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The village of Cofete and the Winter villa in Fuerteventura

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General presentationGeneral presentation
Cofete is an agricultural hamlet irrelevant - almost a slum - on the northwest coast of the peninsula of Jandía in the southwest of the island of Fuerteventura. However Cofete enjoys an exceptional location at the foot of the highest mountain of Fuerteventura, the Pico de la Zarza, and near one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Playa de Cofete. Cofete and its beach are located inside the Natural Park of Jandía and have, therefore, been preserved for tourism development. As the entire park, Cofete is part of the municipality of Pájara.

Another attraction of Cofete is an enigmatic villa situated above the village, the villa Winter, to which are attached extravagant German submarines legends and national socialists networks, although this villa was built after World War World.


Cofete is located in the basin of the crater Jandía whose most collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean; only remaining southern part of the caldera. This southern part of the caldera forms the Arco de Cofete the cliffs formed by the rim of the caldera, the summit is the Pico de la Zarza (“Peak of the Bramble”), with 807 m.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. The arch of Cofete (author Dirk Vorderstraße). Click to enlarge the image.To achieve Cofete from Morro del Jable you have to take a vehicle track - but difficult - that crosses the edge of the caldera with a collar located 350 m above sea level. Shortly after the pass is the viewpoint of the Degollada de Agua Oveja, 230 m above sea level, where the view on the wild beaches of Cofete and Barlovento is splendid. This stone track was built in 1946 by prisoners of agricultural penal colony Tefía near La Oliva (Colonia de Vagos y Maleantes, "vagrants and crooks colony”). From Morro del Jable it takes ¾ of an hour to travel the 19 km of track to Cofete, preferably all-terrain vehicle. Cofete is also the goal of many jeep safaris organized from Morro Jable. The track is often narrow and does not permit the passing of vehicles.

On foot you can reach Cofete from Morro del Jable through the Barranco de Gran Valle; hiking is a little less than 8 km long. One can observe endemic plants of Jandía or the Canary Islands: the beginning of the hike we find euphorbia of Jandía (Euphorbia handiensis) then, at the approach of Cofete, many euphorbias populations of the Canaries (Euphorbia canariensis) , large succulent plant similar to cactus shaped candelabra.


VillageThe hamlet of Cofete
The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. the hamlet (Winki author). Click to enlarge the image.The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. the coffee shop Cofete (author Frank Vincentz). Click to enlarge the image.The hamlet of Cofete consists of a few houses and sheltered huts - somehow - westerly winds by a small hill, and grouped around a coffee shop to the friendly service where, it seems, we do not eat too bad. Many of these homes are inhabited occasionally, Scent of a Woman, by residents of Morro del Jable.

To the east of the hamlet we see a large bronze statue of Gustav Winter accompanied by his inseparable black dog; Villa Winter is located 1.5 km south of the hamlet at the foot of the slopes of the mountain. The monument to Gustav Winter is built on top of a lime kiln (horno de cal) used to produce quicklime.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. the hamlet and the Aguda montaña seen from the villa Winter (author Frank Vincentz). Click to enlarge the image.The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. the marine cemetery (author Frank Vincentz). Click to enlarge the image.One kilometer north of the hamlet is the beach of Cofete; just before the beach is Cemetery Cofete, a rather sinister marine cemetery filled with unmarked graves; it is said that many of these tombs are those of convicts have been employed in the construction of the track linking Morro Jable to Cofete. Next to the cemetery is the parking and camping - camping is temporarily closed.
BeachBeach Cofete (Playa de Cofete)
The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. Cofete beach in Fuerteventura (author Amaia eta Gotzon). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. the Roque del Moro (Landy Negro author). Click to enlarge the image in Panoramio (new tab).The beach Cofete extends for about 8 km from Roque del Moro, a dyke or volcanic vent, located west and El Islote, a rocky islet connected to the coast by a sandbar east ; the average width of the beach at Cofete is 60 meters. It consists of a golden sand from the decomposition of rocks and disintegration of shells, not brought sand of the Sahara by the east winds, as is the case for the beaches of Sotavento.

Because it is part of the Natural Park of Jandía, the area around the beach are inconstructibles and Beach Cofete remained a wild beach.

