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This is a beautiful island, very small and unspoilt. If you like spectacular scenery, a great choice of walks, good wine, lots of bananas and a Canary Island almost untouched by tourism this is for you. However, if you love white, sandy beaches, wild nightlife and English breakfasts - stay away and leave it to the rest of us!
We chose La Palma because it was described as non-touristy and quiet. It is definitely both of these. Los Cancajos is a very small quiet resort but with no obvious centre. It is very convenient for access to Santa Cruz de La Palma - a steady walk of 45 minutes or 10 minutes in the car. Santa Cruz is charming and benefits from a complete lack of big name stores. It feels safe and the residents are friendly and helpful.
We stayed at the Hacienda San Jorge: overall, a good choice.
Good things: the staff (friendly and helpful); the layout and design (low rise blocks hidden in the gardens around the pool); the gardens (stunning and very well maintained - I took more photos here than anywhere else on the island); the apartments (adequate and spacious, and regularly well cleaned).
Not-so-good things: food in the restaurant was unexciting. All meals are buffet style. Breakfasts were usually good with plenty of choice of hot and cold dishes and fruit. The evening meal choice was somewhat of a disappointment, lacking imagination and often not very warm. Desserts were very pretty to look at - before they were attacked by the diners. Go early for the best choice of table and food.
Bad things: the beds were so hard we couldn't sleep properly. We endured it for 2 nights and then asked at Reception for softer mattresses. Our request was received sympathetically and later that day soft toppers were put on the beds: problem solved.
La Palma is a pretty island. Hire a car and explore. The roads are good but speeds are low because of the bends. It is only a short drive to Tazacorte on the other side of the island - reputedly the sunniest spot in Europe - and worth a visit if it's cloudy in Los Cancajos.
La Palma is almost as good as the Yorkshire Dales if you're a walker, but what it lacks in sheep and cattle it makes up for with views.
The Hacienda San Jorge is a lovely hotel, apartment great, lots of space and a big balcony. Very clean. Fantastic pool and gardens. Good food, very wide choice at buffet breakfast. Staff very well organised and friendly. Excellent mini supermarket in hotel with everything you you need. Very good service all round. The location in Los Canajos is ideal. Very close to blue flag beach, restaurants, buses and Santa Cruz. Good tourist info centres. Fantastic guided walks with Natour. A beautiful island. Make sure you get out and see it all.
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