The Old Music School

El Paso, La Palma, Spain Book from Book from £204 per night

A beautiful rustic-chic 3-bedroom house rental in the island’s centre, with a heated pool, fantastic hiking, and friendly prices

If your idea of a perfect holiday includes semi-tropical sunshine, fresh sea air and jaw-droppingly scenic hiking, then look no further. La Palma is one of the steepest and greenest of the Canary Islands: easily accessible, but almost totally unspoiled. 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 desert-scape. And right in the centre - in the hillside village of El Paso - this beautifully converted 3-bedroom house is ideally placed for exploring it all.

Once the village music school, this historic blue-and-white building has a pleasing mix of original features and contemporary elements. High-spec bathrooms and elegant 4-poster beds complement beamed ceilings, antique tiled floors and wooden shutters. Throw them open to be greeted by the neighbour’s black chickens and dazzling sunshine; then head off to explore one of the island’s many hiking trails or stunning black beaches. After lunch on the cobbled terrace, we spent blissful afternoons by the heated pool (the air is cooler up here at 700m altitude), or mooching around the tapas bars and pastel-coloured boutiques of El Paso and nearby Los Llanos. Bliss.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Perfect for an adventurous family, or for 2-3 couples travelling together (each bedroom has an ensuite)
  • There's also a separate apartment at the back which can be added on, to sleep 8-10 in total
  • Iona and Oliver, who used to run this as a B&B, have bags of local knowledge which they are happy to share
  • It's very affordable, especially given the high quality fittings and artful TLC that have been lavished on it
  • We particularly loved the heated saltwater pool and the peaceful tropical gardens

Lows

  • You'll need a car to explore the island, and La Palma's steep, winding roads are not for the faint-hearted
  • The restaurants and shops of El Paso are a short drive or 15-minute walk away - and there's not a huge choice (Los Llanos has more)

Best time to go

La Palma is a great year-round destination. Winter has lovely daytime temperatures of 15-25C at sea level, but it can get a tad chilly at night, and quite cold up in the mountains. Summers are very hot (30-40C), though sea breezes keep the beaches cool and the mountain forests are beautifully shady.

Our top tips

Challenge yourself to a 18km, full-day hike! Ruta de los Volcanes crosses some of the island's most stunning scenery. You can park your car at the Refugio del Pilar, then take a taxi back.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
  • House rental
  • 3 bedrooms
  • Self-catering; restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • 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
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The house is beautifully refurbished, with antique tile floors, wooden shutters and eaves, Balinese-style beds and underfloor heating: a serious cut above most Canary Island house rentals.

There are 3 bedrooms: 2 doubles (each with a kingsize four-poster bed), and one with a pair of queensize beds to accommodate children (or even a compact family). The beds are super comfy - we slept like babies. Each bedroom has its own ensuite bathroom, with walk-in rain showers and fluffy towels. The 2 rooms in the main house - which can interconnect - are large and bright, with private terraces and views out to the garden. The 3rd room is in a standalone building, with thick walls, traditional beamed ceiling and a free-standing clawfoot bath. We loved this room, because it's only a step away from the pool!

The sitting room is a comfortable place to escape from the heat in summer or cosy up by the wood-burner in winter. There's also a dining room and a fully equipped kitchen. Step outside and the tropical garden is a delight, with loungers by the pool, dotted amongst exotic plants and fruit trees.

There's also a separate apartment at the back - where the owners used to live - with a kingsize bedroom and its own sitting room. This can be added on by arrangement, to sleep 8-10 in total.

Features include:

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

Eating

The well equipped kitchen comes with oven, electric hob, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and two fridge freezers: it's a delight to cook here. There are several shops in the village (5-10 mins' walk away) including a fishmonger, two supermarkets and a lovely German-run organic food shop called El Campo: try their local dried bananas, almond butter and agave syrup. For anything more specialist, Los Llanos - the island's largest village - is a 10-minute drive away.

If you're feeling lazy, the village has several restaurants, including the well reviewed Tasca Catalina for tasty Mediterranean fare (plus great views from the terrace), and the humbler Tasca Barbanera for Canarian staples (think open montaditos sandwiches, white cheese with green mojo, spinach and parmesan bites). There's also an upscale Thai-Med fusion place called Franchipani, a decent Italian pasta-pizzeria called Nonna Tomasa, a simple Venezuelan cafe-bar, and lots more options in Los Llanos.

Features include:

  • 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

The house is a great place for a family with children - we think older kids rather than toddlers - who are interested in the great outdoors, and happy to brave the cool (and sometimes choppy) waters of the Atlantic.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Family Rooms

Baby equipment:

Travel cot and high chair available by prior request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

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 Old Music School is situated in the village of El Paso in the middle of the Canary Island of La Palma (not to be confused with the cities of La Palma on Mallorca or Las Palmas on Gran Canaria!). It's a 25-minute drive from the island's airport near Santa Cruz.

By air:
La Palma (21km) is the only airport on the island, and is served by domestic flights - mostly from other Canary islands - and a few international charters.

Getting around
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.

Airports:

  • La Palma 21.5 km SPC

Other:

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

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

We had a wonderful walking holiday in unspoilt La Palma staying for 1 week at this lovely guest house. It is beautiful and Oli is a wonderful host. Our room was decorated in an elegant but relaxed style with a lovely bathroom with lots of hot water. The well tended garden is like a little oasis with beautiful plants including an orange tree yielding sweet snacks! We tended to be out during the day walking and exploring but returning at 4pm to spend a couple of hours reading and recovering in this wonderful place. We will definitely return.

10/10,

A wonderful home from home: a small, comfortable place to stay with very friendly personal service from its English owners. Situated in the middle of the island and on the edge of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, it is well placed for walking the many trails and for exploring the rest of the island. If you are looking for an authentic, old Spanish style home away from the tourist hot spots, this is the place for you. We loved eating outside in the garden, or inside too. The best restaurant to walk to in town was Tasca Barbanera.

10/10,

This is our second stay and we felt just as welcome as last time. We slept in the garden apartment, with a private patio, living area and large bathroom with bath and shower. We have also stayed in one of the front double rooms and can report that the beds are as comfortable in both and the place is immaculate and stylish. There is so much great hiking nearby and both Ollie and the visitor centre provide loads of helpful information. The town of El Paso is a walk away (easy downhill, steep on the way back!) and there is everything there you could need in terms of shops. Restaurants can be unpredictable for their opening times but Ollie is happy to check with them for you if needed. We enjoyed the Venezuelan for casual (and very good value) food, as well as the pizza/pasta place. We definitely hope to return to this venue as the combination of the friendly welcome, great hiking, and a beautiful pool to chill by is just what we love in a holiday.

10/10,

We would thoroughly recommend this house for beautiful accommodation in El Paso, away from the crowds but with easy access to all areas of La Palma.

10/10,

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