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  • Writer's pictureDon Roberto´s Finca Paraíso

El Cotillo - the original town in the north of Fuerteventura

Updated: 5 days ago

If you are in the north of Fuerteventura, a visit to the west coast in the village "El Cotillo" is obligatory. The guidebooks also list here from their point of view important visitor points, but if you follow as a vacationer exclusively these, it can be obvious to be disappointed.

But why do we dedicate a separate entry and thus our time to this place?

It is quite simple to explain, El Cotillo has grown but the atmosphere of this place has not changed: quiet, sleepy, simple!

Here you will not find pool landscapes or man-made palm avenues, on the contrary, the townscape is characterized by partly beautiful, restored buildings and then again by run-down houses - genuine life, how the real island life is. The hard life under the sun is cut into the faces of the people, but nevertheless: they are friendly, happy and live according to the motto "it will be alright".

El Cotillo is also known as a fishing village, because fishing was the main income of the place for a long time. Before fishing, El Cotillo had an important commercial port, founded by the Norman conquerors around 1402. El Cotillo, it is said, has therefore the oldest port of Fuerteventura. At this point it must be mentioned that the bay of Pozo Negro is the first cartographically designated port of the island, already in 1423 the port of Pozo Negro appeared in the map series.

Die Normannen legten zuerst im heutigen „El Roque“ an und nannten El Cotillo zur damaligen Zeit „Puerto de Richerque“. Später wurde der Name ins spanische abgeleitet in „Puerto de El Roque“ und ca. 1626 erhielt El Cotillo den Namen „Puerto de Tostón“.

For a long time the harbor in El Cotillo was the most important commercial port of the island. It was difficult to approach because the shipping channel was very narrow and at the same time it had a strong current. The former commercial port is now called the "new port", well actually this port was first on site. It is located at the tourist sightseeing point of the fortified tower "Torre de El Tostón" (built in 1743 to protect against pirates). Perhaps the name "new harbor" came about because the pier was built in the 1980s (but this is only pure conjecture). About 10 years later, the port was completely destroyed by a storm surge and the pier was built higher.

The mentioned "old port" is therefore the younger port, it served as a fishing port and was called "El Muellito de los Pescadores" (the small pier of the fishermen). Boats other than fishing boats had no chance at all to enter the harbor, because it had hardly any draught. Until the beginning of 2000 you could still see the fishing boats there, but nowadays all the fishing boats have migrated to the commercial harbor.

The decline of El Cotillo's commercial port began around 1997 with the increasingly powerful port in Puerto del Rosario (at that time the current capital was still called "Puerto de Cabras"). Finally, in 1805 El Cotillo was visited for the last time by a merchant ship. In the 20th century the coastal village got its present name "El Cotillo". What this name really means, we can only guess. Translated "Cotilla" means the gossip, if you talk to the inhabitants of the village they confirm that the "village gossip" is constantly in full swing and becomes more and more dramatic by being passed on... the name is therefore appropriate :)

But why should you visit the small village now?

Well, on the one hand because of the beaches, which are NEVER full even in the busy summer months, because the west coast has a lot of space and on the other hand because of the gorgeous sunset.

Normally the west coast of Fuerteventura is known for being rough and not for bathing fun, El Cotillo is a place where bathing is also a pleasure - at least in the summer months.

The water sports enthusiasts (kite and windsurfers) are also found in El Cotillo due to the northern trade winds. Accordingly, in the place is always a pleasant breeze.

El Cotillo also has quiet coves, such as the beach "La Concha", this is perfect for a day of swimming - but here do not forget the sun protection, because there is no natural protection for the sun.

You have enjoyed the beach and still want to experience a little culture, then we recommend a visit to the lighthouse "Faro de Tostón", which was built in 1891. In the lighthouse a small fishing museum was built, this brings you the important time for El Cotillo, the fishing, closer.

In the evening it is almost a MUST to watch the sunset. Numerous restaurants and bars are located by the sea, so that the sunset can be enjoyed with a delicious cocktail or meal.

We wish you a lot of fun while discovering the special place El Cotillo.

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