MADRID – The New York Times has included two Spanish destinations in its list of 52 places in the world to ‘visit’ in 2022. ‘Places for a Changing World’ is the name of this year´s list.
Consequently, the list includes destinations ‘where travellers can be part of the solution’. At number 23 is the smallest Canary Island, El Hierro, and at number 47 are the Cíes Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia, in the Ria de Vigo coastal area.
El Hierro: island full of nature and culture
The New York Times praises El Hierro as ‘the most remote and enchanting of the Canary Islands’. Moreover, the island is at the forefront of renewable energy. The newspaper points to the opening of Gorona del Viento in 2014. This power station uses a system of reservoirs and wind to supply the island with electricity. Furthermore, it has even provided 100% of its electricity for 24 consecutive days. Therefore, thanks to this power station, El Hierro is the first completely self-sufficient island in the world.
What also makes the island special is that its cultural identity is still deeply rooted and elements such as the ‘silbo herreño’ (the flute language of the islanders, the herreños) have been preserved.
Declared a nature reserve in 1980, the Cíes Islands are part of the Islas Atlánticas de Galicia national park. This uninhabited island group is located in the mouth of the Ría de Vigo and consists of three islands: Monte Agudo, O Faro and San Martiño. The first two are connected via Playa de Rodas, a beach that was once voted the ‘best in the world’ by ‘The Guardian’. The water there is heavenly blue, the beaches white as snow and the character calm.
The New York Times points out that there is a daily limit on the number of visitors. This is to protect the environment and prevent excesses in this environment of protected biodiversity. There are strict rules and restrictions for cars, hotels, noise, and light. And that makes it possible to enjoy the most beautiful starry skies here.
Click here if you want to see the recommendations for 2021.