Where would you go on a European holiday? In Europe, there are a lot of delightful holiday place. This tiny Canary island, close to Fuerteventura, is remarkable for its rugged beauty and isolation, both of which inspired a key passage in the Danish crime writer Thomas Rydahl’s debut novel.
From afar it looks like an old hat. Or the elephant inside the snake in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s famous book The Little Prince. Isla de Lobos (Wolf Island, so named for the sea wolves, or monk seals, that once lived there) is a big, black lump of volcanic ashes, a short bumpy boat trip from the touristy, postcard-ish seaside town of Corralejo, on the Canary island of Fuerteventura, less than 100 miles off the coast of Africa. If the ship is in the direction of the right, you can look at the bottom of the glass, see the white sand dunes that huge, spotted the fish and the occasional octopus hid behind a rock. After 15 minutes, you are in a vague landing pier.
Isla de Lobos is one of those great little places you’ll remember only if you are open to it. In fact, there’s nothing remarkable to see; still, it has been deemed a natural park, perhaps because of its distinct and mystifying landscape, carved by wind and sea. Its last permanent inhabitants left in the 1960s, when the lighthouse was automated.
Don’t have a place on the island, no tourist attractions, exciting, no entertainment do – in addition to stroll in the island’s rocky path. Let them take you to the sleepy beach, where kids can safely play in the shallow water, or lead you towards the only town-ish place on Isla de Lobos, a collection of almost invisible, abandoned houses, where there’s a cafe of sorts and lots of mesmerising views of the sea and the coast.
I chose the Isla DE Lobos as one of important scenes in my novel “hermit” setting, because be isolated and deprived of social integrity and overwhelming feeling is so rare and clamping. Place yourself on the rocks above the cove and enjoy the winds from Africa and the view of Fuerteventura. This is a place for contemplation and disappearance. A rare treat. But remember to bring plenty of water and perhaps food, and as they say on the official Isla de Lobos website: wear sunscreen and don’t leave any rubbish.