Blog Islas Canarias OFFICIAL CANARY ISLANDS
TOURISM BLOG
www.hellocanaryislands.com
Blog Islas Canarias OFFICIAL CANARY ISLANDS
TOURISM BLOG
www.hellocanaryislands.com

A trip around La Palma’s south coast


Highlights
How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Road Trip Around the North of Fuerteventura
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Following a Tapas Route on Tenerife
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Fiesta de la Cruz on La Palma
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
A day in the outback of Fuerteventura
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
An incredible Whale & Dolphin watching experience in Tenerife
The secret white sand beaches of Lanzarote
On the sunny side: Los Llanos de Aridane
Exploring South Fuerteventura by Car
The Best Bit of Las Canteras Beach is Underwater
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Tasting Lanzarote: Cosecha 2015
La Palma, a taste of the tropics
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
Amazing boat excursion to the Archipiélago Chinijo marine reserve
Lanzarote sunrises
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
Viewpoint Mirador de la Peña, the smallest hotel of the world and the giant lizard
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
La Gomera: A day visiting dolphins and whales
Lanzarote fishing: Fresh fish for lunch
Exploring the Historic Centre of La Laguna
“Ruta de la Tapa” in Valverde
Driving the Las Mimbreras road
Discover the Beautiful North of Lanzarote by Car
Excursion to the Isla de Lobos
La Gomera – a rural tourism paradise
Festival of La Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes
A morning in Santa Cruz de La Palma
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Vegueta: Time Travel In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Old Town
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A lovely stroll around Villa de Valverde
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
Through the back roads of El Paso
Relaxation and wellbeing, enjoying Lanzarote´s natural treasures
A trip along the coast of El Golfo, El Hierro
Exploring the Highs and Lows of Puerto de Mogán
Why You Will Absolutely Love Exploring Amazing La Graciosa
The Wild North of La Palma
Tenerife, best locations and the British favourite hotspots
Enjoy the best of Lanzarote at Noches de Jameos
Relish the thrill and views of El Faro La Entallada, in Fuerteventura
Menceyes and our Lady of Candelaria, in Tenerife
The Wine Run Lanzarote: food, wine and scenery
Experience the beauty of the pink caves of Puertito de Los Molinos
A Saturday in the beautiful village of Haría, Lanzarote
A must do in Fuerteventura – Picnic in the dunes of Corralejo
Playa San Juan in Tenerife, a charming place
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
The five best places to eat in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
A cup of coffee at Casa José Saramago, Lanzarote
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
San Sebastián, the high part of Santa Cruz de La Palma
Sunset On The Rocks At Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Teguise: immerse yourself in Lanzarote’s history
How to Enjoy a Stunning Walk in Tenerife from Playa San Juan to Los Gigantes
Tazacorte, in La Palma: more than just a sun trap
Art, Architecture and Frogs in Gran Canaria's Garden City
Carnival time on El Hierro
One of the best family days out in Fuerteventura
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
From the sea to the sky, a circular drive in South Tenerife
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Los Carneros de Tigaday, El Hierro
Relaxing Weekend staying in the picture perfect beaches of El Cotillo – Fuerteventura
Lanzarote’s southwest coastline: where ocean meets lava
How to Enjoy North Tenerife and Wine Tasting in One Amazing Trip
A trip around La Palma’s south coast
The Quiet South Gran Canaria Beach With Two Names
What to explore, How to get there and where to stay in San Sebastian the capital of La Gomera.
Relax by the sea in El Tamaduste
The best olive oil in Fuerteventura – Verde Aurora Bio Farm
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
How to Enjoy a Unique Excursion Around Stunning Santa Cruz
El Tablado, La Palma’s remotest settlement
Swimming And Snorkelling At El Puertillo in North Gran Canaria
Enjoy a morning at the local produce Market in San Sebastián de La Gomera
A tour around El Hierro’s “Mirador’s”
Betancuria, the ancient capital in the mountains of Fuerteventura
How to Enjoy an Easy Adventure from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero
A walk across Llano de Las Cuevas in La Palma
How to Enjoy a Superb Luxury Sailing Trip in Tenerife
From Jungle To Desert at Maspalomas In South Gran Canaria
The sweetness of La Gomera and the Canary Islands – Palm Syrup
Cycling on El Hierro is a great way to see the Island
Isla de Lobos, a natural Paradise
Volcanoes, wine and British history in Lanzarote
The mini-Volcano Route, La Palma
How To Try And Do Tenerife From Top To Bottom In Three Days
Playa Santiago – A glorious mesh of sleepy fishing village and luxury hotel complex
A Day at the Canaribbean In Gran Canaria
Hermigua, the beautiful tropical valley of La Gomera with a Gofio Museum
How to Enjoy Authentic Lanzarote at the Lovely El Charco de San Ginés
La Gomera’s longest beach in the Valley of the great king – Valle Gran Rey
The Charm of Vallehermoso – The Beautiful Valley in La Gomera
How to Discover La Gomera With an Amazing Jeep Safari Adventure
Calle Cano: A Las Palmas Street Where Old And New Blend Together
Three places off the usual tourist track in Tenerife
La Gomera one of the most gorgeous island for hikers, ramblers and casual afternoon walkers
Poema del mar, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
An ascent of Bejenado
Four best places to visit in Fuerteventura
Up The Monte: Exploring Gran Canaria's Wine Country
5 Excellent Experiences to Try When You Visit Tenerife
www.hellocanaryislands.com
Previous article
28 May 2018

