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El Cotillo on the west coast of the island feels as though it has not yet caught up with the 20th century. The village still with its working fishing harbour and quaint streets of locals housing has some of the best fish restaurants on the island.

Although the coves in the village are of black sand, outside it the beaches are golden. To the south the long stretch of flat sand is a favourite of those experienced windsurfers able to cope with the strong undercurrents.

North of Cotillo are the famous lagoons, long a mecca for naturists. Here off-shore rocks hold back the pounding Atlantic waves to give shallow warm water lapping onto the almost white sand.

Beyond the lagoons is the lighthouse, with its museum of traditional fisheries, from where a dirt track leads along the island's northern coast to Majanicho and Corralejo.

Thomas Reich