Since the small town of Caleta de Fuste on the island of Fuerteventura was first developed as a tourist destination, families have been drawn here by its wide, flat beaches, calm, clear, shallow waters and entertaining local wildlife. The fact that all this safe, inviting fun is just seven kilometres from the airport on one of Spain’s most popular Canary Islands is a major bonus when travelling with young children. (As a parent coming off a four-hour flight with two little ones in tow, I found it extremely satisfying to be able to answer the inevitable ‘are we nearly there?’ with a truthful yes!)
Courting the family market, the resort does its best to ensure that child-friendly menus are available in the many restaurants. My kids loved the fact that they could enjoy familiar foods like hamburgers, chicken nuggets and pizzas, while my partner and I sought out some more traditional Canarian cuisine. There are also a good range of playgrounds scattered around the town (a particularly good one is found close to the roundabout with the fountain), and much of the accommodation is designed with families in mind.
In fact, because Caleta de Fuste was literally created by the local council for tourists, the whole resort is incredibly easy to navigate. The long promenade is the focal point of the town and is lined with the usual beach bars, cafés and restaurants. Other than that, there is no real ‘centre’ as such; instead each area has its own cluster of bars, restaurants and shops so that all visitors have somewhere to go which is close to their accommodation.
Sea, Sand and Sun
Of course, the main draw here is the three sandy beaches. Surprisingly, these beaches aren’t actually a natural part of the landscape – they were literally built by the authorities with sand shipped in from elsewhere. The benefit of this is that they have been specifically designed to be protected from wind and currents. The result is an almost swimming pool tranquillity which means that parents can relax and let children play in the water without constant concerns about tides, waves and currents.
Swimming with the Fishes
Despite the fact that the area is man made, it hasn’t stopped the local marine life calling it home, and one of the things my kids loved was paddling in the water and watching the local fish swim around their toes. Fishing is a big pastime here and, if your kids are old enough, is a great way to bring new interest to a day by the sea. For younger kids there are a number of rock pools at either end of the main beach which can be fascinating for young naturists to explore.
From Mini Golf to Little Red Trains
While the beach is obviously the main draw, if your kids are anything like mine, they can get bored of endless days on the sand. There are a range of other activities available in the resort to keep them entertained.
There is more than one mini golf course in Caleta de Fuste and they are such good fun it’s worth checking them all out. We found the best time to play was the early evening when it’s not so hot – it’s a great way to work up an appetite before dinner.
The Red Train
The Red Train is a fun way to get around the resort which the kids will love. Board the Red Train and it will take you on a tour of Caleta de Fuste, or simply drop you off where you want to go. It’s a great way of transporting younger children when it’s simply too hot for them to walk too far.
Any child who’s watched any of the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies will love the opportunity to meet the real life creatures up close. Wild chipmunks can be found on the path up to Nuevo Horizonte and (appropriately enough) on Chipmunk Mountain. Take some nuts with you and they’ll be eating out of your hands in no time.
Based on the water close to the marina, the Oceanarium Explorer in Caleta is a great place to spend the day. Not only can you and your family swim with the tame sea lions, (or if you’re not quite brave enough for that you can buy a bag of food to feed them, which my kids preferred). If your little ones really love the sea then the submarine trip is a must, or perhaps just a few hours spent playing around in the water on the giant inflatable obstacle course. There’s so much to do here you might want to come back before your flight home.
If you don’t mind travelling a little further afield then take the hour’s drive down to La Lajita to visit Fuerteventura’s only zoo. There are tons of animals to discover so if your kids are animal lovers it’s well worth the day trip.
How to Get to Caleta de Fuste
As I’ve said the resort is thankfully close to Fuerteventura Airport, with transfer times of around 30 minutes. Flights to Fuerteventura are many and regular and are offered by a great range of budget and standard airlines, which means that keeping travel costs down is relatively easy. Another great idea if you’re travelling on a budget with kids is to book your airport transfer before you leave home. Book online with Shuttle Direct and, if you let them know what kids seats you’ll need in advance, a driver will meet you at the airport with all the appropriate safety seats in place.
Where to Stay
Barceló Castillo Beach Resort – The stylish, family-friendly Barceló Castillo Beach Resort has everything you’ll need for a relaxing family holiday. Set just two minutes from the beach, the resort has three swimming pools, a spa, mini golf, tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts and football pitches. There’s also a kids club and evening entertainment in the resort’s own theatre.
Barceló Castillo Royal Level – A little more exclusive, but sharing the same facilities as the Barceló Castillo Beach Resort above, is the Barceló Castillo Royal Level.
Broncemar Beach – Designed as a small village with accommodation set around a pretty square with shops, bars and restaurants, the Broncemar Beach aparthotel is a great self-catering option with the flexibility to eat out when you want to.
About Shuttle Direct
Booking your own airport transfer is a great way of keeping costs down and with Shuttle Direct you can choose from economic private car transfers with a driver, or group shared transfers to the resort. Shuttle Direct is one of Europe and North Africa’s leading airport transfer provider, offering a service you can trust to transport your family safely to your holiday destination.