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Introducing El Cotillo

This former fishing village has real character; it’s a bit scruffy in places, but that’s all part of the charm. Unfortunately, the cranes have arrived – and not the winged variety. At least the development continues to be low-rise and, particularly around Las Lagos, the architecture is more imaginative than most. Head for the muelle (harbour), the most atmospheric part of town, and continue north to El Cotillo’s only veritable sight: tubby Castillo del Tostón (9am-noon & 1-4pm Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat & 9am-3pm Sun), which is not really a castle, more a Martello tower. There’s a sight-and-sound exhibit, a display of arsenal and you can climb to the top for sweeping views of the surf beach with its bizarre clump of sculptures by French artist Kadir Attia.

Once the seat of power of the tribal chiefs of Maxorata (the northern kingdom of Guanche Fuerteventura), El Cotillo has been largely ignored since the conquest. The exceptions to the rule were cut-throat pirates who occasionally sought to land here, and the slowly growing invasion of less-violent sun seekers who prize the area’s unaffected peacefulness.