With minimal rainfall and superb temperatures (usually no lower than 17°C), Fuerteventura is a year-round destination for cyclists, with many top teams using the island for winter training. And while there may not be the extreme climbs of Gran Canaria or Tenerife, the roads that cross the mountain ranges through Betancuria, Pajara or El Cardon are difficult and require a high level of fitness.
Fuerteventura has the largest desert and semi-desert areas in Europe. This makes for some pretty dramatic scenery, but also, as you would imagine, some tough dry conditions with summer temperatures hitting 30°C almost daily. Ensure you come prepared with plenty of water as some routes take you through pretty inhospitable terrain. Thanks to the trade winds, it can get very windy in Fuerteventura, though its cooling effect is often welcome. Watch out for Calima too – this is the dust laden wind carried over from the Sahara and it is not recommended to cycle when the dust is particularly heavy.
There is a lot less traffic on Fuerteventura’s roads compared to other cycling destinations in the Canaries and the local government, keen to attract cycling tourism, has been promoting safety and awareness of cyclists among local motorists. Inland routes tend to be favoured, as they are much quieter than the main coastal roads where there are more tourists, lorries and coaches. Asphalt roads are very well-maintained in Fuerteventura with many UK riders commenting on the high quality of the roads here.
The sports resort of Las Playitas, just outside Gran Tarajal, is a big draw for sports enthusiasts. The resort is used as a training camp by triathletes, runners, cyclists, golfers and many other professional and semi-pro sports people. The rather fast-moving pelatons that you come across in the South of the island are often from Las Playitas and are in training.
Since 2007 a biking marathon called FudeNaS (Fuerteventura de Norte a Sur) takes place once a year in October. This challenging ride was devised for Military personnel but is also open to the public. The route runs from Corralejo to Morro Jable. Many complete it in one day, with others choosing to complete the island-long journey in two days.