La Palma

Walking the Island of La Palma Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Spain
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TSK
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Moderate / Challenging

You are moderately fit and have an interest in remote or challenging environments. Some previous experience is required for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

The entire island of La Palma (known as the Pretty Isle) was classed as a Biosphere Reserve back in 2002, and is home to over 900 endemic species. This walking trip takes in the incredibly diverse scenery in the north and the centre of the island taking advantage of the island's well-waymarked paths. Days range from dramatic coastal hikes and walks through the lush National Parks before culminating in arguably the most classic walk on La Palma; La Ruta de Los Volcanes.

At a Glance

  • 5 days point-to-point walking; 1 free day
  • Altitude max 2426m, average 800m
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16yrs
  • 7 nights accommodation in guesthouses and hotels
  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners included

Trip Highlights

  • Hike fantastic walks across dramatic volcanic terrain
  • Experience spectacular views reaching as far as Mount Teide on Tenerife
  • Sample local delicacies such as miel de palma (palm honey)
  • Walk the famous 'Ruta de los Volcanes'

Is This Trip for You?

Activity level 4 - Moderate/Challenging

This is an 8 day walking holiday based out of two different hotels with daily transfers to the walk start/end points. The transfers are not far in terms of distance but the roads are steep and windy in parts; the longest transfers are the return from Roque de Los Muchachos on day 4 and the transfer to Los Brecitos to being the walk on day 6. Average altitude is 800m, maximum is 2426m on day 6 (the Caldera de Taburiente walk).

The walks on this trip vary between moderate and challenging and each day involves a fair amount of ascent and descent (for more details please see the daily itinerary). The trip requires a reasonable amount of fitness, ideally with previous trekking experience. The most challenging walks of the week are on days 6 and 7.

The terrain and type of path will vary but many of them can be rocky and steep, especially on the gorge walks on days 4 and 6. Good quality walking boots and poles are highly recommended for the type of walking you will be doing. All of the paths walked are approved and monitored by the Federación Española de Montañismo and are well signposted.

Due to the nature of some of the walks we would not particularly recommend this trip to anyone who suffers from severe vertigo. Some of the walks traverse steep-sided slopes on relatively narrow paths cut into the hillsides (particularly the morning of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park walk on day 6). There is also a section of the walk around the caldera rim on day 4 that may not be suitable for vertigo sufferers.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Map TSK

Land Only

Start City:
Santa Cruz
End City:
Santa Cruz

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Barlovento; transfer to hotel

    After arrival at the airport we take a 60 minute private transfer to the hotel in Barlovento, our home for the first three nights. The local leader will give an evening briefing before dinner.

    Overnight Hotel La Palma Romantica or similar

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    After a short transfer hike through a prehistoric forest to Barlovento.

    After breakfast we transfer (approx. 15mins) to the starting point of our hike in the lush north-east of La Palma. The walk begins in the rainforest of Los Tilos, close to the town of Los Sauces, with a short but steep climb up some 500 or so steps to a viewpoint, ‘Mirador de Las Barandas’ offering views down to the densely forested ravine of Los Tilos. From here, the trail undulates through laurel forest, and we walk through prehistoric vegetation until the path emerges at Laguna de Barlovento – a manmade reservoir above Barlovento.

    Overnight Hotel La Palma Romantica or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 9 km / 6 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    650
    Total descent (m):
    350
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 3

    Transfer to Franceses; trek along the steep coastline, through deep gorges with spectacular ocean views

    After a 15 minute transfer this morning, we will walk north along the dramatic coastline towards Barlovento. The hike along the steep coastline and deep gorges offers breathtaking views over the ocean, and passes Dragon Tree populations and picturesque villages. On arrival in Barlovento we can visit a local bar for a drink before walking back to our hotel for dinner.

    Overnight Hotel La Palma Romantica or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    900
    Total descent (m):
    700
    Activity (hours):
    5.5
  • Day 4

    Take a transfer to Roque de Los Muchachos (2426m); walk from the Caldera rim through the subalpine landscape. Overnight Santa Cruz.

    Today we trek from the highest point of the island! After a transfer (1hr 30min) to Roque de Los Muchachos, at an elevation of approx. 2426m, we begin the spectacular hike around the caldera rim, one of the largest craters in the world. The beautiful subalpine landscape combined with sweeping views over La Palma and towards the neighbouring Canary Islands make this walk an unforgettable experience. Although it cannot be guaranteed, this trek is above the usual cloud level, and on a clear day it is possible to see as far as Mount Teide on Tenerife.

    There are glimpses into the caldera and of colourful red and yellow rock surfaces on the colossal caldera sides. After walking right by some of the world’s most powerful telescopes, we make our picnic stop in Pico de la Cruz (2351m) before heading to the end in Pico de la Nieve, at 2239m. Our bus will pick us up from here for the 1hr transfer to our final base in Santa Cruz.


    Overnight El Galeon or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    1000
    Total descent (m):
    490
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 5

    Free day. Opportunity to discover the old town of Santa Cruz, or spend the day at the beach

    Today is a free day and there are numerous activities nearby you can enjoy, ranging from a boat trip in search of dolphins and whales (seasonal/weather dependent), a massage, or diving trips. It is also possible to take advantage of La Palma's famously clear skies on a stargazing trip after dinner (subject to availability and weather conditions). Alternatively you could spend the day discovering the old town of Santa Cruz, a site of both historic and artistic interest, with cobbled streets, Flemish altarpieces, the Insular Museum and theatres, or relaxing on the nearby black sand volcanic beach, located at the city sea front, just few walking minutes from your hotel.

