The island of La Palma is a popular summer destination because of its beaches and warm weather, but the month of January is a great time to visit as well, especially for those interested in escaping the cold winter months. The average temperature in La Palma in January is 18°C (64°F), while the average low is 15°C (59°F), and the average high is 20°C (68°F). The beginning of January starts off with a slight chance of rain, a mix of sunny and cloudy skies, and an average daily temperature of 18°C. This temperature stays fairly consistent throughout the entire month. The middle of January sees a decrease in the chance of rain and an increase in the amount of daily sunshine. The end of January follows this same trend, with more days filled with sun and less rain. The lowest ever recorded temperature in La Palma in January is 9°C (48°C), while the highest ever recorded temperature is 27°C (81°F).
The month of January is tied (with November/December) for the least amount of daily sunshine in La Palma. The average daily sunshine this month is just five hours. However, with a high average temperature this month, a large amount of sun is not needed to generate warmth. January is also the rainiest month in La Palma, with an average rainfall of 70mm occurring over the course of eight days. Although January sees the largest amount of rain throughout the year, this is a minimal amount that will not have a large impact on your holiday.
The sea water temperature in La Palma takes a few months at the start of the year to warm up to levels where it is enjoyable to swim in. The average sea temperature in January is just 13°C (55°F), which is considered cold and uncomfortable.
Regardless of the time of year, the humidity levels in La Palma stay relatively constant throughout. In January, the average humidity is 70% which is slightly uncomfortable, although it will largely go unnoticed with the mild temperatures this month.
Where to stay
The Hotel San Telmo has a nice mix of history and modern traits. The original house was built 350 years ago and renovations and additions were completed in 2008. All rooms at the hotel include bathrooms with a shower and wireless Internet. Some rooms include balconies and views to the sea, while others offer views of the hotel's patio. The hotel serves breakfast and it includes pastries, breads, jams, fresh fruit, meats, and cheeses, while beer, wine, cocktails, and tapas are available in the afternoon. Hotel San Telmo is about a six minute walk from Santa Cruz.
The Teneguia Princess Spa & Conference Resort is a large complex offering standard, superior family, and ocean suite room options. All rooms have a balcony or terrace, a full bathroom, air-conditioning, and sea views. There are also several options for both food and drink, as the hotel has five restaurants and six bars all on-site. They also have a spa offering massages and other body treatments, as well as a sauna. There are 12 pools, fitness centres, and entertainment shows available throughout the year, making this hotel good for both families and couples alike. The hotel is about a 50 minute drive from Santa Cruz.
Puerto Naos beach is one of La Palma's most crowded beaches, making January an ideal time to visit since there will be less people going to the beach this month. It is also a Blue Flag beach, meaning it has met high standards in both cleanliness and water quality, among others. The beach consists of black sand with palm trees, creating natural shade should you forget your umbrella. There is a promenade here as well and is great for walking or cycling along the beach, and parking is available close by. Just off of the beach and next to the promenade is Beach Bar Puerto Naos. They serve cool drinks, lighter meals and snacks, and ice cream. It is the perfect place to relax after a day at the beach and enjoy the sunset. Puerto Naos beach is about a 50 minute drive from Santa Cruz.
If you are in search of delicious seafood, check out Bar Charco Azul. They offer a variety of fresh seafood, including tuna, prawns, octopus, and whatever fish was caught that day. Seafood is their specialty because of their proximity to the water, which also makes for great views of the sea while you are enjoying your meal. They also offer appetizers like salads and cheeses. The place is run by a very friendly couple, and the husband is also the fisherman for the restaurant. Bar Charco Azul is about a 30 minute drive north of Santa Cruz.
If it is dessert you are looking for, head to Helados Artesanos. Opened in 1994, this ice cream shop uses fresh ingredients, some of which are local to La Palma, to create wonderful flavors. They offer traditional choices like strawberry and chocolate, in addition to other options like rum raisin and mango. Homemade cakes are available as well, with a variety of sizes from four servings to an impressive 400 servings. Helados Artesanos is just a two minute walk from Santa Cruz.
La Palma is well-known for having some of the clearest skies in the world and because of this, a visit to the El Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory is a must. A trip here includes tours of several telescopes, which are some of the most powerful in the world, as well as a general tour of the observatory. It is encouraged to book tours in advance, as not every telescope is available for public access each day, and they occur from 9 AM to 1 PM. The cost of the tour is 9, and they range from 70 to 90 minutes long. The observatory is about a 80 minute drive from the capital city of Santa Cruz.
Located on the southern part of the island, Las Salinas are a site to see. They were created in 1967 as a way to extract salt from the sea and to supply the local markets with this commodity. Renovations were conducted on the salt pans in 1994, expanding it to its present state of about 35,000 square metres. In addition to being able to witness large amounts of pure, white salt, there is also an "Interpretation Centre," which is basically a museum providing information about the salt pans, as well as a restaurant, bar, and souvenir shop, where different types of the harvested sea salt can be purchased. Las Salinas are located about a 50 minute drive from the capital city of Santa Cruz.