Flags Galore

Garafía's flag
June 11, 2014

  You see a lot of flags on La Palma. Most English visitors will recognise the flags of Spain and the European Union. But the Canary Islands are an autonomous region within Spain, and they have their own flag too. You see it a lot, especially around May 30th, which is Canary Day. And then each island has its own flag. Here’s the flag of La Palma: And as if…


Los Tilos Forest

One of my favourite bits of tourist feedback about La Palma island was the disgruntled Brit who described Los Tilos as: “Just a load of trees.” Well yes. And Beethoven’s Ninth is just a load of notes, and the Mona Lisa is just a load of paint. Los Tilos, in San Andres and Los Sauces, is home to one of the best surviving laurel forests in the world. The other…

August 20, 2012

A Stroll by the Sea: Puerto Espindola, Charco Azul and San Andres

La Palma has over 1,000 km of footpaths – everything from challenges for fit people to gentle strolls. One of my favourites is the walk along the coast from Charco-Azul to Puerto Espindola, in the municipality of San Andres and Sauces. Charco Azul has salt-water swimming pools, rather like Piscinas la Fajana. At one time, Puerto Espindola was a working port, mostly exporting the agricultural produce of the borough. Now…

July 30, 2012

Los Sauces Sardine

The sardine’s funeral in Los Sauces had a Roman theme this year. As always, the bier was carried by lots of humans (rather than a lorry) and they danced it through the streets and around the square. Los Sauces has the reputation of putting on a much better sardine’s funeral than Santa Cruz, and I think it’s true. Of course it’s self-perpetuating. People make more effort to get to the…

March 4, 2012

Carnival this weekend on La Palma

The poster for Los Sauces sardine's funeral
March 2, 2012

On Friday 2nd March, Los Cancajos will hold its carnival parade, with about 400 participantes (children in fancy dress, serious percussion and other carnival bands). The parade starts at about 5:30 at the south end of the village (near Las Olas hotel)and will go along the main street to the Centro Cancajos, where there will be a performance by clowns. On Saturday, Los Cancajos will hold their 1960s party,starting at…


The Sardine

Most places in Spain end Carnival with a funeral for a sardine. It’s like being inside a Monty Python sketch, with the crowd dressed in black (some tarty, some elegant) and screeching with fake grief. “WAUUUGH! She’s dead!” The whole thing’s deliciously bonkers. This bizarre finale to Carnival was traditionally held on Ash Wednesday, but most places on La Palma hold it at the weekend, so people don’t have to…

February 24, 2012