What to pack

The climate on La Palma is a lot less predictable than it used to be. In any case, at this time of year, the weather’s very changeable. It’s not like Ireland – if you don’t like the weather just wait five minute and it’ll change – but half an hour ago it was pouring, and now it’s just cloudy.

So do bring the waterproofs if you’re planning to go walking. Bring good boots too, unless you’re planning to walk mainly on roads. The trails vary, and some are very rough. Do NOT try to hike round the Caldera rim in high-heeled shoes! (I did see someone trying once. She didn’t get far!)

Then there’s the change in climate due to altitude. Down at the airport (260 ft, or 80 m above sea level) it’s currently 15ºC. Up at the Roque, (7,900 ft or 2464 m) it’s just below zero (-0.6ºC). So unless you’re planning to sit on the beach for the whole holiday, you’ll want a jumper or even a fleece. Bring the swimsuits too – they don’t take up much space, and we’ve been getting intervals of glorious sunshine. Ten years ago, we only got the calima – the wind off the Sahara – for a few days in the middle of summer. But we had it for a few days in January, and even the locals headed for the beach.

Very often, the east of the island (including Los Cancajos) is sunny in the morning, and the cloud builds out from the mountain as the day goes on. So the beach is the last place to cloud over. The west of the island (including Puerto Naos and the Princess hotel) is much sunnier and drier. Tazacorte is actually the sunniest municipality in Spain.

I’ve created a page with links to webcams and weather stations around the island here. This page will improve as I find more weather stations and webcams.

Update: Corrected east and west of the island. Thank you x.

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