The El Cotillo beaches and El Cotillo lagoons are a great draw for people staying all over the island and are one of El Cotillo’s greatest assets.
Although many people refer to them just as El Cotillo beach, there are actually many more than just one beach around the village (Playa del Cotillo if you are Spanish, Strand El Cotillo if German or Spiaggia El Cotillo if Italian).
In fact, El Cotillo beaches provide probably the widest variety of beaches anywhere on the island. They comprise, without doubt, some of the best beaches in Fuerteventura. They are so diverse that there is definitely an El Cotillo beach to suite everyone’s taste – whether you like your beaches quiet or busy or perhaps small or large beaches.
You may just like to lie on the sand, or in a fox hole, with the occasional dip in the calm waters of the lagoon beaches. If you like to be more active and do some surfing then head for the water sports beach (Piedra Playa) with its 1.5km of sand and some great waves.
Fortunately, you will not find row upon row of sunbeds, umbrellas, or any of the other tourist rubbish, found on some other beaches in Fuerteventura. Just wonderful, natural, unspoiled beaches with lovely sand and clear water.
El Cotillo Beaches Map
The beaches to the north of El Cotillo
- To get to these beaches on foot. If you are arriving in El Cotillo on the no 8 bus from Corralejo then stay on it when it gets to the bus station and then get off at the bus stop through El Cotillo village, near the Cotillo Beach Hotel. You will see the start of the beaches when you get off so just head for those and walk along the various small beaches until you find one you like. It will take you about 10 minutes gentle stroll to get to La Concha Beach.
- To get to these beaches by car. When you arrive in El Cotillo you will see the football ground on the right (with floodlights) so drive past this and take the first right hand turn which is signposted to Faro de Toston (the lighthouse) and there is a new large El Cotillo sign (more like a sculpture) at this junction. Follow that road through the village and past the Cotillo Beach Hotel (on your right). After another 500 metres the road turns 90º left and the runs along the coast behind the beaches. The most popular la Concha Beach is opposite the Azzurro restaurant with its own car park behind it.
La Concha Beach (Playa de la Concha)
Playa de la Concha El Cotillo is the most popular of the Cotillo lagoon beaches (La concha = the shell). It is just to the north of the village, on the road towards the lighthouse or a nice stroll from the village along the smaller beaches before it.
It takes the form of a small bay with lovely white sand and has calm waters as it is protected from the big waves by rocky reefs just offshore. This makes it great for children, swimming and snorkelling.
During very high spring tides a shallow lagoon forms just behind the beach which is ideal for small children to play in.
This El Cotillo beach has to be one of the safest and best swimming beaches in Fuerteventura.
There are toilets and showers at the back of this beach.
This is a link to a live Playa de la Concha webcam so you can see up to the minute what it is like, how busy it is and whether the sun is shining!
In the days leading up to the Fuerteventura Kite Festival (early November) many kiters come to this beach to fly their kites.
Also at the back of Playa de la Concha is a car park. This car park is where the annual Fuerteventura Music Festival takes place in July.
Although naturists can be found anywhere on Playa de la Concha they generally stick to the right-hand (north) side, near the rocks.
The only beach bar in El Cotillo, Torino’s, is located at the back of La Concha beach Fuerteventura.
It is family run and serves fresh fish and many say makes the best paella in the village and perhaps even the best in Fuerteventura.
It is a very popular place on a sunny day to chill out with a beer or to have lunch. Also a lovely spot to watch the sunset. See Torino’s Facebook page for further details.
UPDATE: Sadly, the morons at the town hall have closed and dismantled Torino’s beach bar after 22 years, as well as two bars on the beaches in Corralejo. This is for “environmental reasons” which is code for the corrupt officials who can make more money in another way.
My video of a walk along the beaches described below from El Cotillo to Torino’s for a drink.
The first beaches north of the village
Between the village and Playa de la Concha are a series of small white sand beaches, all very sheltered from any waves, so ideal for a quick early morning dip. These are popular with families as they are a shorter walk I guess.
The popular Marfolin apartments, Cotillo Sunset Apartments and El Balcon apartments have direct access to the first El Cotillo beach to the north. When we staying in one of the El Balcon apartments, some years ago, my morning ritual was to get up, make myself a coffee and then walk into the sea up to my knees and drink it. Not a bad way to start the day.
This is so called because of the small complex of Caleton apartments right on the edge of the beach. It is about 400 metres to the north (the right looking out to sea) of Playa del la Concha.
It is a small, but nevertheless, lovely beach. It is a great place to swim, although at low tide almost all of the water disappears.
This beach is often frequented by naturists. Many naturists stay in the Caleton apartments.
There is a well-known rock pool which forms to the south (left) of the beach when the tide goes out that is always full of fish.
El Cotillo Lagoons
The lagoons (los lagos) extend from Caleton Beach pretty much all the way to the lighthouse and then on along the north shore almost to Corralejo. This includes the quirky Popcorn beach.
There are lots of little beaches among the rocks with many of the stone circles to sunbathe in to keep out of the wind. For those that like to explore the minute world of rock pools there are many to be found among the rocks with small fish, crabs, shrimps and even the odd sea cucumber if you look closely.
This is the area most often used by naturists in El Cotillo as it is the most out of the way area but clothed and unclothed sun worshippers co-exist quite happily.
