The Colourful History Of Fuerteventura

The Colourful History Of Fuerteventura

It may surprise some of the most frequent tourists but the island of Fuerteventura is actually thought to be the oldest island in the Canaries. Below we take a closer look at Fuerteventura’s colourful history and how you might discover it on your next trip to the island.

When you mention Fuerteventura, most people think of wonderfully sandy beaches and lots of glorious sunshine. You may be surprised to hear that there is actually a lot more to Fuerteventura. Not only is Fuerteventura the closest Canary Island to the African coast, allowing it to bask in almost year-round sunshine but it’s also believed to be the oldest Canary island.

Historians have traced the first settlers on the island back to 200BC. There is a certain amount of mystery surrounding their exact origins but most historians agree that they were probably of African, possibly Egyptian descent. These first inhabitants were thought to use shoes made of goatskin. In fact, islanders today still refer to themselves as Mahorero or Maho which is thought to come from an ancient word which relates to this goatskin.

Excavation of caves on the island has revealed tools and pottery used in the everyday lives of these settlers. This evidence points to very primitive people who were pastoral and certainly had not yet discovered the wheel. This basic form of life continued to exist until around the beginning of the 15th Century when the Canaries were invaded by the Spanish. Despite an attempted island uprising, the Spanish were successful in the invasion of Fuerteventura and continues to be a Spanish island to this day.

Little really changed on this island over the centuries since the Spanish invasion until tourism hit about 20 years ago. Even now, Fuerteventura is not as developed as the other Canary Islands of Tenerife and Lanzarote and for those who do visit, it is this tranquillity which remains a large part of its charm and appeal. Fuerteventura provides holidaymakers with the chance to take in the wonderful scenery and explore the colourful history which is attached to it.