One of the most amazing trips I took during my stay on Fuerteventura was a ride by public bus to the Playa de Cofete, a wild beach paradise on the island’s southwest coast.
You’re On Vacation!
“Sorry, the bus is full”, explains the driver apologetically. He’s not lying, merry day-trippers occupy all the seats in the medium-sized bus, and the ceiling is far too low to join the ride standing. “So sorry. But there’s another one leaving at noon”, he offers an alternative. “Oh no! This is bullshit! I’ve had it!” yells the German lady. She’s standing in the middle of the bus, yelling first at the driver, then randomly at whoever, and finally, she turns to her husband. Shoving him off the bus, she keeps repeating how shitty this all is and how much she has had it.
Man, some people definitely need a vacation. Oh wait, that’s what she’s on.
To be honest, I also expected to be the only one on the morning bus to Playa de Cofete. Doesn’t everybody else rent a car? Apparently not since as I got to the station on the outskirts of Morro Jable about twenty minutes before the scheduled departure, there were already about five people queuing in front of the bus door. Obviously, the line got longer and longer. As we hit the road towards Cofete, we’ve left about ten people behind.
You see, sometimes suffering from a strong case of OCPD does pay out. After all, not only am I sitting comfortably on the bus, I was even able to pick a prime seat next to an open window.
As we leave the port of Morro Jable behind, the coach slowly cruises up the hills of the Parque Natural de Jandía reserve. Actually, this – obviously very popular – all-wheel bus connection was installed to reduce the number of vehicles in the natural area. It clearly saves vacationers the bumpy ride by their rental car.
So we work our way up to the summit, driving in wide elegant curves between gravel and lava and very few dry shrubs. There are some ruins and a handful of goats and lots and lots of what I love most about Fuerteventura: Beautiful nothing.
As we reach a summit approximately halfway between Morro Jable and Cofete, I regret for a short moment not having my own vehicle. A couple of cars stopped at the vantage point Punto de vista sobre Puerto de Montaña which modestly translates to viewpoint at the pass and a couple of people are taking pictures of the spectacular coast spreading below. Obviously, the bus does not stop. I can only keep a picture of this mesmerizing sight in my heart.
Then, the gravel road descends down to the beach.
Life Is a Beach
At the end of the rough tire-killing gravel road lies the village Cofete. Please don’t picture an idyllic village. It’s a settlement with a couple of extremely simple makeshift houses with the vibe of a ghost town. One of those shacks is the Restaurante Cofete Pepe El Faro which is normally open every day from 10 a. m. to 6 p. m.
Cofete’s shore, however, is the epitome of a dream beach. There is not one building, even not a kiosk or stand. No loungers or umbrellas. Nothing but thirteen kilometers of golden sand.
Since due to the strong currents, bathing is very dangerous and people have drowned here in the past, this endless sandy paradise is rather for lazing or strolling.
I opt for lazing, and as I make myself comfortable on my beach towel, I spot this young woman twisting and twirling, jumping and frolicking in the shallow part of the sea where the waves roll out.
Man, she’s having a fantastic time, good for her.
Suddenly she stops in her tracks and swirls her long flying locks into a bun on her neck. With a very serious expression on her face, she checks the display on a camera that a young man is holding. She doesn’t seem too happy. Hence, she loosens the bun, and her locks flutter in the wind as she re-starts her twisting and twirling, jumping and frolicking. The young man follows her with the camera. Then she checks again. And twists and twirls.
Man, this looks exhausting, I pity her. And also the young man who would possibly prefer enjoying this little piece of paradise.
All this twisting and twirling, jumping and frolicking is keeping them busy the entire time we spend on Playa de Cofete.
Later, they pose together for some lovey-dovey pics, and then comes the bus to Morro Jable and their influencer shift is over and they can finally relax in their bus seats and call it a day.
There is a small graveyard right next to the bus stop respectively car park. The residents of the village of Cofete used to bury their deceased here. Supposedly, it was built close to the sea so that their souls could float away across the Atlantic.
Due to Cofete’s strong winds, all the graves are almost entirely covered with sand. The heaps of sand also pile up at the entrance, so that the gate to the cemetery can hardly be opened. Nevertheless, you can simply climb over the low wall.
Another mysterious place in forlorn Cofete is the so-called Villa Winter, built by the German engineer Gustav Winter. It is rumored that Winter received grants from a high Nazi commander to buy the land in 1938. There are various rumors regarding secret war-related activities. Also, some Nazi war criminals are said to have been accommodated here temporarily after WWII as they were fleeing prosecution along the so-called ratlines to South America. I’ve written about this dark practice in my post on Bariloche in Argentina as well as on Buenos Aires.
Nevertheless, these rumors have never been proven.
Gustav Winter, who died in 1971, claimed that Villa Winter was not built until 1958. Supposedly he opted for the remote and difficult-to-access area because he was a nature lover and wanted to set up a tomato plantation there. However, the barren region makes this claim very questionable.
The villa stands picturesquely on the hillside, surrounded by vines and protected by dry stone walls. Officially, it is not possible to visit the villa. Yet, some guides know how to gain access for a small tip.
However, you should not get too close to the villa by yourself as there might be highly aggressive dogs around.
Take a Hike
The route between Morro Jable and Cofete is also a popular hike. You can get to the beginning of the hiking trail either by car or bus. Bus line #111 goes from the main bus station to the Gran Valle stop. Here the hike begins. It is recommended to take the early bus at 10 a. m.
The hiking trail starts at the parking lot. You can also cycle the route by mountain bike. The path starts flat and ascents eventually. On this hike, you go up 282 meters and 257 meters down. It is an easy to moderate hike. The path is well-maintained. Nevertheless, you should wear good hiking boots and take sun protection, a sun hat, and plenty of water with you.
The hike to the village of Cofete is about 6.5 kilometers long and should take 3 to 4 hours.
You don’t need to trek both ways. Simply coordinate your hike according to bus line #111 which runs twice a day in either direction.
How to Get There
If you go by public transport to Playa de Cofete, you don’t have many options. There is one bus #111 at 10 a. m. and another one at 2 p. m. To go back to Morro Jable, you can choose between a ride at around 12.30 p. m. and 4.30 p. m.
One trip sets you back 8.70 €uros. As you have to pay the driver, try to have small change on you. However, since bus schedules might change, I suggest that you check the current timetable on the bus company’s website.
What to Bring With You
Literally everything. At least everything you need for a day on the beach where there’s no shade, no kiosk, nothing.
Hence, you should bring a beach towel, sun protection, a hat against the sun, plenty of water, and possibly some snacks.
Although I’m an avid solo-travelling woman, I sometimes like to join organized tours. Not only are they basically the only chance to put to sea. Since I’m not driving, they are also a valid option to go to remote places. And finally, it’s a great way to get in touch with fellow travellers.
Therefore, here are some great suggestions on how to visit Playa de Cofete and other places of interest on the island of Fuerteventura. Especially during high season, pre-booking online will guarantee your place at the activity of your choice*:
The day trip to Playa de Cofete was one of the highlights of my week on the island of Fuerteventura. To read about the others, go to this post and take your pick!
For general information on Spain, go to this post. There, you’ll find information and tips that will make your trip much smoother and more enjoyable.
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