Palma Island (La Palma)

Palma Island (La Palma) in Canary Islands, Spain

According to Bestitude, Palma Island is part of the western group of the Canary Islands. Its area is 728 sq. km. The island stretches from north to south for 50 km. The northern part of the island is occupied by the mountains of Los Muchachos with the highest elevation of 2426 m and the crater of La Caldera de Taburiente, protected by the national park, and the southern part by the chain of dormant volcanoes Cumbre Bieja. Protected areas occupy about 35% of the island’s area. This is a great place for hiking and outdoor recreation away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.

The main attraction of the island of Palma is the National Park of La Caldera de Taburiente (La Cadera de Taburiente). It was founded in 1954 in the northern part of the island in a huge caldera formed as a result of underwater eruptions and further erosion. The circumference of the caldera is 28 km, the diameter is 10 km, and the depth is 1500 m. The mountains surrounding the caldera reach a height of 2500 m, in winter their peaks are covered with snow. On the highest mountain, Roque de los Muchachos (2426 m), one of the world’s most important astrophysical observatories is located. Most of the caldera is covered with dense pine forest. The park is home to many birds, bats, reptiles and about 500 species of invertebrates. There are no roads in the park, so you can explore it only by going on foot.. There is a campsite on the territory of the park, but in order to stay here overnight, you must obtain permission from the park administration, located in the southern part of the park.

The capital of the island of Palma is the city of Santa Cruz de la Palma (Santa Cruz de la Palma) – located on the east coast. It is a small old town with narrow cobbled streets and colonial buildings. Be sure to take a walk along Calle Real, where there are mansions of the 16th-18th centuries, the Avenue Balconis, along which residential buildings with wooden balconies are lined up, and Plaza de EspaƱa, where the El Salvador Church is located – the most beautiful building of the era Renaissance in the archipelago; visit Fort Santa Catalina of the 16th century and a copy of the ship of Christopher Columbus Santa Maria located here, inside which the Maritime Museum is equipped; and head to the Insular Museum, dedicated to the history of the island.

The city of Santa Cruz de la Palma is surrounded by the Natural Park of Las Nieves 51 sq. km. There are hiking trails in the park. The most popular of them pass through the part of the park called Los Tilos. Los Tilos is a vast laurel forest. Similar forests covered Europe as early as the Tertiary period. Nowadays, laurel can grow here as a result of excessive moisture, because it is here that moist air masses from the ocean come along with the northeast trade winds. In addition to lush vegetation, numerous streams, rivers and waterfalls formed in such humid conditions, transforming the local landscape for centuries, now deep ravines stretch for many kilometers here. Also in this part of the island, a whole network of underground tunnels was built, through which rainwater flows to the cities and is further used for the needs of the population.

In the vicinity of Santa Cruz de la Palma, there are such popular beaches as Los Cancajos in Brena Baja (south of the capital) and Nogales in Puntallana (north of the capital). South of Santa Cruz de la Palma, the old town of Villa de Mazo is interesting. In its vicinity is the Belmaco Archaeological Park, which is a series of caves where ancient tribes lived. This is the first place in the archipelago where petroglyphs were discovered. It happened in the 18th century. In addition, Villa de Maso is located at the foot of a whole chain of dormant volcanoes Cumbre Bieja (Cumbre Vieja), which occupies the southern part of the island of Palma. Today these places are protected by a natural park. For many centuries, the volcanic landscape of the park was formed (the last eruption happened here in 1971). Now lava fields stretch here, in the middle of which the majestic peaks of volcanoes rise. The famous Ruta de los Volcanos hiking trail runs through the entire park. On the southern edge of the park, in close proximity to the southern coast of the island of Palma, is the village of Fuencaliente. The village is surrounded by the peaks of the volcanoes San Antonio and Teneguya (it was he who erupted in 1971), which offers a beautiful view of the ocean and the islands of Gomera and Hierro. On the very outskirts of the village on the southernmost cape of the island of Palma stands a lighthouse. The lighthouse houses the Information Center Marine Reserve of the island of Palma (The La Palma Marine Reserve). The reserve was founded in 2001 on the southwestern coast of the island on an area of 37 sq. km. On the territory of the reserve there is La Zamora beach, where you can sunbathe and swim.

On the west coast of the island of Palma is the largest city of the island and its economic center – Los Llanos de Aridane (Los Llanos de Aridane). It is located in a fertile valley surrounded by banana plantations. Los Llanos de Aridane is famous for its beaches. Here is the best beach of the island of Puerto de Naos (Puerto de Naos), which has recently turned into a whole resort area, and such famous beaches as Los Guirres, El Volcan and Playa del -Roque (Playa del Roque) in the area of Tazacorte and Charco Verde. In addition to the beaches in Los Llanos de Aridana, the Wine Museum and the Banana Museum are of interest.

Palma Island (La Palma)