In many people’s minds, La Palma is not a beach destination... at least, not to the same extent as some of the other Canary Islands. The Isla Bonita has other things to offer, the argument goes, apart from sun and sand: its incredible hiking country, for example. But, as I hope to show in the following piece, beach-lovers won’t be disappointed either.

Being such a steep-sided island inevitably means that large sections of La Palma’s coastline, especially in the north, are virtually inaccessible from dry land. And due to its mountainous nature, it does tend to attract more clouds than the lower-lying eastern islands. That said, a little forethought goes a long way to making the most of the prevailing conditions.

Due to its sheer height, a kind of weather divide is created, resulting in a bright side, and a duller side. It largely depends on which way the wind is blowing. In the case of La Palma, it comes predominantly from the northeast, meaning that the west is usually clear and sunny, whereas the east can sometimes be windy and overcast. Like all rules, this one also has its exceptions.

So, if sunshine and swimming are high on your agenda, it’s best to be prepared for all eventualities, and a hired car will give you the necessary flexibility. The island has a lot more beaches than those associated with the main resorts and towns, some tucked away in isolated coves, others with good road access and amenities nearby. You just need to know where they are. What follows is a description of my trip around the southern half of La Palma, aimed at checking out the island’s scarcely-publicised coast.

Driving south from the capital Santa Cruz, I took the main LP-2 road towards Fuencaliente, and within minutes, found myself crossing the slopes of the Mazo municipality. A tubular structure soon came into sight to my left, standing like a rocket on its launchpad amid a cluster of houses on the coast. This modern lighthouse is located at the Arenas Blancas (“white sands”) point, and the settlement is known as La Salemera.

From the road signs at the next junction you would never guess there’s an attractive seafront down there. Nor could you possibly know that it boasts an excellent fish restaurant. How come there’s so little advertising for visitors? La Salemera is a real gem. With the existing signage, it tends to be bypassed by just about everyone.

Once at the bottom of the winding descent, I parked at the foot of the lighthouse tower and got out to scan the shoreline. To the south, the view is dominated by the gaunt Montaña de Azufre, its layered structure exposed in the crumbling cliff-face. Erosion by the elements, and by the Atlantic surf relentlessly gnawing at its base, has effectively exposed a cross-section through this ancient volcanic cone.

