Islandmomma

Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

Fuerteventura Landscapes: A Photo Essay

8 Comments

“You’ll soon get bored with Fuerteventura,” people told me. “There isn’t the variety of landscape you get on other islands, especially when you’ve come from La Gomera.” Halfway though my stay on this amazing island, and I am utterly in love with its rolling, desert landscapes, and its breathtaking white sands. Not yet bored!

The plain around Antigua and Llanos de la Concepción seen from the Mirador at Morro Veloso

The plain around Antigua and Llanos de la Concepción seen from the Mirador at Morro Veloso

Where La Gomera was green and lush, and traveling around you didn’t know what might be around the next bend, here you can stop on almost any road and breathe in a panorama of the most stunning colors I’ve ever seen. Perhaps it is the foreign-ness which appeals to me. After all, since the English Lake District was my second childhood home, forests are a familiar landscape.The only place I’ve seen earth tones this rich before is in limited spots in the other Canary Islands.

A closer view of those plains around Llanos de la Concepción. You have to wonder why on earth anyone would want to live here, despite its stark beauty, but it wasn't always this arid.

A closer view of those plains around Llanos de la Concepción. You have to wonder why on earth anyone would want to live here, despite its stark beauty, but it wasn’t always this arid.

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Here, much of the terrain in the north and central parts of the island is a vibrant, rusty-red which would be an interior designers dream.

The rusty, red earth is moulded by man into kind of craters as a hedge against soil erosion.

The rusty, red earth is moulded by man into kind of craters as a hedge against soil erosion.

Soil erosion is a chronic problem in Fuerteventura which has an average rainfall of something under 6 inches per year

Soil erosion is a chronic problem in Fuerteventura which has an average rainfall of something under 6 inches per year

Seen from a height, these chestnut-colored plains are interrupted by volcanic mounds, rounded smooth by the constant winds, so that they resemble more the softly undulating hills of home,  honed by the last Ice Age than the sharp peaks of the western Canary Islands. Their folds are brown or grey or purple, and the effect is like looking at a giant canvas which has been painted onto the landscape. The colors shift as the shadows of  high, white clouds move across the scene.

Volanic mounds rise, brown and purple from the earthy plain. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

volcanic mounds rise, brown and purple from the earthy plain. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Mount Tindaya, a place of mystery and history. See how the plain is criss-crossed with roads and pathways. Great for sightseeing whether you're driving or walking.

Mount Tindaya, a place of mystery and history. See how the plain is crisscrossed with roads and pathways. Great for sightseeing whether you’re driving or walking.

In other parts the almost colorless vistas are interrupted by fields of aloe vera, one of the few, remaining crops left. Aloe is tough, and thrives on the constant sunshine. It’s serendipitous how its colors blend into the countryside.

Fields of aloe vera around Juan Gopar in Fuerteventura

Fields of aloe vera around Juan Gopar in Fuerteventura

Aloe vera thrives on Fuerteventura's arid, sunny climat

Aloe vera thrives on Fuerteventura’s arid, sunny climate

There are, for sure, some places which are spookily inhospitable. The barrenness around Entallada, the part of the archipelago closest to Africa is scary. It is, however, a protected area, because it holds secrets to the origins of the island.

Area around Entallada on the east coast of Fuerteventura

Area around Entallada on the east coast of Fuerteventura

Yet, even the dead and the parched have beauty in what photographers call that golden hour before the sun begins to dip, when it casts a aureate spell over the landscape, making the ordinary glow briefly.

The parched lands around La Pared, at the "neck," the narrowest part of the island of Fuerteventura

The parched lands around La Pared, at the “neck,” the narrowest part of the island of Fuerteventura

Well, nowhere near bored as yet. It remains to be seen at the end of this journey which landscapes I miss the most, and whether other aspects of island life trump scenery as reasons to return.

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Author: IslandMomma

Loving island life and exploring the freedoms Third Age brings: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

8 thoughts on “Fuerteventura Landscapes: A Photo Essay

  1. Love the look of these landscapes but of course I am partial to the yellows and oranges found in the arid lands like parts of my Arizona. I have to wonder what it’s like to be bored. 😉

    • I love your last line :)))))

      I am quite desperate to see Arizona and the West of the US. I am sure that my love of these landscapes comes from all the movies I saw as a child! I really can’t believe I got to this age and still haven’t seen them!

  2. Oh I will be sure to do that!

  3. Very interesting! I had no idea the Canary Islands had a landscape that more resembles a moonscape in some places! Would love to come and experience the beaches firsthand, as I, too, aspire to be an island girl.

    • When you say, moonscape, Doreen, you should look at some of the pics of the Teide National Park in Tenerife! The words lunar landscape are often used to describe it. If you had the misfortune to see either of the “Titan” movies in recent years, they were filmed up there. There are so many contrasts on these islands, from these moonscapes to remnants of subtropical rainforest which once covered the entire Mediterranean area. Sorry to sound like an advert! They really are diverse, and each one is different. I have always imagined the Hawaiian Islands to be this way too. Would love to go to find out one day!

  4. So beautiful! I had no idea the landscape of the Canary Islands was like this. I’m amazed by how varied they are! Gorgeous shots!

    • Every island is SO different, Alison – even I’m surprised. La Gomera was greener than I expected, Fuerteventura is much more colorful, though there are some really stark and barren places too. I just love the variety!

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