Are you looking for a different kind of holiday on an island, with good weather all year round and in direct contact with nature in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Come to La Palma in the Canary Islands. Known as "La Isla Bonita” (The Beautiful Island), you will be surprised by the variety of landscapes on offer: from volcanoes to magical laurel forests, black sand beaches and natural pools. It has been declared a Biosphere Reserve and is home to some of the most interesting trails in the Canary Islands. Ideally, you should have at least a week to explore it at your leisure in a rental car. The island is well connected by air, with direct connections to various European countries, such as Germany, Holland, Belgium, England, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. It also has a direct connection to Madrid. If you prefer to travel by boat, you can get there from Tenerife and La Gomera. We tell you the 10 places in La Palma not to be missed. They will fascinate you:
Explore the spectacular Caldera de Taburiente
Declared a National Park, it is La Palma’s most emblematic natural area. It is a cleft eight kilometres in diameter in the centre of the island resulting from different volcanic and erosive phenomena. It is now covered by forests and criss-crossed by deep ravines and springs. The landscapes will leave you speechless.There are different trails to follow in the area, although the best known is the PR LP 13, which is of medium-to-high difficulty. It is a circular route starting in Los Llanos de Aridane and is 27 kilometres long. However, most hikers take a taxi to the Brecitos viewpoint to cover the route from here to the ravine of Las Angustias, a descent that usually takes about six hours. Along the way, you can stop at amazing viewpoints or visit the famous coloured waterfall.
Walking among clouds and stars: Roque de los Muchachos
It forms part of the National Park and, at 2,426 metres, is the highest point on the island. Here, the landscape becomes much more colossal and rocky, and you will even have the sensation of walking above the clouds. On clear days, you can see the neighbouring islands of La Gomera or El Hierro and Mount Teide on the horizon.As well as hiking in the area, make the most of your visit to see the Roque de los Muchachos Astrophysics Observatory, which is located there. It is one of the largest telescope arrays in the world, and you can take a guided tours.If you can, stay until sunset... The silence, the colour... The experience from the heights is unique.
Going through tunnels in search of the Marcos and Cordero springs
Along the Las Nieves Natural Park – Bosque de Los Tilos trail, there is a particularly recommendable route. This is the PR PL 6 Los Sauces – Los Tilos trail. It is a hike through 13 tunnels that pass through the mountain, which were made to channel water down into the heart of the original Biosphere Reserve. The laurel forests and the landscape of waterfalls cascading down the walls of the hillside at the headwaters of Marcos and Cordero are simply magical. Please note that this entire route is 24.5 kilometres long and that it is a trail for experts only. An easier alternative is to take a taxi from the Los Tilos Visitor Centre to the Casa del Monte and then start the 12.5 km walk.
Floating in the Charco Azul (Blue Pond)
Charco Azul, on the coast of San Andrés, is one of the best known natural pools on the island. Taking a dip in the salt water is an experience not to be missed if you visit this spot. The contrast between the black volcanic rock jutting into the sea and the turquoise blue of the water will make you feel like you are in paradise.
Feeling the wind between the great cliffs of the Nogales beach
It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. You will have to reach it on foot. In addition to its undeniable beauty, this black sand beach is known for its strong currents and waves, making it an ideal spot for surfers. Do you dare?
Observing the colonial architecture of Santa Cruz de La Palma
You should always make time on a trip to La Palma to get to know the island’s capital. Walking through its cobbled streets will take you back to a past of transoceanic voyages and explorers, as it was an important port on the route between Europe and America. Strolling through this small city is a delight. You'll come across colonial-style manor houses, carved wooden balconies bursting with flowers overlooking the sea, the Island Museum, palaces, churches, theatres, to name but a few. Don't miss the great galleon of Barco de la Virgen or the Castle of Santa Catalina in the Plaza de la Alameda.
Travelling back to the Tertiary Period in the forests of Cubo de la Galga
This area is ideal if you are travelling with your family, because together you can all walk a low-difficulty circular trail of around 11 kilometres, and there are even shorter options. You will feel like you are in a fairy tale, because you will walk through a laurel forest from which it seems magical beings could emerge at any moment. Did you know that these forests are like a relic of the ancient forests of the Tertiary Period that have all but disappeared today?The route also leads to La Galga Mountain, which has a splendid viewpoint.
Experiencing colour in the salt flats of Fuencaliente
You will find them in the south of the island. Get your camera ready, because what stands out in this corner of La Palma is the contrast of colours: the white of the salt, the black of the volcanic rock and the blue of the ocean create a living canvas. It is also a resting place for migratory birds. Right next door, you will find a themed restaurant where you can learn about the salt production process and buy products, such as fleur de sel. Nearby is the beautiful lighthouse of Fuencaliente and beaches, such as Las Cabras or Echentive.
Learning about ancient settlers in the La Zarza y La Zarcita cultural park
You will find this area in the village of Garafía, which is actually an interesting archaeological site. A pleasant walk through the forest will take you to some of the most important rock engravings on the islands. A place full of mystery, as well as geometric and symbolic figures, whose interpretation centre is being renovated to offer visitors information about these centuries-old artistic manifestations and about the first settlers in La Palma.
The Route of the Volcanoes
It is perhaps the most famous hiking experience on the island. It takes you on a journey through the "moonscapes" of craters left by the various historical eruptions on the island. This is a demanding route of around 23 kilometres, which starts at the El Pilar shelter and ends at Los Canarios, although many people extend it as far as the Fuencaliente lighthouse. And if you can, make the end of the route coincide with the sunset, which from this point of the island is simply unforgettable.
These are just a few ideas for enjoying some of the island's most popular spots. Whenever you are going to follow a trail, always check the status of the trail beforehand on this website, as there may be sections that are cut off. La Palma is full of mysteries, secrets and pleasant surprises. Are you coming to discover them?