Montaña de Azufre from La Salemera, La Palma, Canary Islands

I went for a stroll. The simple houses were aligned along a strip of low-lying coast harbouring natural rock pools, something of a rarity on such a vertical island as La Palma.  A faded interpretation panel likened these pools to miniature oceans, containing life-forms typical of both the shallows, and others found at depths of 200 metres. The organisms mentioned included starfish, anemones, crabs, snails, algae, octopus and fish, some being juvenile forms of species of commercial interest.

A tiny patch of grey sand, with drawn up fishing boats, doubled as the village square, thanks to its central location.

La Salemera, La Palma, Canary Islands

I was impressed by the cleanliness and well-maintained aspect. Most of the properties seemed to be holiday homes or weekend retreats, but some local people obviously lived there all year round, judging by the parked cars. And I saw one elderly woman sitting on a kitchen chair in the street, doing crochet, adding an almost Andalusian touch to the scene.

At various points along the shore, seawater swimming pools have been created by walling-off natural inlets, and then attaching metal ladders to the rocks to enable entry and exit. Further along the coast, I stopped to photograph a solitary angler casting his line from one of the jagged ribs of lave jutting into the ocean.

Angling from the rocks, La Salemera, La Palma, Canary Islands

Scenery apart, when “La Salemera” is mentioned in casual conversation elsewhere on the island, it is usually in connection with seafood. The name says it all: salemera is a purse seine net used to catch salemas, a kind of sea-bream (Sarpa salpa). The eponymous restaurant is one of the best for delicious, traditional cuisine, and for the casual atmosphere in the outside dining area.

From La Salemera, I continued my journey towards Fuencaliente, turning left on arrival in the village, to follow the LP-207 road towards the island’s southern tip. Just before reaching the lighthouse at El Faro, a dirt track could be seen on the left, signposted to Las Cabras. The track led along the southeast coast, usually the breezy side of the island, remember.

Las Cabras can certainly be draughty when the northeast Trade Wind is blowing at full force. The nearby wind-generators were obviously positioned there for good reason. But there are spells when the situation is reversed, with west becoming the windward, and east the leeward side of the island. And, of course, there are days when the sea is calm on both sides. On such occasions, Las Cabras is a great place for a refreshing dip, or just to relax.

The road first cuts through the lava flow of the Teneguía eruption, the youngest volcano on the Canary Islands. I stopped halfway across to contemplate the chaotic badlands created by the river of molten rock emitted in 1971. The reddish Teneguía cone, the source of this wild jumble of slag, was clearly visible to the north.

After passing the wind generators, I arrived at the clifftops. The track wound along the coast for about one kilometre, affording superb views of the island’s southeast flank. In the distance, I could make out the hump of the Montaña de Azufre, and even the lighthouse at La Salemera was visible as a fine white line on the horizon.

View of southeast flank, La Palma, Canary Islands

The track finally ended at the main cove where Las Cabras beach is found. If you are looking for peace and tranquility, this is the place. When the sea is calm, entry into the water is easy, and plenty of marine life can be observed by snorkeling.

Las Cabras cove, La Palma, Canary Islands

After my short stay at Las Cabras, I headed back towards the island’s other flank, the southwest side. Just past the southern tip, a large expanse of sand came into view on the left, between two headlands. There are parking spaces and well-made paths to reach Playa Echentive, also known as Playa Nueva. From the top of the steps, you can just see the stone windbreaks built near the water’s edge, handy for privacy.

Echentive beach, or Playa Nueva, La Palma, Canary Islands

A couple of kilometres beyond, a sign indicated El Aljibe. As it happened, a publicity spot was being filmed on the day I was there, apparently for beachwear. Lots of young people were involved, including the two models. A drone was also deployed for one of the sequences. These unique lunar landscapes are much sought after for all kinds of audiovisual work.

