There was a time when the town of Antigua represented the center of Fuerteventuran life—not only is it situated in the middle of the island, but it once served as its capital. Relinquished of that capital title only a year after it was granted (in 1834), Antigua remains one of the island’s most historic towns, and maintains some of that old-fashioned charm today, making it an intriguing stop during your visit to this corner of the Canaries.
The 18th-century pueblo ticks all the usual Canarian boxes: whitewashed buildings, palm-tree-lined streets, and an abundance of cacti scattered among the volcanic landscape. It’s also home to the 16th-century Nuestra Señora de la Antigua Church, which looks over a square of still more palm trees, that give way to a hilly horizon beyond.
Perhaps the most notable sight, though, sits just north of town: the windmill and cactus garden. Called El Molino de Antigua, the mill itself is in pristine condition and sits next to a complex where you can discover a whole lot more about the region’s culture. There’s an artisanal shop complete with purchase-able local crafts, as well as a cactus garden in which you can wander. Perhaps best of all, you’ll even come across the recently opened Museo del Queso—the Cheese Museum—which highlights Fuerteventura’s majojero cheese, via exhibits on the island’s farming culture, flora and fauna, and, of course, especially through cheese sampling.
Antigua is located in the very center of Fuerteventura, and just a short drive away from the village of Betancuria. Be careful not to confuse the town of Antigua with the larger region of Antigua, and particularly the coastal resort area of Costa de Antigua. Note that the Museo del Queso is closed both Mondays and Sundays.