Cultural Experience | Canary Islands

Fuerteventura, Canary Islands: Spring Break Off the Beaten Path

Fuerteventura, a picturesque and alluringly exotic combination of pristine white sand beaches and rugged sand dunes, a perfect destination for spring break.

Located a mere 62 miles off the coast of North Africa, Fuerteventura is the second largest of the seven Canary Islands. Loosely translated as “Strong Winds” in Spanish, Fuerteventura is a year-round surfer’s paradise. With its over 3,000 sunshine hours a year, crystal clear turquoise waters, and rugged interior terrain, Fuerteventura is a destination for sunbathers, divers, and adventure-seekers alike.

Fuerteventura, Canary Islands image

Sand Dunes Spanning the Interior of the Island

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Crystal Clear Ocean and Miles of Sandy Beaches on the Perimeter of the Island

While this island paradise is truly one that should be experienced first-hand (trust me, photographs DO NOT do it justice), here are a few reasons why Fuerteventura should be at the top of your list for Spring Break options while abroad.

It’s almost as if you’re traveling to another continent:

While politically Fuerteventura remains a part of Spain, the Island is rich in Berber culture — an ode to the island’s early settlers of North African descent. From the food, to the architecture, and even the sand dunes, which is said to contain sand that has blown across the ocean from the Sahara Desert, Fuerteventura is truly the best of both worlds. An exotic melting pot of Spanish and North African culture, there is nowhere else you can ride a camel on the beach in the morning then proceed to feast on Paella de Mariscos and an assortment of delectable tapas later on in the afternoon.

The island is inexpensive and full of wonderful all-inclusive resorts:

I found Fuerteventura to be rather inexpensive in comparison to other island destinations in Europe, which makes it a perfect Spring Break getaway for a study abroad budget. Also, the abundance of all-inclusive resorts comes into play when keeping costs low and convenience high is in question. Thanks to our stay at the Riu Oliva Beach Resort, we were able to relax at the pool, ride a camel on the beach, indulge in delicious cuisine, hit the gym, as well as enjoy nightly shows and comedy reviews all without having to leave the property. We did venture into town to explore; however, we could have easily gone the whole trip without leaving the comfort of our hotel.

You’ll be one of the only Americans:

Never in my life have I received so many compliments regarding the beauty of my “American accent.” From the moment we checked-in at the front desk of our all-inclusive hotel and it was discovered that we possessed American passports, everyone, staff and other hotel guests alike, was utterly fascinated with the fact that my friend and I were American. I kid you not! Imagine leisurely lounging by the pool, magazine in hand and music blaring, and having a group mention that they had to come speak to you because they heard your accent from afar and could not believe that it was actually an American. As awkward as it may seem at first, it is actually becomes quite flattering.

Annually the majority of tourists to Fuerteventura hail from Spain, Germany, and France; it is actually quite unusual for staff and other visitors to encounter Americans, since Americans usually look to Hawaii or the Caribbean for island vacations. So just smile and say “thank you,” because everyone is truly just curious and honestly just as enamored with your “American accent” as we sometimes find ourselves with other foreign accents.

It’s easy to go island hopping:

From Gran Canaria, “The Mini Continent” known for its unrivaled climate and vast assortment of landscapes, to Lanzarote, which boasts an almost unworldly landscape containing over 300 volcanoes, each of the Canary Islands has its own equally enchanting personality. So if you catch a case of wanderlust while on your visit to Fuerteventura, another island adventure is but a mere ferry-ride away.

Fuerteventura is truly an island destination like no other. An escape for sunbathers and adventure-seekers alike, the island’s exotic beauty and charm is sure to leave you captivated and wanting for more! And if I haven’t successfully convinced you yet that Fuerteventura should be your go-to destination for Spring Break 2015, then I’ll just leave you with this…

Fuerteventura, Canary Islands image*Featured image, a new buddy after a trip to the sand dunes.

Victoria Humphrey

University of Miami | 4 stories

A recent graduate of the University of Miami and the current Miss Winter Park 2016, Victoria double majored in Biology and Religious Studies and hopes to make a difference one day as a physician. An avid collector of passport stamps and rubber duckies, Victoria lived in Rome (Italy, not Georgia) for five months and is well-versed in both the arts of non-rev traveling and balling while on a student budget. Follow her adventures on Instagram at @vshumphreyy

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