To access this completely virgin section of coast entails a short walk across fields of black ash. As always, the amount of exposed sand in the cove depends on the tide, and on how stormy the sea conditions have been during the previous winter. But what is guaranteed, is an absolute away-from-it-all atmosphere, and the strong probability of having the entire beach to yourself.

El Aljibe beach, La Palma, Canary Islands

Since 2001, the waters off the southwest coast of La Palma have been gazetted as a Marine Reserve, extending out to sea as far as the 1,000 metre isobath. The main reason for creating the reserve was to protect the area’s biodiversity and allow fish stocks to recover from over-fishing. As a result, all potentially-harmful extractive activities are banned. The reserve contains interesting underwater formations, including natural caves and tunnels, making it popular with divers. A fascinating interpretation centre can be visited at the lighthouse (El Faro) on La Palma’s southern tip.

After looking around El Aljibe and taking a few photos, it was time for refreshment. Not far away lies the small coastal development of Punta Larga. Its large, sheltered bathing pool acts as a magnet for families with young children.

Punta Larga, La Palma, Canary Islands

Also at Punta Larga is another of La Palma’s remarkably good fish restaurants, El Cenachero, where I decided to stop for a bite to eat. The bar attracts a steady flow of mostly local clientele throughout the day, and food can be ordered on the terrace at all hours. I opted for a portion of fried sardines and papas arrugadas, accompanied by the typical green mojo sauce. No-frills, genuine local cuisine, prepared with top-quality ingredients... simply delicious.

After a shot of espresso, it was time to move on. There was just one other stop on my itinerary: La Zamora. This much better-known beach lies within easy walking distance of the Princess Hotel. It consists of a long strip of sand facing several offshore stacks, and an adjacent cove called La Zamora Chica, or “Little Zamora”. At the time of writing (May 2018), the access path to the main beach was undergoing repairs, but the cove could be accessed via steps.

La Zamora Chica cove, La Palma, Canary Islands

Perched above the cove is a kiosk offering cold draught beer, tasty food, and outstanding ocean views. Since I’d already eaten, I just took a few photographs from the clifftops before returning to my car.

View from the kiosk at La Zamora, La Palma, Canary Islands

La Palma might not be a beach destination, but there are plenty of great locations for swimming and sunbathing dotted around the island, and lots of brilliant restaurants nearby.  What’s more, beaches never get crowded here, so there’s no stress, and no need to stake your claim by placing a towel on the sand, before breakfast.

Go hiking, mountain-biking, or star-gazing by all means, but do take some time off to enjoy the island’s spectacular south coast as well.

