BetancuriaBetancuria is by far the most picturesque village on the island and was the capital of Fuerteventura until 1834. Founded in 1404 by Jean de Bethencourt (hence the name) it is almost hidden away in the folds of the mountains. The village is the oldest in the Canary Islands and enjoys a special preservation status as a Conjunto Histórica Artístico - somewhat like a folk park.
In the centre of the village is the 17th century Iglesia de Santa Maria which took almost a century to build after the previous church was destroyed by the Berber Pirate, Xaban de Arraez. Interestingly the original church on this site had the status of a Cathedral and was assigned a Bishop – who never arrived, testimony perhaps to the remoteness of the place. On the northern outskirts of the village is the roof-less ruin of a 15th century Franciscan Monastery, the Monasterio de San Buenaventura. Apparently the roof was sold off as timber by the Monks to buy food, during a particularly bad drought.
As well as offering several small museums, Betancuria is also a good spot to stop for lunch, with the Bodegon Don Carmelo offering some excellent Tapas. Prices at the Restaurante de Casa de Santa Maria (not to be confused with the small Café of the same name) seem to have gone through the stratosphere since it earned a mention in the Michelin Guide.
Unfortunately the entire village shuts down at night with the aforementioned, Restaurante de Casa de Santa Maria, only open on weekend evenings.
Map of Betancuria