La Palma Holidays
La Palma – The Canary Islands' undiscovered gem
Regarded as the most beautiful of the Canary Islands, tiny La Palma is worlds apart from its larger neighbours in terms of character and atmosphere. You won’t find the hordes of sunburnt Brits, sprawling resorts or the parched landscapes of Tenerife or Lanzarote here. Instead, La Palma is wonderfully lush; a semi-tropical paradise with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants. Blood red soil reminiscent of Africa, thick jungle vegetation of the kind found in the Caribbean, dramatic geographical features similar to Sicily and ramshackle brightly coloured houses like those found in the Faroe Islands give the island a strange feel of both familiarity and individuality.
This island is perfect for those who value peace and tranquillity from their holiday; somewhere you can unwind and feel a million miles from the rat race. It is a perfect destination for walking, hiking and cycling, with a number of criss-cross paths and trails through pristine, virginal tropical forest. Climb the 6,000ft-high Caldera de Taburiente; a huge, tree-covered volcanic peak. Visit the banana town of San Andrés in the northwest, where the fruit trees grow in terraces around the villages and lean out between the houses. Or experience the island's pretty Portuguese-flavoured capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma.
When to go
As one of the lesser known Canary Islands, La Palma remains relatively quiet throughout the year. You won’t have to struggle through throngs of people or get up at the crack of dawn to get a spot on the beach. The busiest time of year will be over the peak season of June-August, when the weather is hottest. This is also the most expensive time to go. Weather wise, the island is slightly cooler than its larger counterparts, with the winter season between November-March particularly temperamental. Visit in February and you may get the chance to experience the island-wide Carnival that occurs, with music performances and traditional paint throwing.
The weather in La Palma
La Palma has a warm and sunny climate, with moderate temperatures all year round. Temperatures range from an average of 22C in August to 15C in January. June-August can see highs of between 24-28C. The spring months of April-May are clement, with around 7-8 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures in the low twenties. Autumn is also a nice time to visit, with September-October basking in temperatures between the low-mid-twenties on average and around 8 hours of sunshine. Winter however – between November to March – can be somewhat unpredictable, with an increased chance of rain and cooler temperatures.
Getting the best deal
Just by booking on La Palma you are already likely to be getting a better deal, as accommodation on the smaller Canaries tends to be cheaper than on the more popular islands such as Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria. To save more money still, you should try and book as early as possible – the best deals and offers will always sell out first. If you have the flexibility, avoid the school summer holidays period, Easter and half term.
You can find the best prices we have to offer on package holidays to La Palma by looking at the deals below or alternatively by visiting our late deals page here. We also have some great deals to the larger islands of Tenerife and Fuerteventura.
Airport and transport need to know
As you would expect, La Palma airport (SPC) is considerably smaller than those found on Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Having said that, there are a range of facilities available here, including two observation platforms with views of the sea (both wheelchair accessible), three ATM’s on the ground and first floors, a children’s play area on the first floor, a pharmacy and a small selection of shops. These include the usual duty-free fare such as alcohol, tobacco and perfumes, a newsagents, fashion and accessories and traditional souvenir shops.
You can fly direct to La Palma from either London Gatwick or Manchester airport in the UK. The flight takes around 3 hours 30 minutes. Flights run on Fridays from both airports.
The easiest way to get to your resort from the airport is by taxi. Taxis operate on meter and charge €0.45 per kilometre with a start price of €2.54. At night, the airport adds a surcharge of €1.65 between 22:00 – 06:00 and on Sundays and public holidays the prices are around 20% higher.
You can also catch a public bus from the airport – this is the cheapest way to get about. Buses are run by Transportes Insular de La Palma (tel: +34(0)922 411 924) and leave every half hour to Santa Cruz, travelling through Mirador, Salinas and Cancajos.
Alternatively, a great way to see the island and get to your resort is to pick up a rental car at the airport. There are numerous rental car desks here, including respected companies such as Avis, Hertz, Cicar, Atesa, Betacar and Autos Ancar.
Top resorts in La Palma
The resorts on La Palma are all of the laid-back, peace-and-tranquillity variety. The busiest nightlife spot here is found in a resort that boasts two clubs – so this is clearly not an island to come to for a frenetic clubbing holiday! However if you want somewhere with beautiful scenery, plenty of activities to enjoy and a relaxing atmosphere, there are some great resorts here for you.
Santa Cruz de la Palma
The quaint capital city of the island, Santa Cruz de la Palma has a distinctly Portuguese feel. This is a fairly compact city, nestled between rolling green hills and the sparkling ocean. Explore the Old Town and you’ll find a charming slice of Canarian life from times gone by, with the ornate balconies of traditional 16th century houses overlooking winding cobbled streets, peaceful churches, shady plazas and bustling pavement cafes. There are good connections from Santa Cruz to all the main resorts on the island.
One of the most popular holiday resorts on La Palma, Los Cancajos is a fairly small village located around 4km south of the island’s capital, Santa Cruz. There is a smattering of restaurants and bars and a good selection of accommodation choices. The beaches, like the majority on La Palma, are of black sand and are safe and clean. The nightlife in Los Cancajos is considered the liveliest on the island, with 2 nightclubs. The resort is situated on the east side of the island and surrounded by mountains, forests and volcanoes. Popular things to do here include paragliding, mountain biking and hiking in the scenic surrounding area.
The perfect La Palma destination for those after a relaxing beach getaway, Puerto Naos boasts a stunning black sand beach, fantastic views out across the ocean, a charming sea front promenade and attractive palm fringed shoreline proving welcome respite from the sun. The resort’s bay is protected on either side by tall cliffs, making this a good family-friendly spot. The resort is the main tourist destination on the west of the island, and offers a good selection of bars and restaurants, as well as many sea-front apartments and other holiday accommodation. Puerto Naos makes a good base from which to explore the north and west of the island.