Fuerteventura/Jandia:
A walk from Morro Jable to Cofete & Playa Cofete

Why?

  • Stunning views of mountains, sea & a corking beach with huge breakers & an average of one tourist per kilometre (on a busy day).
  • A nice bar with good food & cold beer.
  • Villa Winter, big grand house with tower looking out to sea, the only building for miles. Apparently built in the nineteen-thirties by Herr Gustav Winter, German engineer given most of Jandia by Generalismo Franco. See this video. Exactly what for no-one seems to know but are happy to speculate. Any suggestions?
  • Various relics of attempts to open up or cultivate the land - ruined terrace walls & houses, a stalled road tunnel complete with blasting holes.
  • Wildlife: Any number of goats, sheep, rabbits, goats, "chipmunks" (barbary ground squirrels), goats, lizards, crickets, birds, butterflies and such. Did I mention goats?
  • All sorts of plants, from wiry-spiky to cactus, aloe vera, tiny flowers and goat-resistant saplings. Quite a display of greenery with not one visible patch of damp - never mind water (this was at the start of February).
  • More geology than a hammer can be shaken at: rocks that change from sand to grey to pink to black, from solid to glassy to crumbly to holey - all in the space of a few metres. (Just off the port road in Morro Jable is a hilltop that looks like it had hot toffee poured over it - a thin hard crust over soft sandstone. Bizzare).
Fuerteventura,Jandia. Cofete beach Fuerteventura,Jandia. Villa Winter

Why not?

  • This is five or six hours of walking on unmade paths, very likely in hot sun. The resort rep will not come & fetch you.

Take.

  • Solid, comfortable footware - trainers should be okay but flip-flops or whatever are not: the path is often loose rock or gravel.
  • Water - at least a litre each, ideally in half litre bottles. You don't want to finish up as goat food.
  • Sunscreen/hat/long sleeves/etc. - this jaunt involves six hours without shade.
  • Camera/binoculars/beachware etc. to taste.

The plan:

Start early - you don't want to be struggling up a hill at noon, you want to be strolling towards the bar. At a steady pace this walk will take 2.5 to 3 hours each way.

Disregard any map that shows a shorter route up the valley with the made-up roads & watercourse above Morro Jable football pitch - that road becomes a track that goes past a thousand barking dogs and peters out halfway up a mountain an hour later .

Get yourself to the main road on the south side of Morro Jable, just uphill from the port. Where the road turns north to head around the town there is an unsurfaced road heading south, signposted to Punta Jandia & Cofete. Take that. Be careful on the corners of this road - many bends are completely blind, the driving is fast & stopping distances on loose gravel are long.

Fuerteventura,Jandia. Water tank on the coast road
The road hairpins around watercourses & past the white-walled cemetery on your right, then straightens out and - about 30 minutes after leaving the surfaced main road - passes this old water tank on the left.
Fuerteventura,Jandia. The track up the valley leaves the road
Just after the water tank the unsurfaced road turns left to head south along the coast, leaving a track running straight ahead up the valley. Take the track, up past a smallholding on the right & just keep going. 

This is the road junction, looking up the valley to the pass.


path up the valleyFuerteventura,Jandia. Mountains & sky
 The path is very clearly defined, usually with a low stone wall to one side or the other. You'll pass a couple of water-catchment walls across the valley & towards the valley head the remains of some houses.

 Just as the path starts to climb steeply you will come across an attempt to drive a tunnel through the rock - quite ambitious (for about 20 metres): if anyone knows any more about this I'd like to hear it.

Fuerteventura, Jandia, looking down on Playa Cofete

About an hour & a half after leaving the unsurfaced road you should be at the top & have a sudden & breathtaking view down to Jandia's western beach, Cofete village & Villa Winter.
From here the path (still very clear) bears right along the western side of the mountains. Be careful with your footing here - the loose surface makes a short slip & a long fall easy. The path takes you to a sort of foothill/observation point, from which you can see the trail leading into Cofete.

Follow the path as it goes over the viewpoint & zig-zags down the north slope of the foothill before heading straight for Cofete. Have a good peer at Villa Winter on the right.
Fuerteventura,Jandia. Statue in Cofete
By the time you get to Cofete City Limits you should be able to see the magic words "Tropical" & "Cofete Bar/Restaurant" on the biggest building in town, also statues of a man & a dog (photo left) on what appears to be a reconstructed lime kiln (info on either please!). The road delivers you to both. The rest of Cofete seems to be small houses & shacks with TV aerials.

Depending on time, temperature & inclination you may wish to head for the bar now, or hit the beach first before it's too hot.

Cofete cemetary & Villa Winter from the beach
It's hard to miss the beach from here - we just followed the obvious & signposted track down to the (orange-walled?!) cemetery. You might want to take a route less frequented by tourists & ten-minute raiders on jeep safari.

Have another squint at Villa Winter from here (photo right) - the walled area it sits in appears to be the same shape as the island. Conspiracy theorists can amuse themselves looking for Herr Winter's secret submarine pens.

The bar opens sometime after twelve, has a shaded terrace & does a good trade in cold water, fanta n'ranga & beer, plus a fair range of good simple food. (Goat, mussels, squid, canarian potatoes... the grilled fish got my vote as the best of the week). Prices are about what you'd pay on the front in Morro Jable. Most of the other customers came in 4x4's or in hire cars with nadgered suspension, so you can look smug.
Fuerteventura,Jandia. Back up the hill back to Morro Jable
The return trip is simply (as the book says) the reverse.

Take care with the timing of your departure: too soon & you risk blowing a gasket going up the steep side in the sun, too late & you'll be walking the unsurfaced road to Morro Jable in the dark.

Finally.

We thought this was a good day trip but it needs to be taken seriously or not at all. Nothing written here makes it my fault if you wind up as goat-nibbled bones bleaching in the sun - that's your responsibility!

Neal Cartwright 2004

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