La Palma

A LITTLE PARADISE FULL OF GREAT EXPERIENCES

La Palma is the hikers’ paradise. The Island Network of Paths, which covers the entire territory like a spiders web, now runs to almost 1,000 kilometres, all fully indicated with coloured waymarkers, signposts and information panels

 

The extraordinary natural beauties of La Palma make it an island full of surprises. The scenery is one of its chief natural resources, and demonstrates the island’s environmental health.
The astonishing landscapes and indigenous flora and fauna species inspire visitors to explore every corner of this spectacular island. And its well cared for environment makes a perfect backdrop to enjoy outdoor activities, in contact with nature.

Flights and Transfers

This holiday is priced with  flight

Getting there

We have included flights in our pricing.

Once you land in La Palma we will transfer you to the hotel.

We believe that you should have the choice of UK airports to fly from – the nearest and most convenient to you is likely also to be the most cost effective.We can advise you prior to your booking flights

Flights are available from most UK airports.

 There may be flight supplements dependent on the airport you fly from, our holiday prices are based upon London Gatwick flights - so regional airport flight prices will carry a flight supplement, which will be quoted for you. Flight prices also change based upon how late you book with us.  We will always quote you to your exact specification and give you options on flights.

Transfers to hotel from airport

 We will transfer you to the hotel from the airport. We will accumulate everyone on the trip together – so you may a have a short wait for all planes to arrive before our transfer can begin.Transfer from the airport to the hotel is 15 mins in a luxury mini bus or taxi.

If you have arranged a flight that does not coincide with the main arrival times, then an additional transfer cost will apply. We will inform you of that cost when you reserve a place.

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Quotations

As part of our system, we will need to send you an official quote when you enquire and indicate your full interest. Dependent on the airport you choose to fly from and the proximity of the start date of the holiday  - there may be flight supplements applied.

 

Accommodation and Food

We stay at the Hotel Las Olas in Los Cancajos

The Hotel Las Olas is the ideal location to stay while you discover and enjoy the beauty of our island. Located on the seafront in Los Cancajos (Brena Baja).

Hotel Las Olas is an excellent 4 star establishment located  just four kilometers from the capital of the island Santa Cruz and five minutes from the airport.The hotel is the most modern, comfortable and conveniently located complex on the island of La Palma.

Las Olas was built with sustainability in mind ensuring that the architecture chosen did not affect the natural environment in any way making it the ideal location to relax and to start your holiday discovering the island.
 
Located on the seafront, the hotel complex consists of a main building with two floors and six appendices of three and four floors. It has beautiful large natural gardens, four lifts and a reception open twenty four hours a day.
 

The rooms are characterized  excellent design offering guests everything they need to enjoy a relaxing holiday without giving up the comforts of their own homes. All of our rooms have separate double bedrooms, a living room with a sofa bed and an integrated fully equipped kitchen. Each room has flat screen TV’s with international satellite, free WIFI and a balcony or terrace with panoramic sea, pool or mountain views.

The hotel features three luxurious swimming pools (one is heated) surrounded by large beautiful natural gardens.The hotel has two superb restaurants. In the main restaurant the offer is a buffet menu where our guests can enjoy a wide variety of international dishes as well as the more traditional Canarian specialties. You can also eat in the excellent Thai restaurant.

Lunch - as we are out walking each day - then lunch will need to be packed. There are shops around the hotel wherwe you can purchase goods.for a light lunch

 

Your walking programme

La Palma is the hikers’ paradise. The Island Network of Paths, which covers the entire territory like a spiders web, now runs to almost 1,000 kilometres, all fully indicated with coloured waymarkers, signposts and information panels

We use local guides to plan and execute our walks, supported by a UK tour guide..

The following walk routes MAY be used - but as in all our holidays - we take into consideration the ability of the group, and prevailing weather conditions before deciding daily plans.

La Palma is a rocky island - we take the ascents and descenst at a sensible, manageable pace throughout - walks are rates as moderate with some steep ascents and mainly descents.

If you normally walk with a walking pole, we recommend that you bring these. It aids looking after those knees.

Getting to our walks - we travel by minibus - the roads are windy and we may take 45 minutes to get to and from walks start and finish.

 

The following are a selection of walks that we MAY use.

it is important to understand that we work with NATOURS our La Palma guided company and may choose walks not shown here, especially of the weather and your own abilities demand it.

