Antigua, a municipality located in the geographical center of Fuerteventura, is known for its sweeping expanse of peaceful hinterland, which is peppered with small, century-old villages brimming with tradition.
Mountains, ravines, lava fields, palm trees, windmills, and traditional dwellings, to name but a few examples, can all be found in this unique natural setting of significant scenic and cultural value. So, let’s dive a little deeper into this rustic paradise tucked away in the Antigua inland.
Fuerteventura is a cradle of livestock farming. It’s formed part of island life for centuries, ever since the first settlers, the aborigines or mahos, arrived. Since then, livestock farming, and specifically goat farming, has played a significant role in the local economy, culture, and society.
Did you know that there’s a breed of dairy goat native to Fuerteventura? The Cabra Majorera or Majorera goat, is considered particularly strong due to its high milk production and excellent adaptation to the arid island climate.
Antigua is a historic rural and livestock farming region of the island, with countless farms scattered across the municipality. These agribusinesses are responsible for producing the world-famous and award-winning Majorero cheese, Fuerteventura’s culinary star.
In fact, goats actually outnumber people in Fuerteventura, with estimates putting the local population at 150,000. Many of them also live in semi-freedom, so it is not unusual to come across one or two when you’re out and about.
Agriculture was the prevailing economic activity in Fuerteventura from the conquest until the middle of the 20th century. It was a source of food for local inhabitants, for its society and a driver of the economy. Therefore, it’s key to understanding the island’s history.
The products of the geography of Fuerteventura are as special as the island itself, as they come from a unique volcanic land and a tradition that has been shaped over centuries. One of its most characteristic products is the tomato, a gastronomic delicacy, but also potatoes, desert climate fruits such as prickly pears, figs, blackberries, and cereals. These have been cultivated for many years and are milled in the mills that decorate the landscape of Fuerteventura to produce the characteristic Canarian gofio (a ground grain that resembles toasted flour.)
More recently, there has been an increase in the cultivation of aloe vera and olive trees, which are perfectly adapted to Fuerteventura’s conditions. This cultivation results in products of excellent quality, namely Fuerteventura aloe vera and olive oil.
Experiencing rural life
Antigua offers a wide and distinguished range of rural accommodation to enjoy the perfect rustic experience. You can find restored historic homes or small rural hotels, all of which offer total tranquility.
And what can you do to enjoy Fuerteventura in a different way? The list of possibilities to explore the natural landscape and the inland region is endless. Take a stroll, simply let yourself be carried wherever your steps take you along one of its many paths or trails. You can also explore the area by bicycle or, if you are looking for a unique, we suggest you travel on horseback.
You can visit some of the many places of historical, natural and cultural interest that Antigua has to offer, such as the Majorero Cheese Museum, the archaeological site La Atalayita, the Malpaís Grande, or some of its many cheese factories and farms. You can also visit some of its charming villages or take a tour of its windmills.
Be sure to try the culinary delicacies the local gastronomic culture has to offer: papas arrugadas con mojo (‘wrinkled’ potatoes with sauce, usually spicy), Majorero cheese, goat meat or tomatoes dressed with Fuerteventura olive oil. These delicious products are as special as the land and the people who produce them.