Little El Cotillo is a relaxed and charming resort on the northern tip of the beautiful island of Fuerteventura. Its spectacular beaches, among them a mecca for kite surfing and other water sports, are among the best on the island, but there are lots of delightful little coves to explore nearby. This former fishing village has preserved plenty of authentic charm, and has a fishing port where you can watch the fishermen bring in their catch, plus a clutch of great places to eat, drink and shop. If you’re looking for some bright lights and a wider range of nightlife, the lively resort of Corralejo is just 20 minutes away by car.
Most popular hotels in El Cotillo
Cotillo Beach Hotel
El Cotillo, Fuerteventura
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 4h 20m
When to go
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El Cotillo is a charming fishing village that has developed into a small and appealing resort. It has plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, but the magnificent beaches are undoubtedly the biggest attraction. There are beaches to suit everyone, whether you’re travelling with young kids and want shallow waters and fine sand, or are looking for the adrenaline rush of kite-surfing and surfing. If you want more seclusion, you can head to one of the wonderfully unspoilt bays, dramatically fringed with dark, volcanic rocks, which are located on the outskirts of the town. You can watch the fishermen unload their catch on the docks, climb to the top of the old watchtower for wonderful views, or head into nearby Corralejo for some shopping and nightlife.
You’ll find a good choice of places to eat and drink in El Cotillo, including plenty of options for tucking into the delicious local cuisine. This has been influenced by different cultures over the centuries, from the indigenous Guanches to exotic foods brought back by explorers from the Americas. You’ll find plenty of wonderfully fresh fish – so fresh, in fact, you can actually watch the day’s catch being unloaded on the docks. The tasty Canarian favourite, papas arrugudas (‘wrinkly potatoes’) are found on most menus, and are served with the famous mojo sauce: go for the red one if you like things spicy, or the green one if you prefer the delicate flavour of herbs. Don’t miss out on the island's celebrated goat cheese, queso Majorero, which is a delicious local delicacy. For dessert, why not try gofío mousse, made with a grain used by the Guanches that is still a staple ingredient in the Canary Islands.
There are some wonderful, family-friendly beaches just to the north of El Cotillo. These include the La Concha beach, which is the most popular thanks to its fine sands and sheltered waters. It’s ideal for swimming and snorkelling, and is shallow enough for even the youngest kids. There’s a good bar and restaurant located on the beach which is relaxed and great for families. Kids might also enjoy climbing the old watchtower on the Piedra Playa beach, and older kids and teenagers will be thrilled by the opportunities for surfing and kite-surfing.
Action & Adventure
El Cotillo is one of the main kite-surfing and surfing destinations in Fuerteventura. The fabulous 2-kilometre-long Piedra Playa is the main surfing beach (in fact, it’s locally known as ‘Surf Beach’), and appeals to surfers and kite-surfers of all levels. There are several surf schools and local suppliers where you can rent equipment in the area. You could also go snorkelling at the Playa de Las Conchas, where the reefs ensure that the beach is sheltered from the breaks. Or even go horse-riding or rent a bike to explore this gorgeous stretch of coast. There are boat tours out to the Isla de los Lobos (‘Wolf Island’), which is a protected nature reserve, from Corralejo, and you can explore the famous white dunes near Corralejo.
El Cotillo is surrounded by fabulous beaches, which are some of the best on the island. The Piedra Playa stretches for 2 kilometres south of the town, and is a mecca for surfing and kite-surfing. To the north are the La Concha and Los Lagos beaches, which are sheltered by a reef and feature shallow waters that are ideal for families with young children – or just for basking in the gorgeous sunshine. None of the beaches have many facilities, so remember to bring a parasol, plenty of water and a picnic. You could also explore the secluded coves that dot the coast around the town and provide a wonderful respite from the crowds.
El Cotillo is a laid-back little resort, and the nightlife reflects its quiet, relaxed vibe. Don’t go looking for big bars and clubs – for that you’d have to go to Corralejo, the nearest big resort. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés in El Cotillo, many with outdoor terraces where you can linger over a drink or two on balmy summer evenings. One of the nicest places to enjoy an evening cocktail is by the port, where some of the bars have tables out by the water. A couple of bars put on live music or other events during the high season. If you’re visiting during the August festival, you’ll be able to join in the street parties.
El Cotillo is a pretty little fishing village, which oozes laid-back island charm. Its beaches are truly breathtaking – endless sweeps of golden sand. There are lots of delightful little bars and cafés and some excellent restaurants. Perfect, in other words, for romance! You can bask in the sunshine on the stunning beaches, perhaps have a go at kite-surfing or surfing, ride horses along the strands at sunset, or take a sailing trip along the gorgeous coastline. And, if you’re looking for a bit more nightlife, you can always hop in a taxi to nearby Correlejo, just 20 minutes away by taxi.
The narrow streets of the traditional old heart of El Cotillo are a delight to explore on foot. There is a charming little museum dedicated to fishing that is worth a visit, and you can also climb the watch tower, El Tostón, which is one of the town’s most prominent landmarks. It dates back to the 15th century (although most of what you see today was built in the 17th century) and was used to guard against pirates. There are wonderful views over the town and the Piedra Playa beach from the top of the tower.