As probably most of you already know, “playa” is the Spanish word for beach. Playa de La Veta is one of the most isolated, hence “secret” beaches I’ve ever been to. It takes three P’s to get there – patience, persistence and positivity. But once you reach those cliffs falling straight into the ocean, you realise you’d be willing to walk x5 times the distance. The place is located on the north-west seaside of La Palma – or “the pretty island”. I don’t know if it’s the prettiest of the Canarias because each island is unique, but for sure it’s the greenest one.
How to get to the beach?
To get there you’ll need to hitchhike or rent a car. Personally, we hired a car from a company called “Pemai” (only 18 bucks per day!!!), and the office was located on the beach line of Puerto Naos. Consider that hitchhiking will require a lot of patience and burnt shoulders, because of the absence of people heading down to this beach. To be fair, the Transvulcania marathon was taking place at the time. It’s one of the hardest ultra-marathons, and very important for Spain. It’s 73.3 km long and a lot of international people participate. This taken into consideration, it’s a big occasion for the whole island to organise big fiestas with activities in all cities. So it might be that all the people were attending those events and you might be more lucky at another time of the year.
Anyway, it’s still a bit of a rough road. From Puntagorda, you need to take LP-1 and Camino Aguatavar. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look right to go down that road. It’s supposed to look like that. You need to follow the very steep and hair-pinned turns down to the beach, which are accompanied by stunning views and green scenery with the wide ocean as a background. I recommend only experienced drivers to be in control of the vehicle. The road is apparently big enough for cars going up and cars coming down (maybe 2 Mini Coopers) but be warned this a very narrow road. In addition, visibility is very restricted on the turns, so the use of a horn (or light signals in the dark) and cautious low speed are a must.
That's not all
Once you reach the parking lot, don’t worry – your adventure doesn’t end here. You’ll need to sweat for 20 more minutes on the way down, which includes passing through a super cool cave tunnel. As you make your way down, you’ll reach the turn. The turn where the small pretty beach reveals itself accompanied by the cute houses on the hills and the majestic cliffs rising above all and crashing into the open Atlantic.
As a consequence, you’ll encounter a small community which lives right down next to the beach, and you will pass through their very pretty houses to get to the seashore. There are no shops around, so make sure you packed some goodies in your backpack. The massive stairs will lead you to the soft volcanic granule sand and the beautiful sun shining over the ocean. Feel completely free to be yourself here. Fully dressed, topless or naked, Spanish, English or Chinese, nobody will judge you. Just enjoy yourself and the stunning view. Don’t spend all your energy under the sun though, as you will need to go back up that road again!
EXTRA TIP: What NOT to forget to bring on your journey
Water and some snacks
swimming suit (if you don’t forget it on purpose, of course)
hat, sunscreen and good shoes
plenty of good vibes
respect for the nature and community
There’s no market, store or a restaurant down at the beach. Make sure to take the essentials to make your few-hour, or maybe even an over-night, stay at the beach as cosy as you want it to be.
In addition, protection from the elements, is as necessary as always. Bring some shoes appropriate for hiking as well. Although the road is not difficult to walk on, your feet will be thanking me.
And finally, please try not to disturb the living people there, as well as not to leave any garbage after yourself. Appreciate the nature and the good will of people!