Hotels in Corralejo, Spain
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Corralejo, where the Sahara meets Mars
Corralejo in the north of the most barren of Spain's main Canary Islands, Fuerteventura, has exploded from a quiet fishing village into a bustling modern resort. You could say that about pretty much any resort in the world though. You've probably also seen plenty of 'quaint old harbours that are still used by fishermen' in your time too. However, have you ever bathed on miles upon miles of unspoilt rolling Sahara-esque golden sand dunes cascading into turquoise blue waters, with a desolate Mars-like volcanic backdrop? A stay in a Corralejo hotel sounds a whole different proposition now, don't you think?
Glorious sand dunes
Although very pleasant-looking with a quaint harbour area and a small old town with typical white-washed streets and narrow alleyways, the resort of Corralejo hasn't much to distinguish itself by. The resort has a pretty marina and is made up only of low-rise buildings hosting a wide selection of hotels, apartments, bars, pubs and restaurants. However, what really sets this resort, at the northerly tip of Fuerteventura, apart is the Corralejo National Park which borders the town.
If you've ever wondered what a mirage in the middle of the Sahara Desert might look like, this vast natural reserve, would come mightily close. Protected from development, the reserve's wild appeal is preserved with dune upon dune of beautiful sand running alongside crystal clear waters with the small island of Lobos on the horizon. Unlike the burning black volcanic offerings you get on neighbouring Tenerife and Lanzarote, this sand is truly golden.
The beaches are popular with naturists and water-sports enthusiasts. Kite surfers especially are attracted by the wind and huge waves that are often present.
The downside is there are few facilities, such as public toilets or beach bars, however, Corralejo has two other traditional beaches to the south, if that's important to you. These too have nice views over Lobos, are nice and wide and are ideal for families, with shallow waters and lifeguards.
Striking volcanic landscape
Go inland, and you enter some real desolate volcanic landscape. You may want to hire a scooter, a car or even a jeep to explore it further. Some even enjoy the hike. About fifteen minutes inland by car, or a fascinating two and a half hour walk through the volcanic wilderness, is the chilled-out village of Lajares.
A magnet for the young, who just like to hang out in the unassuming bars, Lajares is strangely trendy with a restaurant and a surf-shop. There is also a market once a week, selling local and African crafts which draws in the crowds.
To the south of the National Park, if you've got some walking boots, you can tackle the Montana Roja volcano and get some truly exceptional views over the island and the waters to Lanzarote.
Apart from heading out of your hotel room every day to the beach, there are many more things to do in Corralejo.
Water-sports are naturally very popular, including windsurfing, diving, kayaking, canoeing and jet-skiing. There are surf and kitesurf schools in the town, to hire the gear and to get tuition from.
You could also embark on a tour of the island by car, jeep or even mountain bike, or take the 15-minute glass-bottom boat from the harbour to the nature reserve island of Lobos. Even the neighbouring, and more developed, major Canary island of Lanzarote is just a 20-minute ferry ride away. There are also organised trips to see dolphins and whales as well as boats for hire.
Corralejo also welcomes two markets a week, where you can perfect your art of haggling to pick up some local or African crafts.
The capital of Fuerteventura and its main port, Puerto del Rosario, is either a direct 30-minute drive along the coast or a 40-minute adventure through the volcanic heart. The airport is located 10 minutes south of the city.
If you ever tire of the gorgeous dunes around Corralejo, there are lots of other beaches on the island to try out. The beaches and beautiful lagoons around the sleepy town of El Cotillo on the northwest coast are amongst the finest on the island. The vast Playa de Sotavento by the Parque Natural Jandia, on the southernmost tip is another favourite for wind and kite surfers.
Wherever you decide to visit and whatever time of year you book your hotel or apartment, (Fuerteventura has a pleasant all-year climate), a stay in Corralejo is far from being just another beach holiday – you could say it is out of this world!