Golf Travel expert Mary McDowall and her husband took a trip to Fuerteventura to escape the wet British winter. Here's her thoughts on a golf trip a little further afield during the winter months.

Golf in Winter can be tricky in Europe - the weather isn't quite good enough to offer what most golfers want: warmth, run on the fairways and a few post-round cervezas in the sun. So you need to travel a little further. Obvious choices are the Canaries, Cyprus or North Africa if you want a maximum four hour flight.

The Canaries are a popular Winter destination for golfers, particularly Tenerife and Gran Canaria, but can be expensive. So what about Fuerteventura - the lesser-known Canary?

Well, for a sunny, relaxing mid-winter golf break on a decent course that won’t break the bank it ticks the boxes - here's my lowdown.

Fuerteventura - The Island

Fuerteventura is without a doubt the most barren of the Canaries, with miles and miles of unspoilt wilderness. When you look out of the plane as you approach, it really does look like you are landing on Mars. However, it has also got some amazing beaches with real stunners at Morro Jable in the south and Corralejo in the north of the island.

If you're playing golf, you'll stay in Caleta de Fuste on the East Coast. The beach here isn't as spectacular, but it’s still pretty good. There's also a glitzy harbour and waterfront, and plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to mooch around.

Fuerteventura - The golf courses

There are actually three golf courses on the island, with the star of the show being Fuerteventura Golf Course. The other two, Salinas Golf Course and Jandia Golf Course are decent, but don’t really compare in terms of quality and condition.

So why do I rate Fuerteventura Golf Course so highly? Here are my 7 top reasons:

  • A good layout, with plenty of variety of holes
  • Course maintained in excellent condition
  • Length fair for both men and women
  • 4-4.5 hour rounds!
  • Easily walkable (until the 17th!)
  • Excellent practice area and free range balls/trolley inc in the green fee

The price! It is one of the cheapest deals on the Canaries and definitely great value.

Ok, so it's not going to be for the big hitters. It’s a relatively short course, but the tees are fair for both sexes and for once, as a woman, I wasn't only using my woods around the course. And even better, no drivers on par 3s! There's a good variety of holes, with water and sand (lots of it!) coming into play frequently.

It’s a relatively flat course, EXCEPT for the last 2 holes, which go up, and then down quite a steep slope. It comes as quite a shock at that stage in your round, but if you've managed to walk that far, I’m sure you'll manage it! Otherwise, a buggy is your best bet.

On the package we booked, we got a bucket of balls and a push trolley included each day. There's a good driving range and also a short game practice area you can use. So for once I actually did some serious practice before the round...and it definitely helped!

TOP TIP - Fuerteventura means Strong Wind - take note! Most days are at least breezy on the island, and from our experience, this seems to pick up in the afternoons. So if you want to avoid the wind, try to book early tee times.

Fuerteventura - Where to Stay

There are three hotels that offer golf packages close to the course:

Elba Palace Golf & Vital Hotel *****

  • Small, luxury boutique with a chilled, relaxed vibe
  • Golf course on site – you can watch the golf over breakfast!

Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort *****

  • Huge rooms with sea facing balconies
  • Fabulous swimming pool – heated in winter
  • 20 minute stroll into Caleta de Fuste

Elba Sara Golf & Beach Resort **** 

  • Lively beach hotel, newly refurbished
  • Offers ‘included drinks’ packages so good value for groups
  • 30 min walk into Caleta de Fuste/Golf shuttle to course

Find out more about Elba Sara Golf & Beach Resort - click here.

What else is there to do on Fuerteventura

Apart from hiring a car and exploring the island, here are five suggestions of things to do locally around Caleta de Fuste:

Chillout on the Beach

There's a wide expanse of golden sand on El Cotillo Beach. It’s sheltered so swimming is safe and there's even a resident camel if you fancy a ride!

Browse the Markets

There are two weekly markets for those that enjoy some bargain hunting in the sun:
Montecastillo - street market - Tuesdays and Saturdays 10.00-14.00
Town Square - craft market - Friday 18.00-22.00

Take a Dip in a Rock Pool

Just north of Caleta de Fuste is a stunning ‘Piscina Natural’ – a natural rock pool. The water is an amazing emerald green and the pool is bordered by dark volcanic pillars.  Definitely one for the Instagram feed, but make sure you visit at low tide and wear suitable footwear.

Coastal Walk to the Salt Museum

Take an hour's stroll along the promenade heading south out of Caleta de Fuste and you will reach Las Salinas del Carmen. Here there's a fascinating small museum where you can learn how salt is extracted from the seawater. Plus an excellent restaurant, Los Caracolitas, which sits right on the beach. Enjoy a leisurely lunch and then walk it off on your way back.

Swim with Sealions

If you're looking for something a bit different, visit the Oceanarium Explorer aquatic centre in the resort. There's a wide range of sea-based activities to try, including snorkelling, whale watching, plus one for the bucket-list, swimming with sea lions!

The thought of another Winter like this one, trudging up and down waterlogged fairways is not good, I recommend you plan ahead and book now!

About the Author - Mary McDowall

Mary McDowall

I have worked in the golf travel industry for over 20 years, previously Tour Leading golf holidays for Solos Holidays and then as a Product Manager responsible for putting the golf trips together. I have been lucky enough to travel extensively across the fairways of Europe & beyond.

I am a member of Mill Hill Golf Club in England, and Borth & Ynyslas Golf Club in Wales, currently playing off 13.1 but dreaming of returning to single figures one day!

Mary McDowall - LinkedIn

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