Fuerteventura is recognized by the International Geological Union as one of the world’s top 150 places of greatest interest in this field. Here, visitors can enjoy a paradise coastline, but also interesting beaches that were fossilized millions of years ago.
Fuerteventura hides a big secret in each one of its beaches, cliffs, volcanoes and mountains. Besides the sun and the beach, this island allows us to visit and observe at a glance the oldest rocks in The Canary Islands, formed in the Jurassic, as well as recompose much more recent volcanic episodes.
Let’s see some examples of geological phenomena that any visitor, tourist or resident can visit and easily understand without being an expert in the field.
Paradise and fossil beaches
Any of the wonderful beaches and dunes of the island is a geological phenomenon in itself. Its sand is clean and leaves no remains, but why? Because it has an organic origin, that is, it is made up by millions of fragments of marine organisms’ shells that came ashore from the ocean floor dragged by the current and then, with the wind and the waves, formed amazing beaches and dunes like those of Corralejo and Jandía.
This process has often happened in the past. On the cliffs of the western coast, ancient beaches and fossilized dunes appeared, formed in the last five million years when the sea level was much higher than now.
Recent and remote volcanism
Between 10,000 and 135,000 years ago, the youngest volcanoes still keeping their original craters appeared, creating spectacular scenery. The Island of Lobos arose out of these eruptions, together with the volcanoes of La Arena, Mascona, Bayuyo and Calderon Hondo in La Oliva, as well as La Caldera de Gairía, in Antigüa, declared a natural monument.
But we are in the oldest island of the archipelago, emerged 23 million years ago, whose list of fossil, rock formations and observable geological processes- like 185-million-year-old lava in Ajuy-, is endless. Therefore, to have a deeper knowledge, it is worth checking the inventory of Fuerteventura’s volcanic resources, or hire a guide. Enjoy it!