Blog Islas Canarias OFFICIAL CANARY ISLANDS
TOURISM BLOG
www.hellocanaryislands.com
Blog Islas Canarias OFFICIAL CANARY ISLANDS
TOURISM BLOG
www.hellocanaryislands.com

A day in the outback of Fuerteventura


Highlights
How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Road Trip Around the North of Fuerteventura
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Following a Tapas Route on Tenerife
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Fiesta de la Cruz on La Palma
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
A day in the outback of Fuerteventura
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
An incredible Whale & Dolphin watching experience in Tenerife
The secret white sand beaches of Lanzarote
On the sunny side: Los Llanos de Aridane
Exploring South Fuerteventura by Car
The Best Bit of Las Canteras Beach is Underwater
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Tasting Lanzarote: Cosecha 2015
La Palma, a taste of the tropics
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
Amazing boat excursion to the Archipiélago Chinijo marine reserve
Lanzarote sunrises
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
Viewpoint Mirador de la Peña, the smallest hotel of the world and the giant lizard
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
La Gomera: A day visiting dolphins and whales
Lanzarote fishing: Fresh fish for lunch
Exploring the Historic Centre of La Laguna
“Ruta de la Tapa” in Valverde
Driving the Las Mimbreras road
Discover the Beautiful North of Lanzarote by Car
Excursion to the Isla de Lobos
La Gomera – a rural tourism paradise
Festival of La Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes
A morning in Santa Cruz de La Palma
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Vegueta: Time Travel In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Old Town
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A lovely stroll around Villa de Valverde
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
Through the back roads of El Paso
Relaxation and wellbeing, enjoying Lanzarote´s natural treasures
A trip along the coast of El Golfo, El Hierro
Exploring the Highs and Lows of Puerto de Mogán
Why You Will Absolutely Love Exploring Amazing La Graciosa
The Wild North of La Palma
Tenerife, best locations and the British favourite hotspots
Enjoy the best of Lanzarote at Noches de Jameos
Relish the thrill and views of El Faro La Entallada, in Fuerteventura
Menceyes and our Lady of Candelaria, in Tenerife
The Wine Run Lanzarote: food, wine and scenery
Experience the beauty of the pink caves of Puertito de Los Molinos
A Saturday in the beautiful village of Haría, Lanzarote
A must do in Fuerteventura – Picnic in the dunes of Corralejo
Playa San Juan in Tenerife, a charming place
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
The five best places to eat in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
A cup of coffee at Casa José Saramago, Lanzarote
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
San Sebastián, the high part of Santa Cruz de La Palma
Sunset On The Rocks At Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Teguise: immerse yourself in Lanzarote’s history
How to Enjoy a Stunning Walk in Tenerife from Playa San Juan to Los Gigantes
Tazacorte, in La Palma: more than just a sun trap
Art, Architecture and Frogs in Gran Canaria's Garden City
Carnival time on El Hierro
One of the best family days out in Fuerteventura
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
From the sea to the sky, a circular drive in South Tenerife
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Los Carneros de Tigaday, El Hierro
Relaxing Weekend staying in the picture perfect beaches of El Cotillo – Fuerteventura
Lanzarote’s southwest coastline: where ocean meets lava
How to Enjoy North Tenerife and Wine Tasting in One Amazing Trip
A trip around La Palma’s south coast
The Quiet South Gran Canaria Beach With Two Names
What to explore, How to get there and where to stay in San Sebastian the capital of La Gomera.
Relax by the sea in El Tamaduste
The best olive oil in Fuerteventura – Verde Aurora Bio Farm
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
How to Enjoy a Unique Excursion Around Stunning Santa Cruz
El Tablado, La Palma’s remotest settlement
Related
articles
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
Outdoor Living Lanzarote
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
www.hellocanaryislands.com
Previous article
31 May 2016

Into the outback

Once you get away from the coast of Fuerteventura, things change. You suddenly become a dot in a vast expanse of fascinating nothingness. Wide open skies, rocky plains, dunes, and lost villages, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. You’ve landed in the Fuerteventura outback.

