The ‘pretty island’ of La Palma in the Canary Islands has long been a favourite destination among eco-conscious travellers, emerging as the ideal destination for a slow and back-to-nature holiday with a unique culture and authentic Latin American vibe.
What’s New on the ‘pretty island’ of La Palma 2019
In the coming year La Palma aims to continue to build its reputation among travellers as an authentic and back-to-nature destination, offering breathtaking black-sand beaches, rich culture, incomparable landscapes and year-round warm weather. In a bid to innovate the destination’s tourism offering whilst maintaining a slow and sustainable tourism product, 2019 will see two new hotel openings on the island. One of the developments will be the island’s first luxury property, located in what will be Spain’s first lighthouse hotel, currently known as the Punta Cumplida lighthouse in the North-East area of the island. Another seafront property will open on the promenade of the island’s capital, Santa de Cruz de La Palma, boasting a traditional and colourful Palmeran aesthetic. 2019 will also see the opening of two brand new tourist attractions, the Cueva de Las Palomas lava tube, where visitors will be able to enjoy fascinating speleological tours through a UNESCO recognised site; and one of the most important aboriginal sites in La Palma, the Cueva del Tendal archaeological site, a cave which depicts the life of the islands native Benahoarites.
Adventure in a UNESCO Biosphere
The island is renowned for its impressive and varied landscapes, offering 706 square kilometres of lush scenery with a network of more than 1,000 kilometres of marked trails, making it the ideal hotspot for hikers and thrill-seekers in search of an off-the-beaten-track destination. In 2019, La Palma will host its world-renowned walking festival from 27 – 30 April featuring a range of guided walks departing during the day and night; making the most of the impressive night sky.
For 2019, UK tour operator Ramblers Walking Holidays has grown it’s La Palma walking product and offers a range of itineraries for travellers looking to visit the abundance of natural attractions on the island with highlights including the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, an expansive crater with an 8-kilometre diameter and the dramatic ‘Ruta de los Volcanes’.
Discover traditions and a rich cultural heritage
While lesser known and smaller than its neighbouring islands, La Palma’s social calendar is packed with a number of exciting events, from music festivals to traditional local celebrations for all the family. 2019’s festivities kick off with the Fiesta de Los Indianos (Party of the Indians) in early March, a cultural festival characterised by thousands of people dressed in white clothing, throwing talcum powder by the kilo, carrying suitcases and bird cages through the capital’s cobbled streets to illustrate the historic return of Palmerans from Latin America. Some of the year’s most notable festivals also include the Almond Blossom festival, Corpus Christie and the Fiesta of the Fufos; an arts and crafts fair characterised by a dance conducted by locals dressed in handmade horse outfits. In between the big festivities, visitors can get involved with local Verbena celebrations which take place year-round and are held throughout almost all municipalities on the island. The Canarian equivalent of a street party, each town’s cobbled streets are filled with the sounds of live orchestras playing Salsa and Merengue music until the early hours.
Stargazing in a UNESCO Starlight Reserve
Astro-tourism is set to be the next big eco travel trend in 2019 and the abundance of stargazing activities available on La Palma place the destination at the forefront of holiday choices for both novices and astronomy fanatics. The island boasts a network of astronomical viewpoints signposted across the island for visitors to independently explore the night sky. Those in search of guided tours can take advantage of the number of local companies which organise authentic and exciting stargazing activities, including wine and stars nights, photography classes and educational tours. One of La Palma’s most mesmerizing stargazing locations is at the Llanos del Jable viewpoint in the town of El Paso, which allows visitors to get a glimpse of one of the furthest celestial objects visible to the naked eye, the Great Andromeda Nebula, more than 2.2 million light years away.
EasyJet currently operates two flights per week from London Gatwick departing on Tuesday and Saturdays and TUI operates a flight from London Gatwick and Manchester. There is also the option to fly via Tenerife North (Los Rodeos) or Gran Canaria with Binter Canarias, Air Europa Express or Canaryfly, which provide interisland connections. Visitors can also take a ferry from Tenerife South (Los Cristianos) or La Gomera (San Sebastian) with Fred Olsen Express and Naviera Armas to enjoy a twin-centre break in the Canary Islands.