Though it may look very much like a cactus, it is not. Euphorbia Handiensis is a shrub, not a cactus, which exists only in the Natural Park it’s been named after. This beautiful plant is one of the varied and unique attractions that turn this spectacular protected area into a must visit place.
Visiting the Natural Park of Jandía, south of Morro Jable, means to get into a lonely and overwhelming, virgin and wild world, where one out of the twelve native plants of Fuerteventura survives. Recognized as the plant symbol of the island, the Euphorbia Handiensis has thorns, fleshy upright branches. However, it is not a cactus, but a shrub that has taken this shape in its evolutionary adaptation to the “majorero” desert climate. It exists only in this protected area, mainly on hillsides and edges of gullies, and fortunately it survived the plundering that insensible collectors practised in the past.
Three of the tours included in the network of trails of Fuerteventura allow their observation while walking, this being an interesting choice to enjoy the nature of the park in all its splendour. “Majorero” goats and donkeys graze freely in the area, although naturalists and specialised visitors (or lucky ones) will find in Jandía more elusive and unique native animals such as the Houbara, the Egyptian vulture, the “lisa majorera” (a kind of lizard) or the shrew, and other over-wintering birds like the plover. Among the flora, the park hosts important populations of teasels and euphorbia balsamifera, and also rare endemic species like the Echium Handiense, the Winter Camomile and the bulpurum Handiense.
The second option to visit the Natural Park is the vehicle, either by car, through organized tours, or using the cross-country bus departing from Morro Jable. This means of transport will allow us to enjoy, on the southern slope, magnificent and small coves of white sand and crystal clear waters, and in the north, the beach of Cofete, unique for its 13 kilometres of length, totally free of buildings. The two inhabited populations in the park, Cofete and Puertito de la Cruz, have seafood specialized restaurants.