The first tourist hotel was built here in 1965 followed by the construction of the airport at El Mattoral, heralding the dawn of a new era for the island. Fuerteventura, with its 3,000 sunshine hours a year, was placed firmly on the world stage as a major European holiday destination.
The summer Trade Winds and winter swells of the Atlantic make this a year-round surfers' paradise. Sailors, scuba divers and big game fishermen are all drawn to these clear blue Atlantic waters where whales, dolphins, marlin and turtles are all common sights.
Much of the interior, with its large plains, lavascapes and volcanic mountains, consists of protected areas which can be best be explored in a 4x4 or (for the more daring) with a cross-country motorbike.