Isla de La Palma Isla de La Palma Guide
An online Travel Guide to La Palma, Canary Islands
Holiday homes on La Palma, Canary Islands


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Isla de La Palma

What NOT to expect?Deze pagina in Nederlands

Constant sunshine
La Palma is an island which rises steeply out of the sea. This means that in the winter months there is often a cloud hanging over part of the island.
The west coast has the most sunshine. Puerto Naos and Tazacorte are the 2 tourist centres with the most sun.
The island is largely covered with vegetation which needs rain, so it rains here, usually only for a one or two days, but in the winter period sometimes longer.
Rarely is it cloudy or rainy anywhere on the island!

Miles of golden sandy beaches.
None. La Palma is a volcanic island and the sand is black.
Don't be mislead, it's not dirty, the grains of sand really are black. The beaches and sea are probably cleaner than most European beaches and in most years recieve the Blue Flag of quality.
There are not many beaches here. The main ones are at Los Cancajos, Puerto Naos and Tazacorte with smaller beaches dotted around here and there. Some are accessible only with a jeep or on foot.

Placid seas with gentle rolling waves.
In the summer months the seas are pleasant and fairly calm. In the winter the sea can be very dangerous with waves up to 5 meters high and a vicious undertow. The more daring (stupid?) visitors occasionally get into difficulties and are either unable to get back to the shore, are knocked over by the wild, stone-laden waves or pulled into the sea by the undertow. Respect the red flags, they warn people not to swim.
La Palma is NOT in the Mediterranean sea, it is in the Atlantic Ocean. The nearest land to the west is Brazil! In the winter the waves crash onto the rocks and can be fascinating and spectacular .... if you are watching at a safe distance.

Beaches full of half naked 'birds' and 'hunks'.
If it is busy on each of the main beaches then it must be a local holiday!
The beaches are fairly quiet.

Shopping centres and luxury shops (for tourists).
Forget it. Each tourist centre has a few shops selling the usual tourist stuff and a few small shops. There are supermarkets in each village. The main shops are in Santa Cruz and Los Llanos, but again, don't expect the large chains and warehouses. There are large supermarkets in Brena Baja (on the road from Santa Cruz to the tunnel) and in El Paso, Los Llanos and Tazacorte. If you want a shopping paradise you should do what the locals do ... go to Tenerife.

Disco's, exotic night life, wild parties, foam-bars, all-night-music.
Wrong island. Try Tenerife.

There is a McDonalds on the island.
Plenty of genuine local Kiosco's and bars serve better hamburgers (among other things)!

Not really. The roads are well-surfaced, twisty and hilly.

Everybody speaks English
No. Spanish is the first, second and third language on La Palma.
Many tourists expect that everybody speaks their language, but this is not the case. In the hotels the receptionists will probably understand German and some English. Some staff in shops and restaurants catering for the tourists may well speak some German or English. Outside the tourist centres very few people speak anything except Spanish.
If you make the effort to learn a few basic words of Spanish the people here will make you welcome.

Disappointed? Does it all sound negative?
If the above list makes you feel disappointed then please don't come to La Palma.
The above list is not meant to be negative but to make sure that you come here with the right expectations.
If you want 'the high life' or a 'beach holiday' go to Tenerife.
If you want peace and quiet, nature and a taste of the traditional Spanish atmosphere, then please come.

The opinions expressed on this page are the personal opinions of the authors and are based on personal preferences and personal experience.
The authors cannot be held responsible for anything.
Isla de La Palma, A small beautiful Canary Island. La Isla Bonita. A tourist guide to this quiet holiday isle in the Canaries. For a walking holiday or relaxing in the peace and quiet in natural surroundings
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