We never have a programme that is FIXED because of the above reasons and structure the week to fit the capabilities of the group.

 

The Enchanted Forest 

This hike takes us into a bewitched cloud forest that belongs to the biosphere reserve of Los Tilos. The Cubo de La Galga is located in one of the rainiest regions of the island and offers a very lush, jungle-like vegetation.

At 550 m, we dive under the closed leaf crown of the laurel jungle. The primeval vegetation originating from the Tertiary has died out in its original homeland, the Mediterranean, since the Ice Age.

The path winds along a cliff face covered with ivy and liana-like vine plants. Absolute silence, only now and then the cooing of the laurel pigeon can be heard. Only rarely do the trees provide insights into the deep, evergreen gorge.

The green roof only opens when we reach a forest track that leads us to the lookout point Somada Alta. In clear weather, the entire northeast is at our feet. From the lighthouse Barlovento to Barranco Nogales. And right in front of us is the small village of San Bartolo, our first destination.

From now on, the plant world changes with decreasing altitude. Peach and almond trees replace tree heather and gaillräucher. The gardens of the Palmeros give us an insight into the local agriculture: potatoes, corn, artichokes, peppers and the Protea, an African flower cultivated here and for the most part exported to Holland.

In the village of San Bartolo begins the second part of this varied hike: on our way towards the coast we now experience the succulent vegetation zone. Through a breathtakingly beautiful gorge we reach almost down to the sea

Distance 10km

Ascent + 350

Descent - 550

5 HOURS

Caldera de Taburiente

The Caldera de Taburiente is one of the largest erosion craters in the world. It is located right in the centre of the island, made up of a circle of mountains nearly 2,500 metres high. The highest peaks drop vertically up to 1000 metres into the crater.

Within the crater, we find brooks, waterfalls, gullies and a wide variety of plants and flowers. The Caldera has a diameter of 9 km and a perimeter of about 27 km. Its special relief gives the crater a sunny, windless climate almost all year round. In 1954, it was declared a National Park. 

After crossing the Barranco de Las Angustias Gorge, a winding path leads us to Los Brecitos (1040 metres above sea level). From here, a well-kept track leads gently down to the “Camping Area”. Las Casas de Tenerra and Casas de Taburiente are the only inhabited settlements and their abandoned terraces are evidence of a flourishing agriculture of yesteryear. There are still some families that continue to live here, looking after their masters’ properties In the Camping Area, on the banks of the Taburiente River, we find an ideal spot for enjoying the splendid scenery around us.

On the other side of the stream, our path heads for the Barranco del Almendro Amargo Gorge and descends sharply to the Barranco de Las Angustias Gorge. We spend the last two hours of our hike walking along this gorge. Water erosion has exposed layers of rock of different composition that are interspersed with pillow lava from underwater eruptions. Throughout this stretch, we are accompanied by the brook, which forms small pools of crystal clear water and lovely waterfalls from time to time.

Ascent +100 METRES

Decent --850 METRES

16 km  6 hours

Down to the old fishing village

From El Jesus, in the northwest of the island, we climb an old stone track through

Almond trees - until we reach the edge of the cliff that rims the spectacular Barranco de

 Las Angustias Gorge. At a small look out point, we find stone engravings 

The view is exceptional and you can easily imagine how the forefathers of La Palma felt when they looked out viewed from here, over the enormous crater of Caldera de Taburiente,

,and the Aridane Valley, the southern mountain range that forms the Volcano Route.,looking to

 Puerto de Tazacorte, the end of Las Angustias Gorge.

In the distance, we catch a glimpse of the old fishing refuge, its fishermen’s taverns bustling with

every-day life. At the turn of the century, this was a key spot for the

start of the banana growing industry. From here, thousands of tons of fruit went

 to England, and a new economy began to flourish on La Palma, which still survives.

Further on, the new harbour offers us a more modern view, with its fishing vessels

 just back from the fishing grounds. Here Captain Argeo awaits us with his boat

for onward transport

Ascent  150 metres

Descent- 450 metres

11 km

Lava , Wine and Tapas

The sun has yet not risen behind the peaks. Half-light invades the exuberant volcanic ash dunes. The hundred-year-old pine forests softly sway their needles to the rhythm of the morning breeze. We are at the Llano de Las Brujas (“the Witches’ Plain”), at more than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) AMSL.

