La Palma: Spain’s Best Kept Secret

Despite nestling near the popular tourist resorts of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, La Palma is a relatively unknown and untouched Canary island that we just couldn't wait to explore.

Unsurprisingly popular amongst hikers and cyclists, the majority of La Palma is a beautifully conserved national park where you will discover rare indigenous flowers and even active volcanoes. In the island’s basin or ‘palm’ – hence the name ‘La Palma’ – lie miles and miles or forest and a picturesque multi-coloured mineral waterfall (which is totally worth the three hour trek to get to FYI!) Its highest peak – a mountain called Roque de los Muchachos that sits at a staggering altitude of 2426 m – is home to a world-renowned observatory (according to our local guide La Palma has the clearest nights sky in the world!) So, you can perhaps see why we, and many others before us, were quick to fall in love with the place, right?

Stay!

The stunning Hotel Hacienda de Abajo is an adults only 17th century villa which is located near the coast of Puerto de Tazacorte. Surrounded by beautiful botanical gardens and over looking the ocean, every room in the villa is adorned with historical artwork and antiques dating back as far as 1646. Thanks to its salt-water pool, sauna and pamper rooms the hotel is ideal if you’re after a relaxing retreat. Prices start from €125 (Bed & breakfast).

Eat!

It might not look like much from the outside, but El Duende del Fuego Gastro Bar offers a truly original culinary experience. Head chef Pedro Hernandez trained with Michelin star chefs in Spain and everything served is suitable for people who are gluten and lactose intolerant. Expect an interesting selection of locally sourced organic foods and lots of courses.

Snap!

Don’t miss out on the capital city of the island, Santa Cruz. Made up of colourful buildings, the quaint cobbled streets are full of endless photo opportunities, so make sure you pack your camera. Fun Fact: It’s where shoe designer Manolo Blahnik was born and raised.

Relax!

Forget swimming in the freezing Atlantic sea! Instead treat your body to a dip in the natural rock pool of Playa Echentive in Fuencaliente. According to the locals the warm medicinal water comes from one of the island’s volcanoes and has healing powers.

EasyJet flies from London Gatwick to La Palma with prices starting from £36.49 per person (one way, including taxes and based on two people on the same booking). www.easyJet.com.
words: Sarah Barlow & Gabrielle Dyer