The wind is usually quite strong, as ocean currents: swimming can be dangerous. The surf creates strong very popular rolls surfers.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. Cofete Beach (author Selim Moreiro). Click to enlarge the image in Panoramio (new tab).On the beach of Cofete, in a reserved area, is conducted reintroduction experience of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) disappeared from the island of Fuerteventura from the early twentieth century. The eggs were collected from a colony of the southern Cape Verde islands, the environment and the beaches resemble Cofete, particularly by the quality of water, sand and especially sufficiently warm climate. The eggs of turtles are raised in artificial nests and before the young turtles cross the beach crawling to venture into the ocean, they are captured and transferred in aquariums from a breeding center located in the port of Morro del Jable. When they are strong enough to swim, a chip is implanted them in order to follow them and releasing them in the ocean on the beach of Cofete. It is hoped that as adults these turtles return to lay their eggs in Cofete and thus, the species happen again spontaneously on the island of Fuerteventura.

BeachBeach Barlovento (Playa de Barlovento)
The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. El Islote (author Norbert Nagel). Click to enlarge the image.The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. Beaches Cofette and Barlovento (author Hansueli Krapf). Click to enlarge the image.Beach Barlovento (“wind”) is extended towards the beach Cofete, beyond the island El Islote. Beach Barlovento has a length of about 6 km; This is a strip of greater or lesser sand - depending on the tide - between the ocean and the volcanic cliff; swimming can be dangerous, and the days of high tide, even the walk can be hazardous.
VillaVilla Winter (Casa de los Winter)
The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. La Villa Winter (author Norbert Nagel). Click to enlarge the image.The mysterious Villa Winter is located 1.5 km east of the hamlet of Cofete, almost at the foot of the Pico de la Zarza; The villa is located 130 m above sea level. This is a kind of mansion, with a ground floor and a mezzanine; the main entrance of the ground floor is facing the mountain and opens onto a patio where trying to survive a few banana trees; this patio reminiscent of the rich Canarian houses. Gargoyles carved in the shape of crocodiles discharge rainwater on the patio. Each side of the ground floor is extended by a balcony railing. The villa is covered by a roof in Roman tiles. The mezzanine is open on the north side - facing the sea - by a gallery with five arches overlooking a terrace. On the east side is a round tower of two floors with mullioned windows on the upper floor and a roof terrace.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. La Villa Winter (author Frank Vincentz). Click to enlarge the image.The villa was built from 1946 by a German engineer and entrepreneur, Gustav Winter, although in an interview given to the magazine “Stern” shortly before his death, it shows the date of 1958. The villa was restored in 1985 - probably with the intention of making a hotel - but is nevertheless in poor condition; the mezzanine openings are bricked up; the facades are crumbling. Villa Winter is the destination of many jeep safaris from Morro del Jable; visiting the court is authorized and guides that know they say - tip against the guards - to visit the interior of the villa.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. Statue of Gustav Winter (author Frank Vincentz). Click to enlarge the image.Gustav Winter was born in 1893 in Neustadt am Titisee near Freiburg im Breisgau in the Black Forest. After earning a degree in electrical engineering, Winter traveled to Argentina, where he put in service of electrical installations in large haciendas. He decided to return to Germany was triggered when the First World War, but the ship that brought the Argentine was intercepted in the English Channel by the British Navy and Winter was interned for a year in a prison ship at Southampton; during a mass escape of prisoners he was able to embark on a ship, the Hollandia, which called at Vigo in Galicia. Winter had to stay in Spain, where he put in service several power plants (Ciudad Real, Zaragoza and Valencia). He left the Canary Islands in 1925; in 1926 he played an important role in the construction of the power plant of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to CICER company (Compañía Insular Colonial de Electricidad y Riesgos). In 1933, sailing on his boat, the Argos, he discovered the almost island of Jandía, was seduced by the beauty of the place and moved to Morro del Jable - which was then a small fishing village. He tried to build a fish cannery and a cement plant, but both projects were unsuccessful. In July 1937 Winter rented the entire peninsula of Jandía to the heirs of the Count of Santa Coloma, who owned; he made a fence 2 meters high which prohibited access to nearly island. 1939 Winter was mobilized and in 1940 he was found to be responsible for the construction of shelters for submarines on the Atlantic coast of France. In 1941 the peninsula of Jandía was sold to the company Dehesa de Jandía including Gustav Winter was mentioned as the administrator.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. Portrait of Winter in August Stern. Click to enlarge the image.After the war, in 1946, Winter returned to Fuerteventura and began building his villa in Cofete, while living in Morro del Jable, where he built a school and a church. He began breeding sheep and goats and in the production of cheeses sold under the brand “Dehesa de Jandía”; he also tried to produce tomatoes - despite the unfavorable environment - which were to be exported from the port of Gran Tarajal, Winter also made ​​an attempt afforestation Massif de Jandía with 10,000 pine seedlings Canary; Nothing remains of these woodlands.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. Black list published by the newspaper El País. Click to enlarge the image.At that time the Anglo-Saxon secret services communicated to the Spanish Government a “black list” of 104 names of alleged Nazi agents - which included the name of Gustav Winter - by requiring their deportation to Germany for trial; none of these alleged agents was finally expelled. In 1956, the family Winter moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, without ever having lived in the Villa Winter in Cofete. In 1962 the company Dehesa de Jandía gave in 2 300 hectares of land between Morro del Jable and Cofete to Gustav Winter; these lands will prove to be a gold mine when part of the land will be sold as building land for tourism projects (tourism boom Jandía began in the early 1970s). In 1971 Gustav Winter died in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at the age of 78.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. A pseudo-historical novels about Winter villa. Click to enlarge the image.Shortly before the death of Gustav Winter German magazine sensationalist “Stern” published on Winter - who had granted him an interview - an article entitled “Die Glücksritter” (soldiers of fortune). This magazine will be illustrated in 1983 by the publication of false diaries of Adolf Hitler. This article on "the mysterious villa Winter and his mysterious owner" appears to be the beginning of rants about Gustav Winter and Villa Winter. Over the years journalists a copy of evil multiply sensationalist hacks and publish bad spy novels with the villa Winter as a backdrop. The unusual situation of this large secluded villa in this area difficult to access and inhospitable, nourishes fantasies, as well as the strategic position of the Canary Islands that could be appealing to the belligerents.

