Playa de Cofete

Top choice in Cofete

This is the main beach in far-flung Cofete, near the southern tip of the island and the main draw on the island for many. It's huge, quite beautiful and entirely undeveloped, with fine honey-coloured sand and a rumbling backdrop of relentless Atlantic rollers and the turquoise ocean. Think twice about swimming here: the waves and currents are more formidable than the generally calmer waters on the other side of the island. If you know what you're doing and have your own gear, it's a good spot for surfers.

Note the signs asking you to report any evidence of turtle activity on the sands. If you see signs of turtle tracks, nesting turtles or even injured turtles, then report this by calling 112. Do not touch turtles or turtle eggs (unless you discover an injured turtle, then the advice is given to move the animal into the shade).

Look out for the ancient, sand-engulfed Cemetery (Cementerio del Cofete) near the beach, which is quite a picture. The simple graves are marked with small wooden crosses and piles of stones; the cemetery is bordered by a low wall that is also engulfed in sand, while the main door is similarly swamped by a huge dune (so climb over the wall). The cemetery is signposted.

Away from the beach and up the hillside stands Villa Winter, an intriguing sight with a shadowy past. The building is cloaked in a mix of imaginative myth and hearsay: some people maintain the German-built mansion was constructed as a secret hideout for Nazi top brass.

Get here early in the morning to have the beach entirely to yourself. Sunsets are lovely, but weigh up the danger of returning along the treacherous mountain road at night.