6 reasons to visit the island of La Palma
The Canary Islands are well known for their beautiful balance of volcanic landscapes, natural seawater swimming-pools, black sand beaches, and year-round sunshine. La Palma, one of the smallest of the islands, gets this combination spot on.
La Palma is known as both the greenest of the Canary Islands and the steepest. It’s more relaxed than the other islands, making it the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts looking for incredible landscapes and a slower pace of life. Here are six reasons why everyone should visit La Palma as part of a Canary Island adventure.
1. It’s a World Biosphere Reserve
La Palma is home to incredible landscapes, imposing volcanoes, deep forests, welcoming beaches and star-filled night skies. So it’s no wonder that in 2002 it was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
2. There are 1,000km of walking paths
Including the Volcano Route, which is considered one of the world's most beautiful hikes. The trail reaches a high point of 1932 metres with spectacular views over areas of the island while also boasting sights of both green pine forees and the yellos flowers of the indigenous coraconcillo lotus flower in spring.
3. You can see the stars
Clear skies and strict light pollution laws mean that La Palma is the perfect place for stargazing and astronomy. So much that it has earned a Starlight Award. To get as close as you can to the cosmos, head to the Roque de los Muchachos observatories, which are 2,420 metres above sea level.
4. It’s home to one of the most important laurel forests in the Canary Islands
Los Tilos Forest is one of the few strongholds left in the world when it comes to laurisilva: a dense, verdant, primitive forest full of broad-leaved trees that dominated the planet millions of years ago. This is the reason why Los Tilos was declared as the first World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO on the island in 1983! You can learn more about the forest at the Los Tilos visitors’ centre, which is home to themed rooms, and videos.
5. There are beautiful black sand beaches
One of La Palma’s most famous black sand beaches is Puerto Naos on the west coast of the island. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it is also home to a stunning underwater world for keen divers and snorkelers.
6. Its capital is rich in history
Santa Cruz de La Palma’s Old Town hasn’t changed much since colonial times. Spend your day walking past manor houses, wooden buildings with balconies, and stone-paved streets, all while soaking up its maritime atmosphere.