5th Jun 2023 @ 1:09 pm

The Islote de la Fermina finally opened to the public on January 30th, 2023. We took a look at Arrecife’s beautiful new tourist attraction.

This small island just off the shore near the Gran Hotel used to be called “the island of love” by locals, because it was a popular place for young couples to seek a little privacy. But its official name is Islote de la Fermina, named after a local businesswoman who built a shipyard there in the 1920s. In the 1970s, the Cabildo acquired the isle and César Manrique was hired to design the project.

It never opened. Delays and bureaucracy kept the island closed for several years, and it was in an advanced state of neglect until it was renovated recently. And now, finally, anyone can stroll across the wooden bridge to this lovely place.

The first thing you notice is the brilliant white of the floor and the aquamarine of the abstractly shaped pools, studded with jet black rocks and leaning palms. The design echoes Manrique’s pool at Jameos del Agua, or his stunning Lago Martiánez in Tenerife

Canarian plants have been carefully planted everywhere – tabaibas, veroles, drago trees and palms – and one end of the island has several black basalt windbreaks – meant for sunbathers, but a perfect place for children to play hide and seek. A lighthouse made of lava overlooks the bay.

The tempting pool contains unheated sea water and will open later in the year. There’s also a pleasant café, whose staff wear the tunics Manrique designed for the tourist centres, and buildings where award-giving functions will be held. Indoors, those huge Manrique windows frame views of Arrecife’s seafront.

Views like this are the big surprise awaiting the visitor to the Islote. Not only does it offer fine outlooks over Arrecife’s bay; it also gives stunning views south to Fuerteventura and the Ajaches mountains.

As the setting sun’s rays burst through dramatic cloud, burnishing the horizon, you realise that those lovers who led their partners here were looking for more than intimacy – they also found romance, inspiration, and beauty.

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