The trail winds through this exotic and impressive site, swallowing us inside the forest until we reach the imposing petrified flow of the San Juan volcano’s lava river.

At dawn on June 24, 1949, San Juan’s day, the earth opened up, and incandescent lava began slowly churning out from the core of the earth. Some rivulets flow swiftly downhill until they fused into the sea. Others, running thicker, flowed over each other, covering, engulfing and erasing all traces of civilization. When the volcanic fever eventually subsided, a new and Dantesque scene had been etched onto the face of La Palma.

Our path now moves on towards the Llano de Tamanca, skirting small groves where life is budding once again, fighting to reclaim the area snatched away by the volcano. In this picturesque landscape, dotted with vineyards and splashed with fruit trees, lovely farm houses start appearing, and the daily agricultural life of our island re-emerges.

Around one a.m. ends our route with tasty homemade tapas in the bustling village of San Nicolas.

Ascent + 100 metres

Descent -  550 metres

10 km

5 hours

The Wild North

The sun has yet not risen behind the peaks. Half-light invades the exuberant volcanic ash dunes. The hundred-year-old pine forests softly sway their needles to the rhythm of the morning breeze. We are at the Llano de Las Brujas (“the Witches’ Plain”), at more than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) 

The trail winds through this exotic and impressive site, swallowing us inside the forest until we reach the imposing petrified flow of the San Juan volcano’s lava river.

At dawn on June 24, 1949, San Juan’s day, the earth opened up, and incandescent lava began slowly churning out from the core of the earth. Some rivulets flow swiftly downhill until they fused into the sea. Others, running thicker, flowed over each other, covering, engulfing and erasing all traces of civilization. When the volcanic fever eventually subsided, a new and Dantesque scene had been etched onto the face of La Palma.

Our path now moves on towards the Llano de Tamanca, skirting small groves where life is budding once again, fighting to reclaim the area snatched away by the volcano. In this picturesque landscape, dotted with vineyards and splashed with fruit trees, lovely farm houses start appearing, and the daily agricultural life of our island re-emerges.

Around one a.m. ends our route with tasty homemade tapas in the bustling village of San Nicolas.

Ascent + 100 metres

Descent-  550 metres

10 km

5 hours

Teneguia Tour

At the foot of Fuencaliente, 650 metres above sea level, we find the San Antonio volcano, about 3000 years old. From here, we can see the whole west side of La Palma and the small surrounding villages.
The track descends from the crater of San Antonio, through an arid landscape of volcanic scoria and dunes of black sand contrasting sharply with the bright blue of the sea. The vines and other small shrubs lend a touch of green to the lunar landscape.
On Roque Teneguia, a pale-coloured rock that emerges from the black cinders, we can see engravings in the stone, carved by the original natives of the island.

Shortly afterwards, we get to the foot of Teneguia, the youngest volcano in the Canary Islands. Hot vapour stinking of rotten eggs, still emanate from the ground here. Our path runs down towards the Fuencaliente Lighthouse. The path is easy and pleasant to walk.—ending at a beach

Ascent 100 metres Descent 400 metres 8km 3.5 hours

 

 

 

 

 

What's Included

What you get on your Secret Hills La Palma Holiday:

Individual quotation from airport of your choice.

Flight organised for you

Transfers to hotel from airport/and return

Half-board en suite accommodation, including buffet breakfast

Three course buffet dinner

 Five guided walking days

Transport to walks start and finish

Friendly, knowledgable walking guides- from the area

 UK tour leader

ATOL bonding

Our administration services.

What you pay for

Your packed lunch

Any drinks etc at dinner or during the walks 

Single supplements for Sole occupancy

For sole occupancy of a twin room there is a single supplement of £28 per night.

Holiday Highlights

-  superb hotel in super location, super food and services

- fantastic sunrises and sun sets - rooms designed to take these in.

- walking in superb scenery in the a variety of terrains in La Palma

- a different view at every turn

- local  cuisine

- our relaxed,social approach

Walking Grades

Great care has been taken selecting our routes to ensure our guests enjoyment and safety.

However, due to the challenging nature of the mountainous terrain there will be some steep climbs and descents so a good level of walking fitness is strongly recommended, this will greatly enhance the enjoyment of this walking holiday (a suggested kit list will be issued)

Overall we rate the walking as moderate with some challenging steep ascents and descents..

