The El Cotillo beaches provide probably the widest variety of beaches anywhere on the island. They are possibly the best beaches in Fuerteventura. So there is definitely an El Cotillo beach for everyone – whether you like quiet, busy, small or large.
Fortunately, you will not find row upon row of sunbeds, umbrellas, or any of the other tourist rubbish, found on some other beaches. Just wonderful, natural, unspoiled beaches with lovely sand and clear water.
The El Cotillo beach & lagoons are a great draw for people staying all over the island.
The Main Beaches
Playa de la Concha (La Concha Beach)
La Concha beach Fuerteventura is probably the most popular of the El Cotillo lagoon beaches. It is just to the north of the village, on the road towards the lighthouse or a nice stroll along the smaller beaches before it.
It has lovely sand and is protected from the big waves by rocky reefs just offshore. This makes it great for 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.
Although naturists can be found anywhere on the beach of 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 the beach. It is family run and serves fresh fish and many say makes the best paella in the village.
It is a very popular place on a sunny day to chill out with a beer or to have lunch.
The popular Cotillo Sunset Apartments and El Balcon apartments have direct access to the first El Cotillo beach to the north.
This is so called because of the Caleton apartments right on the edge of the beach. 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
These extend from Caleton Beach pretty much all the way to the lighthouse and then on along the north shore.
There are lots of little beaches among the rocks with many of the stone circles to sunbathe in to keep out of the wind. This is the area most used by naturists in El Cotillo as it is the most out of the way area.
Surfers’ Beach / Piedra Playa
Just south of the village is the Piedra Playa (Stone Beach) also known as both the Wild Beach and Surfers’ Beach locally. 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 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.
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.
The Other Beaches
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 – hence the name. It is the least accessible of all the El Cotillo beaches.See photo below.
It is a wonderful beach with beautiful sand and is generally not very busy, even in the summer. It is the best beach in Fuerteventura I think.
Unfortunately, late in 2016, a couple visiting the beach left the handbrake of their car off. The car ran off the cliff and hit the steps. Fortunately no-one was hurt but the beach is currently closed due to the condition of the steps.
Hopefully they will be repaired but they were built by a private individual some years ago. If the local council repairs them it might make them responsible for any accidents on them so that may never happen, which will be a great shame.
UPDATE: It is now open again we are pleased to report!
Between Steps Beach and Piedra Playa there is another nice small sandy beach. It used to be accessible at low tide by walking around the headland between it and Piedra Playa. However, since part of the cliff between the two collapsed, a couple of years ago, there are too many rocks to do this. If you are adventurous you can still reach it from above by going down a cliff path. This is not for the faint-hearted though.
There a few webcams in El Cotillo showing the beaches/sea so you can see the state of the waves etc.
The Harbour Beaches
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 smallest El Cotillo beach is a very small pebbly beach next to the quay in the new harbour and a much bigger pebbly beach in the old harbour. These a rarely used by tourists although they are quite popular with Spanish people, particularly during the fiesta in August.
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, 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.