Fuerteventura Culture: How to Learn More About It

If you want to know more about Fuerteventura culture, around the island you will see that religious architecture is the main feature, as there are churches and chapels in nearly all of the towns and villages.  There are also windmills and wooden salt mills all over the island which show how important the Trade Winds were in the past for the farming community and the economy.  There are other archaeological places of interest which have examples of domestic, military and industrial architecture.  Other evidence of Fuerteventura culture can be found at the museums, at the fiestas, and in the local gastronomy.

Fuerteventura Culture: Best Towns to Visit and What to See in Each One

The main places to visit, by Municipality, if you are looking for evidence of Fuerteventura culture, are as follows:

ANTIGUA

Las Salinas del Carmen (the salt museum) at Las Salinas

Church of Our Lady of Antigua in Antigua

The 18th Century fortified Castle in Caleta de Fuste

The Molino de Antigua Craft Centre just outside Antigua

La Atalayita early settlement museum near Pozo Negro


BETANCURIA

Archaeological Museum in Betancuria

Sacred Art Museum in Betancuria

The Church of Santa Maria in Betancuria

Convent church of San Buenaventura in Betancuria

Chapel of San Deiego de Alcala in Betancuria

Betancuria Craft Centre

The Morro Velosa Viewpoint, just north of Betancuria

Church of Our Lady Of The Rock (the island’s patron saint) in Vega de Rio Palmas

Chapel of Santa Iñes in Valle de Santa Ines


LA OLIVA

The House Of The Colonels in La Oliva

La Cilla House (The Grain Museum) in La Oliva

Canary Island Art Centre in La Oliva

Tindaya Sacred Mountain near Tindaya

Lajares Craft Centre in Lajares

El Toston Castle (18th Century fort) in El Cotillo

Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria in La Oliva


PAJARA

Church of Our Lady of Regla (17th and 18th Century) in Pajara

Chapel of San Antonio de Padua (18th Century) in Toto


PUERTO DEL ROSARIO

Sculptures in the city’s streets and on the roundabouts

Miguel de Unamuno’s House in Puerto del Rosario

Church of Our Lady of Rosario in Puerto del Rosario

Juan Ismael Art Centre in Puerto del Rosario

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Tetir

Windmill in Tefia

Almacigo saltmill in Almacigo

Windmill in Llanos de la Concepcion

Dr. Mena’s House in La Ampuyenta


TUINEJE

Los Molinos Windmill Visitors Centre in Tiscamanita

Aquarium and Sea Museum in Tarajalejo

Church of San Miguel Arcangel in Tuineje


Fuerteventura Traditions


Another feature of Fuerteventura culture is that all of the towns and villages on the island have their annual fiestas linked to the saint of the local church or to mark religious dates.

At fiesta time, there are several days of festivities that usually feature children’s events, sporting events, religious processions, traditional Canarian  music and dancing, and all night celebrations (Verbena) featuring singing groups, DJ’s and music.  It is definitely worth visiting one of the Fiestas to see evidence of Fuerteventura culture and traditions.  The local people always make you feel welcome.


Fuerteventura Carnival


A major part of Fuerteventura culture is Carnival. Every year in the main towns of the island, Carnival is celebrated during either February or March.  Each Municipality chooses a theme for their Carnival, and events are organized for several days before the main Carnival procession.

Carnival processions take place in Corralejo, Puerto del Rosario, Betancuria, Antigua/Caleta de Fuste, Gran Tarajal and Morro Jable.  They are spectacular, noisy and colourful occasions; and are not to be missed if you are on the island.


Every year, on 30th May, the Dia de Canarias, is celebrated in all the major towns on the island. It marks the anniversary of the Canary Islands becoming autonomous from Spain in 1983; and is an occasion to celebrate Canary Island and Fuerteventura culture.  Special events are held and a Baile de Taifas (a traditional dance) is held, usually on the eve of Canarian Day, as it starts around 9pm and finishes at 5am.


Fuerteventura Celebrations on the Canarian Day (May 30th)

Every year, on 30th May, the Dia de Canarias, is celebrated in all the major towns on the island. It marks the anniversary of the Canary Islands becoming autonomous from Spain in 1983; and is an occasion to celebrate Canary Island and Fuerteventura culture.  Special events are held and a Baile de Taifas (a traditional dance) is held, usually on the eve of Canarian Day, as it starts around 9pm and finishes at 5am.


Fuerteventura Museums

The Island Council (the Fuerteventura Cabildo) has a number of museums that show us many aspects of Fuerteventura culture.


  • Cueva del Llano A lava pipe from a volcano that is 648m long near Villaverde


  • Betancuria Archaelogical Museum.  


  • La Alcogida Ecomuseum in Tefia: A group of 7 houses that show a traditional Fuerteventura village


  • La Atalayita Archaeological Site near Pozo Negro, Antigua: This is a site which was the home for the Mahos – the original inhabitants of the island


  • Toston Lighthouse Fishing Museum at El Cotillo


  • Salt Museum at Salinas del Carmen near Caleta de Fuste


  • Unamuno House Museum in Puerto del Rosario: The home of a famous Spanish writer who was exiled to the island


  • Los Molinos Visitor Centre in Tiscamanita: A traditional house and windmill


  • Molino de Antigua Craft Centre, north of Antigua: A windmill and a centre showing the history of the people of Fuerteventura, crafts, sculptures.  It will soon be the location of the new Cheese Museum.


  • Morro Velosa Observation Point, north of Betancuria: It is a viewing point of the north and east of the island, and houses an exhibition of arid landscapes. It was designed by Caesar Manrique.


  • Grano La Cilla Museum in La Oliva: An agricultural building dating from 1819, showing the history of grain and agriculture


  • Doctor Mena House Museum in Ampuyenta: A former doctors’s house which shows the features of a middle class rural house

Fuerteventura Gastronomy

Fuerteventura culture is also marked by some particularly unique dishes, which are related to the old agricultural background of the island. Fuerteventura is famous for its goats which mean that goat’s meat and goat’s cheese are popular.  In recent years, Fuerteventura goat’s cheese, in various forms, has won many international awards.  It can be cured, partly cured or soft; and natural or mixed with gofio, paprika or oil.  Look out for Maxorata or Majorero Cheese which indicates that it is from the island.  Traditional gofio is a traditional food that dates back centuries and used to be the staple food of the inhabitants.  Gofio is made from milled roasted wheat, with water and other products, such as milk or honey, added to it. Papas arrugadas are another traditional food.  These are small potatoes that have been boiled in their skins in salt water, which makes the skin wrinkly.


I can guarantee that you’ll enjoy the goat’s cheese, but gofio and papas arrugadas are more of an acquired taste.

To find evidence of Fuerteventura culture you will usually have to leave the main tourist resorts, and go on one of the Fuerteventura tours, either on an organized trip or by hire car.  By doing this you will find evidence of Fuerteventura culture from many centuries ago, from colonial times, and from more recent times.  Go and see what you can find!


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