Romantic Getaway to La Palma
Planning to give yourself and your partner a treat for Valentine’s Day? While Rome and Paris tend to be the favourites as far as romantic flings are concerned, why not flout the norm and opt for a place where natural beauty is the ideal setting for enjoying love? This time around, we recommend La Palma, an island situated in the north-west corner of the Canary Island archipelago and widely known as the “beautiful isle” for its lovely scenery. Here are some tips for getting the most out of this beautiful nature reserve where you can also enjoy the added value of a pleasant, mild climate at this time of year.
Journey to the Heart of the Island
The length and breadth of La Palma is made for sightseeing, redolent with spectacular landscapes of volcanic origin which boast the well-earned accolade of Biosphere Reserve, awarded by UNESCO. Covering 708 square kilometres, it is comparatively easy to tour by car, although you will come across a large number of slopes, so just take it easy. The reward is that you will encounter numerous vantage points on the way where you can soak up the spectacular views, like the Cumbrecita in El Paso, Los Andenes viewpoint, El Roque de Los Muchachos in Garafía – one of the most spectacular – and La Concepción viewpoint, with views over the city of Santa Cruz de La Palma.
If you happen to be a sports enthusiast, be sure to hire a mountain bike and ride along the myriad forest trails criss-crossing the island – you will not be disappointed. Another option is to secure some sturdy footwear and choose a route through this ramblers’ paradise, which has nearly one thousand kilometres of waymarked footpaths. They stretch across the whole island, from La Crestería or Route of the Volcanoes to the Camino de la Costa (Coastal Route) fringing the island, or the Ruta de los Puertos (Route of the Ports), which links Santa Cruz de La Palma to the Puerto de Tazacorte.
Sundown at the Seaside
Nothing like the seaside for being lulled by romantic charm, as well as taking in the marvellous scenery. While the beaches of La Palma are not that well known, the island actually boasts a number of secluded seaside spots where you can get away from it all and enjoy intimate moments with the immense Atlantic Ocean before you. Among our favourites is the beach of Los Nogales, accessed by going down some 300 steps, which you will have to climb back up when you leave! Then there is that of Bujarén, in Garafía – suitable only for those with no fear of heights – and La Zamora, where you can enjoy a picture postcard sunset with your loved one. What more could you ask for?
A Charming Hotel
No romantic escapade would be complete without a resting place with a charm of its own. The Hotel Hacienda de Abajo, located in the heart of the historic centre of Tazacorte, is a reconverted sugar mill and the perfect spot for chilling out after a lengthy sightseeing day on the Beautiful Isle. We recommend checking out their bath house, where you can enjoy a good massage, and make a point of refueling in their magnificent restaurant.
Book your Vueling to La Palma here and celebrate Valentine’s Day in style!
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Image by Ivan Borisov
Your Best Getaway Ever In 4 Days
Now that the end of the year draws near, you are bound to have a few spare days. Here’s a great recommendation for spending a delightful long weekend in Gran Canaria. As you will see, it is time enough to get a good taste of one of the pearls of the Atlantic. Why wait to discover it? Four days on the island will yield any number of plans to take a well-earned break from your routine. Here, then, is a compendium of practical tips for making the most of your stay on the island.
As soon as you leave the airport, your best bet is to head south and have your first weekend splash in the ocean. Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés await you with their large tracts of pale yellow sand where you can sunbathe safely all year around. If you’re looking to switch off real quick, take an adventurous stroll in the heart of the sand dunes or play golf on one of the quiet courses in the area.
Be sure to visit charming Puerto de Mogán, the ideal spot for promenading and savouring fresh fish in any of the restaurants at the seaside.
Begin the day by taking a route across the north of the island. And where better than to aim for the town of Arucas, where homes are harmoniously interspersed with banana plantations? Its most striking landmark is the Neogothic Church of San Juan Bautista, built with stone quarried in the municipality itself. Another highlight of your itinerary is the Arehucas rum factory, where the celebrated beverage is made in the oldest and largest rum distillery in Europe.
On the way to the north-western triangle of Gran Canaria, make a point of visiting the Gáldar Painted Cave, a museum and archaeological park based on a large native deposit. If you then press on towards the picturesque village of Agaete, you will marvel at the rugged rock formations adorning the coastline. Enjoy a sunset there and take time to upload to your social networks some stunning panoramas. Your main subject is likely to be the striking dragon’s tail plotted by the cliff faces which the ocean has eroded over millions of years.
Time to discover Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a modern, cosmopolitan capital city. Have a walk through Vegueta, the historic old town and stop over at the Christopher Columbus House Museum which boasts a valuable cultural legacy encapsulating the relationship which the island has maintained with the Americas for five centuries. The Calle Mayor de Triana has all you need for a busy shopping day, as it is lined with shops stocking both local brands and international labels.
The Pérez Galdós House Museum, where the universally acclaimed Canary Island writer was born, is another point of interest before heading to Las Canteras, one of the finest urban beaches in Spain. Open-air concerts are held there as part of the “Ruta Playa Viva” (Living Beach Route), one of the most attractive leisure proposals in the city.
The rich natural heritage of Gran Canaria reaches its climax in the island’s interior. On Sunday you can drop in on the street markets to taste the best of local cuisine and choose a souvenir from among their regional craftwork. Devotion in Teror involves pampering the “Virgen del Pino” (Virgin of the Pine), the patron saint of the Canary Island diocese. This is where you start a climb up to Tejeda and Artenara.
A phenomenon known as the “sea of clouds” spreads out at your feet, in a breathtaking landscape which Miguel de Unamuno described as a “petrified storm”. Look out over the Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga outcrops; then close your eyes and engrave that stunning picture in your mind’s eye forever. Why wait to experience it for yourself? Check out our flights here.
Images by the Patronato Turismo Gran Canariamore info