On good paths, the ground is hard, dusty and very dry, we stop often – taking on water is obligatory, and not every day will be the same – we may take transport higher up, and walk quite a bit of the walk on a reasonably level terrain, then descend.

Add extra days or nights to your holiday- make it ten days

You can add extra days and nights to your holiday with us. 

Make it a ten day holiday - but without our guiding support- mthere are local guides who run daily walks in the area- we can supply you with these details

There is much to explore in La Palma - so ask us to quote you for the extra nights you need.

Of course you can add extra nights by organising these your self

 To learn about what you can do, see and explore in this beautiful region, look at the following web sites.

http://www.visitlapalma.es/en/

Or take a flight to Gran Canaria, Tenerife . TO EXTEND YOUR HOLIDAY

La Palma - the island

The extraordinary natural beauties of La Palma make it an island full of surprises. The scenery is one of its chief natural resources, and demonstrates the island’s environmental health.
The astonishing landscapes and indigenous flora and fauna species inspire visitors to explore every corner of this spectacular island. And its well cared for environment makes a perfect backdrop to enjoy outdoor activities, in contact with nature.

La Palma is a real paradise for walkers.   Its vast network of hiking paths invites you to discover scenery of outstanding natural beauty, painted by lush vegetation and an intense light.  Here you will find everything from easy strolls through colourful landscapes, to challenging hikes up the wild peaks of Bejenado and Birigoyo. And a trip to La Caldera de Taburiente or the springs at Marcos y Corderos makes you appreciate the miracle of water.

La Palma is still in a phase of geological development, characterised by very rapid volcanic growth. The island emerged with the uplifting of a piece of oceanic crust, from which the Caldera de Taburiente and the Cumbre Nueva were formed. Later, volcanic activity gradually shifted to the south of the island, forming the so-called Cumbre Vieja dorsal ridge.
The spatial arrangement of this evolution therefore reveals two clearly differentiated geomorphological zones: the northern massif (dome-shaped and sculpted by erosion), and the southern dorsal ridge (younger, strewn with recent eruptions, and adopting the shape of a gabled roof).
This latter part is one of the most active volcanic zones in the world, as testified by its seven eruptions in the last 500 years. The last one, and so far, also the most recent to occur in Spanish territory, was the Teneguía volcano, active in 1971 in the municipality of Fuencaliente.
This interesting geological history has created a true paradise for lovers of volcanoes, as well as for scientists. In the north, the ancient lava flows of up to 2 million years in age, in their constant struggle against erosion, have created a steep, wild landscape. This contrasts with the volcanic terrain in the south, consisting of a patchwork landscape of recent cones and craters, where the heat of the earth can still be felt, and the smell of sulphur impregnates everything. The Martín or Tigalate volcano (1646), the San Antonio (1677), El Charco (1712), the San Juan (1949) and the Teneguía have created vast fields of lava where time goes by hardly leaving a trace. In this awe-inspiring scenario, small colonies of plants, invertebrates and lizards have gradually managed to establish themselves.

The identity of a people can be seen through its culture, its traditions, its celebrations and its heritage. On La Palma, an unique culture has flowed from its archaeological beginnings, its legends, architecture, celebrations, and crafts .

 

Both religious and secular architecture show the influence of different cultures on the island. Some buildings are important enough to be declared as Cultural Assets in different categories (the equivalent of a Listed Building). Manor houses with central courtyards or wooden balconies stand as silent witnesses to a glorious past

Silk production, pottery, cigar making, baskestry, embroideries and making items of wood, stone, leather, and metal are some of the La Palma’s traditional crafts. Craftsmen and craftswomen, making use of natural raw materials and following a long process,   produce entirely handmade, elegant, items.

The saying about Spanish cuisine (“The south fries, the centre roasts, and the north boils”) is also confirmed on this island, propitiated by its climatic diversity. La Palma, open to emigration and immigration, has been, and continues to be receptive towards the habits and customs brought by colonists and emigrants. Desserts, liqueurs, fruits, dried fruits, meat and fish all found their place, to the delight of both simple and demanding palates alike. To this day, no family table on important days (weddings, christenings, communions, saint days and days of obligation) is complete without these superb creations, presented on a hand-embroidered table cloth.

