Fuerteventura museum trail
There are excellent museums and interpretation centres throughout Fuerteventura which cover all aspects of life in the island.
At the Alcogida Eco-Museum
a typical country hamlet has been restored to its hey day in the early part of this century. Weavers, a stone mason, a tinsmith and a potter are working on site in the collection of houses which give an insight into the simple living conditions of only two generations ago. Villagers then relied on their own skills to provide most of their needs. The houses of stone and thatch are surrounded by stone walled corrals complete with donkeys and camels which were used to pull ploughs and transport produce until only 50 years ago.
At the Cueva del Llano Centro de Interpretacion
, an extraordinary tunnel made by rapid flowing lava stretches far underground - the vivid remnant of an eruption which took place many millions before One of the largest lava tubes in the northern hemisphere, you can walk for nearly a kilometre through the still darkness, the arching walls still bearing the marks of the rapid flow of molten rock. There is also a permanent resident to the tube, a tiny blind spider which is endemic to the cave.
The Museo de la Sal
at Las Salinas - complete with the skeleton of a sperm whale - is set above salt pans close to the sea which are lined with blinding white piles of salt crystals in the strong sun.
Inside a display tells of the importance of salt to Fuerteventura when it was the sole means of preserving food and was used as a currency to barter for goods.
At the Molinos de Antigua
another restored windmill stands in a visitors centre.
Here permanent and touring exhibitions are popular with islanders - and include displays of artefacts and bones of the earliest Majoreros on the island dating back more than a thousand years. There is also a craftwork shop with locally made items- from distinctive pottery of red clay mixed with volcanic soil to woven baskets and panama hats. Proceeds go directly to the artisans who made the articles on display.
At Los Molinos
in the pretty village of Tefia a working windmill - one of the few survivors of the hundreds which once dotted the landscape here - grinds gofio, the toasted meal of corn and wheat.
At the top of the tower, miller Jorge Rodriguez will explain the process of toasting and then grinding the corn as the huge sails outside spin slowly in the strong trade wind. You can taste the freshly ground gofio - the fine flour that pours out from the wooden chute beneath the grind stones.
At the Museo de Pesca Tradicional
on the lovely windswept point of Punta Tostón near the fishing village of Cotillo the fishing museum has a vivid display of video, photographs, and recordings set in the lighthouse keeper's restored home. You can listen to the wife of a fisherman describing life on the coast two generations ago at a time when money was scarce and when fish was used to barter. Above the museum stand two light houses, the oldest built in 1897. From the tower there are wonderful views across the reefs to the high breaking rollers of the Atlantic.
Augustin Martinez Garcia on the history of Fuerteventura
"We have such an enormous potential here for sustainable high quality tourism" [2:59]
Read about Fuerteventura history & geography