Exploring the Canary Islands: How Far Apart are La Palma and Tenerife?

The Canary Islands are one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors every year. With their stunning landscapes, warm weather, and diverse flora and fauna, each island offers a unique experience for travelers to explore. Two of the most popular islands in the archipelago are La Palma and Tenerife, which are located a fair distance apart. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these two islands, explore how far apart they are, and learn how vacationers can travel between them.

Where are La Palma and Tenerife Located?

You may be wondering, where exactly are these exotic islands located? Do this: take a glance at a map of the world and find the western coast of Africa. Now, move your gaze across the vast Atlantic Ocean until you spot a cluster of seven islands. That’s it! You’ve found the magical Canary Islands, and nestled within them are La Palma and Tenerife.

La Palma is the fifth largest island in the Canary Islands and lies northwest of Tenerife. It’s a relatively small island, only measuring 708 km² (274 square miles). Meanwhile, Tenerife is the largest island in the archipelago and measures a whopping 2,034 km² (785 square miles).

These two islands may be modest in size, but their beauty and charm are larger than life. With stunning coastlines, towering mountains, and vibrant culture, La Palma and Tenerife are must-visit destinations for any adventurer seeking paradise.

At the Peak of Roque de Los Muchachos
At the Peak of Roque de Los Muchachos – ©sarawinter

Why Visit La Palma?

La Palma is often referred to as “La Isla Bonita” or “The Beautiful Island,” and for a good reason. The island is home to an abundance of natural beauty, including the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The park is a must-visit destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts, with its vast pine forests, waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the Caldera crater.

Another unique feature of La Palma is its volcanic landscape, with over 150 volcanoes spread across the island. Visitors can explore the volcanic terrain on guided tours or by visiting the Teneguia and San Antonio volcanoes, the most recent eruptions on the island.

La Palma is also known for its rich cultural heritage, with historic towns and villages dating back to the 15th century. Santa Cruz de La Palma, the island’s capital city, is a picturesque town with colorful houses, cobbled streets, and a stunning beach. It is also home to the famous Bajada de la Virgen festival, which takes place every five years and attracts visitors from all over the world.

A true gem of the Canary Islands, La Palma’s beaches are also definitely worth exploring. Unlike Tenerife’s busy beaches, La Palma’s coastline is much more relaxed and natural, making it perfect for those seeking a peaceful and unspoiled destination. One of the most popular beaches on the island is Charco Verde, a secluded black-sand beach with calm and clear water, surrounded by lush vegetation. Another great option is Playa de Puerto Naos, a long, wide beach with golden sand and plenty of facilities, such as restaurants and beach bars. Finally, for those looking for a truly unique experience, there’s Playa Nogales, a stunning black sand beach with huge waves, ideal for surfing or bodyboarding. In short, if you’re looking for unspoiled and uncrowded beaches with natural beauty, La Palma is the perfect destination.

Masca Valley in Tenerife
Masca Valley in Tenerife – ©gadzius

Why Visit Tenerife?

Tenerife is the largest and most populous island in the Canary Islands, with a population of over 900,000 people. Known as the island of eternal spring, it boasts diverse landscapes, ranging from lush green forests to arid deserts and volcanic terrain. One of the most popular attractions on the island is the Teide National Park, home to the highest peak in Spain, Mount Teide. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of visitors annually.

Tenerife is also known for its vibrant nightlife and bustling cities. The island capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is a lively city with a rich cultural heritage and stunning architecture. It is home to numerous museums, art galleries, and historic landmarks, including the iconic Auditorio de Tenerife, a must-visit destination for music lovers.

Another reason why Tenerife is a must-visit destination is its stunning beaches. With over 67km of coastline, the island boasts a range of beaches to suit all tastes, from secluded coves to bustling resorts. Some of the most popular beaches include Playa de Las Teresitas, a golden-sand beach with palm trees and crystal-clear water; Playa de la Arena, a black-sand beach with a dramatic backdrop of cliffs; and Playa del Duque, a sophisticated white-sand beach with a promenade of high-end shops and restaurants. Whether you want to soak up the sun and stunning views, swim, or surf, Tenerife’s beaches are sure to delight.

