Cofete Beach, Canary Islands
Credit: Alan Dawson / Getty Images

Big, bare, and beautiful are the best words to describe this remarkable beach. That's the landscape, not the people, who are actually nowhere to be found. This dramatic stretch of wild coastline is often completely deserted. The 9 miles of golden sand are hemmed in on either side by black mountain peaks and notoriously dangerous surf. An exhilarating place to get in touch with the elements, the haunting beauty of Cofete Beach is magnified by the lonely ruins of a beachside house, the Winter Villa, built here by one of Hitler's friends in the 1930s. Apart from a small scattering of houses below it, that is the start and end of attempts to develop this wild shore.