Holidays in Fuerteventura are enjoyable all year round, but especially when there is a festival going on. Several different ‘feast days’ take place during the year, with the three most famous being Romería de la Peña, Romería del Tanquito and the feast of the Virgen del Carmen. You can enjoy the cultural performances, dances and special foods before you head back to one of the hotels in Fuerteventura.
On July 16, a giant feast is held in honour of the Virgen del Carmen, based on an old seaman tradition. The story behind the festival is dates back to the Old Testament, where the prophet Elias found refuge in a cave in Mount Carmelo, and hundreds of years later people traced his footsteps and asked for the protection of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmelo. It was believed that the Virgin cleaned the waters with her presence and that it was only after July 16 that the sea was suitable for swimming.
A statue of the virgin is transported along the coast in a flower-adorned boat after being paraded through the streets, and this is the most important moment of the whole festival. The ceremony has been modernised somewhat these days but still features traditional music and dance for entertainment. Celebrations vary in each town, for example in Malaga the procession takes place the Sunday after July 16. In Malagueñan, they pay homage to the patron underwater, and place an image of the virgin at the bottom of the sea.
Riu Palace Jandia is one of the many great hotels to choose from in Fuerteventura. The four star resort is set on a stretch of 32hm of white sand and features a buffet breakfast and dinner, themed twice a week, a snack bar on the terrace with sports, games and activities such as a massage service, beauty salon and table tennis. The Melia Gorriones Hotel in Playa Barca is an elegant complex, perfect for relaxing in after enjoying the feast days. Meanwhile one of the most relaxing hotels in Fuerteventura is The Gabi Club Bar which has a chill-out area and terrace with Balinese beds, with evening entertainment comprising live music and professional shows.
During Romería de la Peña and Romería del Tanquito a statue of the Virgin de la Peña is carried to the top of the mountain in Romería del Tanquito. The statue is of the island’s patron, of which the festivals are celebrating. It takes place on the third Sunday of September each year in the Vega de Rio. After the statue has been carried to the top of the mountain, it’s settled in a cave and then there is a huge feast in her honour. In the lead up to the feast days, doors and facades of houses are painted, with bright flowers and colourful banners hung up in decoration.