Calero Marinas|Marina La Palma sits at the head of the commercial port of Santa Cruz de La Palma, a historic town with ornate wooden balconies, flowers, cosy bars and cafés and a colourful daily market for provisioning. La Palma, the most north-westerly of the Canary Islands is known for its impressive landscape – the whole island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – gentle climate and relaxed way of life. A favourite with hikers, the Caldera de Taburiente National Park is an 8km-wide volcanic crater, replete with pine forests, a marvellous biodiversity and sites of cultural interest. A Starlight Reserve, even the skies above the island are protected with light pollution legislation, so as not to affect the island’s excellent star-gazing qualities.
Back in the marina, one of the most notable features is a huge access gate that guards the entry. After problems with fetch were identified, the Port Authority undertook a project to install a device that would negate the effect. The structure stands nearly 14m tall and is operative 24/7 allowing boats to pass easily in and out, whilst retaining calm conditions within. (For more information, visit the marina website.)
Marina La Palma has 180 pontoon finger berths, hot showers, dry-dock, a laundrette and chandlery and visitors are also welcome to use the local yacht club’s ample outside swimming pool. The marina has hosted various events from regional offshore cruising regattas to international transatlantic rallies organised by well-established figures such as Jimmy Cornell and the Grand Pavois Organisation.
The Canaries are not necessarily on the beaten track, but an increasing number of cruisers are choosing to spend a long winter in these temperate isles. La Palma offers two marinas and some marvellous caves in the south of the island, accessible by dinghy. A week’s cruising can easily take in neighbouring Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro. The deep waters don’t allow for many anchoring options, but the marinas are plentiful and well-positioned. Winds are predominantly N – NE but do watch out for the acceleration zones. These are well-identified on charts but can catch you out if not prepared. Consult the Imray publications: Atlantic Islands or the Cruising Guide to the Canary Islands for more information.
What not to miss:
Carnival (Mardi Gras): Carnival takes on a curious twist in La Palma with a Cuban theme, both burlesque and highly enjoyable. Wear white and don’t forget your talc!
Fiestas Lustrales. Every five years, Santa Cruz de la Palma is consumed by the splendid processions and theatrical events of the Bajada de la Virgen, where the island’s patron saint is carried ceremoniously down to the capital to bless the island. Iconic dwarfs, giants and 18th century drama are all part of the show. The next event will take place in July, 2020. Accommodation is very limited, so book your berth!
Marina La Palma is one of Calero Marinas. Sister marina Puerto Calero is also a member of TransEurope Marinas. To find out more, visit the site: www.caleromarinas.com or write to firstname.lastname@example.org