The Old Music School

El Paso, La Palma, Spain
Book from GBP Book from £72 per night

The Old Music School

El Paso, La Palma, Spain

A beautiful rustic-chic house rental (sleeps 6-10) in the island’s centre, with a heated pool, fantastic hiking, and friendly prices

A beautiful rustic-chic house rental (sleeps 6-10) 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- to 4-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.

Highs

  • Perfect for an adventurous family, or for 2-3 couples travelling together (each bedroom has an ensuite)
  • The 4th bedroom is a spacious separate apartment at the back - offering a bit more privacy
  • The new (in 2022) owners have exciting plans, and plenty 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 pool and the peaceful tropical gardens

Lows

  • The house acquired new owners - and other changes - in late 2023, which are not yet reflected in our review
  • Lava flows from the 2021 eruption of Cumbre Vieja reach quite close to the house (about 10 mins' drive) - but are spectacular to visit
  • 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
Great Outdoors
  • House rental
  • 3 bedrooms + 1 apartment
  • Self-catering; restaurants nearby
  • Over 12s only
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car essential
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • 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 three bedrooms in the main house: two doubles and one twin. The beds are super comfy - we slept like babies. Each bedroom has its own ensuite bathroom, with walk-in rain showers and fluffy towels. Roxanne and Beautiful Day - which can interconnect - are large and bright, with direct access to the terrace and views out to the garden. The latter has two queensize beds, so can sleep up to 4. The Sonne Suite has thick walls, a traditional beamed ceiling and a free-standing clawfoot bath. We loved this room because it's only a step away from the pool!

For those after a bit more privacy, there's the Slim Shady apartment at the back, with a kingsize bedroom, its own kitchen/sitting room and a private terrace.

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. Music memorabilia adorns the walls of every room, and Marshall speakers are provided so you can set your own soundtrack. Step outside and the tropical garden is a delight, with loungers by the pool, dotted amongst exotic plants and fruit trees.

Features include:

  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • 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. The apartment also has its own small kitchen. 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). Nearest to the house is Italian-inspired El Greco, with fresh pasta and good pizzas. There's also an upscale Thai-Med fusion place called Franchipani, a couple of Mexican and Venezuelan eateries, and lots more options in Los Llanos.

Features include:

  • 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

Kids

The house is a good option for older kids and teens who are interested in the great outdoors, and happy to brave the cool (and sometimes choppy) waters of the Atlantic.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Kids Activities on site:

Heated outdoor pool

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

Rates for The Old Music School

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