Want to escape the mass tourism of the larger Canary Islands? Fly to La Palma, also called ‘la isla bonita’. Not only does it have nice hiking trails and quiet beaches, but great sights as well.
The Caldera de Taburiente National Park is one of the most impressive sights in Spain. The area has a diameter of around 10 kilometres and takes up nearly the entire northern region of La Palma. It was once thought that the area was a caldera or volcanic crater, but it turned out to be a gigantic erosion crater. There’s great hiking in the national park. It’s even possible to hike to the erosion crater. Highly recommended!
At 2,426 metres high, the Roque de los Muchachos observatory is the highest point on La Palma. It offers great views of many of the sights on La Palma, including the Caldera de Taburiente. You can hike to the observatory, but you should be in good shape and be wearing proper hiking shoes. The Roque de los Muchachos is one of the best locations in the world for astronomic research in visible and infrared light
The Fuencaliente de la Palma area is known for its hot water springs, which are said to have healing properties. But that’s not all that the southern part of La Palma has to offer. There are also a number of volcanoes, of which the San Antonio and the Teneguía are the most famous. In addition, you’ll find a few fun villages to explore, such as the picturesque Los Canarios village, which you should definitely visit if in the area!
Santa Cruz de la Palma is the capital of La Palma. It’s a charming little city that fits in perfectly with the ambiance of the rest of the island. Here you will find colourful house fronts with wooden balconies. La Palma has a nice small centre with narrow streets and small squares. There are plenty of outdoor cafés for enjoying a drink in the sun, though not as many as on the neighbouring islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Don’t forget to visit the harbour, where large cruise ships often dock. There is also a replica of the ship ‘Plaza de la Alameda’ here, which houses a maritime museum. So in Santa Cruz de la Palma, there is plenty to see and do for an entire day.
La Palma is also a dream destination for hikers. One of the best hiking areas is in the north in Garafia. It’s delightfully peaceful, like the rest of the island. There are numerous gorges, deep ravines and steep cliffs in Garafia. The region is also filled with almond and dragon trees. While taking a break from your hike, you can visit a few fun museums in Garafia. The Ethnographic Museum in Santo Domingo teaches you all about the traditions of the La Palma countryside, while El Paso has a fun silk museum.