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La Palma is shaped like a heart and is otherwise known as 'Isla Bonita' beautiful Island and the greenest of all the Canary Islands. La Palma is one of the smaller islands of the Canarian archipelago and was formed around 2 to 3 million years ago.
La Palma is associated with ' everlasting spring' as all year round mild and spring like temperatures can be found on the island making it a wonderful place to hike in the winter months whilst the UK coldness sets in at home.
La Palma has a National Park , Caldera de Taburiente and the whole island has been designated as a World Biosphere Reserve. It has over 700 different species of plants growing on the island with more than 70 of them endemic making it the greenest island ( Isla Verde)
The Island offers us superb walking opportunities through green laurel forests and scented pine woods and then above the tree line to discover volcanic landscapes of ash and lava along with well defined cones and activity which goes back centuries and as recently as 1971. We are able to walk high above the clouds along the Caldera which gives us the most stunning views of the Island and across to Tenerife and La Gomera.
The North is green and fertile and the South very dry and sunny - known for its vast banana plantations and vineyards. The islands wine is excellent and very cheap. Its a must to sample.
La Palma really is beautiful and so diverse which makes this holiday so varied .
Flights and Transfers
This holiday is priced with flight
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.
Transfers – as you have the choice of airports and flight times- where this is practical – we arrange transfers that accumulate clients together for onward transfer to hotels/and return to the airport.
This can mean small delays whilst we accumulate clients together for group transfers- un avoidable- and this policy impacts favourably on the cost of your holiday.
Should you want an individual transfer- to avoid any waiting time - then there will be an additional charge for this
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.
Your walking programme
APRIL 17 HOLIDAY IS GUARANTEED- STILL PLACES LEFT
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 one hour 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.
Caldera de Taburiente linear ridge walk ( 8 miles/ 800m ascent/400m descent)
Starting at 2450 metres altitude at Roque to Muchachos we walk the simply stunning linear ridge line taking in Pico de la Cruz and Pico de la Nieve which gives us simply stunning views down into the impressive Caldera and of the cloud formations.
You certainly feel you are on top of the world.
South Island linear walk ( 9 miles/ 1000m descent/ 400m ascent)
The morning is spent walking through a delightful pine wood and open fields with lovely flora and vast vineyards and views out to the West. We stop in the village of Los Canarios to sample the local coffee and or wine before descending all the way to the South Coast to Fuencaliente through the lava and volcanic fields.
Its a walk of two contrasts and we get to see the latest volcano that erupted in 1971
Caldera de Taburiente from below ( 11.5 miles/1000m descent/ 300 m ascent)
The Caldera de Taburiente is one of the largest erosion craters in the world. Its located right in the centre of the island and made up of circle mountains nearly 2,500 m high above.
We are transported by 4x4 deep inside the crater where we then descend within it crossing waterfalls, barranacos, streams, we traverse through pine woods with towering mountains above. Once we get deep within the crater we then return by walking out along the Barranco de Las Angustias gorge to then be transported out of the crater by 4x4. Today is a real mountain adventure....
Ruta de las Volcanoes ( 10 miles/ 600 m ascent/ 900m )
Starting at El Pilar @1500 m we take the GR 131 and hike a very beautiful linear walk from North to South. The day starts ascending up through the pine woods before reaching the numerous volcanoes and lava and ash fields and giving us the opportunity to look deep into the craters. We reach the high point of Peak Deseada @1949 m before making our descent through the pine woods and passing more volcanoes.
La Cumbrecita ( 10 miles/ 300m descent/ 700m ascent)
We start todays hike by visiting the very informative National Park visitors Centre to gain an insight of La Palma. We then ascend through the pine wooded barranco to reach the balcony of the Caldera National Park. From the balcony we then do a circular loop which offers us fantastic views into the crater .
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.
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.
Rooms do not have kettles for that early morning cuppa, but you can hire them at a returnable deposit of 10 euros.
Towels for bathing can be obtained from reception.
The hotel features three luxurious swimming pools (one is heated) surrounded by large beautiful natural gardens.The hotel has a 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. Y
Lunch - as we are out walking each day - then lunch will need to be packed. There are shops around the hotel where you can purchase goods.for a light lunch
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
Our administration services.
What you pay for
Your packed lunch
Any drinks etc at dinner or during the walks
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.
Single supplements for Sole occupancy
For sole occupancy of a twin room there is a single supplement of £24 per night.
- 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
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.
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.
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
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.
Liz Gudgeon - La Palma March 2019.
Initial enquiry dealt with efficiently and pre-holiday information very thorough. Loved the hotel. Thoroughly enjoyed the guided walking. One of the best walking holidays, lovely experience, great guides and group made the holiday.
John Gardner - La Palma March 2019.
Very good hotel. The guided walking experience - Differing walks gave an overall impression of the island. Excellent organizing of holiday, good transport laid on with plenty of room. I very much enjoyed holiday. I would book another holiday and would recommend to others.
Julia Carroll - La Palma March 2019
The guided walking was excellent. Jill Pinkerton was an excellent host and guide. The local guide was also excellent and very knowledgeable about the island. An excellent holiday with a great bunch of people.
Changes in European travel rules in 2021
We have now left the European Union and from January 1 2021, new guidance from UK government is issued. These new rules are simple but you need to make sure you are complying with them.See the UK governments guidelines. See