Antigua, which means ‘old’ in Spanish, is one of the oldest towns in Fuerteventura and along with Betancuria was established by the conquerors Jean de Betencourt and Gadifer la Salle in 1404. The name was supposedly chosen because there was already a Maho (aboriginal) village here.
The municipality and town initially gained wealth from the growing and exporting of grains to the other Canary Islands (desertification has radically altered Fuerteventura since then). The areas of Pozo Negro and Caleta de Fuste on the east coast, saw the landing and shipping of goods for Betancuria along with the export of grain.
Most of the village, along with its small chapel, was destroyed during the pirate attack of Xabán Arráez in 1593 (the main attack focused on Betancuria, the capital of Fuerteventura at the time). By the early 17th Century, a new and larger church, the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua, had replaced the destroyed chapel. The bell tower that now adorns the church was added later, in the 18th Century.
Centro de Artesania Molino de Antigua
Head on over to the Centro de Artesania Molino just outside of town. This makes for a great day trip away from the beaches, with a lovely drive into the interior of the island. The Museum is based around a restored windmill and farmhouses and offers visitors the chance to see the inner workings of a windmill. Within the grounds is also a goat cheese museum with lots of information on goat herding as well as a beautifully-designed cactus garden, artisan craft shop and cafe.
Tuesday to Saturday 10am till 6pm