It’s culturally interesting, politically stable and has a coastline of golden beaches. So why isn’t Ghana on the tourist map—and could it be? Andrew Eames takes a road trip along the West African nation’s Cape Coast to find out.

As winter approaches the northern hemisphere, European minds—as if on auto-pilot—start thinking about where to insert a window of sunlight into the long dark months that separate the holidays from spring.

The options haven’t changed much since last year; once again, the Canary Islands are looking forward to a bumper season, and Egypt will be hoping that a terrorism-free year will revive tourist fortunes.

But there’s a historically interesting, politically stable country with gorgeous beaches—and not much further away from Europe than either the Canaries or Egypt—that somehow never gets a look-in. Even last year, when its near-neighbor Gambia had a huge political wobble which sent sun-seekers packing, Ghana just wasn’t able to pick up the slack. So why not?