A small rock in the Atlantic

All about the island of La Palma, in the Canaries.

Click for La Palma, Canary Islands Forecast

Thursday, 8 May 2008


If a beach is all you're after, then frankly you're better off in Tenerife. But if a beach is part of the mix, then we have two main beach resorts, Cancajos and Puerto Naos.

Our sand is like the Model T Ford - "Any colour you like, as long as it's black". When the sea mashes up black, volcanic rock, that's what you get. However, black sand warms up in the sun faster than yellow sand, which is decidedly nice for winter holidays.

Cancajos is on the east of the island, which is comparatively cool, cloudy and wet. (But I do mean "comparatively". It's still a much nicer climate than, say, Manchester.) That also makes the surrounding countryside much greener.

The beach

If you like to swim a long way off shore, the east side of the island is safer, because the ocean currents push you back towards the shore, rather than out to sea. If you're a less confident swimmer and like to stay closer in, the two artificial islands break up the Atlantic rollers. This makes it a great beach for kids.

And for small children, there's a large natural rock pool, perhaps fifteen feet across, with almost no waves at all. The depth depends on the tides, but the bottom is sand and slopes gently.

Lots of shops, cafés, and restaurants, some of them very close to the beach. Tourist Information office. A climbing frame shaped like a ship on the beach. A few free fresh-water showers, plus changing rooms available for a small fee.

Local Colour
There's a very pleasant walk along the top of small cliffs, to the south of the main beach, smooth and flat enough for a push-chair.

Transfer to and from the airport is only about ten minutes. You will hear the planes. They're not very loud, but it could bother light sleepers.

Buses to the airport and Santa Cruz every half hour. Several hire car firms have offices in the shopping centre. 4 km walk to Santa Cruz (the island's capital).

Where to stay:

Hotel Taburiente Playa (4 star)
Hotel Hacienda San Jorge (3 keys)
Aparthotel Las Olas (3 star)
Aparthotel Costa Salinas (3 keys)
La Caleta Apartments (3 keys)
Centro Cancajos Apartments (3 keys)
EL CERRITO Apartments (3 keys)
Largo Azul Apartments (2 keys)
La Cascada Apartments (2 keys)
Oasis San Antonio Apartments (2 keys)
Los Cancajos Apartments (2 keys)
Los Rosales Apartments (1 key)

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