    Overnight Hotel El Galeon or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    After a transfer, a magnificent hike through the National Park Caldera de Taburiente with its endemic flora

    After a 60 minute transfer up a winding road to Los Brecitos at an elevation of 1050m we begin a magnificent journey through the National Park, with its endemic flora. There is an initial gradual descent (1.5-2hrs) on a trail cut into the steep gorge sides, which winds through pine forest all the way down to the ever running River Taburiente. The rocks along the river banks are a great place to stop for your lunch and there’s also time to visit the small information centre, which houses a model of the caldera. After lunch we cross the river and have a short uphill climb before dropping down into a spectacular neighbouring gorge which we follow for the rest of the afternoon. After the walk, we transfer back to Santa Cruz de La Palma.

    Overnight Hotel El Galeon or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 16 km / 10 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    100
    Total descent (m):
    850
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 7

    Short transfer to Refugio del Pilar before walking arguably the most classic and scenic trail on La Palma: Ruta de Los Volcanes

    Today we walk arguably the most classic and scenic trek La Palma has to offer; La Ruta de Los Volcanes. After a transfer (30 mins) to Refugio del Pilar the trail begins, walking across the youngest part of the island with countless volcanic craters along the path down to Fuencaliente. Lava landscapes and Canary pine forests make for unique scenery throughout the walk. We then transfer back to Santa Cruz de La Palma.

    Overnight Hotel El Galeon or similar

    Temporary alternative itinerary during the eruption of Cumbre Vieja Volcano

    After breakfast we transfer to “San Pedro de Breña Alta” and take a circular walking route to “Las Fuentes de Breña Alta”. Walk the “Barranco Aguasensio” uphill and enter into a lush forest. Option to extend the walk from “San Pedro” to “Mirador de La Concepción” (a viewpoint over Santa Cruz) before walking downhill back to Santa Cruz de La Palma.

    Approx. 14Km / + 550m, - 880m

    Overnight Hotel El Galeon or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 18 km / 11 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    550
    Total descent (m):
    1300
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Santa Cruz airport

    After breakfast, we have the majority of the day to relax or to explore Santa Cruz de La Palma at a leisurely pace before transferring to the airport for the flight back.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Walking the Island of La Palma - Barlovento and Santa Cruz

7 nights are spent in a mixture of 3-star hotels and apart-hotels.

Hotel Palma de la Romantica is 1km from Barlovento, in the north of La Palma, and part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Views from your balcony or terrace will be over the mountains or ocean, and the hotel comes with an inside and an outside pool and spa.

El Galeon is located within walking distance to the pretty capital Santa Cruz. It features a terrace with lovely sea views.

Please be aware that the availability of accommodation in La Palma is limited, so the hotels listed above are subject to change.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £190.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 4 dinners are included.

Breakfasts are generally a simple buffet affair at your hotel, usually including a selection of bread, jam, pastries and cold meats and cheese. Dinners are taken from a set menu at a local restaurant or at your hotel and offer a variety of mouthwatering dishes and international cuisine, with lots of fish and meat options and always a couple of vegetarian alternatives. Local specialities include papas arrugudas (wrinkly potatoes), fresh goats cheese, lots of fish options, and copious amounts of 'mojo' sauce.

Lunch options during the week include ordering a packed lunch from the hotel, visiting a supermarket to buy provisions and enjoying lunch at a local bar. We recommend budgeting €25-30 in total for lunches.

Wine is not included with dinner but the average price of a bottle is €12.

Transportation

Depending on the group size we will use a small or large minivan for the transfers. 

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

La Palma enjoys a relatively balanced climate year round due to the trade winds that affect all of the Canary Islands. These winds from the north east carry moisture and can mean that two different sides of the island can be experiencing completely different weather patterns simultaneously. The winds provide a lovely natural cooling system which is perfect for hiking. However you should be prepared for rain at any time – La Palma is a lush, green island and the weather systems can be quite unpredictable. We offer this trip year round, but please be aware that there can be significant increases in temperature in July and August and this may lead to cancellation of some walking days if the weather is too hot. The best time to trek is from October to May, when the island is a little cooler.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Barlovento
Location end:
Santa Cruz de La Palma

What to Take

Essential Equipment

As well as casual clothes for travel and days off, we recommend that you bring the following:

Day sack with 30-40 litres capacity

Refillable water bottle (1-2 litres capacity at least)

Good quality waterproof/windproof jacket and waterproof trousers

Walking boots with good ankle support and a strong sole

Warm fleece or lightweight down jacket

Sun hat, sun cream and sun glasses

Hat and gloves

Walking poles which are highly recommended

Sit mat for picnic lunches

Please note that tap water is safe to drink in the island which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to refill at the hotel. Please add this to your packing list as this will save on wasteful plastic bottles.

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Optional Equipment

Swimming costume/trunks

Beach towel

La Ruta de los Volcanes

Practical Information

Passport

Spain

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Spain

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, you’ll be able to replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Spain's Timezone:
Europe/Madrid CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Spain's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Spain's Currency

The national currency of Spain is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2021) of approximately 1.17 to the GBP, 0.85 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.62 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are available in Santa Cruz, Los Sauces and Barlovento. Credit cards are generally accepted but it is advisable to have some cash for more rural areas.

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a reasonable starting point, we suggest a contribution from €15-20 (approx. £15) per person for the leader. Smaller groups may wish to give a little more per person.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.