La Palma is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. That’s not surprising, this small beautiful island offers a guarantee of good weather almost all year round. The locals here only speak Spanish. This means that it is difficult for many tourists to ask them for information. That is why the most important information is clearly listed here so that you do not have questions during your holiday.
The climate on La Palma is mild all year round. The west side of the island is most popular with tourists, it has the most sun; Even in the winter months the sun shines here almost every day. However, it can be chilly in the evening, especially if your accommodation is a bit higher. The east and north can be rainy and misty and sometimes downright cold, especially in the winter months. In the summer months the entire island is sunny and it is warmest in the west. Yet the temperature rarely rises above 30 degrees. Only with the Calima, a warm Saharan wind, the temperature can rise to 45 degrees.
Most shops are open from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then again from 4:30 p.m. to 8 or 9 p.m. Exceptions to this are shops in tourist places and large supermarkets. They are open all day long. Banks and government agencies are often only open in the morning until about 2 p.m. in the afternoon. The same applies to many pharmacies and post offices. Only the major post offices in Santa Cruz and Los Llanos de Aridane are open all day.
It is actually best to rent a car on La Palma. If this is not included in your trip, you can rent a car at the airport. If you have other transport from the airport to your accommodation, you can also park cars in the tourist places. The price of a rental car is around 30 euros per day. Obviously depending on the model you want to rent and the number of days. If you rent the car for less than a week, it often costs more per day. Please note that some rental companies require a deposit. Gasoline is cheap on La Palma. Currently around 1.15 cents per liter. The roads on La Palma can be steep and winding but are generally in good condition. There are unpaved roads, but they generally do not lead to places that are fun for tourists. You are not allowed to drive on unpaved roads with a rental car. The bus connections on La Palma are not bad, especially in the more heavily populated areas. For the most recent bus times and connections, it is best to pick up the free Docassión newspaper in the supermarket. This contains a table with the bus times. You can also request this information at the major bus stations. Taxis are relatively expensive on La Palma. Always ask how much it will cost to get to your destination before boarding. Hitchhiking is also common on La Palma.
La Palma has a number of daily markets and a number of weekly markets. Santa Cruz and Los Llanos de Aridane both have a daily market that is only closed on Sundays. These markets are 8am to 2pm. villa de has a farmer’s market on the weekends. On Saturday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM and on Sunday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The El Fayal district near Puntagorda also has a market every weekend. In addition to fresh goods, art and crafts are also sold here. This market is on Saturdays from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM and on Sundays from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. A flea market is held every Sunday from 9am in Los Llanos de Aridane in the Arqual district. The range on this market is very diverse. Here you can find junk from the attic, but also beautiful handicrafts, clothing and jewelry. The studio of a glass blower who gives demonstrations every Sunday is adjacent to this market.
Various sporting activities can be enjoyed on La Palma. Let us list them briefly:
- Hiking: La Palma has hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails. These are all good overall. You can take walks with the help of a guide. If you want to walk with a guide, you will find information stands and brochures at catering establishments in tourist areas. You can also enjoy walking without a guide. Make sure you have a good walking map and/or route description.
- Mountain biking: In the tourist resorts of Puerto Naos and Los Concajos there are companies that rent mountain bikes. You can rent a bicycle from them and set off yourself with a map. You can also have their cars take you up and then cycle back down yourself. The owners speak several languages.
- Paragliding: In Puerto Naos you can make a tandem flight with a pilot. You will be taken to their starting point and you will fly quietly back to Puerto Naos. The owner speaks German and English.
- Diving: There are diving schools in Los Concajos, Puerto Naos and Los Canarios. They offer programs for all levels. Even without a diving diploma you can go into the water for a test dive. The owners all speak multiple languages.
- Canoeing: Taking a canoe trip across the ocean is also possible. In Puerto Naos there are posters in various catering establishments with their program and a telephone number listed. The owners speak German.
- Horse riding: There is a riding school in El Paso in the Tacande district. This organizes outdoor rides, but you can also take lessons if you want. These outdoor rides are only supervised. The owner speaks German.
If you want to take a boat trip, you can go to the port of Tazacorte. Here are three companies that offer boat trips. They all have different programs, but the main goal is often to see dolphins in the ocean. You will receive a snack and a drink on board and you will have the opportunity to swim along the way in calm seas. If you want to take a trip to one of the other islands, you can do so in the port of Santa Cruz. Be sure to inquire in time about the options because they do not sail every day. There are several companies that offer such a trip. The prices vary considerably, so be well informed.
La Palma has quite a number of large and small beaches. All beaches on La Palma have black sand. To get to the small, remote and often very beautiful beaches, you will often have to descend quite a distance and climb back up again later. Always keep an eye on the sea at this small beach, swimming is certainly not always possible! Puerto Naos, Los Concajos and Tazacorte have the largest beaches. Here too, the sea can often be rough, but red flags are raised here. South of Puerto Naos, towards El Remo, is the beach Charco Verde. This is the most beautiful beach on the island. Between Charco Verde and Puerto Naos is the only beach where nude recreation is allowed: Las Monjas. There is a sign at the entrance to the driveway between the banana plantations.
It is never to be hoped, but it may happen that you need medical attention during your holiday. In emergencies where an ambulance is needed, call 112. If you are able to go to the emergency room yourself, you can go to the health centers (Centro de Salud) in all larger towns. The La Palma hospital is located just outside the capital Santa Cruz, on the road to Los Llanos de Aridane. This is the only large building in the area, so it certainly stands out. You can also contact private doctors. These are often more expensive and are not always reimbursed by your insurance companies. Always make sure you have your European dating card with you and ask for an itemized bill. Not everything will be reimbursed by your Dutch insurance company. Of course you can take out additional travel insurance that will reimburse everything.
There are large black containers along all roads. You can dispose of your waste here. Little separate waste collection is done on La Palma. Only in the large towns can you find separate containers for different types of waste. There are glass bins here and there on La Palma, but there are not very many. Most Palmeros actually throw all their waste in those black containers.