Anything But Paella

Morro Jable and Jandía Playa – Fuerteventura

Beach holidays are not really our thing. Having said that, the scenery along the coast as we got towards the Southern tip of Fuerteventua was spectacular. What a shame there are half built hotel projects along the way. It’s easy to see why they are trying so hard to protect the unspoilt areas now, but it’s a bit “after the horse has bolted”.

The bus down from Puerto del Rosario was quite easy but took a couple of hours. We stayed at the Barceló Occidental Jandía Playa on a three day all-inclusive package. The reason? Well, our good friends Andrea and Mark from Happy Days Travel Blog were taking a few weeks out to relax there so we thought we would gate-crash their holiday and join them. It was tremendous value, although the willpower to resist overeating and over-drinking was sometimes challenged to the extreme!

Jandía Playa is a great place to stroll along the beach. There’s a lighthouse and a whale skeleton to add to the spectacular coastline. A sign of the times is the abandoned Hotel Stella Canaris which shows what happens when things go badly wrong financially. Fortunately most of the area seems more on the up than the down. We could have done with better weather, but it was a nice walk anyway, all the way into Morro Jable and back. Keep a look out for squirrels. The warning signs are there for a reason!

On the way to Morro Jable you will pass a whole range of sculptures. They really add an extra level of interest to the walk. Some are abstract, but the sting ray and the turtle are quite impressive. There is an element of sadness about the old woman looking out to sea for her children to return.

On the outskirts of town, there is an interesting homage to Willy Brandt. This German statesman was really responsible for mass tourism coming to Fuerteventura, especially in regards to his fellow countrymen.

In the town of Morro Jable itself there are more interesting sculptures. It’s nice enough just ambling through the streets. We got as far as the vantage point looking down over the marina. Cue epic fail by the paella team. Apparently continuing all the way down to where the boats are gives you a close up view of the sting rays in the crystal clear waters. The sea was pretty choppy though, so we console ourselves with the view that the waters would have been cloudy and we wouldn’t have seen anything!

Keep an eye out for some interesting feathered friends too. We saw parakeets in the trees, a Bulwer’s petrel out to sea, and a Berthelot’s pipit chirping on the ground. That’s in addition to the ubiquitous seagulls, of course!

So there you have it. Even in a place of full-on mass tourism there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. We might even go for a diet-busting few days of all-inclusive again one day!

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