Where is La Palma?
La Palma is part of the Canary islands. Referred as “La Isla Bonita” (the beautiful island) it is a relaxed, peaceful and green island. La Palma is small (area of 708 km2, 80 000 inhabitants), agricultural and less known than Tenerife or Gran Canaria. The Canarian Archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean not far from the coast of Morocco (Africa). It is part of Spain, so Spanish is the official language and the EURO € the official currency. The airport (code: SPC) is located on the east part of the island, close to the main administrative city and harbor Santa Cruz de La Palma. There are now direct flights from most European capitals, mostly from Spain and Germany but also from the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland. There are direct flights and sea ferries to connect with the other islands, especially Tenerife.
What’s the weather like in La Palma?
The island is divided in two by a huge volcanic crater, volcanoes and a series of peaks. The east coast has a mediteranean humid climate with some lush green forests (Laurel forest), while the west coast has a more tropical semi-arid climate with sunny weather and temperatures between 20–24C year-round. Roque De Los Muchachos, the highest peak, culminates at 2423 meters and is located only 17km from the Atlantic Ocean. Nothing is flat in La Palma and any walk can prove to be punishing. There are as many microclimates on the island as there are small villages due to the dramatic differences of elevation and the volcanic landscapes. A small world has been compacted on a tiny island. You will find bananas, avocados and mangos around Tazacorte and Los Llanos and less than 30 km away in the north, you are in a garden of grapes, figs, almonds, apples and pears below the pine forest.
What’s the cost of living in La Palma?
La Palma is a safe, relaxed and inexpensive place to live and work from. The day-to-day cost of living is still moderate compared to the other bigger islands like Tenerife and Gran Canaria, the Spanish peninsula and obviously the rest of Europe. Your morning caffeine shot (“cafe solo por favor ») costs less than 1€. A bottle of local wine costs about 5€. Local fruits and vegetables are very affordable at less than 2€ the KG. You can enjoy a festive dinner at a local restaurant for 15€ per person. The bus network (called “GuaGua”) is very affordable with a trip from/to any location on the island for less than 2€ and a monthly unlimited card at 25€.
The wifi is available by radio satellite especially in rural areas and the optic fiber starts to be deployed in the main cities. Monthly WIFI connection starts from 30 €.
The valley of Los Llanos de Aridane on the west coast of the island tends to be slightly more dynamic and offers a pleasant climate year round.
Who is the right audience to enjoy working from La Palma
If you value nature, calm and isolation to concentrate on your work, you may want to look further into La Palma.
La Palma is a true getaway for independent workers, creatives, authors, artists, designers, photographers, who need calm, isolation and time for deep work and to focus on their craft and their projects. The perfect place for a creative retreat isn’t exactly a networking hub! When you are looking to create, design and develop, you value a calm environment and appreciate being away from solicitations and sources of interruptions. The small scale makes it ideal for introverts. Just don’t expect networking events and regular meetups to encounter peers.
The island used to be known for stargazing, hiking and dolphin watching, became in recent years an international hotspot for trail running. It’s wild and protected nature makes it a perfect destination for nature lovers, active persons and outdoor enthusiasts. If nature inspires you for your work, that’s definitely a destination to explore.
Feel free to immerse yourself in the local communities to practice your Spanish speaking skills. English remains rarely spoken.
Seven years ago, I chose La Palma as my base camp to work remotely or just to rest between projects. I know from experience that settling on a remote island isn’t that easy and that you need time to find your spot, understand local habits and rules. Feel free to contact me with questions about working from La Palma. I explored most of the island trails hiking or most often running. Don’t hesitate to ask for a trail, a secret beach or some good addresses to stop by!