The beaches to the south of El Cotillo
To get to these beaches on foot. If you are arriving in El Cotillo by bus then get off at the bus station. The first beach, Piedra Playa, is only a few minutes walk along the cliff. Just walk past the Toston Tower and keep going. To get to Steps Beach will take you around 15 to 20 minutes along the cliff path.
To get to these beaches by car. The easiest way to get to these beaches is when you arrive in El Cotillo take the first turning on the left (next to the Dragon China 2012 shop and opposite the Superdino supermarket). Follow this road around a right hand bend until you get to the junction. Turn left there and follow this well maintained track which passes behind all of the beaches. You can turn off and park at various places to access different parts of the Surfer’s beach or continue on to Steps Beach.
Surfers’ Beach / Piedra Playa / Playa del Castillo
Just south of the village is the Piedra Playa (Stone Beach) also known as both the Wild Beach and Surfers’ Beach locally and is shown as Playa del Castillo on many maps. Despite its name it does have lots of lovely soft sand – 1.5km of it in fact. It is less than a 10 minute walk from the new harbour.
This is the most popular beach for water sports including surfers, kite surfers and wind surfers. Many surf and kite surf schools operate from this beach. Having said that it is still popular with sunbathers and families, particularly at the El Cotillo end.
There is a lifeguard station and a flag indicating whether it is safe for swimming or not.
This is a link to a live Piedra Playa Beach webcam so you can see how busy it is, what the waves are like and whether the sun is shining!
Nature is wonderful as most winters there is a large storm with big waves and much of the sand on this beach gets washed away. Within a couple of months the beach repairs itself which I find quite incredible.
2nd beach going south
There is another beach just around the southern headland of the Surfer’s Beach that can often be reached at low tide by walking along the base of the cliff. It may have a name but I am not aware what it is.
If you are as nimble as a mountain goat you can also follow a steep path down the cliff to reach it.
If you go around the cliffs at low tide then you may need to go up the cliff path to get out if you get caught out by the rising tide. So be careful!
There was a well-known English man called Billie who lived on a flat area half way up the cliff in a makeshift shelter for many years. He died unfortunately a few years ago.
Steps Beach / Playa de Escaleras
This beach is quite a walk, as it is 4km south of the village, so is best reached in a car, along the coast track (you can’t call it a road).
Steps beach is accessed down a set of Heath Robinson type steps, built by a German guy many years ago I believe – hence the name. It is the least accessible of all the El Cotillo beaches but certainly worth the effort to visit. See photo below.
It is a wonderful beach with beautiful sand and is generally not very busy, even in the summer. It is one of the best beaches in Fuerteventura I think.
The stairs have recently been renovated which is great news.
There a few webcams in El Cotillo showing the beaches and the sea so you can see the state of the waves etc.
Piedra Playa Webcam – this is positioned in the Seahorse bar facing across the bay towards the beach
Playa de la Concha Webcam – this webcam is located at the Azzurro restaurant opposite the beach
The Other Beaches
The Old Harbour Beach
The Old Harbour Beach is used occasionally and mainly by locals. It is quite popular in August, particularly during the fiesta. On the first Sunday of the fiesta this is where the Virgin is transported from.
The New Harbour “Beach”
The smallest El Cotillo beach is a very small pebbly beach next to the quay in the new harbour. You can reach it either by walking through the harbour or follow the path down from the road above, opposite the Seahorse bar.
El Cotillo Beaches Naturist Information
Many of the El Cotillo beaches in and around the village are naturist friendly, with the exception of the beach in the old harbour. The further north towards the lighthouse you go, the more naturist the beaches become. They are some of the most popular nudist beaches in Fuerteventura Canary Islands.
The El Cotillo lagoons are probably the quietest of the Fuerteventura naturist beaches making them popular with many Fuerteventura naturists. As they are secluded with plenty of private areas they are suitable for people wanting to try naturism discretely first before trying more populated beaches.
The most popular of the El Cotillo beaches, La Concha beach, is a mixture of textile and naturist. Naturists tend to go towards the right hand side of the beach. Some days it is more naturist than others. The theory is that it depends on who arrives first. Many couples are happy to either be nude or wear something so if there are no naturists to be seen when they arrive they wear something but if there are some they join in.
The Surfers’ Beach/Piedra Playa used to be more naturist than it is now, particularly towards the far end away from the village. However, the beach is much busier these days, particularly with surf schools, so it is less naturist now.
If you go further south to Steps Beach then there are usually plenty of naturists as it is rarely busy. It is the least visited of the El Cotillo beaches so usually the quietest.
I have written an article on my Fuerteventura website about the naturist beaches of Fuerteventura and naturist accommodation which includes a Fuerteventura naturist beach map.
El Cotillo Beaches Video
Which El Cotillo beach is suitable for children?
The most family friendly beach in El Cotillo is La Concha Beach, with protected calm shallow water, which is ideal for swimming, and beautiful sand.
After a high tide there is always a shallow lagoon at the back of the beach which children love to play in.
Which is the best El Cotillo beach for water sports?
The Piedra Playa beach, immediately to the south of the village, is great for surfing, windsurfing and kite-boarding.
Many surf schools operate on this beach.
Kite-boarding is also popular in the big lagoon immediately to the east of the the El Cotillo lighthouse.
Which is the most secluded El Cotillo beach?
Steps beach, which is south of the village, has about 1km of sand at low tide and is accessed down the cliff using some steps.
This beach is never crowded with only a handful of people there most days.