Holiday La Palma Blog
» Listings for December 2011
Posted on 8:20pm Saturday 31st Dec 2011
It's almost bewitching hour! The year with all its ups and downs is almost at a close and very soon we shall have a bright and shining star in the form of a new year. I wonder what it will bring? Hopefully a holiday on La Palma!
And so we would like to say a huge 'thank you' to all our guests from the past year and also to look forward to welcoming new and returning guests. Thank you! And we wish you a wonderful New Year in 2012.
Posted on 12:38pm Monday 26th Dec 2011
This winter, the Canary Islands really do seem to be the number one holiday location on the Christmas wish list. It is traditionally a busy time here on La Palma and the rest of the islands but for the past month, the number of enquiries has been - in our experience - unprecedented. Finding accommodation for people, whether it be an apartment by the beach or a rural house for rent, has become more and more difficult. It really is a case of the early bird having the choice of accommodation!
The most popular week even above Christmas week has been over New Year and all of the apartments at Tazacorte that we normally book for people are now taken. Maybe it is something to do with laying on the beach and soaking up some sun - not a bad way to start 2012!
But if you haven't booked your accommodation yet, despair not. There are still one or two houses for rent available and with a few seats still remaining on the 30th December to 6th January direct flights from London Gatwick to La Palma or direct from Manchester to La Palma. Thanks to Santa's little helper, otherwise known as Thomsons, the return flight costs just £109 return so you too could be spending New Year on La Palma.
However, if you are able to hang on for another week or two, you might be able to take advantage of an even better deal as Thomsons reduce their post-New Year holiday prices even further to £88 for a return flight to La Palma, both from London Gatwick and Manchester. It's a crazy price!
And by waiting until after the holiday rush, you will have a greater choice of accommodation too. So if we didn't see you in La Palma this year, then maybe next!
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas holiday and New Year too, wherever you may be.
Ann and David.
Posted on 9:42am Thursday 15th Dec 2011
It seems like a very long time since we 'hit the trail' and so, by way of mixing a walk with a little education, we decided upon a visit to the Los Tilos Visitor Centre and a walk through the ancient Laurisilva Forest, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Although it's not so long since we were at the Centre, a quick (or long) visit is a very good reminder as to what this walk is all about because it is not just your average a to b walk with some good views along the way. No, this is the sort of walk that takes you back in history - to something like the Tertiary age millions of years ago. After that, most laurisilva forests disappeared except in Madiera, the Azores and the Canary Islands. Even then, the laurisilva forest of Los Tilos in La Palma is rather special as it is the best example in the Canary Islands. So who were we to begrudge a few steps (there are rather a lot) up through the forest as we headed to the Mirador de las Barandas? Quite. And of course there are some flat bits.
Just as we were beginning to think that the steps went on forever, it was with some surprise that we suddenly reached our first way-point of the Mirador de la Banaderos some 40 minutes later. Here, a selection of rustic picnic tables invited us for a sit down in the shade or a drink at the nearby water fountain. But no, a look at the view and then onward.
After the ascent to the mirador, the route was much kinder in the form of an easy forest track, lined with the gigantic ferns that Los Tilos is so famous for. In fact, each fern was easily as tall and wide as us so it really was a walk in the land of the giants.
One thing I love about the walks on La Palma is not just the challenge, the views and the interest value - but also seeing the 'signs through the ages.' This route, along with many walks on La Palma, has recently been re-signposted and is now designated as the PR-LP 9.1 and it is almost always very easy to follow. Along with the posts, there are still one or two of the rustic old signs and if you peer into the undergrowth at the occasional junction where you are not certain of the route, then you will most likely spot the walking blaze to confirm that you are literally on track or the painted 'X' sign to tell you that this is not the way to go. The new signs for the walks don't look at all out of place and are very clear.
Great though to just wander along the path and enjoy the views, especially on a bright and sunny day. But also good to see that, if the weather is less kind, there are some man-made caves which did look inviting.
And then we got to the fun bit - probably what you least expect in a forest - a water gallery, pumping station and a railway train to play with. OK, there isn't a train exactly (apart from the old dolly laid to one side) but the tracks certainly are there, along with the wheels which still run up and down. Oh yes ... we did ...
After that bit of excitement, it was a short ascent along the forest trail again before reaching open ground and the view of La Laguna - the largest reservoir in the Canaries. Here it seemed that all manner of different things were growing together, including cactus, apple trees and some wonderful fungi that reminded me of chocolate profiteroles piled up.
After this, we were into open farmland with the forest behind us and La Laguna growing steadily closer. Good to know that once at La Laguna we could pause for an ice-cream at the restaurant Las Goteras or if needs get a taxi into Barlovento. But no, best keep on walking to Barlovento where we would catch the bus back to our start point in Los Sauces.
*This walk is mainly along the PR LP 9.1 through the Los Tilos UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. At La Laguna, it takes up the PR LP 8 to Barlovento. This is the first walk in our luggage-transported, self-guided walking holiday on La Palma.