La Palma special - our latest journey  

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Some memorable moments from our latest journey to La Isla Bonita/La Palma, Islas Canarias in April 2002

The blue Canary Island Chaffinch and Laurel trees, Canaries and shrubbery of Avocado trees

We got into a mixture of all kinds of weather, from half hurricane and snow on the mountain tops to sunny days of the loveliest kind, as it can be in April. A bit draughty in our house sometimes but it seems to us that all houses south of Denmark are draughty.
When the sun shines again and with the clouds on parade over the sea, you take off the silk underwear and the woolen cardigan and and put on a sun hat!

M avnjuter utsikten över havet

The journey

By air to Madrid. Cloudy and grey skies in Sweden but in Madrid the rain came down in buckets! Our hotel boasted a small bus and we were supposed to find it outside Terminal 2, but there are two (2) hotels with similar names and we stepped into the wrong one. However we splashed away by foot to the right one, 300 m away and we booked a room there on our travel home, too.

The hotel's tiny little bus to and from the airport Barajas is free of charge and the breakfast buffet is huge. We like that.
The other hotel near Barajas offers you a "continental breakfast" with two pieces of toast, a small bun and coffee. If you are not used to that, your stomach will be like a question mark.
The flight to La Palma from Madrid, 3 hours, is like a trip by bus with food served! All passengers read the morning papers and keep sober.

Sightseeing is fun

One day we visited Puntallana and the girls at the Office of Turismo Rural.
The office is housed in a former convent school and once both boys and girls at the same time learned how to spell and read in the beautiful building. How did that go? We asked, but our friend Ana Maria just laughed.

In the parking lot and on the slopes the thistles were in bloom and poppies and and other kind of weeds, but how beautiful they were. Eeyore would have loved that view, thistles galore! And butterflies too.

Iors dröm
A heaven for Eeyore

In the same building there is a small museum and also a shop with fine artisan handicrafts/Artesanía from Puntallana. Things to enjoy through many years or to put in your mouth at once like Queso de Almendra. "Marzipan Cheese".

Table cloth designed as a Poinsettia's intricate flower is something for the Christmas table perhaps? Red, white or blue as the sky - in many sizes. If you put one single "flower" (or many) on a cloth of contrasting colour you'll get a new pattern every time!
Really a useful souvenir!


Queso de almendras
Queso de almendras and Malvasia wine

If you have seen Fuencaliente and the salinas you probably want to buy the tasty sea salt as a souvenir. The greyish granular sea salt is available in many food stores and supermarkets (Supermercados) You need only a few grains and the food "sings". Less than 1.00 €uro for one kilogram!

The Observatory on Roque de los Muchachos

At the Observatory, (2.400 m) the view is superb and the sun strong, you need a sun hat and lotion on your nose. You'll see something like a top of a sugar loaf above the clouds over the sea - that is Teide on Tenerife. A jacket or parka is nice up there, because +22 C at sea level can be +7 C on this altitude, and tourists in shorts and a tiny chemise do not stay long, even if the view is gorgeous.

There may even be snow, so sometimes the road is closed for some days. There are no trucks for removing the snow on the island, because the snow will melt in a few days anyway. People brought up in the snowy Nordic countries, find this philosophy a bit funny, as they are used to go out and shovel away as soon as it has snowed. (Something in the genes?)

Från La Palmas topp mot Teneriffa

La Palma- West

The Northeaster gives the island clouds over the mountain crest but they give a nice shadow and you'll feel that the sun has touched your skin in spite of that; the sun tan will not be painful. The west side of the island get more clear sun and there are the favourite hotels for naturists, close to, and squeezed in between huge banana plantations. From the lane you can catch a glimpse of the sea behind the concrete walls of banana crops behind plastic roofs. A beautiful view from the balcony? Depends on what you like.
At the end of the road there are some bars where you can have food or cup a coffee. Sometimes you can see a bluish loaf on the horizon, that is El Hierro, the most southwesterly island of the Canary Islands.

Bananas are cultivated all over the island, but on the east side the plantations are smaller, often in crevices and on valley slopes between small woods and you hardly notice them. The fruits are short, sweet and straight (yum!) But how do they harvest them in slopes 35%?? A mystery! Carry every heavy stock of bananas and mostly upwards!!!!!!!

Bananodling, La Palmas sydvästkust
Banana plantation, La Palma - southwest, photo by K. Sturesson

The Silk Museum in El Paso - Las Hilanderas

We now have a living museum for Silk in our collection of museums! La Palma produced silk already in the XVI century, but the the skill and craftsmanship has only been used by artisans during the last centenaries and was near extinction until three girls from El Paso learned the old handicraft from one of the old ladies who could teach them, Doña Bertila. Now you'll find a small and beautiful museum near the Post Office of El Paso, and it is most interesting to see how they spin the thread and weave the cloth on the old looms. Silk in ringlets are hanging on the walls and it is a very peaceful place to visit.Read about it here, click on Silk at Artesania


You can ask them to make a shawl for you, but be prepared to wait half a year. Choose a colour, perhaps from Cochenille, and they will do everything from unwinding the cocoons to the knots of the fringe. As they are very proud of their craftsmanship they do not tolerate any carelessness! Every thread of silk pass 12-14 steps in the process following traditional methods.

