LauraThe culture of Fuerteventura is quite similar to that in other areas of Spain, particularly Southern Spain, but this most lovely of the Canary Islands has a number of interesting customs of its own.

Life in the Canaries has certainly changed over recent decades, particularly since the 1980s package holiday popularity and the country joining the EU, bringing a wide range of visitors and cultures to the island. The main seaside resorts are lively and cosmopolitan, with the more rural areas providing a contrast in a more relaxed, traditional way of life.

Another more recent change from the old picture of Spain followed the passing of a law in 2006 on smoking – restricting smoking to a minimum in many public areas. Some bars and restaurants now ban smoking altogether, with some establishments setting up dedicated smoking areas. There are usually signs making it clear if there is no smoking allowed or only smoking in specific areas.

The people of Fuerte are known for their warmth and friendly approach, displaying a real lust for life and a willingness to party wherever possible! This has been noted since ancient times, when the Romans dubbed the islands “the Happy Islands”.

Public holidays and fiestas
The dominant religion across the island is Catholic, adhering to all the major Catholic public holidays.

Each of the bigger towns holds a large, carnival-style fiesta in February or March, followed by smaller fiestas that take place at various times throughout the year. Here you will find a number of celebrations, including local folk music, traditional dress and dancing, local food and drink specialities, and processions through the town.

Food and drink

It is usual for Fuerte locals to eat their main meal at lunchtime, between 1pm and 4pm, observing the traditional siesta time, followed by a smaller late evening meal, usually at around 9pm. Local produce is highly regarded, with many family-run restaurants serving traditional recipes focused around the fruits of the volcanic land. Local specialities include goat and goat’s cheeses, salty roasted potatoes (papa arrugadas), a special bread made from a mixture of corn and wheat flours (gofio), a spicy sauce made with locally-grown peppers and olive oil (mojos), fresh fish caught off the island, such as sea bass or bream, tuna, swordfish, shellfish, or the more exotic parrot fish.

Party time!
Long days and late nights are usual at the weekends. The clubs and late-night bars do not usually get busy until around 1am!

Culture and heritage

Fuerteventura is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and cares about its shores and waters – it was chosen by the Quality Coast International Certification Program of the European Coastal and Marine Union as one of 500 of the most attractive tourist destinations in Europe for visitors interested in cultural heritage, environment and sustainability.

Sports and social activities

So-named for the strong winds that circle the island, Fuerte is popular for sailing and windsurfing. The combination of the wind and warm climate provides the ideal conditions for these popular water sports.

OBG-SpainWritten for Fuertenews.com by Laura Richards, country specialist at SpainBuyingGuide.com

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