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Villa de Mazo/Spain

Introducing Villa de Mazo

A quiet village 13km south of Santa Cruz, Mazo is surrounded by green, dormant volcanoes. The town is known for the cigars and handicrafts made here and for being a highlight of La Palma’s winery route ­(www.infoisla.org/rutadelvino).

As soon as you enter town, make a left to head down to Museo Casa Roja (922 42 85 87; Calle Maximiliano Pérez Díaz; admission €2; 10am-2pm & 3-6pm Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm Sat & 10am-2pm Sun), a lovely pinkish-red mansion (built in 1911) with exhibits on embroidery and Corpus Christi – a festival the town celebrates with particular gusto. The house itself has an impressive ­imperial staircase and ­ornate tiled floors.

Beyond the museum is Escuela Insular de Artesanía (922 42 84 55; 8am-3pm Mon-Fri Oct-Jun, to 2pm Jul-Sep), the island handicrafts school, which runs a shop where you can buy tobacco, ­embroidery, ceramics, baskets and other goods. To get to the shop, head into the school’s main patio and up the stairs on your right.

You can also buy artisan goods at the weekend market (Via de Enlace Doctor Amilcar Morera Bravo; 3-7pm Sat, 9am-1pm Sun), where produce, handicrafts and a variety of food products are sold.

Down the hill from the school is the imposing Templo de San Blas, Mazo’s 16th-century church, which sits on a small plaza overlooking the ocean. Inside, the church boasts a baroque altarpiece and several interesting pieces of baroque art.

Continue 800m down the hill (take the car unless you want to trudge back uphill) to reach Cerámica el Molino (922 44 02 13; Carretera Hoyo de Mazo; admission free; 9am-1pm & 3-7pm Mon-Sat), a meticulously restored mill that houses a ceramics museum and workshop where artisans make reproductions of Benahoare pottery. There’s a popular souvenir shop as well. You can also get here from the LP-132 highway.