If you haven’t been to La Palma before, you might be wondering what it’s like and what kind of things there are to do on the island. La Palma is an astonishingly beautiful island, often referred to as Isla Bonita, and is one of the smallest and least ‘touristic’ of the Canary Islands. There’s also plenty to do while you’re here. While most of the Canary Islands have things like huge water parks, golf courses, hotel chains and tourist discos, La Palma is different. Granted the status of ‘Biosphere Reserve’ by UNESCO, La Palma offers visitors lovely beaches, laurisilva forests and breathtaking scenery dominated by volcanic craters and mountain ridges, surrounded by the azure ocean. But La Palma offers much more than wonderful surroundings!
La Palma is a paradise for off-road cyclists with endless of cross-country trails, ideal for mountain biking and for cycling fans of all ages and abilities!
La Palma has some of the world’s most beautiful walking trails, with rugged coastlines, forests and volcanic scenery to trek through. Bring a camera.
If you are a paragliding fan, you already know that La Palma is a superb destination, with one of the main landing points here on the west coast!
If you are a scuba diving fan or would like to learn how, the waters around La Palma offer plenty of opportunities for scuba diving and snorkelling.
Not everybody wants to cycle up the side of a volcano and if relaxing on a beach is what you want, La Palma has some lovely beaches!
On La Palma, when the sun goes down, turn your eyes up to the night skies and enjoy the incredible panorama of stars drifting past.
If you’re looking for a sunshine break immersed in beautiful scenery, La Palma offers all that, and more. Even when the northern hemisphere is shivering its way through winter, you’ll still find the sun shining here. La Palma sits on the north-western side of the Canary Islands, a group of small volcanic islands that sit in the atlantic, west of Morocco. Although the Canary Islands are part of Spain, their climate and geography has more in common with Africa. Although it’s one of the smaller Canary Islands, just 48km long and 25km across at its widest point, La Palma offers a greater variety of landscapes than most countries. With mountains rising up to 2,400m, there are some truly exceptional landscapes.
Unlike some of its noisier neighbours, La Palma isn’t just a beach holiday destination with queues of hotel chains dominating the landscape. There are beaches, of course, but the black sand volcanic beaches are not the island’s biggest atractions. Instead, it’s well known as a hiking and activity island, and many of our visitors come here to visit the National Park which lies at the heart of the island.
In 1983 the entire island was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. The Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente, in the centre of La Palma, is the island at its most unspoilt. The 46.9 square-kilometre nature reserve icombines pine forests, waterfalls, freshwater springs and walking trails. It’s not just the park though; the whole island is decortade with volcanic scenery. The famous volcano trail which starts in the south of the island will take you along a chain of volcanic rims and gaping craters.
Tazacorte and nearby Puerto Naos lie on the west coast of La Palma. Hardly known a few years ago, these towns are now a favourite with holidaymakers. Part of their appeal is the relaxed, low-key atmosphere, with just enough shops, bars and restaurants to go round. They also boast the sunniest beaches on the island, and some amazing sunsets too.
The small harbour at Tazacorte offers boat trips for whale watching and dolphin watching, and in Puerto Naos you can go scuba diving or take one of the short or all-day canoe excursions that allow you to visit parts of the La Palma coastlne which are inaccessible from land.
There’s plenty to do on La Palma including scuba diving and snorkelling, boat trips to see the dolphins, ocean kayak tours, cycling tours, beaches, quaint unspoilt towns, a huge range of different levels of hikes or walks, plus the unmissable volcanoes.
One of the reasons La Palma has escaped the effects of mass tourism is the limited number of direct flights to the island. However, La Palma is connected to Europe via Madrid plus a number of other European destinations. You can also fly to La Palma from the other islands and many visitors come here on cheap direct flights to islands like Tenerife and then take a boat or a local inter-island flight. When checking flights, remember that the airport code is SPC for Santa Cruz de La Palma, otherwise you might end up in Mallorca or Peru!
La Palma is a small island, but you’ll probably want some sort of transport to get around. Bikes can be rented from local bike stations (including top-spec mountain bikes) and there are plenty of rental cars available, costing from around €130 a week.
August is the warmest and sunniest month in La Palma with an average temperature of 24°C (74°F) and 8 hours of sunshine, but January, which at 18°C (64°F) is the coolest still has an average of 5 hours of sunshine a day. The best month to swim in the sea is August, when the average sea temperature is 22°C (72°F).