Some of Fuerteventura's towering sand dunes have blown across the sea from the Sahara Desert, 96 km (60 miles) away, and indeed it's not hard to imagine Fuerteventura as a detached piece of Africa. Despite being the second-largest Canary Island by area, Fuerteventura’s population only runs to 106,500. Tourism arrived relatively late on the island, compared to Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, and it’s still a minor tourist destination. Visitors come mainly to enjoy the stunning white beaches and to windsurf. The two main resort areas are at the island's far north and south ends. Corralejo, across from Lanzarote, is known for its sand dunes, many miles of which are protected and pristine. The Jandía peninsula on the southern part of the island has dozens of beaches, several of which are very long. Fuerteventura didn’t entirely escape the Spanish building craze that went from 2002 to 2007, but it remains a relatively unspoiled island, with miles of virgin coastline.

Like Lanzarote, Fuerteventura is often windy, especially during the summer, when the northeast trade winds blow hard for days at a time. It’s also one of the hottest islands in the summer, and its winters are warm and very dry.

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