About La Palma

ABOUT LA PALMA

Discover La Palma. The most north-western of the Canary Islands is with an area of 700 km² and counting a population of 80,000 also the third. The forest coverage of the small island is at around 40 %, which brought the island the nickname “Isla Verde”, the green island.

La Palma was named one of the three most beautiful islands in the world by the UNESCO organization and enjoys the protective status of natural reservation due to the varied nature.

Unlike other Spanish islands, La Palma successfully managed to avoid mass tourism and to this day amazes visitors with its untouched nature and authentic life. The year-round mild climate makes La Palma a destination not to miss, no matter when you choose to visit the small island.

Enjoy nature, everlasting spring, magical villages, impressive panoramas, the refreshing Atlantic, lively cities, interesting culture, and fascinating volcanic landscapes.

Experience the miniature continent in all its variety.

 

More general information about La Palma can be found here

THINGS NOT TO MISS ON LA PALMA

  • Roque de los Muchachos offers the most impressive panoramas of the island
  • Charco Azul, a refreshing natural pool that is perfectly embedded into stunning landscape
  • Cumbrecita, the VIP lodge of “Caldera de Taburiente” national park
  • San Antonio Volcano, an impressive path along a volcanic crater
  • the Salines of Fuencaliente – dive into the world of sea salt
  • Plaza de la Glorieta in Las Manchas, displaying wonderful mosaics and surrounded by colorful flowers
  • El Time, a view point approximately 600 m above sea level, overlooking the fantastic panoramas of the valley of Aridane
  • the laurel forest of Los Tilos
  • a visit of the farmers market in Puntagorda, to discover the vast variety of local products
  • the magical village San Andrés
  • a unique sunset in the west of the island, where you are surrounded by the blue ocean ahead of you and the setting sun in front of you
  • the cities Santa Cruz de la Palma & Los Llanos de Aridane
  • a drive along LP-109, the most beautiful road of the island

THE BEACHES OF LA PALMA

La Palma has many beaches, some well-known and others a well-kept secret. Among the beaches we want to present are five awarded with the Blue Flag, a strict certification considering aspects such as water quality, safety and environment.

IN THE EAST OF THE ISLAND

  • Playa de los Cancajos (Blue Flag) – a popular beach in the town of Los Cancajos, where breakwaters allow a safe swimming for both young and old
  • Playa de Bajamar (Blue Flag) – a wide sand bank just off the capital of Santa Cruz de La Palma very popular with the Palmeros
  • Playa de Santa Cruz de la Palma – completed only in 2017, this beach is located right in the capital city and offers fine sand in a long, wide strip
  • Playa de Nogales – only few visitors find their way to this beach with fine sand which seems infinite during low tide and is nestled below a massive cliff. Please note that the path to the Playa de Nogales is fully developed, but exhausting. The tidal currents are very strong and should not be underestimated. A life-guard is only on-site during the summer months.

IN THE WEST OF THE ISLAND

  • Playa del Puerto de Tazacorte (Blue Flag) – in the sunniest village of the island you can encounter this long sandy beach. Vast culinary offers invite you to spend the day.
  • Playa de Puerto Naos (Blue Flag) – located in the popular holiday destination Puerto Naos, this beach is characterized by the beautiful promenade
  • Playa del Charco Verde (Blue Flag) – just South of Puerto Naos, this beach offers a calm surf and a small café
  • Playa de los Guirres – an idyllic beach located just beyond the banana plantations. A fully developed path leads visitors from Puerto Naos along the ocean until they reach the Playa los Guirres. During high tide (especially throughout winter months) this beach can become very narrow. There is no lifeguard on duty, and one end of the beach is open for dogs.
  • Playa de la Veta – the trip to get there is already an adventure. After turning off the main road you need to follow a narrow unpaved road to reach the parking lot. From there an almost dangerous path leads down to the beach, where you are rewarded for your bravery with a beautiful beach in a quaint oasis. Please note the dangerous descent, the exhausting ascent, no lifeguard on duty, no gastronomical offerings. In winter, access to the beach may not be possible.

IN THE SOUTH OF THE ISLAND

  • Playa de la Zamora – a little bay for swimming, accessible via a small staircase
  • Playa de Echentive – a large pebble beach in Fuencaliente midst the volcanic landscapes
  • Playa del Faro – a little bay at the Southern tip of the island, located, as the name indicates, right by the lighthouse of Fuencaliente

THE WONDERFUL LANDSCAPES OF LA PALMA

The wild North is the oldest part of the island and is characterized by lush vegetation, untouched nature, and a laurel forest in Los Tilos which features a small waterfall.

The South part of the island is also the youngest and shows you the volcanic origin of the island. It impresses with stunning black landscapes. Many local wines are cultivated here that receive a very special note from the volcanic ground.

One of the most imposing moments can be experienced in the center of the island, on the “Cumbrecita”, the natural VIP lodge of the national park “Caldera de Taburiente” (free permission for driving up required). Once you have arrived at a height of 1250 m, you can enjoy the clean air and fascinating silence. Stop for a moment and listen to the slight wind breezing through the Canarian pine trees.

An absolute highlight awaits you on the highest point of the island, the Roque de los Muchachos. The ascent is fascinating in itself, as you traverse through several different climate zones ranging from subtropical to high mountain climate. At 2426 m you can expect a breathtaking panorama: All of La Palma spreads out below you and it is also possible to see the neighboring islands and their rocky formations on clear days.

The starry sky of La Palma is truly fascinating. The stars shine in a fairytale light, seem almost within reach, and the Milky Way is clearly visible. This unique night sky has also been discovered by international researchers who have built one of the largest observatories in the world on the Roque de los Muchachos. Fun fact: On La Palma it is only permitted to use yellow light for exterior lighting, since the darker the night, the better the visibility of the stars.

