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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

La Palma

La Palma holidays

The island of La Palma isn't called La Isla Bonita, or 'The Beautiful Island', for nothing. Covered in lush forests and dominated by towering volcanoes, it's the ideal spot for visitors looking to taste something a little different on their Canary Island holiday.

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The destination

Renowned for its year-round warm climate, it's always the perfect time of year to explore La Palma's leafy landscape. You can hike up the rocky side of a volcano, or traverse down forest paths, walking in the footsteps of prehistoric beings. Stargazing is an activity in its own right in La Palma as the fantastically-clear skies make late-night tours popular.

Adding a modern element to the landscape is the capital city of Santa Cruz, with its shops and restaurants dotted along cobbled street, as well as the many upscale hotels across the island. No matter what pace of holiday you're after, in La Palma, the peace and quiet is one-size-fits-all.

Where to stay in La Palma

Fuencaliente
FuencalienteView on Map

Located on the southern tip of La Palma, Fuencaliente is crowned with its iconic red-striped Lighthouse. The landscape is framed by the active volcano Cumbre Vieja, whose surrounding ridges attract hikers.

With a stretch of low-key bars and restaurants, the epitome of luxurious resort hotels and black-sand beaches, this locale is ideal for a quiet, relaxing holiday.

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Los Cancajos
Los CancajosView on Map

This sleepy seaside resort boasts upscale accommodation with turquoise pools and tropical gardens, against a background of unique beaches.

Wedged between the capital city of Santa Cruz and the La Palma Airport, Los Cancajos has the amenities of a big-time destination - waterfront tapas restaurants, scuba diving excursions - but with the solitude of a hidden gem.

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Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • Approx 86,528
  • GMT + 1hr

Natural beauty

La Palma's main attraction is without a doubt its gorgeous natural scenery of mountains, in parts lush and green and others wild and rocky. The landscape is ripe for nature-lovers to hike sky high – 2,500 metres, to be exact, at the highest point of Roque de Los Muchachos – and peer down for stunning views of the island and ocean.

Stretches of untouched forest, like that of La Caldera de Taburiente, are ideal for mid-morning hikes to explore the local flora and fauna – the most diverse of the Canary Islands.

Santa Cruz

As the capital of La Palma and a major historical port between Europe and the Americas, going to Santa Cruz is like stepping back in time. Winding down the city's avenues is a sightseeing feast for the eyes. It has vibrantly-coloured buildings whose balconies spill flowers onto cobbled streets and beautiful churches adorned with classic Renaissance architecture.

You won't find a host of high street shops here, instead there are local boutiques, but that's part of the charm. Across Santa Cruz are throwbacks to the city's history, like a replica of Christopher Columbus's Santa Maria and a Maritime Museum exploring its seafaring past.

Black-sand beaches

A trip to the Canary Islands isn't over until you've stretched out on one of the its picturesque beaches. La Palma has black shorelines from volcanic activity and beaches are often surrounded by rocky cliff sides.

Brimming with marine life, beaches like Los Cancajos have tranquil waters due to a protective barrier of rocks and coves ripe for snorkelling in. On the popular shores of Puerto Naos, visitors stretch out underneath shady palms, unwind in waterfront restaurants, or scuba dive by night for a unique look at underwater creatures.

Canarian cuisine

With such a comfortably warm climate, it's always the perfect time to dine al fresco in La Palma, tasting traditional Spanish tapas and family-favourites like artisan pizza and fresh seafood. Santa Cruz is a hub for vineyards – here, wine-lovers can sip the local specialty Malvasia wine, whose grapes are raised in a soil rich in volcanic ash for a unique taste.

Starry, starry nights

It's no coincidence nights in La Palma seem extra bright – the island actually regulates light pollution, which allows for wondrous night-time views at pinpricks of stars hanging overhead. Because of this, a number of stargazing expeditions are available.

Other evening activities include hikes and underwater adventures so holiday-goers can view the island's gorgeous terrain in a very different light.