The costs? Well, if you would like like to wear a unique shawl on your daughter's wedding day, a shawl specially made for you and if it is extremely pleasant to wear, then it is worth while in waiting and €uros. When you see the painstaking handicraft you are surprised you do not have to pay more. "I have used mine many times and it is my finest souvenir ever!" Margareta says.

Ties, beautiful evening handbags, shawls for the palmerian costumes, flowers made of snippets of silk... It seems they sell everything they are able to produce. It is said that Las Hilanderas in El Paso are asked to do something for the bride to be of the Crown Prince Felipe of Spain! The famous painting Las Hilanderas by Velasquez are to be seen in the Prado museum in Madrid. The Crown Prince Felipe will be a fine King with such thoughts about tradition and artisans of Spain!

The museum, Las Hilanderas, is open, mon - fri 10 - 13, if you know some Spanish it will help if you want to ask something.

Las Hilanderas logotyp Las Hilanderas -Taller de Seda Artesana
Calle Manuel Taņo 6
38750 El Paso, La Palma, Canarias

Wines from La Palma are not common outside the island, but there are some bottles worth to carry in the luggage when returning home. The sweet Malvasía from El Hoyo >>>>>>

Worth visiting

The small restaurant Casa Goyo is more or less a collection of shacks and lies under the approach to the airport! But worth a visit because of the food and - there are not that many flights. Our host recommended us to try the Palmerian Kitchen at Casa Goyo and we do not regret we did so. We had to wait in the queue for 1 1/2 hour for a table ( we went home in the meantime), among big families and the waitresses who ran like busy bees with plates of grilled Dorada (the fish of the day) with bread, potatoes, sauces, bottles of wine and water. The meal was hearty and very good.

We got a shack of our own, with sea view through the shutter. No whiff of fried fish in our clothes later, thanks to the chinks between the planks!


New findings

One slightly cloudy day we drove to the woods of Laurels in the steep crevices of Los Tilos at the foot of La Caldera de Taburiente. You feel like a tiny Alice in Wonderland in this vegetation. The trees can reach 40 m and the Blue Chaffinch of the Canaries suddenly landed on a branch above our heads, we did not even need the binoculars! A new X in the book of "birds I have seen".

We heard lots of birds singing and some birds of prey were sailing higher up watching the mountainside. We walked on a path on a level 20-40 m from the bottom of the ravine, a fantastic feeling! Climbing greeneries of many different kinds, endemic Palmerian plants, beautiful moss, trees we had never seen before. Like in a fairy tale! (Please, have a look at the links of the first La Palma page!)

Binoculars are a must, even if you are studying Botany, the slopes are very s-t-e-e-p!

Los Tilos lagerträdsskog

Villa de Mazo where we rented a house

After the slightly surrealistic journey behind concrete walls and plastic sheets of all the banana plantations on the west side coast, we were very happy we had chosen a house on the east side, with a house on the 375 meter level with a garden.

Every day, mostly, the sea is silvery and the water is striped in many blue colours. Very beautiful!
The few boats we see may be big, as the ferry from La Gomera or the huge Cruising ships on their tours around the world, but they look like toys for us.
Some of these ships are like miniature towns with apartments to buy/rent - 4-6 rooms plus kitchen - the view from their kitchen window must vary a lot!

Sitío La Rosa

To stay in a house (cottage) like this in Mazo is very peaceful and the sea view changes all the time with the winds and the clouds. It is easy to relax and paint harmonic pictures, because of the light. Often it is possible to read a book in the shadow of the house late in the evening at 5 p.m. a fantastic feeling in April or November for a northener.

The birds in the garden almost look as the ones back home, but they sound differently and they carry the extra ssp.canariensis to their ordinary Latin names. Endemic!
The evening concerts were nice. One Blackbird sang his version of the Palmerian Blackbirds favourite "do, mi, so", in more varieties than the birds of Los Tilos.

Kitchen sink with a view

The feeling of being part of nature is frequent on La Palma. To stand in front of the sink with the kitchen window wide open and a chiff-chaff suddenly arrives to the big bushy Fuchsia just outside and sings an aria for you before he disappears again, makes your day. Or to sit outside in a deck-chair reading, and a Blackcap is hopping around in the Camellia singing softly for you and himself. Really moments of happiness!

TV-antennas are good performing scenes for many songbirds, auditions every morning. The Canary bird is quite yellow actually, even if some of them has a more discreet plumage. The Blackcap was not at all afraid of us and lived with his family somewhere in the huge Canarian Pine in the yard.


The brown and grey lizards were everywhere in the dry leaves under the shrubbery of avocado at the corner. Hard for us to see them sometimes, but no trouble for the kestrels.

Every morning Pär picked oranges and made the daily pick-me-up. No sugar needed! Our host offered avocados, mangos, lemons and strawberries as many as we wanted, and more.

Pär på apelsinjakt

Margareta som Hulot

Here no sourish cleaning lady was watering the floors every day and re-making the beds, even if you had done that ever so neat. No refolding of nightshirts either as in hotels. We valued the privacy!


Aha, you find this kind of vacation quite interesting? How do you buy air tickets and book the cottage? More information about that on our first page about travels, > La Palma or > Site map

Happy journey! Buen viaje! (Don't forget your camera(-s)!)

Patronato de turismos logotyp

la isla bonita