Officially it’s part of Spain, but the Canary island of Fuerteventura lies just 52 nautical miles off Africa. The result? Lots of sunshine. Throw in defunct volcanoes, barren beauty and miles of empty coastline and it's a fascinating year-round destination. There are plenty of golden beaches, of course, but Fuerteventura’s real cool factor comes from its unique black sand. Here’s where to find it.
Monumento Natural de Ajuy
Jet-black sand, technicolour blue sea and the swirling greys and mustards of ancient sedimentary rocks makes Monumento Natural one of the most photogenic spots on the island. Chuck on some sturdy shoes and follow the coastal trail from the beach to the sea caves and the sea below.
After that coastal walk there’s no better way to cool off than a dip in the sea at Ajuy Beach. The black-sand cove exists due to the erosion of volcanic rock, and is a great place to soak up some rays before grabbing dinner in one of the nearby restaurants.
Gran Tarajal Beach
This 800m-long stretch of black-sand beach lapped by calm sea is a local favourite and perfect for families. Bring your parasol and build castles on the sand, stroll along the promenade, and grab an inexpensive coffee at one of the little cafés that line the sea front.
Located on the east coast of the island is this small curve of black sand, where sunbathers and surfers happily share the water. Rent a surfboard or body board from the little kiosk, swim in the sea or just plough through your book while lazing on the shore.