To explore this wilderness, just hire a car, as I did, and head inland. Little-used dirt tracks crisscross the plains. You can drive most of these bumpy back roads with care. Soon all the hullabaloo of the coastal resorts is left behind as you roam the island’s interior. There are fields on all sides: what grows in them is a mystery. Water is in short supply. Solitary houses and ruins of lime kilns dot the landscape. Needless to say, it was a hard life for local people in days gone by. When the bleating of goats eventually replaces the sound of traffic, you suddenly realise how sparsely populated the island is. So make sure you’ve got a decent map, and remember to fill your petrol tank.

In search of the Houbara Bustard

My aim was to photograph a Houbara Bustard. Bustards are the heaviest flying birds in the world, and the Houbara is an iconic variety found on Fuerteventura. Following the advice of local expert Antonio Cabrera, I first took the main road to Tindaya in the northwest. The village lies at the foot of a sacred mountain, the site of over 300 rock carvings etched by the island’s original Berber inhabitants. The mountain itself forms an impressive cone visible from miles around.

After a snack in a local bar, I headed for the windswept plains further north. Apparently lifeless, on closer inspection these desolate areas hold many interesting plants and birds, including the emblematic Houbara. Despite its considerable size, the bird’s dappled plumage blends perfectly with its surroundings, and the Houbara wisely prefers to rely on camouflage, rather than flight, when disturbed.

Montaña de Tindaya

My search technique consisted of slowly driving for short distances, then stopping to scan the plains. Binoculars are virtually essential for this kind of trip.  The gently undulating, stony terrain shown above is where you might strike lucky. On dirt roads you can pull over wherever you like. There’s no traffic to worry about. All you need is patience…and a certain amount of luck.

“Try to think like a bustard,” I told myself. I could see no waterholes, no obvious sources of food for the birds; just a few scraggy tussocks of grass, and lines of larger stones here and there. Perhaps they hide behind them? Or in the small depressions and gulleys? Do they hear you coming and avoid getting too close to public rights of way? Thinking like a bustard is not easy.

None the wiser as to the Houbara’s habits, I found one remarkably quickly. It had been squatting on the ground not far from where I stopped, and calmly rose to its feet when it spotted me. I noticed its powerful legs, and the wary look in its eye. I got my photo:

Hubara

A welcome oasis

Mission accomplished, it was time to head for an oasis. I discovered a perfect one at the village of La Vega de Río Palmas, a 45 minute drive to the south.

Pebbles crunched underfoot as I followed the riverbed. Majestic palm trees flanked the watercourse on either side. Birds darted for cover ahead of me, disappearing into the tamarisk bushes. Streams are a rarity on Fuerteventura, making this one of the best short hikes on the island, an absolute must do. Go early, before it gets too hot. Take time to savour the “lost world” feeling such places evoke.

Vega del Río Palmas watercourse

Winding my way downstream, I soon reached a narrow reservoir where a dam spans the gorge. Flocks of Shelduck frequent this secluded spot. Several could be seen just a short distance away, occasionally dipping their heads below the surface, causing the muddy water to gently lap on the banks below. I spent time observing the birds as they dabbled. The silence was only broken by the occasional sound of approaching footsteps, and the exchange of greetings with other walkers.

Ahead, a section of path bounded by sheer cliffs led to a hermitage where the image of Nuestra Señora de la Peña, the patron of Fuerteventura, is kept. Yes, the Canary Islands have far more to offer than their beaches and nightlife, yet surprisingly few foreign visitors discover any of the hidden corners. And if you have an eye for landscapes, you’ll find subjects for photography literally everywhere, such as the agricultural mosaic shown below.

Agricultural mosaic

Rounding off the day

By mid-afternoon temperatures were soaring. There was noticeably less bird activity in the streambed at La Vega de Rio Palmas, and not a soul on the streets. I was getting hungry, so it was time to move on. Fuerteventura’s outback is definitely worth a visit, but the coast also has its attractions. Not least of which, the many good fish restaurants, often set in picturesque surroundings. I set off to find one.

