Sotavento Beach in Fuerteventura: A Travel Guide To Visit the Beautiful Sandbanks & LagoonsAll you need to know about visiting Sotavento Beach in the south of Fuerteventura
An ever-changing beach
Most ocean-facing beaches in the world have some kind of relationship to the gravity of the moon and subsequent tides – but few change so dramatically (and beautifully!) as Sotavento Beach in Fuerteventura.
Playa de Sotavento is huge, and as the water draws back at low tide, it gets incredibly wide as well.
At high tide, though, the process reverses and what used to be the beach now gets flooded creating picturesque sandbanks with the ocean on one side and a shallow lagoon on the other.
After a few hours, the lagoon becomes ocean again and the sandbanks just look like a regular part of the rest of the beach.
Gravity. The force that keeps us all from flying high into space. And the main player behind one of Fuerteventura’s most beautiful beaches.
In this travel guide to Sotavento Beach in Fuerteventura, we will tell you everything you need to know and when to visit if you want to experience the awesome lagoons.
Where to stay near Sotavento:
- Luxury: Iberostar Selection Fuerteventura Palace (Morro Jable).
- Luxury: Hotel Riu Palace Jandia (Morro Jable).
- Value for money: Hotel Cooee Taimar (Costa Calma).
- Value for money: SBH Crystal Beach Hotel & Suites (Costa Calma).
- Budget: AltaVista Apartahotel (Morro Jable).
Table of contents
What to expect when visiting Sotavento Beach
First of all: the experience of visiting Sotavento is highly dependent on the tides.
So remember to check those tide timetables! There are several available online – we used this timetable.
At low tide, the 10-kilometre-long Sotavento is just a gigantic beach.
It’s still worth a visit, but it’s the lagoons and sandbanks created by the high tide that has made Sotavento so (Instagram) famous.
As the actual tide height isn’t always the same, Sotavento will never look exactly the same twice.
The higher the water, the larger the lagoons get and the smaller the sandbanks get.
Most of the photos in this guide were taken as the high tide was at around 2 metres.
Our experience at Sotavento Beach
The first time we drove to Sotavento to see the lagoons, it was really windy and we hadn’t really thought about what that would mean…
It meant that the lagoon was filled with kitesurfers!
It’s pretty cool to look at but unless you plan to come for the watersports yourself, make sure to go on a day without strong winds for the best pictures of the lagoons.
When we returned the second time during the early morning, we were almost alone and could enjoy the rising tide as well as the almost 300-metre-long sandbank forming in front of Risco del Paso.
A stunning beach for sure!
Sotavento Beach is always open!
It’s free to visit Sotavento Beach.
How to get to Sotavento Beach
The easiest way to get to Sotavento Beach is by car.
It’s 10 kilometres long so there are several places along it you can park.
For the best access to the lagoons, we recommend parking at Risco del Paso.
Here you’ll find a big (sandy) parking with lots of motorhomes and surfers hanging out. There’s also a small beach hut.
Unless you feel very comfortable with terrain driving, avoid the “road” going between Risco del Paso and the Meliá Fuerteventura hotel. Both Risco del Paso and the hotel can be reached much more easily from the main road (FV-2).
Playa de Sotavento (as the beach is called on our Google Maps) is located in the southernmost part of Fuerteventura on the east coast between Costa Calma and Morro Jable.
Find it on the map below.
When to visit Sotavento Beach
We really loved the wild Cofete Beach but Sotavento is also a strong contender for the most spectacular beach in Fuerteventura – especially if you time your visit right.
As mentioned earlier in this travel guide, the tides play a huge role in the look of the beach.
Unlike at the natural rock pool Piscina Natural where you want to be at low tide, you should aim for high tide when visiting Sotavento Beach.
At high tide, the water comes in and creates beautiful lagoons with sandbars.
If you are visiting to take cool pictures, you better check the tide timetables. There are several available online – we used this one.
While Fuerteventura is pleasant to visit all year, the weather still plays a role when it comes to visiting Sotavento Beach.
If you like kitesurfing and windsurfing, a windy day is perfect for you. The lagoons at Sotavento are a huge draw for watersport enthusiasts.
If you, however, want the lagoon to be empty of the aforementioned kitesurfers and windsurfers, opt for a calm day without strong wind.
For the best light and the least amount of people, try to come in the early morning or around sunset.
Where to stay near Sotavento Beach
Playa de Sotavento is located between Costa Calma and Morro Jable in the south and both places are awesome if you want to stay close to Sotavento Beach.
Here we will tell you the differences and recommend the best hotels in each area.
Costa Calma – Calm area for beach lovers
Staying in the south of Fuerteventura is heaven for people who love going to the beach. It’s especially popular with Northern Europeans (and Germans in particular).
As the name implies, Costa Calma is very calm. It’s smaller than some of the other resort towns of Fuerteventura and very laid-back.
The beaches in and near Costa Calma are veeery long, so you’ll always be able to find your own spot in the sand.
Sotavento Beach starts from the southern end of Costa Calma, making Costa Calma a popular spot for wind and kite surfers who love the conditions here.
There’s a twice-weekly market in Costa Calma held each Wednesday and Sunday.
Where to stay in Costa Calma
Morro Jable – Family-friendly & peaceful beaches
Morro Jable is the southernmost place to stay in Fuerteventura and one of the most developed areas of the island.
If Morro Jable’s own beach Playa del Matorral isn’t enough, you’ll also be very close to Playa de Esquinzo as well as Sotavento Beach.
The real unique draw down south though? The natural park of Jandía, home to Cofete – our favourite beach in Fuerteventura.
Getting here is not easy, but it’s much easier if you’re already staying in Morro Jable.
Morro Jable itself is a lively place with lots of supermarkets, cafés and restaurants. There’s a local market each Thursday.
Where to stay in Morro Jable
- Luxury: Iberostar Selection Fuerteventura Palace.
- Luxury: Hotel Riu Palace Jandia.
- Budget: AltaVista Apartahotel.
What to bring to Sotavento Beach
- Travel insurance (adlink). Never travel without it!
- A good camera and perhaps even a drone – here’s a guide to the gear we use.
- Sunscreen (adlink).
- Swimwear and a towel if you plan to swim.
- Water and snacks.
Minimise your impact
To minimise your impact, follow these guidelines:
- Bring your own drinking water in a refillable bottle.
- Avoid single-use plastics, including straws.
- Dispose of waste properly. While putting your trash in a nearby trashcan is convenient, wrappers and other small items are prone to get taken by the wind and end up in the ocean.
- Check your sunscreen. Many brands contain oxybenzone and other chemicals that are harmful to corals.
- Take only photos, leave only footprints. Let shells and corals stay in their natural home.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
- Respect wildlife.
Thanks for reading
Thanks for reading our travel guide to Sotavento Beach in Fuerteventura. We hope it has been useful!
What do you think about the beach and the lagoon?
If you’ve been to Sotavento or Fuerteventura it would be awesome to hear your best tips in the comments.
If you haven’t been yet, please don’t hesitate to ask us anything. We’re glad to help.