A jagged shard of rock sitting o the north coast of Africa, Fuerteventura's volcanic terrain and sun-baked, windswept beaches have more in common with its nearby continental neighbours than metropolitan Madrid. Culturally Spanish - in its laissez-faire attitude and love of tapas - but geographically Saharan, this is the barefoot, bohemian sister to tamer Tenerife.
The island has a raw, primordial energy. The first of its volcanic siblings to erupt from the Atlantic Ocean some 20 million years ago, it's all powder-soft beaches, bleached, ochre mountains and emerald waves, with an indigenous culture deeply rooted in these landscapes.
The dramatic topography has served the isle well, saving it from the free-for-all development of sunshine tourism. While the Club Tropicana crowds flooded Lanzarote, Fuerteventura remained one of Europe's last corners of wilderness; a sparsely populated splinter, anchored in powerful currents that lured only the most intrepid, adrenaline-hunting surfers.
Now, however, the winds are changing. Enticed by year- round surfing, growing numbers of nomadic drifters are nabbing desks at new co-working joints. Artists, afloat from the oversubscribed Balearics, have been enticed by the low-fi infrastructure and otherworldly views. Blessed with 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and a characteristically fresh breeze, the "Hawaii of Europe" really should be explored now, before your sur oard runs the risk of getting bu eted by wave-chasing crowds.
Days on the island can be split into compass directions: head north to clamber Parque Natural de Corralejo's precipitous sand dunes and lap up surf vibes in El Cotillo and Corralejo. Wind through the serrated, volcanic cones and brooding black mountains down south to find kiteboard-friendly sandy isthmus on the Peninsula de Jandía. In the west, it's all deserted coastal stretches and barren, cocoa-coloured plains. Hikers should keep their eyes open for the spellbinding sapphire-blue rock pools that are big enough to swim in.
When night falls, Fuerteventura flirts with its elemental origins. One of Europe's few Unesco-designated Starlight Reserves, its celestial offering is hypnotic and up-close encounters with the Milky Way are common. Pocket our #ThisIsLivingGuide, in partnership with Corona, light a beach campfire, kick back and sip your cold Corona beneath the stars before everyone else catches on.
Hotel Rural Mahoh
Sito de Juan Bello, 35640 Villaverde
Alma Calma Hotel Rural
Calle Juan Méndez 11, 35649 Tindaya