Ed’s Note: This is the third of the ELDA TRAVELS series by the wanderlust husband and wife team who makes you think no place in Spain or Portugal is worth visiting if Elda (Elizabeth and David White) hadn’t been there.
La Palma was the first Canary Island visited by ELDA. We flew in February on a direct flight to arrive in warm 22 Celsius. The island is noted for some of the best hikes through gorgeous forests and happens to be one of the highest in the Canaries. We never made it to the top because the 2,400 meter peak was covered in deep snow and we did not think our rental car could make it. We did discover some beautiful walks and drove up to over 1500 meters, hastily putting on jackets.
Here we found constant connections to Venezuela where many Canary Islanders emigrated in the past and today some were returning. We ate our first “arepas,” a type of empanada or sandwich, and visted a cigar factory where the cigars are still handrolled. The tobacco in the leaves is Cuban and the “puros” are top quality.
One of the most comfortable places to stay in La Palma is undoubtedly the Parador. From the porches one has fantastic views of the sea. The coast on the east is rocky but the west has good sand and beaches. Planes from Germany and Scandinavia arrive with tourists, particularly from January through April.
This is the most remote of the Canaries, the most westerly, so there is nothing but ocean between it and the Americas. For four idyllic days ELDA stayed at the Parador (see photo). There are no towns near and the rock cliff rises steeply behind the Parador buildings; each room faces the sea, so that one falls asleep to the lapping of the waves on the beach.
This part of the island is not suitable for swimming as it consists of volcanic stones but on the southern and western side there are some beaches, albeit with black sand.
All of the Canaries are subject to big volcanic eruptions and El Hierro has suffered serious ones in the sea off the port of Restringa, one of the most delightful seaport villages visited by ELDA.
This island is a must visit for any serious tourist.
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