The El Cotillo Shoreline

Naturally blessed with a paradisiacal coast, La Oliva is the place to go when in need of Vitamin Sea. Sprawled on its west are the beaches of El Cotillo. Voted as one of the best in Europe, they are truly breathtaking and diverse too. And, of course, with a variety of beaches comes a wide selection of water sports and activities. Vacationers who want to try something new or different need not transfer towns. Simply march on to the next beach and enjoy!

Aerial View of Piedra Playa
Aerial View of Piedra Playa – ©simonetognon

El Cotillo’s Historical Ups and Downs

El Cotillo was said to be the seat of power of Maxorata, the northern aboriginal kingdom of Fuerteventura. However, before the Spanish conquest of the Canaries in the 15th century, not much has been written about it. Fast-forward to two centuries after, it has become a thriving fishing village and a port. Along with its progress came constant threats from pirate raids. So, in 1743, the defense tower of Castillo del Tostón was constructed.

Over time, El Cotillo lost its commercial significance. Its small populace could still rely on one thing though — fishing. So fishing they did until around 1980s when tourism discovered its wondrous shores. Since then, it has been known as one the most stunning coastlines in the Canary Islands and the whole Europe.

Why Visit the El Cotillo Beaches

Like a collection of gems, El Cotillo has a long coastline of striking beaches. Each one different from the other, but shining just as bright. Although famous all throughout the continent for having such beauties, it remains unspoiled. Varying from white to gold, its vast sandy shore isn’t cluttered with sunbeds and parasols. It’s perfect for holidaymakers who want pristine beaches with clear azure waters.

The Tourist-Favorites

Piedra Playa

Piedra Playa is the go-to beach for surfers, kite surfers, and windsurfers. It has even earned the moniker the ‘Wild Beach’ and ‘Surfer’s Beach’ because of its popularity with the wave riders. Beginners shouldn’t be intimidated, though, as there are many surf schools in the area.

Stay active in Piedra Playa
El Cotillo’s Surfer’s Beach – ©kasto

Although called by many labels, its actual name translates to ‘Stone Beach.’ To reach it, people must go through a very bumpy gravel road. There are small rocks in some areas too, and both ends have cliffs. So, in contrast to its name, the over 1,500-meter-long stretch has fine sand. It does, however, have some ‘stony’ features.

Playa de la Concha

Near the picturesque Faro del Tostón is Playa de la Concha, the most popular amongst the El Cotillo beaches. With rocky reefs acting as natural breakwaters, its bay barely gets harsh waves. A shallow lagoon also appears between the clusters of rocks during high tide. Because of its tranquil waters, swimmers, snorkelers, and families with kids love it here.

Caleton Beach

This lovely little cove got its name after the Caleton Apartments which stands at its edge. Also known El Cotillo’s naturist beach, many clothes-free beachgoers frequent it. Aside from swimming in its calm waters, sunbathing is a favored activity here. With such marvelous white sand, that’s not surprising at all.

Like its neighbors, rock barriers separate it from the other beaches. But, unlike them, El Caleton is so tiny that water completely disappears at low tide. The rock pool on its south even turns into a tub full of fishes when the sea recedes. Now, that’s interesting to see.

The Naturist Beach of El Cotillo
The Lagoon of El Caleton – ©pkazmierczak


The El Cotillo coastline is famous for its lagoons. Running from El Caleton to further north of Faro del Tostón, they add character to an already mesmerizing waterfront. Also, because of their location, most of the tourists that patronize them are naturists.

The Other Beaches

Playa de Escaleras

On the south of El Cotillo is the cloistered Playa de Escaleras. Secluded by the cliff that surrounds it, it’s never busy even on summers. As it is a bit far away, most visitors go by car to reach it. Once there, they must also descend a set of stairs. All the effort is worth it, though, as the beach is a prime example of serenity. For those who wish to unwind and disconnect, this is the place.

Pebbly Harbor Beaches

El Cotillo is home to two pebbly harbor beaches, one moderate in size and the other very small. There’s a myriad of sandy choices in the area, though, so this duo rarely gets a crowd. The little one next to the new harbor is mostly only used by local fishermen. On the other hand, the fiesta held every August brings the charming old harbor beach back to life.
The New Harbor of El Cotillo
Vibrant boats in the new harbor with Castillo de El Cotillo as a backdrop  – ©tonobalaguer
Dining Options

Apart from the recreations available in the El Cotillo beaches, the expanse also has plenty of restaurants. Try a new water sport, sunbathe on the gorgeous white sand, or relax by the rock pool. No matter what one decides to do, sampling the El Cotillo food scene should be on top of the list.

The Local Heavyweight

The white and blue Azzurro Chill Out is known to be the best restaurant in town. With a menu that consists of Italian, Mediterranean and traditional Canarian dishes, it unquestionably aims to please every type of palates. Their most famous plates are Thai salad, paella, baby squid, veal fillet, and lasagne. For dessert, don’t miss their chocolate cake and pudding. Also, try to dine by sunset, the views are divine.

Moderately Priced Must-Try

For European and British comfort foods, El Toston Bar and Restaurant by the old harbor is a must-try. Known for their full English breakfast and other home-cooked dishes, the little bar offers delightful Sunday roast, coleslaw and hand cut chips, pulled pork burger, and panini. Many also call their teacake a piece of heaven, so do leave a bit of space in your tummy for this tasty treat.

Easy Eats and Easy on the Wallet

Sea Horse Sports Bar may look like a typical by the beach sports bar, but food and service here are excellent. They don’t have a big menu (as do most pubs) but they have fantastic fish and chips and sandwiches. On top of the fabulous atmosphere and views, guests also get to enjoy a football match over a beer. That sounds wonderful!

How to Get There

Those coming from Puerto del Rosario must take Tiadhe bus number 07 to reach El Cotillo. The trip costs €4.35 and lasts for about 45 minutes. On the hand, those in Corralejo can get to El Cotillo via Tiadhe bus number 08 for only €3.10.

Make the Most Out of One Vacation

One can only go on a beach or island vacation maybe once or a few times a year. Why not make the most out of it by visiting a coastal paradise with the plenty of splendid beaches? Go from a nudist to a surfer’s beach in a matter of minutes. Relax by a natural rock pool or unwind in a secluded waterfront. All those in one vacation? How about all in one day? In El Cotillo, how much a vacationer gets to see and experience depends on how much he or she can handle.