Robin McKelvie spends a weekend in La Palma on Spain’s Canary Islands
Check into the glorious Parador Nacional (doubles from £75, www.parador.es/es/paradores/parador-de-la-palma). This grand dame enjoys sweeping views of the island capital of Santa Cruz de la Palma, a swimming pool and manicured hillside gardens.
Drop down to the quiet resort of Cancajos. Here El Pulpo (tel: 922-434914) offers boat fresh seafood cooked simply right on an ocean beach.
Enjoy a dip in the Atlantic before following the walkway along the coast towards Santa Cruz, where the grand old town, with its churches, quaint squares and cafes, awaits.
You won’t forget dining at tiny Enriclai (tel: 680-203209). The ultra friendly owners only speak a little English and there is no written menu, but the food is superb, as are the La Palma wines.
The best way to appreciate ‘La Isla Bonita’ is on a hike. The Ruta de los Volcanes takes you on an epic sweep down the island’s volcanic spine with superb views of neighbouring Tenerife and El Hierro.
The volcano trail culminates at the sleepy town of Fuencaliente. The surrounding hills are famous for their Malmsey (Malvasia) wines, which were mentioned by Shakespeare. Try a small glass of the sweet version with almond biscuits after a snack lunch in one of the local bars.
Continue hiking down towards the ocean, making a detour to take in the Teneguia volcano, and you will come to Restaurante el Jardin de la Sal (tel: 922-411523). It’s the ideal spot for a sundowner.
Reward yourself for your efforts back at the Parador, whose exceptional restaurant boasts both an à la carte menu laden with island specialities and a seasonal menu with the freshest of island produce.
Finish your trip with another hike through the forested wilds of the Taburiente National Park, which offers myriad trails and more epic views.
• EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) flies toTenerife from Edinburgh. Fred Olsen (www.fredolsen.es) ferries serve La Palma. Ramblers WorldwideHolidays (www.ramblersholidaysco.uk) offer week-long guided hiking holidays that include the hikesoutlined here.