If you are looking to get away from the harsh winter months, one of the best places to visit is the Canary Islands. The islands give its visitors a chance to enjoy the warmer climate while not having to leave Europe.
Tenerife and Lanzarote have been known to be some of the more popular destinations in the Canary Islands, but you shouldn’t overlook the many wonders of La Palma. It is a much quieter place and less crowded as well. Let’s take a look at fifteen things that you can do while in La Palma.
1 Take a Peek at the World-renowned Observatory
You definitely should try and visit the Roque de Los Muchachos. It is the island’s highest peak. There are a dozen huge telescopes for researching more about the universe. The largest telescope in the world can be found there, the Gran Telescopio Canarias. Regardless of the time of the year you visit La Palma, there are guided tours that will take you to the facilities of the observatory as well as the interiors of the telescopes. The tours are conducted during the day and last about seventy to ninety minutes. They also depend on the telescope operation and the weather conditions.
Many scientists visit La Palma because of its wondrous skies. There are very little light and air pollution on the island, giving you a spectacular view of the night sky. If you’re an avid stargazer or still a new hobbyist, this place will surely give your quite the experience. In La Palma, Astro-tourism is becoming more and more popular among the visitors. There are dotted astronomical viewpoints that have been built specifically for stargazers.
3 Swimming in Seawater Pools
On the western part of the island, it is much sunnier, and the waves of the Atlantic are more powerful. These waves crash over the sea wall, filling the natural seawater pools of Charco Azul. You can simply relax and bask in the sun on the rocks. If you want to cool off, you can dip into the seawater pools and feel the waves splash all over. The facilities in Charco Azul are good. There are toilets, changing facilities, and there is also a small cafe for when you feel like eating or having a drink.
4 Watching the Whales
You’ll be excited to ride one of the catamarans and experience the Atlantic as you search for turtles, whales, and the other abundant marine life found around La Palma. You’ll see groups of dolphins swimming just beside you, gracefully arcing out of the waters. You can simply sit back and enjoy the view.
5 Visiting the Beaches
One of the most beautiful features of La Palma is its glittering black beaches. The island is not as crowded and busy as the other parts of the Canary Islands. You’re sure to have all the space that you need for your sun lounger. Most of the beaches in La Palma are quiet. But if you are looking for a beach that has a bit of an atmosphere, go to Tazacorte. It is not so busy there, but they do have a variety of cafes and shops for you to choose from. Remember to be careful because the black sand is notorious for getting quite hot.
6 Go Hiking
La Palma is a hotspot for hiking, and there are various trails for everyone. You can climb to the island’s highest peak or just go for a relaxing stroll. There’s a trail out there for you. The La Cumbrecita awaits where you can enjoy the stunning views while you walk along the edge of the caldera of the volcano. The clouds will just float past you, and you’ll feel as if you’re walking on thin air.
7 Discover the Capital
The capital of La Palma is Santa Cruz. It is not a busy town at all. You can take a lovely stroll down at Avenida Maritima which is the main road. Enjoy the atmosphere of the town while you admire the architecture from the 15th Century. When you get a bit tired of walking, there are plenty of cafes where you can sit and have a cup of coffee.
8 Gastronomic Adventures
In La Palma, you can expect cafes and restaurants to be homey. The food served are very hearty and delicious while the price is still quite reasonable. Every menu serves papas arrugadas. These are potatoes that have been boiled using saltwater until such time that all of the liquid evaporates, giving the potatoes a yummy crust. Usually, mojos are served alongside it. It is a mouth-watering sauce made from local peppers, olive oil, garlic, and other spices. Don’t forget to try the queso asado or goat’s cheese that has been grilled. It’s something to experience while you’re in La Palma. If you’re a meat-eater, there are plenty of succulent meat dishes in every restaurant.
9 See the Salt Pans
On the southern part of La Palma, you’ll find Las Salinas de Fuencaliente. These are the island’s natural resources when it comes to producing salt. Salt is produced when seawater gets pumped into the ponds that are shallow enough that the liquids can evaporate, leaving the salt as it crystallizes. The salt is then scraped and then packed and sold all over the island. The salt pans are a great view to behold, contrasting to the black landscape of the place.
10 Visit the Naval Museum
It is not every day that you see an old Spanish galleon in the middle of the street. But in the Plaza de Alameda, this is what awaits you. The ship is a replica of Christopher Columbus’ vessel, the Santa Maria. It is the ship that he used when he sailed to the Americas. You can go on the ship and see a little museum inside it. It has maritime instruments, charts, and maps.
11 Learn About History at La Zarza Cultural Park
Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 15th Century, the island was where the Benahoares lived. In La Zarza Cultural Park, you’ll learn about how they lived, their culture, and even their burial practices. The highlight of the park is the rock carvings. These carvings were discovered in the 1940s. The meanings of the symbols are yet to be unraveled.
12 Visit the Iglesia De El Salvador
This church is one of the attractions on the island. It is adorned with a magnificent facade. The interior of the church is beautiful. It is also home to a Flemish crucifixion carving that goes back to the 16th Century.
13 Bask in the Sun at Puerto Naos Beach
The Puerto Naos Beach is one of the longest stretch of sand on the island. It is about half a kilometer long and is backed by palms, providing shade to its visitors.
14 Shop for Cigars at El Paso
There is a little village at La Palma’s center at the Las Cumbres Mountains. It is known for its handmade cigars and its silk. If you’re an avid cigar enthusiast, this is certainly a place to visit.
15 Enjoy Fresh Fish at Los Cancajos Beach
If you’re already hungry from all the sight-seeing that can be done in La Palma, there are plenty of restaurants that serve fresh fish daily at the Los Cancajos Beach. There’s nothing compared to the freshness of the fish in this place.
These are just 15 of the myriad things to do in La Palma. If you want to know more, simply visit canaryislandsinfo.co.uk for all the information that you’ll need for your trip to the Canary Islands. You’ll certainly have a great time there and bring home with your memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.