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Symposium 241

The Island of La Palma

At the northwest of the Canaries archipelago, a few hundred miles from the coast of north-west Africa, lies the island of La Palma, also known as La Isla Bonita, because of its extraordinary natural beauty.

La Palma is one of the smaller of the Canary islands, with a surface area of 706 square kilometres and a population of only 80,000. It is unusual in that it rises exceptionally steeply from the ocean, the entire central mountain range exceeding 2000 m in altitude. The highest point on the island is the Roque de los Muchachos (2426m), the location of the astronomical observatory.


La Palma enjoys a sunny climate with year-round moderate temperatures. Average sea-level temperatures in Santa Cruz vary from 22º C in August to 15º C in January. There is a substantial seasonal variation in rainfall, with almost no rain from June to August, and a peak in November.

Temperatures drop substantially with altitude; average temperatures at the observatory (El Roque de los Muchachos) vary from 18º C in summer to 3º C in winter.

Health and Insurance

All participants are strongly recommended to arrange for medical insurance for the duration of their stay in the Canary Islands. The LOC will not accept liability for sickness or accidents. Spanish public health centres have co-operation agreements with most European Union countries.

In case of any kind of emergency, directly dial 112.

Changing Money

If you need to change foreign currency there are a large number of ATM or cash dispensers for a variety of cards (VISA, MasterCard, Maestro, AMEX, etc.) for instant cash. at both the airports. There is a small charge involved (approx. 4%).

There is a bank in the international arrivals lounge at the TFS, but this only operates from Monday to Friday from 08:30h to 13:30h; an exchange desk is available typically from 07:00h to 24:00h. Currency exchange facilities are also available at TFN. A Bank kiosk opens from Monday to Friday from 08:30h to 13:30h, and an exchange desk is available from 10:00h to 14:00h and from 18:00h to 22:00h. Nevertheless, if you have the chance to exchange money at Madrid airport where the service is permanently available in the international departure areas, we advise you do so because of the restricted bank opening hours at both Tenerife airports.

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