I’ve never been keen on dining in major tourist centres. I prefer to try typical dishes, and experience something more authentic. It’s all part of the holiday. There are many excellent places for eating out on the island. Below is just one example: a small, locally-run restaurant located on the seafront in La Lajita. Delicious fresh fish, tasty potatoes boiled in their skins (papas arrugadas), the spicy mojo sauce, and a glass of chilled white wine to wash it all down. On the terrace, facing the sea, in the shade of the awning: the perfect way to round off a day in the outback…

Seafront restaurant in La Lajita

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Highlights
How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Road Trip Around the North of Fuerteventura
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Following a Tapas Route on Tenerife
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Fiesta de la Cruz on La Palma
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
A day in the outback of Fuerteventura
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
An incredible Whale & Dolphin watching experience in Tenerife
The secret white sand beaches of Lanzarote
On the sunny side: Los Llanos de Aridane
Exploring South Fuerteventura by Car
The Best Bit of Las Canteras Beach is Underwater
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Tasting Lanzarote: Cosecha 2015
La Palma, a taste of the tropics
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
Amazing boat excursion to the Archipiélago Chinijo marine reserve
Lanzarote sunrises
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
Viewpoint Mirador de la Peña, the smallest hotel of the world and the giant lizard
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
La Gomera: A day visiting dolphins and whales
Lanzarote fishing: Fresh fish for lunch
Exploring the Historic Centre of La Laguna
“Ruta de la Tapa” in Valverde
Driving the Las Mimbreras road
Discover the Beautiful North of Lanzarote by Car
Excursion to the Isla de Lobos
La Gomera – a rural tourism paradise
Festival of La Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes
A morning in Santa Cruz de La Palma
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Vegueta: Time Travel In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Old Town
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A lovely stroll around Villa de Valverde
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
Through the back roads of El Paso
Relaxation and wellbeing, enjoying Lanzarote´s natural treasures
A trip along the coast of El Golfo, El Hierro
Exploring the Highs and Lows of Puerto de Mogán
Why You Will Absolutely Love Exploring Amazing La Graciosa
The Wild North of La Palma
Tenerife, best locations and the British favourite hotspots
Enjoy the best of Lanzarote at Noches de Jameos
Relish the thrill and views of El Faro La Entallada, in Fuerteventura
Menceyes and our Lady of Candelaria, in Tenerife
The Wine Run Lanzarote: food, wine and scenery
Experience the beauty of the pink caves of Puertito de Los Molinos
A Saturday in the beautiful village of Haría, Lanzarote
A must do in Fuerteventura – Picnic in the dunes of Corralejo
Playa San Juan in Tenerife, a charming place
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
The five best places to eat in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
A cup of coffee at Casa José Saramago, Lanzarote
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
San Sebastián, the high part of Santa Cruz de La Palma
Sunset On The Rocks At Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Teguise: immerse yourself in Lanzarote’s history
How to Enjoy a Stunning Walk in Tenerife from Playa San Juan to Los Gigantes
Tazacorte, in La Palma: more than just a sun trap
Art, Architecture and Frogs in Gran Canaria's Garden City
Carnival time on El Hierro
One of the best family days out in Fuerteventura
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
From the sea to the sky, a circular drive in South Tenerife
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Los Carneros de Tigaday, El Hierro
Relaxing Weekend staying in the picture perfect beaches of El Cotillo – Fuerteventura
Lanzarote’s southwest coastline: where ocean meets lava
How to Enjoy North Tenerife and Wine Tasting in One Amazing Trip
A trip around La Palma’s south coast
The Quiet South Gran Canaria Beach With Two Names
What to explore, How to get there and where to stay in San Sebastian the capital of La Gomera.
Relax by the sea in El Tamaduste
The best olive oil in Fuerteventura – Verde Aurora Bio Farm
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
How to Enjoy a Unique Excursion Around Stunning Santa Cruz
El Tablado, La Palma’s remotest settlement
Related
articles
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
Outdoor Living Lanzarote
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
www.hellocanaryislands.com