The village of Cofete in Fuerteventura. An Austrian tourist at Villa Winter. Click to enlarge the image.The legend, which then creates, the villa Winter a secret base of Nazi agents whose function was to supply German submarines during the “Battle of the Atlantic”; the tower of the villa would have served as a benchmark for submarines; shelter for submarines would be built in a volcanic cave in the villa; underground link the cellars of the villa at the shelter for submarines; the villa would have been the brothel for German submariners who were relaxing with prostitutes on the beautiful beaches of Cofete; two U-booten missing since the end of World War II still would also docked in the submarine base of Cofete. After the war the villa would have served as a lodge for National Socialist dignitaries exfiltrated to South America secretly arrived in a submarine, and after a cosmetic surgery operation to give them the face of their new identity, they resumed their journey with false papers since the airport that Gustav Winter had built in the Punta de Jandía, 7.5 km southwest of the villa. Chancellor Adolf Hitler himself would have passed through the villa Winter. Not to mention the inevitable “Nazi gold” - indispensable element of any phantasmagoria of “nazi-business” - that would be hidden somewhere in the vicinity of the villa.

Gustav Winter was probably an honorable engineer, nature lovers; anyway these legends only add a little mystery to the romantic charm of the long solitary beaches of Cofete.

Practical informationPractical information

MeteorologyWeather and forecasts
CoachA bus-road
An original bus line was created in 2013 by the Chapter of Fuerteventura: it is an all-terrain four-wheel drive bus that connects Morro del Jable in Cofete and Puertito de la Cruz, on the Punta de Jandía. The bus seats 21 makes two round trips per day from the bus station in Morro del Jable, every day at 10 am and 14 pm; Back from the beach of Cofete at 12 h 30 to 16 h 30. The bus stops are: Quai de Morro Jable, Cemetery, Gran Valle, Puertito de la Cruz, Lighthouse Jandía, Cofete and the beach of Cofete. The line is operated by the operator of public transport of Fuerteventura, the company Tiadhe. Price: € 2.50 per trip.
Camping The camping Cofete
A camping there for 30 years along the beach Cofete, next to the cemetery and parking lot; it was possible to camp there or park your camper there after asking permission from the Cabildo de Fuerteventura (Tel: 00 34 928 862 300). Because it encroached on the maritime domain, this site is temporarily closed awaiting a new location.

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