Black Volcanic Beaches and Fishing Villages

“With an optimistic weather forecast of 24 degrees I was feeling very excited about my trip…”

Playa De Los Cancajos, Spain


The need to leave the cold winds and wet weather in London saw me flying off to one of the smaller islands in the Canary Islands, Isla de La Palma. With an optimistic weather forecast of 24 degrees I was feeling very excited about my trip and I could not wait to touch down on this balmy island.

Our descent into La Palma Aeropuerto was a bit of a ‘heart in throat’ experience and for the first time I was a little concerned while flying. Having looked out the window I was wondering why we seemed to be getting closer and closer to the ocean, with no sign of land in sight. A quick glance to the left at fellow passengers was a good thing as I saw the signs of green vegetation on the island’s coastline.

Isla Le Palma is known to the Palmeros (local inhabitants of La Palma) as the Green Island or the beautiful island. Its mountain slopes are covered in Pine forest and in the North East you have the Los Tilos Rainforest which is abundant with laurel silver trees. Where you don’t have forests you have rows and rows of banana plantations. It has something for everyone from beautiful cozy beaches, natural saltwater pools as well as a large number of hiking trails for those that are looking for a more active holiday.

I was looking for a more relaxing time, mainly to spend most of my time on the beach. Although the weather was warm it was not always beach weather with overcast skies so mid week I decided to take the local line bus to Santa Cruz de la Palma. The main commercial area has been pedestrianized so it was very pleasant roaming around the numerous tourist shops selling volcanic inspired jewellery or gorgeous silk handbags. The architecture in the shopping avenue and along the marina was very pretty with all the traditional wooden balconies painted in warm Mediterranean colours and baskets of flowers. I must warn you though when walking along Avenida Martima to watch out for the waves that sneakily splash up over the wall. It made great entertainment to sit and watch the unsuspecting passers by get a thorough soaking:-)

My next stop after Santa Cruz was to hop back on the bus and head all the way across to the West of the island to Puerto Tazacorte – the sunniest place on the island. The bus trip was only 1hour to Los Llanos but my word, as the bus climbed up the mountain making its way along lots and lots of bends, I felt physically ill. By the time I reached the sunniest place on the island I could not wait to get onto solid ground and breathe in the fresh sea air and take in the colourful character of this fishing town.

The best way to see the island is to either hire a car or catch the local buses. They do offer tours around the island but as there are not many English speaking tourists that visit the island there are not many tour options to choose from. I decided towards the end of my stay to hop on one of the tours as it was going up Los Tilos the Rainforest which can not be reached my public transport. I am not surprised about this as the road up to the North is just one road and in some very tight spots it took about 10minutes just for the bus to make sure it was lined up to cross very narrow bridges.Very scary indeed! The scenery was very picturesque with views of the ocean, salt water pools, banana plantations and very steep ravines. The tour itself was disappointing and the tour guide struggled to get her point across in English, but we did get to sample some honey rum and were recommended to a lovely restaurant in the old town of San Andres, where I leisurely ate Spanish tortilla with a chilled glass of La Palma wine.

My last few days on the island I explored the rock pools , went in search of turtles and dolphins and just simply relaxed on the black volcanic beach enjoying the tranquil life that La Palma has to offer.

Accommodation: El Cerrito Apartamentos  – Playa de Los Cancajos, Brena Baja, Spain

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