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 & lagoons, there are many more than just one beach around the village (Playa el Cotillo if you are Spanish, Strand El Cotillo if German or El Cotillo Spiagge if Italian).
El Cotillo beaches provide probably the widest variety of beaches anywhere on the island. They comprise, without a doubt, some of the best beaches in Fuerteventura.
The beaches are so diverse that there is an El Cotillo beach to suit everyone’s taste – whether you like your beaches quiet or busy or small or large.
As you step onto any El Cotillo Beach, the soft golden sand caresses your toes, inviting you to unwind and soak up the sun’s warm embrace. The azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean stretch out before you, creating a mesmerizing backdrop that complements the serene ambiance.
El Cotillo beach & lagoons cater for all types of beachgoers:
- If you like to lie on the sand or in a foxhole to sunbathe, with the occasional dip in the water to cool down, head for the beaches to the north of the village, such as Playa de la Concha.
- If you like to be more active and surf, head just south of the village to the water sports beach (Piedra Playa) with 1.5km of sand and great waves.
Fortunately, you will not find row upon row of sunbeds, umbrellas, or other tourist rubbish on 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, 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 then runs along the coast behind the beaches. The most popular La Concha Beach is opposite the Azzurro restaurant with its 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, ideal for small children to play in.
This El Cotillo beach has to be one of Fuerteventura’s safest and best swimming beaches.
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 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 to chill out with a beer or lunch on a sunny day. 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 stayed 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 lovely beach. It is a great place to swim, although almost all of the water disappears at low tide.
Naturists often frequent this beach. Many naturists stay in the Caleton apartments.
A well-known rock pool forms to the south (left) of the beach when the tide goes out and is always full of fish.
El Cotillo Lagoons
The lagoons (Playa de los Lagos Fuerteventura) extend from Caleton Beach pretty much all the way to the lighthouse and then on along the north shore almost to Corralejo. They are the most famous of the lagoons in Fuerteventura. This includes the quirky Popcorn beach.
There are many little beaches among the rocks with many stone circles to sunbathe in to keep out of the wind. For those who 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, 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. Getting 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 turn 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 and follow this well-maintained track, which passes behind all the beaches. You can turn off and park at various places to access different parts of the Surfer’s beach or continue 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. It is less than a 10-minute walk from the new harbour.
For those seeking adventure, Piedra Playa Beach offers excellent conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Feel the adrenaline rush as you glide across the waves, harnessing the power of the wind in these idyllic surroundings. Many surf and kite surf schools operate from this beach.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner eager to learn, plenty of rental shops and schools are available in El Cotillo to cater to all skill levels.
This beach is popular with sunbathers and families, particularly at the El Cotillo end.
A lifeguard station and a flag indicate whether it is safe to swim 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 during most winters, there is at least one large storm with big waves, and much of the sand on this beach gets washed away. Within a few 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 unaware of it.
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, you may need to go up the cliff path to get out if you get caught by the rising tide. So be careful!
Billie, a well-known English man, lived in a flat area halfway 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 visiting. See the 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 are 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.
This live webcam looks at the Old Harbour and its beach.
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 following the path down from the road above, opposite the Seahorse bar.
El Cotillo Beaches Naturist Information
Many El Cotillo beaches in and around the village are naturist-friendly, except for 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 Fuerteventura 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, also known as Piedra Playa and Playa del Castillo, 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.
Going further south to Steps Beach, there are usually plenty of naturists as it is rarely busy. It is the least visited of the El Cotillo beaches, so it is usually the quietest.
I have written an article on my Fuerteventura website about the naturist beaches of Fuerteventura and naturist accommodation, including a Fuerteventura naturist beach map.
El Cotillo Beaches Video
This is my video showing all of the beaches in El Cotillo:
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a serene escape from your bustling city life, El Cotillo beaches and lagoons promise an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere, explore the fascinating lagoons, and create lasting memories in this natural paradise.
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, 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 east of the El Cotillo lighthouse.
Which is the most secluded El Cotillo beach?
Steps beach, 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.