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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cofete attractions

1. Villa Winter

1.04 MILES

This impressive structure, with its castle-like turret, was built by German engineer Gustav Winter in the 1930s. Rumours linking Winter to the Nazi party…

2. Turtle Nursery

4.51 MILES

This small sanctuary in the Puerto de Morro Jable is for turtles to be reared, ready for release into the wild. It is sometimes closed without notice, but…

3. Playa del Matorral

5.49 MILES

Playa del Matorral is the main beach here and it’s magnificent, stretching eastwards for over 4km from Morro Jable. A family-friendly beach, it’s great…

4. Playa de Sotavento de Jandía

7.62 MILES

The name is a catch-all for the series of truly stunning beaches that stretch along the east coast of the peninsula. For swimming, sunbathing and…

5. Punta de Jandía Lighthouse

7.89 MILES

At the end of the dirt road from Morro Jable, the asphalt returns for a smooth ride to this lighthouse positioned over thundering Atlantic waves. The…

6. Playa de la Barca

9.29 MILES

The beach that most people visualise when they think of Sotavento is Playa de la Barca. Signposted from the FV-2, 2.5km south of Costa Calma, this is the…

7. Oasis Park

15.08 MILES

If you don’t object to zoos, expansive (and expensive) Oasis Park in La Lajita has mammals, birds and sea life, plus shows and camel rides. Here you can…

8. Mirador Astronómico de Sicasumbre

18.52 MILES

If you want just one place to put the island's primordial, barren geology and Martian features into wide-angle perspective, this mirador has breathtaking…