Fuerteventura has a glorious climate all year with temperatures rarely dropping below 63°F (17°C) and more often above 82°F (28°C) during the day, and gentle sea breezes keep the island from baking. Rainfall in the summer months is almost non-existent, but showers are likely between October and April. Over the winter months travellers will need a sweater and light trousers for evenings and possibly the odd rare cloudy day. Any other time of year visitors will only need the bare essentials such as shorts and T-shirts.
Car hire is good value and most visitors tend to rent a vehicle by the week. Public transport is decent, with reliable and cheap buses, and ferries which are useful for getting from one side of the island to the other. If you are going to use buses regularly during your visit invest in a Tarjeta Dinero, a bus discount card, starting from EUR12. And don't attempt to pay the driver with anything larger than a EUR10 note - it will not be accepted.
With golden sand rolling gently into deep blue sea, the beaches of Fuerteventura are fabulous and undoubtedly the main draw card for families coming to the island on holiday. The harbour at Caleta is home to glass-bottomed boats that you can hire to take you in the ocean for a great view of the marine life. The main beach at Fuerteventura has camel rides that take kids of all ages on a plodding, malodorous ride up the coast. Other great options for children in Fuerteventura are:
Spanish is the official language, but English is widely understood in areas frequented by tourists. Catalan, Galician and Basque are spoken in the relevant areas.
Spain's official currency is the Euro (EUR). One Euro is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at bureaux de change and major hotels, but banks give the best rates. All major credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining money.
Fuerteventura is more about relaxing than partying, and the nightlife centres round its traditional restaurants where live music and dancing is held. For a more upbeat experience head to the bars in and around Corralejo and Caleta de Fuste. The scene is mostly cover bands and karaoke. Most places close no later than 1am, but on the plus side drinks prices are some of the cheapest in Europe.
Due to a special agreement with the European Union, the entire Canary Islands are a duty-free area which means that shopping for alcohol, tobacco and perfume are popular pastimes for visitors to Fuerteventura.
The main resort town of Caleta de Fuste has the enormous Atlantico shopping centre with the usual chain stores found in large European cities. The resort of Puerto del Rosario has the island's largest shopping centre - Las Rotondas - with over 100,000 square feet (30,000 square metres) of retail space.
Shopping centres tend to have tiny entrances to combat the strong dusty winds which blow through town, so don't be fooled by small doors! You should bring your passport with you when paying by credit card. Shops tend to open from 10am to 10pm, with smaller stores closing over lunch for siesta.
Away from the glitzy, generic world of the shopping malls are the markets where Fuerteventura reveals some its personality. The markets of Corralejo, Caleta, Morro Jable and Costa Calma are worth browsing for fresh produce, pottery and textiles.
Fuerteventura is famous for its gorgeous beaches, ranging from stretches of white sands in the south, to the odd black sand beaches in the north. There are also charming little villages and harbours to enjoy, and a laid-back ambiance that characterises the entire island making relaxation a welcome and inevitable consequence of visiting here. Fuerteventura does not have the glamorous nightlife or high-end attractions of some other Balearic destinations, but those coming here to enjoy its wholesome charms will not be disappointed.
Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October). The Canary Islands: GMT (GMT +1 in summer).