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We enjoyed La Palma it is a spectacular place to visit, we were on the Island for the Festival of Powder which sees everyone in white and a lot of fun and powder throwing.
Unfortunately the weather turned stormy and we were unable to get off from the tiny Airport. We were delayed for 2 days eventually catching a ferry to Teneriffe, Thompsons looked after us with care and consideration and put us up on an all inclusive basis in a 4 star hotel, whilst we could of done without the delay we did enjoy our holiday.
We had a lovely holiday here, with our 6 year old daughter, although the weather in December was rather wet and windy, and meant we didn't do as much walking and exploring as we thought we might. However, it was lovely to be in the warmth, when everyone at home was coping with ice and snow.
The island is quiet and relaxed, and tourism seems to have been mainly other Spaniards and Germans, as well as some intrepid walkers, cyclists and divers. Not many islanders speak any English, so brush up on your Spanish. Some people might feel there isn't much to do, and there certainly isn't much in the way of organized tourist activity, but the island itself is the main attraction, with lots in the way of natural beauty.
We loved the beach at Los Cancajos, and went snorkelling in warm safe seas, and saw loads of exotic loooking fish, just using mask and snorkel, although you could arrange proper diving trips. We found the sea warm, but our daughter did get cold and I wish we had brought her wet suit so she could have stayed in longer. Beach/swimming shoes are a good idea. The restaurant on the beach, El Pulpo, had great fish, and had a little play area just opposite. The pizza place in the commercial centre facing the sea was good too.
We really enjoyed our walk/scramble in the Barranco del Agua at Los Tiles, but you need a car for this trip (we hired ours over the internet through a local firm, and this all worked fine). We also had an interesting walk around the San Antonio volcano. I found the drive up to Roque de los Muchachos terrifying, and this was despite not being able to see much due to the cloud! There had been heavy rain, and the road was covered with recent rockfalls.
We loved the Hacienda San Jorge, the gardens were wonderful, the pool gorgeous (although colder than the sea!), and we ate quite a few times in the restaurant, which had a good buffet of typical canary island dishes. Its right across the road from the beach, and it has lots of resident pets which our daughter loved.
Overall, La Palma is a great place if you want peace and quiet, and natural beauty, but its not for you if you want kids clubs, night life, shopping, and english breakfasts
We found the Hacienda and its gardens beautiful. Do take advantage of the weekly garden tour, we hadn't realized how extensive the grounds were. The swimming pool is attractive and clean, but the water was colder than the sea. Had good meals at Placeta in Santa Cruz and Sadi in Los Cancajos. We hired a car, and the roads were mostly fine. We particularly enjoyed the Roque de los Muchachos and La Cumbrecita - both give stunning views over and into the 'Caldera'. To park at the Cumbrecita you have to get a (free) ticket from the National Park information centre. The weather while we were there was a bit disappointing, some heavy rain, mostly cloudy days and sometimes a chilly wind, but we did have some sunshine and there are still many flowers out in December.
Just back from a weeks break at Hacienda San Jorge. The Apartment was lovely - Comfortable, clean, spacious bedroom and sitting room. Kitchen area had fridge, hob, microwave, plenty of crockery. Balcony amongst the trees. The complex is very unusual- like being in a forest of palms. Inhabited by the hotels cats, ducks and parrots. The best part was the fantastic, huge swimming pool. even my husband, a non swimmer, enjoyed it. Suitable for everyone and not busy. We had bed and breakfast. The buffet was wonderful - almost everything you could want. A good start to the day. We had lovely warm weather. As other reviews said, it is very quiet with not much to do. We missed sitting outside watching the world go by. There really weren't many places to go. Very few shops or cafes. Places to walk to if energetic and not too hot. Ideal for honeymooners, I should think.
Small but pretty Island, very quiet and peacefull, just right for relaxing.
However the 4 star rating should be 2-3 star, we had a cockcroach in our bedroom, mould in bathroom with no ventilation. The Apartment needs airconditioning as having the windows open was not sufficient. The pool bar staff lacked in communicating in other languages (only spoke Spanish) and were quiet rude not heplfull at all. The food was a buffet type being kept warm for hours and tastless. Not many Restaurants around, went to Santa Cruz for a bit more choice.
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