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The Canary Islands: Fuerteventura
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It is said that Fuerteventura, just south of Lanzarote in the southwestern wash of the archipelago, has the best of the Canary beaches. Most of these long, amber stretches remain pristine, free of people and their developments, with a vibrant ring of emerald water washing over the shallow coastal shelf that characterizes Fuerteventura's coastlines. Like neighboring and geologically similar Lanzarote, Fuerteventura's islanders, who are concentrated in the capital city of Puerto del Rosario and south from there to the ridge of the southern Jandía Peninsula, enjoy near-constant sunshine but are made to endure arid conditions blown in from the Sahara. Not surprisingly, windsurfing and kiteboarding are big business for those who come to Fuerteventura to escape the crowds of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Most head to the Jandía beach, site of a regular world championship competition. The Flag Beach Windsurf Center (C/ General Linares 31, tel. 92 853 55 39) can fill you in on the conditions and set you up with a sail. A unique experience can be had on a camel safari in the desert landscape of Fuerteventura. Local islanders tend to agree that Betancuría, in the crux of low mountains near Fuerteventura's west coast, is the loveliest village on the island. It is also one of the earliest areas of settlement. In the local Museo de Betancuría, archeological and ethnological exhibitions are dedicated to the native Guanches who established one of their earliest communities in the area. Nearly a thousand years later, work on the village's Catedral de Santa María was begun soon after the village had been founded in the early 15th century.
Hunter Publishing; June 2011
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