So, you’re on the hunt for Fuerteventura’s best snorkeling spots? Great. The good news is that this member of the Canary chain is widely considered to be one of the most blessed on the beach front. It’s famed for its gleaming, white-sand runs and its crystal clear waters. Sounds just about right for those with the bubble pipe and the goggles in tow, no?
You bet. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that Fuerteventura excels in the snorkeling category. It’s got all sorts on the menu, from sandy beaches that are accessible to even beginner paddlers to more hardcore bays where you can see rugged underwater rock formations and other unusual features.
This guide to Fuerteventura’s best snorkeling runs through just seven locations on the island that we think you should have on the radar if you’re keen to dive under during your Canarian adventure this year. It ranges from the popular southeastern resort towns all the way to the wave-lashed shores of the north coast, a region usually reserved for the surfers and boogie boarders. Let’s go…
La Concha is named so because it forms the shape of a seashell as it curves around the edge of El Cotillo town on the northwestern coast of the island. It’s strange because this part of Fuerteventura is more famous for its frothing surf breaks than its calm sands. However, this is one sheltered bay that bucks that trend, making it a doozy for swimmers and snorkelers.
The entry couldn’t be easier. Simply stroll through the town and down the softly sloping sand into the water. It’s warm and usually still, since there are long arms of volcanic black rock reaching out to the north and south to chop down the swell. A reef on the north side is wider and shallower, making it perfect for seeking out small fish. To the south, there’s a sliver of submerged stone that’s bursting with creatures like urchins.
The great thing about La Concha is that it’s actually just one beach of about five that front El Cotillo. Each of them could lay claim to a place on this list of Fuerteventura’s best snorkeling spots, which means you’ve got plenty more to get through once you’re finished in this pint-sized inlet.
Corralejo Grandes Playas
There’s no question that the long run of uninterrupted powder that skirts south from Corralejo town deserves a place on this list of Fuerteventura best snorkeling. The area clocks up something like five miles of shoreline, which is now part of a protected reserve and is nothing short of stunning – think wild desert dunes that drop straight into a turquoise Atlantic Ocean.
Knowing what part of the Grandes Playas to go is key, though. Some sections are open to the full brunt of the swell, which can get pretty frothing in the summer months when the easterly winds cross over from the Sahara and Africa. That’s not good for snorkels!
We especially like the quiet run by Playa del Dormidero. The northern side of the beach there has a string of reef that’s often not too churned up by the oncoming waves. Playa del Pozo is another sure bet. It’s super near the main town but has good shelter thanks to the Punta de Tivas reefs, also to the north.
Granted, little Lobos isn’t actually a part of Fuerteventura itself but it’s less than two miles off the coast of the Corralejo ports so it’s eminently accessible from this Canary. It’s also a sublime place to go with the snorkel in tow, especially since the western coast faces the heavily protected strait between the two islands.
We’d recommend starting at Playa de la Concha Lobos. It’s a huge bay that cuts inland on the south side of the island. There’s enough land protection to ensure that waves basically never make it into the inside. That translates to calm, see-through snorkeling waters that draw schools of small sardines and whatnot.
The next draw should be Playa de la Arena on the eastern side of Lobos. That’s a wilder place that will need small swells to give good snorkel conditions. However, the payoff for waiting is a series of little mounds of volcanic rock that peak just above the surface of the Atlantic, coming fringed by rocks that hide urchins and eels.
The southern resort of Morro Jable is now firmly established as one of the go-to family escapes of Fuerteventura – especially, for some reason, among German travelers. It’s got all the right ingredients for that: A chilled promenade that sprouts palm trees, some enticing international eateries, plenty of affordable hotels, and – of course – a long, long beachfront.
The latter is likely to be the focus if you’re keen to pull on the snorkeling gear. Head straight for the Great Sandstrand that dashes eastwards from the marina wall. It’s nearly two miles long and has sand-bottomed snorkeling that’s good for beginners when the waves are small the whole way.
Out west it will merge with Playa Jandia at the point. That’s where it bends a little northward and picks up some more swell, meaning the snorkeling can suffer a touch. Better choices are to the west of the town, between the sea caves and rock-ribbed cliffs of Playa de las Coloradas and Playa de La Señora, though you’ll need to walk a little to get to them from the nearest parking.
Hotels of all shapes and sizes line the edges of the now-vibrant Costa Calma region of southeastern Fuerte. They’ve helped the town become one of the major vacay spots on the island. Well…the hotels plus the uber-long, uninterrupted stretch of golden sand and teal-tinged sea that whips right in front of the resort.
That’s prime snorkel territory. You can wander straight out from the gardens of your accommodation or coast villa, paddle something like 20 meters, and instantly be surrounded by groups of colorful fish. The whole thing has a sand bottom and rarely gets too much ocean swell, which means visibility is good and access is easy.
To escape the crowds, we’d recommend hopping in the rental car and whizzing just a touch further south from Costa Calma. Cue the beginning of the Sotavento beaches. These are long wisps of white sand and turquoise lagoons that are okay for snorkeling but better for finding total seclusion.
Caleta de Fuste
There’s one reason why the much-loved resort of Caleta de Fuste makes it onto this list of Fuerteventura best snorkeling spots: Playa del Castillo. It’s the beach that anchors the whole town, opening behind a wide headland to point south over the island’s reef-lined east coast and the open Atlantic.
The orientation means that Playa del Castillo is kind of immune to the main east and west swells that gift other parts of the Canaries with their world-class surf. Not so great if you’ve brought the board in tow; fantastic if you’re keen to snorkel. And it’s true – the visibility in Castillo is second to none, offering swimmers the chance to spot all manner of marine life.
The best part of the bay for snorkelers is along the southern side. That takes you far away from the boat traffic that goes in and out of the main Caleta de Fuste marina. Oh, and it’s also worth having the protected hotel beaches of La Guirra on the radar, too, since they have excellent shelter from manmade spits and jetties and are just a walk away from Fuste proper.
Majanicho is a rare north-coast pick for snorkeling in Fuerteventura. See, this side of the island isn’t only way more rugged than its sand-rimmed compadres in the south, it’s also less accessible because you often need to drive dusty 4X4 tracks to get in.
The bijou harbor of Majanicho sits roughly midway along the northern shore. It’s little more than a couple of cottages and stoop tavernas right by the edge of the ocean. But it’s the multi-pronged bay that makes it a good option for those looking to spot underwater animals, since you get three or four rocky locations that are a magnet for fish of all shapes and sizes.
We would say that Majanicho and the north coast more generally tend to be better for experienced snorkelers who can handle small rips and shifty currents. The area is also rockier and less forgiving than the main beaches, with urchins and other hazards to keep watch for.
Fuerteventura best snorkeling – our conclusion
There’s a whole range of enticing Fuerteventura best snorkeling spots. They go from the popular Grandes Playas of the northeastern coastline to the rugged bays of Lobos Island, just a little across the strait. Most are good thanks to the unique mix of clear water, volcanic geology, and white sand that combine to make this member of the Canary chain such a doozy for beach lovers. They offer chances to spot small fish, sardine schools, and all manner of rockpool life, along with even bigger species like groupers if you’re brave enough to head out deeper.