented the bikes and rode all around the island, which was not as easy as it sounds. The volcanic ash and the sand did not make it easy to pedal, so much resistance.

Conquering Lobos Island

It took us almost two hours to get around this tiny little island. We made one stop at the volcano to climb up. This one was a bit higher than the one in La Graciosa, and as you can imagine, stunning views of the Canary Islands once again. We could see over Los Lobos all the way to Lanzarote and then down to Fuerteventura.

From there, we could also see the dunes of Corralejo pretty well. I actually went to those dunes the evening after, but we’ll get to that.

Views from Fuerteventura

I really enjoyed the adventure day with the girls, biking through the saltmarsh trails and having some nice talks while making our way to Montaña La Caldera to see the 19th-century Martiño lighthouse. In the late afternoon, we took the boat back to Fuerteventura.

I arrived in Fuerteventura just in time to make an important call with my lawyer. So I took the 30-minute call and then went to pick up a rental car.

Funny Story When I was at the car rental company, the lady was mortified about the car I was getting, she thought it would be way too small for me. It was a fiat spider, and on top of it all, a manual car.

I haven’t driven any manual cars this year. Actually, the first time I drove a manual car again this year, it was a friend’s car, and he very quickly decided that he should drive. 🙈

So, because I wanted to really learn to drive a rental car, I chose a manual on purpose. So the fiat spider (convertible) was my choice for Fuerteventura and later in Gran Canaria. I was determined to learn to drive stick again. In the end, I had a lot of fun driving that car; it felt just big enough for me; I mean, small, but okay-ish.

Parque Natural Dunas de Corralejo

The remainder of the afternoon, I went to discover Fuerteventura by car. It took all the mountain passes the island has to offer. The terrain of this place is dry and rocky, with nice mountains in the interior. I stopped at some viewpoints now and then.

Well turns out the direct coastline of Fuerteventura is not so special; I didn’t find that there was much to see. I grabbed ice cream at the port and drove to the other side of the island to a nice beach. I found myself on a path that leads to some pretty cool sea-caves.

Red Island

I drove around for most of the day, and then in the evening, I made my way to Morro Jable, the southern-most point of the island. I went there to meet a friend there who was on the island on holidays escaping the corona craze in his hometown; we had a nice dinner together and enjoyed our time catching up.

The next day I was taking the ferry (without the car) to Gran Canaria. I had some time on the island before having to catch the ferry and give back the car.

Morning Views

So, like every morning, I did some work and took some consulting calls, and then at around 11 am, I left to explore a bit more of the island with the 3-4 hours I had before having to return the rental.

So I went first to Corralejo, and El Cotillo, basically a sand dessert. Quickly saw the dunes, beaches, and the nice landscape on that side of the island and then went all the way through to Puerto Rosario, which is the capital, with a little port nearby called Puerto Rosario.

Views through the mountains of Fuerte…

I wanted to check out the Marina there to see if we could come back there with our boat. Spolier Alert: We didn’t make it back with the boat… yet.

I used the rest of my time on the island to visit the popular Villa Winter, a villa situated in a remote location of the southwestern part of the island of Fuerteventura, near the village of Cofete on the Jandía peninsula. The villa was designed and built by Gustav Winter, a reclusive German engineer.

Many people actually wonder why it’s there, in the middle of nowhere at the foot of the island. Apparently, it had a very special time during WWII, when the Nazis allegedly used it to escape Europe via Spain with the consent of Franco.

The rumors are that many war criminals actually stayed a few weeks in this villa before fleeing to South America. They were escaping either by submarine or plane (there also an airport nearby).

The villa was quite nice inside but quite shabby and underrated on the outside. Nowadays, it’s like a little museum in the middle of nowhere. There is basically nothing on this part of the island, very barren and still quite scenic with a nice beach nearby.

The villa was easy to access, simply about an hour on a gravel road to Morro Jable. Actually, it was a hazardous road; I heard something like: every week someone dies on it; apparently, not many people who visit the island don’t know how to drive such a difficult road, especially when it rains. There were some pretty steep cliffs, but it was fun to drive.

However, I will say the last minutes to the villa was especially hard for the car; at one point, I even thought I’d be getting stuck there with the tiny convertible, but in the end, I managed and made it safe to enjoy the villa and also a lighthouse in the very, very south.

I visited the airport near-by and read more about Villa Winter. From there, I went to the port in Morro Jable to drop off my car and take the ferry to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The red island of Fuerteventura… until next time!