The charming little town of Breña Baja sits on a hillside just outside Santa Cruz, the bustling capital of La Palma. This appealing resort offers the best of all worlds: you’ll have all the peace and tranquillity of a country town, with the vibrant big-city attractions of Santa Cruz and the striking volcanic sand beaches of Los Cancajos right on the doorstep. The rural surroundings are ideal for hiking and mountain-biking, plus you can enjoy a host of water sports nearby, including snorkelling and scuba diving. Santa Cruz, 3 kilometres away, is a beautiful port city, packed with historic buildings, as well as great shops, bars and restaurants.
The whole island of La Palma is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, and Breña Baja enjoys a gorgeous, rural setting. You’ll be able to soak up some wonderful views, go hiking, and tuck into some tasty local cuisine in one of the local restaurants, or head down to the coast to spend the day at one of the fantastic black-sand beaches at Los Concajos. If you’re in search of bright lights, you can head in to Santa Cruz, the island capital, which is just 3 kilometres away. As well as its beautifully preserved historic heart, the city offers bags of great shopping, dining and nightlife.
In Breña Baja, you’ll find a handful of restaurants serving the delicious local cuisine, along with plenty more in the seaside town of Los Cancajos, just a couple of kilometres away. Classic local favourites in the Canary Islands include fabulously fresh seafood, such as sea bream and sea bass as well as more exotic varieties such as wreckfish and parrot fish. Try them with papas arrugadas, which means ‘wrinkly potatoes’: served with the local mojo sauce, this is one of the most famous island dishes. You might also want to tuck into a tasty country stew, made with all kinds of local veggies along with chicken, rabbit or beef. One of the most popular desserts is bienmesabe, which is a sticky almond-and-honey sweet.
Great for a relaxed family holiday, Breña Baja has a wonderful mix of rural tranquillity and seaside fun. The sleepy village is relaxed and low-key, with just a handful of shops and cafés, but a short drive (or bus ride) will bring you to the family-friendly beaches at Los Cancajos. Younger kids will be happy making sandcastles and paddling, while older kids will enjoy snorkelling around the rocky outcrops or even taking a diving trip. Kids will also enjoy a visit to Santa Cruz, with its pretty port and charming, narrow streets. Inland, children might enjoy a fantastic star-gazing night at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory – La Palma boasts very little light pollution, and the starry sky is breathtaking.
Action & Adventure
La Palma is considered one of the best destinations in the Canaries for hiking, and has some spectacular walks and climbing routes across its striking, volcanic landscape. The nearby nature reserve, the Parque Natural Cumbre Vieja, offers some stunning hikes across volcanic peaks, which offer panoramic views. Breña Baja is also a good base for water sports, thanks to the nearby beaches at Los Cancajos and Bajamar (in Santa Cruz). These are both particularly good for snorkelling and diving, and you’ll find plenty of suppliers in the area that offer equipment rental and arrange diving excursions and courses.
The main beaches in the Breña Baja region are found in Los Cancajos, a small and appealing seaside resort. It has several striking black sand beaches, including some beautiful little coves. The main beach is a lovely curve of dark sand, hugged by rocky outcrops in a sheltered bay. It’s calm and tranquil, making it great for families, and also offers sunbeds and parasols for rent, as well as a number of handy restaurants and cafés. Snorkelling and scuba diving are popular activities here, thanks to the transparent waters. A couple of kilometres north, near the marina in Santa Cruz, Bajamar Beach is another popular and well equipped beach.
There’s not a lot of nightlife in Breña Baja, which is exactly why visitors flock there for the most part. However you will find a handful of bars and cafés where you can enjoy a relaxed drink in the evenings. The seaside resort of Los Cancajos is only a couple of kilometres away, and has a wider choice of bars and nightspots, including many located along the palm-shaded seafront promenade. If you’re looking for some serious nightlife, then head into Santa Cruz, which has something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for an atmospheric jazz dive, a rooftop cocktail bar or a pounding club.
La Palma is a fantastic destination for couples who enjoy the great outdoors or are looking for peace and tranquillity. Breña Baja is a sleepy little town, with famous sunrises, a handful of shops and cafés and a beautiful green backdrop. Ideal for a quiet and relaxing holiday with your partner, it’s conveniently located just a 5-minute drive both from the beach and from the vibrant and enchanting island capital of Santa Cruz. There are plenty of great hikes in the area, if you want to soak up La Palma’s stunning scenery, or you could stroll through the enchanting, historic streets of Santa Cruz.
You’ll find plenty of cultural attractions around Breña Baja. You could visit the fascinating Belmaco Archaeological Park, about a 10-minute drive south, to see some of the earliest cave paintings found on the island. Or head into the capital of Santa Cruz, which is famous throughout Spain for its fabulous Carnival celebrations, to stroll through the historic streets. You can visit a host of inviting historic sights, including the 17th-century Castle of Santa Catalina, plus an entertaining collection of museums that are dedicated to everything from ceramics to bananas! One of the most interesting is the naval museum, set in a reproduction of the Santa Maria, one of the ships used by Columbus on his famous voyage to the Americas.