THE CITIES OF THE ISLAND

SANTA CRUZ DE LA PALMA

You should definitely visit the island’s capital, Santa Cruz de La Palma, inviting you to stay a while with its small boutiques, charming alleys and beautiful cafés. Don’t forget to look up while sightseeing to admire the typical Canarian wooden balconies, and maybe you will see one of the works of the “Chico de los Balcones” who has crafted many of the original ones. Above Santa Cruz de La Palma, you can visit the viewpoint of La Concepción, offering a fantastic view of the city and the northeastern part of the island.

The probably most well-known religious ceremony of the island is especially impressive: the glorious “Bajada de la Virgin de las Nieves”, that only takes place every five years in Santa Cruz (next chance: July 2020). All of La Palma, the Canarios, mainland Spaniards and tourists from many other countries join in celebrating the island’s very own saint for about two months. The origin of this great celebration is a draught in the year of 1676. A solemn procession carrying the patron saint “Benahoares” to Santa Cruz de La Palma was supposed to bring relief. It was immediately successful, for it started raining.

LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE

In the west of the island, you can discover Los Llanos de Aridane, the “secret capital”. As largest and most populated city of the island, it would like to replace Santa Cruz as the capital. You will be especially delighted by the Plaza de España, the small alleys and the artistic flair. In the small covered market, you can taste local produce. However, the Antonio Gómez Felipe park below the city center with its lush vegetation and the embedded art is also worth discovering.

SAN ANDRÉS

In the northeast of the island, you will find the charming village of San Andrés. It can be reached via the arched bridge Puente de los Tilos which spans the Barranco de Agua at at an altitude of 150 m above the canyon floor. A church constructed in the Renaissance style and cafés and restaurants dating back centuries wait for you to discover them.

THE CUISINE OF LA PALMA

The cuisine of La Palma is influenced by the Spanish, Latin American and African cuisine, but also the native culinary art has remained present to this day. Fresh fish, meat, potatoes and stews are important components of La Palma’s cuisine.

Our culinary tips you should taste:

papas arrugadas:
A definite must amongst the side dishes of the Palmeros. So-called wrinkled potatoes are cooked in a massive amount of sea salt water which gives them their wrinkled look.

mojo rojo & mojo verde:
Canarian sauces that are served with many dishes. Their main ingredients are bell pepper, garlic, oil and vinegar. The well-known sauces are ubiquitous with the bread that is served as appetizer, with the papas arrugadas mentioned above or with meat or fish. The red mojo (mojo rojo) is especially good with meat, the green mojo (mojo verde), however, with fish dishes. Just taste them!

papas locas:
The mad potatoes are the ideal quick lunch. They are actually French fries with three different sauces, meat (for example chicken, beef or sausage) and cheese. A truly mad mix.

Arepas:
Cornflour pockets that exist in various styles, with chicken, beef, or simply vegetarian.

Fish:
You will find many varieties of fish on the menus. However, here, the saying “less is more” applies. This means that in the restaurant, you will usually get catch of the day, nothing else. Fish lovers will surely find satisfaction on La Palma. Here is list of typical fish:
Lubina – sea brass
Peto – a fish from the tuna family
Pulpo – squid
Vieja a la plancha – grilled parrotfish

Roast fawn & rabbit:
You will find Cabrito and conejo in many restaurants.

Goat cheese:
The queso asado is made directly on La Palma and is often served as an appetizer with mojo in restaurants.

Gofio:
The roasted flour made from various types of grains is an important component of the cuisine of La Palma, but is rarely served in restaurants. Gofio is eaten in many varieties, for example with fruit, honey and milk or water as a sort of cereal.

Almond cookies:
You should definitely try the tasty almendrados. They are an ideal snack.

Barraquito:
A coffee delicacy from La Palma made with concentrated milk, Liquor 43, cinnamon and lemon zests.

Cortado:
An espresso with milk offered in virtually any café.

Fruit:
You should definitely taste the local fruit like avocados and bananas.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT LA PALMA

TRAVELLERS’ ALLOWANCES

La Palma is subject to special conditions.

Tobacco products (at least 17 years of age):

  • 200 cigarettes or
  • 100 cigarillos or
  • 50 cigars or
  • 250 g grammes tobacco or
  • a proportionate combination of these goods

Alcohol and beverages containing alcohol (at least 17 years of age):

  • 1 l of spirit drinks (> 22 %) or
  • 2 l of alcohol and alcoholic beverages (max. 22 %) or
  • a proportionate combination of these goods and
  • 4 l of non-sparkling wine and
  • 16 l of beer

Medicinal products:

  • the quantity required for personal needs

Motor fuels:

  • the quantity in the vehicle’s main tank and up to 10 l in a portable container

Other goods:

  • up to a value of 300 €
  • up to a value of 430 € for air/sea travellers
  • up to a value of 175 € for travellers under 15 years of age

All data has been included without warranty

A SMALL SPANISH DICTIONARY

hellohola
good morningbuenos días
good evening/good nightbuenas noches
goodbye/see youadiós/hasta luego
pleasepor favor
thank yougracias
sorryperdón
yes/nosí/no
today/tomorrowhoy/mañana
I don’t understand.No comprendo.
I don’t speak Spanish.No hablo español.
one/two/three/four/fiveuno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco
How are you?¿Qué tal?/¿Cómo estás?
entrance/exitentrada/salida
food/beveragecomida/bebidas
(sparkling) wateragua (con gas)
beer/winecerveza/vino
breadpan
cheese/hamqueso/jamón
hot/coldcaliente/frío
ice creamhelado
The bill please.La cuenta por favor.
How much is it?¿Cuánto cuesta?

The facets of La Palma

All things to do