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Highlights
How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Road Trip Around the North of Fuerteventura
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Following a Tapas Route on Tenerife
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Fiesta de la Cruz on La Palma
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
A day in the outback of Fuerteventura
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
An incredible Whale & Dolphin watching experience in Tenerife
The secret white sand beaches of Lanzarote
On the sunny side: Los Llanos de Aridane
Exploring South Fuerteventura by Car
The Best Bit of Las Canteras Beach is Underwater
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Tasting Lanzarote: Cosecha 2015
La Palma, a taste of the tropics
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
Amazing boat excursion to the Archipiélago Chinijo marine reserve
Lanzarote sunrises
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
Viewpoint Mirador de la Peña, the smallest hotel of the world and the giant lizard
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
La Gomera: A day visiting dolphins and whales
Lanzarote fishing: Fresh fish for lunch
Exploring the Historic Centre of La Laguna
“Ruta de la Tapa” in Valverde
Driving the Las Mimbreras road
Discover the Beautiful North of Lanzarote by Car
Excursion to the Isla de Lobos
La Gomera – a rural tourism paradise
Festival of La Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes
A morning in Santa Cruz de La Palma
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Vegueta: Time Travel In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Old Town
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A lovely stroll around Villa de Valverde
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
Through the back roads of El Paso
Relaxation and wellbeing, enjoying Lanzarote´s natural treasures
A trip along the coast of El Golfo, El Hierro
Exploring the Highs and Lows of Puerto de Mogán
Why You Will Absolutely Love Exploring Amazing La Graciosa
The Wild North of La Palma
Tenerife, best locations and the British favourite hotspots
Enjoy the best of Lanzarote at Noches de Jameos
Relish the thrill and views of El Faro La Entallada, in Fuerteventura
Menceyes and our Lady of Candelaria, in Tenerife
The Wine Run Lanzarote: food, wine and scenery
Experience the beauty of the pink caves of Puertito de Los Molinos
A Saturday in the beautiful village of Haría, Lanzarote
A must do in Fuerteventura – Picnic in the dunes of Corralejo
Playa San Juan in Tenerife, a charming place
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
The five best places to eat in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
A cup of coffee at Casa José Saramago, Lanzarote
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
San Sebastián, the high part of Santa Cruz de La Palma
Sunset On The Rocks At Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Teguise: immerse yourself in Lanzarote’s history
How to Enjoy a Stunning Walk in Tenerife from Playa San Juan to Los Gigantes
Tazacorte, in La Palma: more than just a sun trap
Art, Architecture and Frogs in Gran Canaria's Garden City
Carnival time on El Hierro
One of the best family days out in Fuerteventura
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
From the sea to the sky, a circular drive in South Tenerife
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Los Carneros de Tigaday, El Hierro
Relaxing Weekend staying in the picture perfect beaches of El Cotillo – Fuerteventura
Lanzarote’s southwest coastline: where ocean meets lava
How to Enjoy North Tenerife and Wine Tasting in One Amazing Trip
A trip around La Palma’s south coast
The Quiet South Gran Canaria Beach With Two Names
What to explore, How to get there and where to stay in San Sebastian the capital of La Gomera.
Relax by the sea in El Tamaduste
The best olive oil in Fuerteventura – Verde Aurora Bio Farm
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
How to Enjoy a Unique Excursion Around Stunning Santa Cruz
El Tablado, La Palma’s remotest settlement
Swimming And Snorkelling At El Puertillo in North Gran Canaria
Enjoy a morning at the local produce Market in San Sebastián de La Gomera
A tour around El Hierro’s “Mirador’s”
Betancuria, the ancient capital in the mountains of Fuerteventura
How to Enjoy an Easy Adventure from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero
A walk across Llano de Las Cuevas in La Palma
How to Enjoy a Superb Luxury Sailing Trip in Tenerife
From Jungle To Desert at Maspalomas In South Gran Canaria
The sweetness of La Gomera and the Canary Islands – Palm Syrup
Cycling on El Hierro is a great way to see the Island
Isla de Lobos, a natural Paradise
Volcanoes, wine and British history in Lanzarote
The mini-Volcano Route, La Palma
How To Try And Do Tenerife From Top To Bottom In Three Days
Playa Santiago – A glorious mesh of sleepy fishing village and luxury hotel complex
A Day at the Canaribbean In Gran Canaria
Hermigua, the beautiful tropical valley of La Gomera with a Gofio Museum
How to Enjoy Authentic Lanzarote at the Lovely El Charco de San Ginés
La Gomera’s longest beach in the Valley of the great king – Valle Gran Rey
The Charm of Vallehermoso – The Beautiful Valley in La Gomera
How to Discover La Gomera With an Amazing Jeep Safari Adventure
Calle Cano: A Las Palmas Street Where Old And New Blend Together
Three places off the usual tourist track in Tenerife
La Gomera one of the most gorgeous island for hikers, ramblers and casual afternoon walkers
Poema del mar, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
An ascent of Bejenado
Four best places to visit in Fuerteventura
Up The Monte: Exploring Gran Canaria's Wine Country
5 Excellent Experiences to Try When You Visit Tenerife
www.hellocanaryislands.com