How Far Apart are La Palma and Tenerife?

While La Palma and Tenerife are close to each other compared to other destinations, they are still a fair distance apart. La Palma is located northwest of Tenerife and approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) from its neighboring island. Both share similar cultural and geographical characteristics and are known for their stunning landscapes, warm weather, and diverse flora and fauna, making them popular destinations for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.

How to Travel Between La Palma and Tenerife?

If you’re planning to travel from La Palma to Tenerife or the other way around, there are two main modes of transportation to choose from ferry and airplane. While the ferry ride offers a scenic journey across the Atlantic Ocean, flying is a quicker and more convenient option. Consider your budget, time frame, and personal preferences to choose what is best for your needs. It’s also important to note that weather conditions can affect the travel duration. In some cases, ferry rides may take longer if the sea is rough, while flights may be delayed or canceled due to poor weather conditions.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect regarding each option’s duration, cost, and frequency.

Ferry

Taking a ferry is a great way to experience the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean while traveling between the islands. The ferry ride from La Palma to Tenerife typically takes 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on the weather conditions. The frequency of ferries varies throughout the year, but generally, there are several daily departures to choose from.

The cost of a ferry ticket varies depending on the season and the company you choose. However, on average, a one-way ticket costs around €60-€80 per person. Prices may be higher during peak season, so booking in advance is best to secure great deals. We also recommend doing a live search to get the most up-to-date information.

Fred. Olsen Express

Fred. Olsen Express offers the fastest and most efficient way to travel between Los Cristianos, Tenerife and Santa Cruz de La Palma. With a travel time of just 2 hours and 30 minutes, it’s the perfect option for travelers looking to save time while enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Canary Islands. You’ll have the choice of traveling on either the Benchijigua Express, which features an open deck, or the Bencomo Express, a modern catamaran.

Fred Olsen Express understands that traveling with pets can be a hassle, which is why they’ve made their ferries pet-friendly. Feeling a bit peckish during your journey? No problem! The ferry features a snack bar where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy some refreshments. One of the most convenient features of Fred Olsen Express is that the ferry carries vehicles, so you can easily transport your car or motorcycle between the islands.

All of these features come at an affordable cost, with a one-way ticket costing just 58.33.

Naviera Armas

Naviera Armas offers a comfortable, fast, and efficient way to travel between Los Cristianos and Santa Cruz de La Palma, operating once a day from both locations. The travel duration from Los Cristianos to Santa Cruz de La Palma is just 3 hours and 15 minutes.

The Volcan de Taburiente is the ferry’s ship and offers a range of features to ensure passengers have a comfortable and enjoyable journey. These include pet-friendly accommodations, Wi-Fi, a restaurant serving delicious meals, and a snack bar that provides light refreshments. The cost of this ferry service is 62.32, which is very affordable, considering the convenience and features it offers.

Trasmediterranea

Trasmediterranea is the only ferry company that offers a ferry trip to and from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It operates once every Thursday from Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Santa Cruz de La Palma and has a trip back every Friday, making it an ideal choice for travelers who prefer a specific schedule.

The travel duration is approximately 6-7 hours, allowing passengers to relax and enjoy the onboard amenities. The ferry’s ship, Ciudad de Valencia, offers a range of features that ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey. These include a restaurant serving delicious meals and refreshments, pet-friendly accommodations, and the capacity to carry vehicles. Passengers have the option to choose between a comfortable seat for €75.88 or a cabin for €146.94.

Airplane

Flying between La Palma and Tenerife is a much quicker option, taking an average of 30 minutes to and from Tenerife South Airport (TFS) and 45 minutes to and from Tenerife North Airport (TFN) for direct flights. Several airlines operate flights between the two islands, including Binter Canarias, CanaryFly, and Ryanair. The frequency of flights is higher than ferries, with several daily flights available.

