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

Fuencaliente

Fuencaliente Holidays

Tucked away on the southern coast of La Palma, Fuencaliente is one of the most remote resorts in the Canary Islands. With the nearest black sand beach a 20-minute drive away, it's not necessarily the seaside that keeps visitors coming back year after year – it's the vast countryside and beautiful mountain scenery that sets it apart from the rest.

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Mountains, volcanoes and craters

Fuencaliente gets its name from the hot springs in its soil, buried by a volcano in the 17th century – it remains a hotspot for volcanic activity to this day. The region's last volcanic eruption may have been in 1971, but the rugged landscape is as inspiring as ever. It's a haven for hikers with more than 1000 kilometres of well-marked paths through stunning countryside – you can take in the coastal views, tiny villages and pine forests from pretty much anywhere.

One of the most popular trails, Ruta de los Volcanoes, involves a six-hour hike across an active crater – it's also a great way to see as many volcanoes as possible, ticking them off as you go.

If you want to start exploring, it's worth paying the brand new visitor centre a visit. Volcan San Antonio Visitor Centre will provide you with maps and guidebooks, and you can read up on the island's explosive history in the exhibition hall. From the centre, it's about a 25-minute walk along the edge of Volcan San Antonio, with jaw-dropping views at every turn. The centre also offers camel rides, if you don't fancy going on foot.

For more history about Fuencaliente, visit the Belmaco Cave. The people who lived on La Palma before the Spanish came were a tribe who called themselves the Awara. According to local legend, Belmaco cave was the home of the king of this part of La Palma. For a small cost you get to look around a small museum of artefacts, see the cave itself with its rock carvings, and take a short, steep stroll around the area to see the native plants with some information panels.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • GMT + 1hr

Wine-soaked countryside

The region is also famous for its wines, because the grapes are grown in the volcanic soil and yearly production is estimated at two million litres. Some of the local wineries offer tours and tastings – Bodegas Teneguia is the largest and oldest on the island, and produces the famous Malvia sweet wines that are sold all over La Palma.

The year-round sunshine also means great food. Restaurants across the resort serve up the best local Canarian cuisine, washed down with bottles of fine Fuencaliente wine, of course. For the most authentic experience, head to La Casa del Volcan.

Black beaches

Although there are no beaches within walking distance of the resort, a short drive will reveal some unspoiled jewels in the Canary Islands' crown. The secluded coves and black volcanic sand at Faro de Fuencaliente is the closest beach. It's a scuba diver's dream – under the waves lurk parrot fish and Canarian lobsters, and the clear waters make them easy enough to spot.

Slightly further afield, there's Playa Zamora. Surrounded by banana plantations, this little bay is perfect for those seeking peace and quiet. There's also a snack vendor selling ice creams on the sand should you fancy a refreshment. Another one worth taking a trip to is Playa de Cabras. You have to drive down a bumpy path to reach it, but your efforts will be rewarded when you see the stretch of untouched sand and calm, lapping waters.

Widely regarded as La Palma's best beach, Puerto Naos is a 30-minute drive away. It's the island's sunniest spot, with sunbeds surrounded by volcanic sea caves. If you're making a day of it, try to stay for the sunset – it sets beautifully over the ocean, turning the sky every shade of orange and silhouetting the palm trees.

Exploring the capital

If you fancy a day trip, the island capital Santa Cruz de la Palma is a 20-minute drive away. Here, you'll find an array of restaurants, shops, and bars – old cobbled streets wind through the town and down to the coast, and there's a picturesque town square that's perfect for stopping for a drink in.

There are also a few quirky cultural hotspots to look out for. Down by the water, expect to find a naval museum inside a moored boat. Just outside of town, you can visit the tropical gardens of Pueblo Parque – a tourist favourite. For art lovers, a contemporary gallery opened in 2014 in the town centre, specialising in showcasing the best Canarian artists of the present day. Expect to be awed by paintings, sculpture and photographs of the islands, beautifully presented in light and spacious galleries.

On the southern-most tip of the island in Fuencaliente is the Interpretation Centre of the Marine Reserve. This is a small, thought-provoking museum, about the marine environment and how to protect it. With a small entrance fee this is a great place for all environmentalists and anyone wanting to learn more about the islands diverse bio-culture.

There's no bad time to visit Fuencaliente. With year-round sunshine and temperatures in the mid-20s, even in winter, it's popular with adventure seekers and sun worshippers whatever the season.