Location - Situated about 5 miles (10 minute drive) from the village of Santo Domingo in a quiet and rural position, the house is reached by a rough track for about 1/4 mile partly besides a gully. There is absolutely no traffic noise, all you can hear is the wind in the trees. The view is beautiful, overlooking hills and the sea. The telephone mast mentioned by another reviewer is set away from the house, on a hill and cannot be seen from the house or garden. The owner (who speaks no English) will meet you outside the bank of Santo Domingo to take you to the property.
The house - slightly shabby but authentically cute with it! A kitchen with 2-ring hob, fridge/freezer, microwave, plates, pans, utensils etc. Table & chairs and a rather uncomfortable sofa. Shame there was no oven. A coffee filter jug with a dodgy handle and kettle. Bedroom with comfortable double bed, electric heater and chest full of blankets, sheets etc. Bathroom with shower over the bath, sink, bidet, wardrobes and washing machine. The shower water pressure was very low, just a thin stream of water but it was adequate and hot. The kitchen and bathroom have no heating. There is a shady terrace with small table and chairs. The House Gecko is very friendly!
Garden - Rough and very uneven underfoot it is nevertheless a lovely spot to sit and watch the sun go down in absolute peace, quiet and privacy. At the end of the garden is a wire fence then a drop to a gully so probably not recommended for kids. Two plastic sunbeds are provided which were ideal for lying on while stargazing, wrapped in blankets for hours at a time! As it was such a rural area there was no light pollution (La Palma is a Starlight Reserve) and I saw constellations I've never seen before. Absolutely beautiful!
Blue throated lizards live in the cracks on the outside walls and kestrels make a regular appearance.
Santo Domingo - Almost deserted when we were there at the end of May. Beautiful, quiet plaza with a small church and a little cafe where it was very pleasant to sit with a couple of beers in the evening listening to the church bells. The locals outnumbered the tourists but even so it was peaceful and laid-back. The cafe had a very limited menu. There was another cafe further up the road, along with a Spar shop and bank. Not much to wander round really but just a place to chill with a drink.
The Spar sold basic essentials like bread, ham, various cheeses, coffee, loo paper, toothpaste etc but no "ready meals" or sandwiches which would've been handy. Long life milk available but you cannot buy fresh milk on the island as there are no cows!
Accessability - Located in the remote far north west of the island which is the most scenic, full of Pine trees, dragon trees and flowers. You have to be prepared to drive ridiculously winding roads, some with very steep drops. 1 hour 30 to the Visitors Centre of the Caldera Du Taburiente at El Paso. Around 2.5 hours to the airport. 30 mins to the Roque du los Muchachos and the Observatories (bloody scary roads!) There were very few places nearby to eat in the evening although its possible we just didn't find them! A thorough search on Google would be a good idea. I found the road around the east of the island less traumatic than the one to the west although both have their moments!
Recommendations to the owner! - Better water pressure to the shower, a cafetiere, an oven, the garden levelled and the track to the property improved (somehow!) would've made our visit perfect. A list of nearby restaurants with distance and suggestions on places to visit would have also been good!
Overview - We loved it. We loved the peace and quiet, the scenery, sleepy villages and timelessness of it all. We loved the lizards and Gordon the Gecko. We loved the view, the remoteness and the star gazing. Commercialisation and tourism has only just begun in La Palma and certainly has not touched the north of the island. You will need a spanish phrasebook in most places.
If you don't suffer from vertigo and don't mind driving round winding, steep roads, sometimes with no edge barrier, if you don't mind your accommodation a little rough around the edges and no power shower and you like lizards then go, and enjoy!
|How easy was it to book the property?|