Why go? The Canary Islands has been a fly-and- flop favourite for decades, but away from the parasols of the masses lies an arch ipelago waiting to be explored. And with easy jet launching new flights to La Palma from the UK, it’s time to rediscover a lost wilderness. Golden strips of beach are rare on La Palma, the Canaries’ most northerly isle and a UNESCO biosphere reserve. More common are the sights of contorting rock formations, lush rainforest, black sands and bubbling craters. Despite the island’s tiny size (708sq km), it squeezes in a vast array of’scapes and trails. Caldera de Taburiente NP is home to many and its winding Volcano Route takes you high above the tree line to gasp at the crater-speckled island in its full glory.
Head to the Fuencaliente Salt Pans to wander the remnants of old volcanic eruptions, while the island also has some manmade gems in the shape of the elegant colonial towns of Los Llanos de Aridane and capital Santa Cruz. Even after dusk, La Palma shines. Its skies are famous for stargazing and a fine observatory tops Roque de los Muchachos. So, ditch your preconceptions and head to this neglected jewel for a walk on the wild side.
Where to stay? The 17th-century Hotel San Telmo lies in Santa Cruz’s pretty Old Town; doubles from €63 (£54).
Get there now! Easy jet launch twice-weekly flights from London Gatwick to La Palma from 1 Nov. From £60 return.
Or how about this… British Airways will fly Gatwick to Cape Town three times a week from 24 Nov. From £750 return; Norwegian are due to fly Gatwick to Reykjavik three times a week from 1 Nov. From £64 return.