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Cotillo

Chablis

El Cotillo

Pronounced 'El Coateeyo' this small rustic little fishing village is dedicated to the virgin of good travel (Virgin de Buen Viaje) these words can be seen painted on the cliffs in the old harbour.

Situated on the northwest corner of Fuerteventura, Cotillo is a peaceful place but it offers some good restaurants, bars, a few shops and more recently, lots of new accommodation.

Like it or not, El Cotillo looks set to become the newest tourist resort on the island. The main reason for this has to be the fantastic beaches and lagoons that lie to the south of this little harbor town.

If you turn left as you head into Cotillo you head towards the cliffs.

From here there are several footpaths that lead down to the Playa del Castillo, one of the nicest beaches in this region.

Further to the south are the beaches of Playa del Ajibe de la Cueva and the Playa del Aguila, both wild and remote.

Here you'll find nothing but steely blue sky, dark blue ocean with white foam, and fine white sand.

This is truly the surfing and windsurfing Mecca of the island.

During the winter time the swell can be so huge that on very rare occasions the waves break over the new harbour wall.

These monster waves have even been known to sink some of the small fishing boats that are moored there. Many experienced surfers head to the beaches of El Cotillo and those between El Cotillo and Corralejo because of these conditions.

The best advice here is to only enter the water if the waves are reasonably gentle-looking. This is normally during the summer months. If it's windy, (a lot of the time it is!) there are several nice places for sheltered sunbathing between the lava stones.

The area along the cliff tops is really only suited for four-wheel-drive vehicles which can easily travel along the rough roads.

If you've hired a normal car you'd be best to turn right in the town and head towards the lagoons.

Most of these superb white beaches with crystal clear lagoons have pedestrian access.

Unless you are going to eat at one of the superb fish restaurants in town, don't forget to bring food along with you and of course, plenty of drinking water.

The sun is very fierce so it is recommended that you take a parasol or some other form of shade with you if you plan to stay for the whole day.

On the cliffs near to the town center, south of the harbor and overlooking the sea, is the Fortaleza del Tostón.

This round shaped fort was built in the late 1790's to defend against invading pirates.

The old harbor, with its small bars and restaurants, is the most picturesque part of town and it is here you'll find most of the bars and restaurants.

Just to the north of the Cotillo Lagoons is the Faro - lighthouse.

Thanks to Jo Hammer for permission to use most of the photos above.