Traditional cuisine on La Palma has drawn from two of its historical monocultures, sugar cane and wines, its two best trump cards. The first export crop, brought by Flemish, Portuguese, and Andalusian colonists at the beginning of the 16th century, was sugar cane. At about the same time, the first vines were planted on the island, and their fruits, once cane monoculture had started to decline, rapidly made a place for themselves on the noblest European tables. The acclaimed wines from La Palma achieved literary inmortality through the pens of William Shakespeare, Walter Scott, Lord Byron and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others.

Fruit

Although a long way behind the king banana, La Palma's larder abounds in tropical and sub-tropical fruits. Creamy avocados, tangy mangoes, succulent papayas, vitamin-rich guavasa

Insurances needed

Insurance - you need to be fully covered

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against travel,medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). Our partners New Experience holidays will ask for this information as a condition of reserving a place.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance

Our relationship with New Experience Holidays/ATOL protection

Our Partners in Europe Walking

Secret Hills Walking are pleased to be associated with New Experience Holidays, who organise flights, accommodation and transfers for these holidays and provide you with ATOL security.
All your joining instructions and individual flight arrangements will be made by Paul and Deborah Sawyer. Once you have committed to a holiday, and have accepted the individual quote we send, we will forward a New Experience reservation form, and you should pay all deposits and final payments to New Experience Holidays.
Secret Hills Walking is responsible for marketing and selling the holidays and for arranging your itinerary when you arrive at the airport in the country you are visiting. You will receive individual attention throughout your holiday from us.

ATOL Bonding - New Experience Holidays REGISTRATION

How to book your holiday

Do not book on line at this point. Read on and follow the instructions

In order to conform with ATOL bonding requirements, prior to you reserving a holiday with us, we need to provide you with an official quotation. This will contain all the details and costs of the holiday and your requested choice of flights and airports. You will find a GET QUOTE button at the top of the page, use this and fill in the form in order to start the quotation process. Once you have filled in the Quotation Request form, you will get an email confirmation from us.

We partner with New Experience Holidays who provide the ATOL bonding, so all quotations will be sent by them, and you will reserve and pay for your holiday with them.

The quotation process - ATOL BONDING requirement- the quotation is the first part of the contract between us and you.

The quotation will include

- the basic price of the holiday as advertised

- any flight supplement from the airport of your choice

- single supplement if this applies

- a choice of flights if this is applicable

- any specific requirement such as additional nights/ sea view rooms etc.

- final price and payment information

The Quotation stage - who sends you your quotation

In order to conform  to ATOL bonding protection rules, New Experience Holidays will send you your full quotation normally by email- please ask if you want to receive the quotation by post.

Your contacts at New Experience Holidays are Matthew Newcombe, Anna  Brown and Paul Sawyer.

We need to know your preferred departure airport. We can guide you about the right airport and options - simply read the web pages for the country you are wanting to visit, or email us for flight advice.

The Booking Process

Once you have accepted the quotation, fill in a New Experience booking form (this can be done online) or send in the completed form,  and pay both the deposit – normally £125 - plus any additional flight supplements to New Experience.Holidays  Final payment is also made to New Experience.Holidays.

Once you have booked, you will not be sent a reminder of when to pay the full amount, so please diarise this.

About three weeks prior to departure, New Experience Holidays will send you holiday joining details, including your flight details with instruction to print off your boarding cards.

Once you arrive at your holiday destination

Secret Hills Walking Holidays (Slovenia Walking Holidays) organise all aspects of your holiday– including guiding, transport to walks start and provide you with an experienced tour guide.You make your won arrangements to get to the airport in the UK, we meet you at the airport you are flying to, and help you with your transfer to the appointed hotel.

It is important to read New Experience Holidays' Terms and Conditions - click on the tab on their web site  - before you sign the booking form.

Customer Reviews

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Our Promise To You
You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

What Others Said...

Good organisation with information about walks, meeting times, suggested equipment, etcA most enjoyable weekend with great company and excellent experienced leaders in Jill and Tom, who put everyone at ease from the start. A comfortable hotel serving plentiful tasty food. The walks showed varying aspects of the Lake District with great scenery and views. I would certainly consider booking another Secret Hills holiday and would recommend the company to other singles/solos. I have already been browsing the website again.

Janet Coates Lakes Easter break

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