La Palma Airport (SPC) is located just 8 km south of Santa Cruz de La Palma. When booking flights please ensure the destination airport code is SPC to avoid any confusion with other destinations such as Palma de Mallorca or Las Palmas.
Although there are some direct flights between Madrid and La Palma, they don't operate every day. Your next most convenient route is probably to fly to Tenerife North Airport (TFN) and then catch one of the frequent inter-island flights operated by Binter and by Canary Fly on to La Palma, flying time under 30 minutes. There are however some vacation charter flights direct to La Palma from Germany, the Netherlands and UK operating once or twice per week, and more frequent charter flights from several European cities to Tenerife South Airport (TFS). If you choose the latter route you must travel to Tenerife North Airport by bus or taxi (driving distance 68 km) in order to catch your onward inter-island flight. A ferry service operated by Fred.Olson runs on a daily basis between the south of Tenerife and Santa Cruz de La Palma, and takes about 3 hours.
The Spanish Consulate in London lists countries whose passport holders do not need a visa to enter Spain for visits of up to 90 days, and those who do. Further information on the visa policy of the EU's Schengen Area, which includes Spain, but not for example Ireland and the UK, is available on the pages of the European Commission. If you're in doubt as to whether you need a visa to cover your travel plans, please consult with the appropriate authorities in your country of residence. We recommend you apply for your visa early; processing your application can take time. If your visa application requires a supporting letter confirming your attendance at the conference, please email us and we'll be happy to help.
La Palma offers a wide choice of places to stay. For the conference there are two main accommodation centres - the small resort area of Los Cancajos just 5km south of Santa Cruz, where we have negotiated special conference rates with the four-star Hotel Taburiente Playa, and in Santa Cruz itself where there are a number of smaller hotels and guesthouses. Visit the pages of the Tourist Board and TripAdvisor for a comprehensive guide to the possibilities. There will be a complimentary bus service between Los Cancajos and the conference venue each morning and evening.
The currency used in the Canary Islands is of course the euro. The main towns and resorts in La Palma are well served by banks and cash dispensing machines (ATMs) which include MasterCard and Visa facilities, and currency exchange desks are available in the banks. When paying by card in shops and restaurants it's the norm to be asked to provide photo identification such as your passport or national identity card.
During the meeting a complimentary bus service will be provided for participants between Los Cancajos and Santa Cruz de La Palma in the morning, and back again to Los Cancajos in the evening.
For other travel needs the taxi and bus services on La Palma are of a high standard. At the airport the taxi rank is right outside the arrivals lounge; just follow the signs. The cost of a taxi trip to Los Cancajos or Santa Cruz is about 10 euro, but the exact price depends on the time of day and amount of luggage you have. An extensive bus (guagua) network joins the major towns and resorts of the island, and of course the airport; timetables and routes are available online.
If you want to hire a car to get around in, the major international car rental companies have kiosks at the airport.
La Palma has many restaurants which cater for both local and visitors' tastes. Generally, eating out here is quite cheap, and there's a range of fare and quality available; some restaurants are very good indeed. TripAdvisor provides a comprehensive directory of restaurants on La Palma, with the option to list by genre. Prices and reviews are given, and the locations of many of the restaurants are shown on TripAdvisor's interactive Google map. If you pay your bill by card it's common to be asked to provide photo identification such as your passport or national identity card.
The temperatures at sea-level in La Palma are generally moderate the year round, ranging from about 15°C in winter to 28°C or so in summer. However, temperature of course drops with altitude, and even the summer temperature at the Roque de Los Muchachos rarely exceeds 23°C, and often falls below zero in winter. In March the highest peaks, including the Roque, can be covered in snow, so if you plan to visit the Observatory or highlands we suggest you bring some warm clothing just in case!
We hope your stay on La Palma will be free of accident and illness, but as a precaution we strongly recommend you have adequate health insurance cover. Without this you will have to pay any doctor's or hospital charges you might incur. If you're a resident of a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland it's advisable to carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which will cover basic medical care within the Spanish public health system.