Olio La Palma

La Palma, Spain Book from Book from £80 per night

Great-value B&B in the centre of the island, with romantic rooms, a heated pool, and hiking trails from your doorstep
If you’ve ever thought yourself too adventurous for the Canary Islands, a trip to La Palma might just change your mind. One of the greenest, steepest and least developed islands of this Atlantic archipelago, what it lacks in golden beaches, it certainly makes up for in jaw-dropping scenery. Dramatic peaks shrouded in lush prehistoric forest dominate the north, while to the south a chain of volcanic craters rise up from a haunting black desertscape. And right in the centre - in the hillside village of El Paso - tiny Olio La Palma is ideally placed for exploring it all.

Once the village music school, the historic blue-and-white building has just 3 double rooms. Welcome concessions to modernity are in keeping with the characterful original features: high-spec bathrooms and elegant 4-poster beds complement beamed ceilings, antique tiled floors and wooden shutters. After a hearty breakfast on the cobbled terrace, spend the morning hiking one of the island’s many trails before heading back for a peaceful afternoon by the tropical garden pool. Just a short walk to local restaurants and a short drive to everything else, Olio La Palma sounds like a great year-round getaway for active couples in search of adventure.

Highs

  • Fantastic value
  • The heated saltwater pool, in the peaceful tropical garden
  • Continental breakfast on the terrace is a pleasant way to start the day
  • Magnificent hiking in volcanic Caldera de Taburiente National Park; some walks start from the B&B itself
  • The owners, Iona and Oliver, have bags of local knowledge and can offer tips on places to visit or where to eat

Lows

  • You'll need a hire car to explore the island and La Palma's steep, winding roads are not for the faint-hearted
  • No restaurant on-site but the restaurants and shops of El Paso are a 15-minute walk away
  • No children under 12
  • The beaches (13km away) are mostly gritty black sand; they look dramatic but they're not always safe for swimming due to strong currents

Best time to go

La Palma can be visited all year. Winter (Dec-Feb) has lovely daytime temperatures (15-25C at sea level) though it can get chilly in the evenings, and decidedly cold up in the high mountains - snow is not uncommon. In summer (June-Sept), temperatures soar to 30-40C, though sea breezes keep the beaches cool and the mountain forests are beautifully shady.

Our top tips

If you enjoy hiking, don't miss the famous 18km Ruta de los Volcanes. It's a challenging full-day walk but traverses some of the island's most beautiful and impressive scenery. Leave your car at the Refugio del Pilar and get a taxi or bus back at the end.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique B&B
  • 3
  • Breakfast only; restaurants nearby
  • Over 12s only
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

Quality not quantity is the order of the day at Olio La Palma. The 3 ensuite bedrooms are simply but stylishly appointed with dark-wood furniture contrasting with the white surrounds. Kingsize 4-poster beds add a touch of luxe, while bathrooms are brought up-to-date with underfloor heating, walk-in rain showers and fluffy towels. The 2 rooms in the main house, Dalia and Nispero, are large and bright with antique tiled floors, private terraces and views out to the garden. We particularly like the look of Pajero, in a standalone building, with its traditional beamed ceiling and free-standing clawfoot bath.

The guest lounge is a comfortable place to escape from the heat in summer or cosy up by the wood-burner with a book in winter. Step outside and the tropical garden is a delight, with loungers by the pool and dotted amongst the exotic plants, and fruit trees buzzing with bees and the sound of birdsong.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

A Continental breakfast is served between 8-10am, either in the dining room or out on the cobbled terrace. The simple but substantial spread of freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh bread, preserves, yoghurt and fruit will set you up for the day, and there's often a cooked option, too.

Iona and Oliver can help you make dinner arrangements, offering advice and making reservations. There are a couple of good options in the village of El Paso itself - a 15-minute stroll from Olio - or venture a little further to excellent restaurants down on the coast.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Caldera de Taburiente National Park with its huge volcanic crater is on the doorstep, and offers exhilarating treks surrounded by jagged 2000m peaks or through the dramatic Las Angustias ravine
  • Drive up to the Roque de los Muchachos observatory, at 2396m above sea level, for stunning island views and night-time star-gazing; or trek there along the knife-edge Ruta de la Cresteria
  • Visit the towns of Santa Cruz (a 25-minute drive) or Los Llanos (15 minutes); both have colourful historic centres with cobbled lanes, 16th-century buildings and a vibrant café culture
  • The sheltered beaches of Tazacorte, Puerto Naos and Charcol Verde are all within 15 minutes' drive, or ask the owners how to find the island's more remote stretches of sand
  • Try paragliding, sea-kayaking or mountain biking with a local operator - Iona can advise
  • Taste some of the island's delicacies such as miel de palma (palm honey) or the excellent locally produced wines

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Kitesurfing
    • Mountain biking
    • Paragliding
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Shopping / markets
    • Star gazing
    • Swimming
    • Trekking
    • Windsurfing
    • Wine tasting

Kids

Olio La Palma is a peaceful retreat. Well-behaved 12+ year olds are welcome, but they'll be charged full price and there are no twin rooms, or extra beds.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Kids Activities on site:

Heated outdoor pool

Kids Activities nearby:

Plenty of beaches nearby, as well as watersports and hiking

Distances:

  • Beach: 13km
  • Pharmacy: 1km (El Paso)
  • Hospital: 20km (Santa Cruz)
Kid Friendly:

Location

The B&B is situated in the village of El Paso in central La Palma, the Canarian island off the west coast of Africa (not to be confused with the town of La Palma on Mallorca, or the town of Las Palmas on Gran Canaria!). It's a 25-minute drive from the island's airport near Santa Cruz (de la Palma).

By Air:
La Palma (21.5km) is the only airport on the island, and is served by domestic flights - mostly from other Canary islands - and a few international charters. Click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the Airport
There are shops and restaurants within walking distance of the B&B, but you'll want to hire a car to explore the island. We found Oasis to be reliable and friendly.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to La Palma

Airports:

  • La Palma 21.5 km SPC

Other:

  • Beach 13.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

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