4-Xtremes – part 44: island-hopping in the Atlantic with the Kammermanns

Series: 4-Xtremes – The World Tour

Africa in view.

From the tiny isle off Tarifa to the Canaries: in the latest leg, the Kammermanns cross the expanse of water. There is, however, still plenty of opportunity to enjoy driving on asphalt!

Sunset over the sea of fog: Mike and Andrea find truly exceptional places in Tenerife to stop with their Axor.


Whether we like it or not: there is no way for us to get through to Africa right now. But finally we were as close to the continent as it is possible to be in Europe. Only 14 kilometres as the crow flies divide Isla de Las Palomas from the coast of Morocco. Further, by far more significant islands, which we headed for afterwards, also lie off the coast of Africa.

The leg begins in Tarifa, which we reached from Gibraltar. Located close to the surfer hotspot is that very Isla de Las Palomas. It is connected to Tarifa via a causeway and is recognised as the southernmost point of the European continent. That makes the otherwise unspectacular island worth a visit. So we swiftly take some photos and then quickly start the Axor up again.


Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.
Right at the southernmost tip of Spain: impressions from Isla de Las Palomas – and from the colourful city of Seville.

Flamenco in Seville, trucker acquaintance at sea.

The next destination is around 200 kilometres to the north‑west. Seville. Whose historic city is regarded as the largest of its kind in Spain and for which there is no comparison Europe‑wide. We climb onto our bicycles for an extended tour and are amazed that the restaurants are full even in the middle of the week, and we watch the flamenco dancers on the Plaza de España. We could easily have stayed here for longer but we had booked tickets for the ferry.


So late in the afternoon in the port of Huelva, we roll into the bow of a ferry. We can expect to be at sea for 32 hours. The destination: Tenerife, the largest of the Canary islands, which we want to explore in the coming weeks.

On board we meet a German truck driver whose Actros is next to us. He has often been to the island with his truck and recommends a quiet overnight accommodation close to the port. A very handy tip!


On steep roads up to the volcano.

After having crossed several lines of latitude during the crossing, we reach Tenerife at around midnight. If you go in a straight line from the Atlantic island towards the African continent you will land in the south of Morocco. But of course we are staying in Tenerife – where the climate is so mild that we can sleep with the window open for the first time in a long while.

After a day at the beach, we get started in our Axor on a long trip: from sea level to a height of over 2.500 metres on Mount Teide. On the steep roads, we wind our way through forests, break through blankets of clouds and finally reach the crater landscape of Teide National Park. The summit of the volcano is at a height of over 3.700 metres, making it Spain’s highest mountain. On hiking trails you can explore the rugged landscape. We stay for several days on the slopes of Teide, and spend an icy night in the crater and experience breathtaking sunsets over the sea of fog.



The fun of driving on the island of La Palma.

We take early departure from Tenerife, at least for now. Because we have found a good ferry connection to La Palma. Of the seven largest Canary islands, La Palma is the furthest north-west. There is also a volcano here – which caused headlines in late 2021: for a number of weeks, it spewed lava and ashes and brought a significant amount of suffering and destruction to the island. Of course we avoid the affected areas.

After two and a half hours, we roll off the ferry. Our first impression: La Palma carries the well-earned byname Isla Verde (green island) and appears to be quite wild. We are impressed by the black beaches, raw cliffs and lush forests. Driving on the meandering roads is fun. This is partly because our Axor has manual gear transmission. In other words: Mike has to work hard. That is also the case on the long descent with gradients of up to 16 per cent. He has to take particular care that the brakes don’t overheat.


Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.
Green island, storm-tossed: trails on the island of La Palma.

Salt from the Atlantic and little houses in the rock.

Due to the Atlantic, the weather on the Canary Islands is very changeable. When we reach the beach in La Palma, the afternoon sun is shining and it is 20 degrees; before bedtime rain clouds have formed and in the night the wind picks up. The next morning it hails – and shortly afterwards the sun comes out again. Hail at sea level means that on the volcano, at a height of more than 2.400 metres, there has been snow. In such cases the police block the roads at the snow line. Even with our winter tyres and snow chains we have to turn round.


That doesn’t really matter as there is also a lot to see on the coast. So we visit a pretty lighthouse right at the south of the island and in particular the neighbouring salt plains. Each year about 600 tonnes of salt are extracted here from the Atlantic. On another day, we undertake a climbing tour on the cliffs in order to see another remarkable feature of the island: small houses that natives have carved into the stone.

Some of them are really just caves with a closed entrance. There are also more elaborate versions with jutting, brick fronts. In most cases, the builders have used pretty much every material that would be discarded elsewhere, particularly doors and windows. In the inside of the accommodation, there is a pleasant temperature of 20 degrees all year round. This is explained to us by a dweller who spontaneously offers us to have a drink with them. A lovely way to finish our visit to La Palma. The ferry ticket has already been booked – on to the next island of the Canaries!


4-Xtremes – The World Tour.

An unparalleled journey.

Andrea and Mike Kammermann have been on tour in their Axor for three years. "4-Xtremes – The World Tour" is the motto of the journey that the two Swiss nationals embarked on in mid-2020 and which they share with the RoadStars community. Keep up to date and don't miss out on any of the stunning destinations visited by the adventurous pair.

You can find all the parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.


Photos: 4-Xtremes

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