Los Llanos De Aridane
I love Los Llanos. If I could suddenly become fluent in Spanish and someone offered me a job, I’d move here tomorrow. Located close to the West side of La Palma, it has some obvious pluses. The climate for one, on the sunny side of the island, Vitamin D deficiency is not an issue here. As a general rule, it doesn’t get too hot and it doesn’t get too cold. In danger of sounding like Goldilocks, its just right.
As for the scenery, it’s hard to think of a spot more perfectly located. On a fertile plateau filled with banana plantations and vineyards in the foothills of the Cumbre Nueva mountains, it has a volcano range to the left, the simply spectacular Caldera de Taburiente National Park to the right, and views of the open sea to the front. If you can get to a high up vantage point, which isn’t difficult given that there are hills on 3 sides, the views are stunning. Its location in the West also means the sunsets are incredible too. To top it off, the cute little seaside resort of Puerto de Tazacorte is just down the road.
Given all that, you’d expect Los Llanos to be overcrowded with tourists, filled with tourist tat shops, overpriced restaurants and bars that rip you off. But it has none of these things. Instead you will find a completely unpretentious little Spanish town, going about its daily business with a cursory acknowledgement to the low level volume of tourists who have had the good fortune to discover the place. The locals are not unfriendly, but not overly familiar, and definitely do not have the jaded worn down look of service sector employees you find in mega-tourist destinations elsewhere. I think Palmarians are a fairly chilled out bunch, and this rubs off on you if you spend a bit of time in Los Llanos.
The old town centre of Los Llanos is largely pedestrianized and is very attractive in an understated way. There’s a good range of shops found in the centre located along the pretty cobbled streets or in the small Centro Commercial near the square. The square itself has a number of bars and restaurants- it’s a great place to just sit and people watch. There are a reasonable number of restaurants to match all budgets, mostly with typical Spanish and Canarian menus, but also a couple of Pizzerias. A special mention goes to El Geco Pizzeria, which was cheap, fast and delicious, and also Ali’s Kebab takeaway, who do a mean falafel kebab.
Whilst the town can seem deserted during siesta hours, or on a Sunday, when the place can seem like a ghost town, in the evening the central square becomes alive. Families take their young ones out for a stroll, the older generations meet and greet their friends, and like most places around the world, the teenagers just hang out. Sitting in a cafe watching the world go by, you’d be forgiven for thinking everyone knows just about everyone, given the amount of backslapping and calls of greeting that go on. It makes for a lovely atmosphere, hence the reason we keep coming back.
Getting to Los Llanos de Aridane
For the more intrepid, due to the vast number of hiking trails on the island, once landing on the island, it is quite possible to walk here, although I should point out that there is a very high mountain range in the way. More realistically for most of us therefore, the options are bus, taxi or car hire. By bus, the number 300 from Santa Cruz de La Palma runs roughly every half hour, takes about 45 minutes and is cheap. A taxi will set you back around 60 Euros. Car hire is also a lot less expensive than you would expect. Our car, hired through Cecar, worked out around 15 Euros a day, including half a tank of petrol and insurance.
Walking around Los Llanos de Aridane
Being located on the edge of the Caldera de Taburiente, and in the foothills of the Cumbre mountain range, Los Llanos is perfectly placed for a huge array of wonderful walks. As walking is one of the prime factors for tourism on the island, there is an excellent infrastructure of waymarked trails both locally and on the island in general.
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