The average flight price between La Palma and Tenerife can vary depending on the airline, time of year, and how far in advance the ticket is booked. However, as of February 2023, the average price for a one-way ticket between La Palma Airport and Tenerife South Airport is around €50-70. Meanwhile, an average one-way ticket between La Palma Airport and Tenerife North Airport ranges from €40-60. Prices may be higher or lower depending on the season and availability. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and book in advance to get the best deal.

FAQs

How far is La Palma from Tenerife?

La Palma is approximately 136 kilometers away from Tenerife.

What is the fastest way to travel from Tenerife to La Palma?

The fastest way to travel from Tenerife to La Palma is by taking a flight, which takes around 30 to 45 minutes.

How long does it take to travel by ferry from Tenerife to La Palma?

The travel duration from Tenerife to La Palma by ferry is around 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours.

What is the cost of traveling from Tenerife to La Palma?

The cost of traveling from Tenerife to La Palma varies depending on the mode of transportation. A flight can cost between €40 to €100, while a ferry ride can cost between €58.33 to €146.94.

How often do ferries run from Tenerife to La Palma?

Ferries operate from Los Cristianos to Santa Cruz de La Palma twice a day and vice versa.

Can I travel from Tenerife to La Palma by car?

Yes, you can take a car ferry from Tenerife to La Palma, but it may be expensive.

Are there direct flights from Tenerife to La Palma?

Yes, there are direct flights from Tenerife to La Palma.

Can I take a bus from Tenerife to La Palma?

No, there are no direct bus services from Tenerife to La Palma.

What airlines offer flights from Tenerife to La Palma?

Binter Canarias and CanaryFly offer direct flights from Tenerife to La Palma.

Can I take my pets on the ferry from Tenerife to La Palma?

Yes, some ferry services allow pets on board, but there may be restrictions and additional charges.

What is the weather like in La Palma and Tenerife?

The Canary Islands enjoy a subtropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year, making them ideal for year-round travel.

Are there any accommodation options in La Palma and Tenerife?

Yes, both La Palma and Tenerife offer a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels and resorts.

Are there any sightseeing options in La Palma and Tenerife?

Yes, both La Palma and Tenerife have several popular tourist attractions, including beautiful beaches, hiking trails, natural parks, and historic sites.

Do I need a visa to travel from Tenerife to La Palma?

No, if you are a citizen of the European Union or Switzerland, you do not need a visa to travel from Tenerife to La Palma.

What is the best time to visit La Palma and Tenerife?

The best time to visit La Palma and Tenerife largely depends on your priorities. If you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit is outside of peak season, which is from mid-December to mid-January and during Easter week. These periods are the busiest, so expect higher prices for flights, accommodation, and activities.

If you’re on a tight budget, consider visiting during the shoulder season from April to June and September to November. During these months, the weather is still warm and pleasant, and flights and accommodation prices are lower than in peak season.

In terms of weather, the Canary Islands are known for their year-round warm and sunny climate. However, keep in mind that the islands, including La Palma and Tenerife, can be quite windy, especially during the winter months. It’s also worth noting that the islands have microclimates, so the weather can vary from one island to another and even from one region to another on the same island.

La Palma and Tenerife: A Must-Visit for Any Traveler

La Palma and Tenerife are two of the most beautiful islands in the Canary Islands, each offering a unique experience for travelers to explore. Whether you’re interested in hiking, nature, culture, or nightlife, these islands have something for everyone.

While the distance between La Palma and Tenerife may seem significant, it’s relatively easy and affordable to travel between the two islands by plane or ferry. Both modes of transportation offer their own unique advantages, whether it’s the convenience and speed of flying or the scenic views and relaxed atmosphere of taking a ferry.

If you’re planning a trip to the Canary Islands, be sure to include both La Palma and Tenerife on your itinerary. These islands are not only stunning in their natural beauty but also rich in culture and history, making them a must-visit destination for any traveler.

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