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About La Palma
"La isla bonita", or the beautiful island, La Palma is the lushest and greenest Canary Island. However, most of its wild forests and greenery languish on the north, and La Palma's south is so volcanic and dry it's lunar-like. If you're looking for a quiet, sunny escape - in summer or winter - this island is for you. The best places to stay in La Palma are well located to make the most of both beaches and wildlife.
Unlike the larger Canaries, La Palma's economy isn't tied to tourism. It's a fertile place, especially for growing bananas, and the farmers don't need the fuss of tourist high-rises. This means there's less choice when it comes to accommodation, and it pays to book early as the majority of the best places to stay in La Palma are bagged months in advance.
La Palma has almost no flat land. Its banana plantations slip down black rock hillsides, and roads offer one hairpin bend after another. While this may not create a beautiful picture in your mind's eye, it really is quite something.
The landscape, and the opportunity to explore it on foot, is one of the main reasons people visit La Palma, but the island also has a couple of lovely towns. The 17th Century Old Town of Santa Cruz de la Palma, the main port, is quite impressive. Surprisingly ornate, it's home to many of the most beautiful buildings on the island which now house government, arts or cultural organisations. If you need more inspiration, interestingly La Palma is where shoe-God Manolo Blahnik was born!
Experiencing temperatures in December that are still up around the mid 20s, and with plenty of sun, it's easy to see La Palma's appeal.
What Not To Miss
- To really get a feel for this landscape, drive up to the island's highest point, El Roque de los Muchachos, where you'll find a truly amazing view. There's also an observatory, making this is a great place for stargazers.
- Explore inland and go see the Caldera de Taburiente, one of the world's largest eroded craters, and another unusual environment to trek through.
- Wander through the charming Calle O'Daly, full of historic houses, bustling cafes and lovely restaurants. A picturesque spot.
- Hike the Los Tilos walk, which follows a tiny stream down the hill through thirteen tunnels, one of which gushes dramatically - like a power shower.
Our pick of the best places to stay in La Palma eschew the brash vibe that you find in many a beach resort today. We've managed to find a handful of more intimate, understated properties where the real La Palma can shine through. User our guide to the best hotels on the island and start to plan your holiday.
Peaceful La Palma
- The beautiful backdrop will add value to any beach holiday, but La Palma is a great choice for families because there's so much to do here beyond the beach. However, it's always good to have easy access to the beach, which is why Parador de la Palma is one of the best places to stay on La Palma for families. It's also reasonably priced, and within a good walking distance of town.
- If there are no kids in your party you might want to try Hacienda de Abajo, a stunning historic villa set in luscious gardens - a sophisticated and romantic spot all round.
- Hotel Olio is an intimate B&B featuring rooms expertly blending traditional features with contemporary furnishings. Head off through some of the island's top walking trails before coming back to enjoy a dip in the pool or relax with a book in the garden.
- Hotel San Telmo is a boutique spot located in Santa Cruz's historic old quarter. Set in a 17th Century building, it provides spacious and unfussy accommodation featuring ocean facing balconies.
- Hotel Benahoare is wonderfully located for experiencing all that Los Llanos has to offer. Their chic rooms are decorated with contemporary furnishings and rooms start from just €75 a night.
For An Apartment Or Villa
- If you've decided that a self-catering option's your best bet then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.
- There's never a bad time to visit La Palma, with the temperature hovering around 20°C year round. This does mean that it's pretty busy even from October to May, with many Germans and Austrians coming here to avoid the chilly European winters.
- The quietest and cheapest time to visit is May or June - before the beginning of the summer holidays. If you're here for the hiking then spring is your best bet, when the temperature's not sweltering and the mountains are covered in blooming flowers.
- International visitors can fly into La Palma Airport, located 8km south of Santa Cruz. Easyjet fly here directly from Gatwick.
- From here, bus route 500 runs between the airport and Santa Cruz as well as the tourist area of Los Cancajos.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in La Palma
Hotel Olio 3 rooms from £79El Paso, La Palma
A charming little B&B in rural La Palma. Three chic bedrooms offer a stylish blend of traditional features with a contemporary feel - think exposed beams, antique tiled floors and large, modern four poster beds. A pretty little garden with heated pool is the icing on the cake. An intimate hideaway.Value chic - With lovely rooms from just €90 per night including breakfast, this is excellent value.Local exploring - Ideally located for exploring the island and close to some of its best walking country.Hideaway - Tucked away in inland La Palma, yet just 15 mins from the beach and 30 mins from the airportGreat walks - Hotel Olio is close to some of the best walking and hiking on La Palma
Hotel San Telmo 8 rooms from £66Santa Cruz de la Palma, La Palma
A superb boutique hotel nestled into the historic old quarter of Santa Cruz de La Palma. Set in a wonderfully restored 17th century building, the rooms are spacious and comfortable with ocean facing balconies. Perfect for a romantic, relaxing break.Local exploring - A small boutique hotel, perfectly placed for exploring the colonial history of Santa Cruz de La Palma.Local markets - Explore the local markets of Santa Cruz de La Palma and pick up some treats to bring home with you.Sailing - The ideal port of call for a sailing trip around La Palma.Sights nearby - Three miles from the fantastic Observatorio Astrofísico.
Hotel Benahoare 18 rooms from £66Los Llanos, La Palma
A stylish modern hotel set in the charming town of Los Llanos. The chic rooms feature modern furnishings and the attached balconies boast great views. Explore the bustling market and characterful streets of the surrounding town. Outstandingly good value.Local exploring - Perfectly placed for exploring Los Llanos de Aridane and the surrounding valleys.Surfing - Great surfing on the nearby dark, lava sand beaches of La Palma.Great walks - Great walking routes in Los Tilos forest, a UNESCO Biosphere.Sights nearby - Visit the fascinating Observatorio Astrofísico.
Hacienda de Abajo 32 rooms from £214Villa y Puerto de Tazacorte, La Palma
A stunning historic villa set in luscious gardens with wonderful sea views. Boutique chic interiors boast antique furniture and a colonial ambience. Romantic bedrooms and suites have four poster beds, wooden floors, and sumptuous fabrics. Excellent restaurant, spa and pool. Highly romantic.LuxuryBeach LifeRomantic BreakViews - Great views from hotel
Parador de la Palma 65 rooms from £75Breña Baja, La Palma
A large typically Canarian building on the coastline with immediate access to the beach and beautiful verdant nature around. Fabulous landscaped gardens, traditional chic rooms with balconies, excellent restaurant, pool and spa. An excellent choice for a family beach holiday with lots to explore.Views - Breathtaking views over the Atlantic OceanValue chicSights nearby - Visit the old quarter of La PalmaSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - CN Traveller