This week’s winning letter The wonders of La Palma
La Palma (La Isla Bonita) has among its attractions the towering Caldera de Taburiente, replete with world-famous observatories and awe-inspiring views, as well as the rainforest of Los Tilos with its bird life and lush vegetation. This is an island to savour.
For me, nothing matches the Ruta de los Volcanos from El Pilar along a ridge to the lighthouse by the salt pans in the south. It is a walk to be remembered forever, as it features extinct and recently active volcanoes, solitude and sweeping views across to Tenerife emerging from the clouds.
Walking up the cliff at Tazacorte seems impossible, but effort is repaid with magnificent views from the top and a welcome bar. There are many thrills, chills and sights that make this island impossible to forget. The capital, Santa Cruz, is thronged with restaurants and the taste of the local honey rum is blissful. In short, La Palma is a friendly, laid-back and unspoilt island of wonders.
Robert Box, from Shropshire, wins a 500 voucher with TravelLocal
Lanzarote is somewhere I would visit again and again. From the moment we landed, I loved the island that all-too-familiar smell of a warm Spanish airport, followed by the journey to our hotel across a landscape that can only be described as startling.
Our favourite resort is Playa Blanca, with its beautiful views across to nearby Fuerteventura. In Lanzarote, the near-constant breeze makes walking a delight.
The Timanfaya National Park can be the highlight of a visit for some, perhaps stopping for a camel ride on the way. It offers a breathtakingly beautiful, hardened lava landscape and also food cooked using the Earths geothermal heat.
For other visitors, the high point might be a visit to the underground lava tubes at Cueva de los Verdes and the illusion that waits within.
For me, however, nothing beats Mirador del Rio and taking in the clifftop view across the Atlantic to La Graciosa while enjoying a refreshing Spanish coffee. I want to go back.
Steve Voller, Kent
La Gomera is a miniature paradise, which we got to know well when our son and his friend rowed across the Atlantic. While enjoying a warm, colourful sunset, I squatted next to their boat on the pontoon of the islands small harbour, boring holes in pieces of sheep fleece.
Each of them would be tied in place on the seat of the boat to reduce friction during the race to Antigua. Fortunately, the earnest and environmentally aware Bavarian farmer who had sold us the fleece had no idea of its intended use.
The island provided us with a relaxing prelude to the transatlantic challenge; we sourced final supplies, explored steep mountain roads, found the one and only parador on the island, and enjoyed a riotous farewell in a caf in San Sebastin, to the musical accompaniment of an unexpectedly automatic accordion which my husband had thought he was playing himself. La Gomeras main claim to fame? De aqu parti Coln Columbus left from here!
Lesley Bright, West Sussex
Having travelled to all of the Canary Islands, I can confidently say my favourite is Lanzarote. I spend the whole of November there every year. The island is safe and the locals are friendly; the weather is usually glorious but can be a little temperamental; and the pace of life is slow and relaxing.
I have stayed in Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca, but my best memories are of Puerto del Carmen as it seems to have everything I want.
One of my great loves is walking, and there are so many routes, you are spoilt for choice. Id recommend getting the bus (or water taxi) from Puerto del Carmen to nearby Puerto Calero, then walking back along the cliffs. I usually hire a car for a week to enable me to get to the north and west coasts, which are rocky and wild compared to the east. Perfection.
Audrey Clark, Dundee
Our first holiday to the Canary Islands was a surprise anniversary jaunt in December 1990. My husband gave me a weeks notice to pack for a long weekend in Scotland, so I collected a mountain of woolly jumpers and other clothing suited to the climate.
However, on the day before we left he said he had been advised by a friend of ours to tell me the truth about our destination. In this friends opinion, knowing me quite well, making me sit on a sunbed wearing a scarf, bobble hat, jersey, jeans and boots could be a major error of judgment, however well-intentioned the joke. Boy oh boy, was he right. However, with the help of my calm and amazing mum we managed to repack in a couple of hours. The day was saved and a divorce was avoided. Who knows, we may even go back this year for our 47th anniversary.
Maggi Dignam, Manchester
If youre heading for La Gomera this summer, my tip would be to arrive by ferry at San Sebastin and climb aboard the waiting No 1 bus to Valle Gran Rey. Marvel at the spectacular scenery and the skill of the driver as he negotiates his way through remote villages and around hairpin bends. Gasp with wonder when, after an hour, the bus emerges from a tunnel to a view of the beautiful palm-clad valley spread out below, fringed by the sparkling sea.
Valle Gran Rey is a working town with a tolerant, friendly and eclectic population. There are clearly signed walks for various abilities, cycling challenges, boat trips and paddle boarding for the energetic. Swim, read and people-watch, paying particular attention to the drummers and jugglers on the beach as the sun goes down. Hire a car to explore.
Tourist information is easily available, and there are many restaurants serving delicious and different cuisines. Hopefully, you will return home fitter and more relaxed.
Penny Lindrea, Somerset
A couple of years ago we went on holiday to the volcanic island of Tenerife, staying in Costa Adeje.
One of the highlights of the holiday was a sunset and astronomy trip to [Mount] Teide National Park. The view was breathtaking and watching the sunset with a glass of champagne in hand was very romantic so much so that one of our group proposed as the sun went down. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and pointed out several constellations and planets. It was a magical experience.
Dawn Facey, Worcestershire
In 1979, when I was there, the resort of Playa Blanca had just one road leading into the sea and dirt tracks on either side. To the right was our pretty little villa, in a line of white houses fronting the sea, with spectacular views across to Fuerteventura. The only other buildings then were a single supermercado, a restaurant, a bar, a few fishermens houses and a church.
Meeting two English ladies living there, we became known as Las Nias. We were invited to have drinks on their patio and learnt to play mahjong, but we mainly just rested, read, swam and felt refreshed.
With a car, we visited the north, Arrecife and the strange Fire Mountain. We absorbed the history and culture of Playa Blanca and the island as a whole. Each summer at home, we still enjoy our favourite recipe from La Era Restaurante for fresh tomato soup.
HM Haynes, Essex
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Read the original here:
The Canary Islands: readers’ tips – Telegraph.co.uk