Top attractions in La Palma
Explore some of La Palma's must-see attractions, including the following. . .
Santa Cruz de la Palma
Discover an authentic Canary Islands atmosphere along the narrow winding streets and in the pleasant squares of this small and historic capital city, facing the blue Atlantic Ocean and flanked by fertile green hills and an ancient volcanic caldera.
With its attractive 16th century architecture, churches, museums and paved streets lined with colonial buildings adorned with wooden shutters, doorways and balconies, Santa Cruz makes a perfect holiday alternative to a beach resort. The town is full of great tapas bars, restaurants and accommodation options, such as the seafront Aparthotel Castillete.
Stroll along Calle O'Daly to the palm-shaded Plaza España, home to the imposing town hall and the ornate 16th century Iglesia del Salvador, which boasts a glittering baroque pulpit and one of the best mudéjar-designed (Islamic-style architecture) wooden ceilings in the Canary Islands.
Ponder the 17th century Castillo de Santa Catalina, sip a café cortado in the tree-lined Plaza Alameda and take an easy 2km walk to visit the 17th century Santuario de la Virgen de las Nieves, home to the island's patroness and providing panoramic views of the city.
Parque Natural de la Caldera de Taburiente
Arrive by car then explore the heart of this 8km-wide caldera along several hiking trails that wind through a lush volcanic landscape. Enjoy with unusual rock formations, lush pine forests, freshwater springs, streams and waterfalls – all surrounded by a massive 10km-long ring of mountains.
Hike to the Mirador de la Cumbrecita and the Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point on the island at 2426m above sea level. The holiday resort of Puerto Naos is just 10km from the Park.
Discover a choice of hiking trails that meander through this lush biosphere that is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna including a 14,000ha laurel forest – the largest on the island.
Climb 700 steps up to the Mirador Topo de las Barandas for spectacular views of the gorge. Or take the challenging four-hour ravine hike past waterfalls, tunnels and lush forest to the picturesque Marcos and Cordero Springs. Los Tiles is located around 22km north of Santa Cruz de La Palma.
Stroll the narrow cobblestone streets that wind through this hilly town lined with pastel-shaded and whitewashed houses. Don’t miss the 16th century Iglesia de San Andrés – one of the first Spanish churches built on the island. San Andres is located on the rugged northeast coast of La Palma, around 23km north of Santa Cruz de La Palma.
Located on the southern tip of La Palma, Fuencaliente is surrounded by a diverse landscape of dormant volcanoes, lush pine forests, vineyards and banana plantations. Relax on the black sands of Playa del los Guirre and go snorkelling and scuba diving the underwater tunnels and grottos.
Then check out some of the nearby volcanoes including Volcán Teneguía and the Volcán San Antonio – both easily accessed on walking trails that take you around the rim and offer views into the black craters.
Later, savour the local Teneguia wine at the Bodegas Teneguía; named after the last volcano to erupt (1971), the wine is a good accompaniment to the local hearty cuisine. Relax in 5-star comfort at the seafront Hotel La Palma Princess and Spa, home to 11 swimming pools, seven restaurants and a range of creature comforts. Fuencaliente is located 30km south of Santa Cruz.
Guanche archaeological sights
Examine some of the numerous prehistoric archaeological sights that dot La Palma’s landscape. For the best examples presently open to the public, visit the Belmaco site near the town of Villa de Mazo, wandering through a network of 10 natural cave dwellings that are home to the first rock carvings discovered in the Canary Islands.
At Villa de Garafia, the La Zarza Cultural Parque offers a display of 29 panels of rock carvings, located in a spectacular ravine setting amid laurel and pine forests.