Canary Islands such as Tenerife and Lanzarote may be a hit with holidaymakers but there’s one smaller island that’s often overlooked – despite being one of the most beautiful
One of the Canary Islands’ most beautiful destinations has year-round sunshine, incredible beaches, a huge national park and cheap hotels – but it’s often overlooked by tourists.
La Palma may not be a hidden gem, but the breathtaking island is often overshadowed by hotspots in Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.
Just a few hundred thousand tourists visit ‘La Isla Bonita’ – meaning ‘the beautiful island’ – every year, meaning there’s ample opportunity to enjoy its black sand beaches, rugged coastline and volcanic landscape without dealing with crowds. Then there’s the added bonus that you can enjoy temperatures of around 19C-21C during February and March, with the dry and sunny weather making for ideal exploring conditions.
For those who like to don their hiking boots and get their step count up, the Caldera de Taburiente National Park won’t disappoint with the countless hiking trails to be found. According to locals “photos simply cannot do justice” to the park’s pine forests, deep ravines, and ethereal waterfalls. In fact, it’s even been named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There are signposted walks whether you’re after a scenic stroll or a full day’s adventure, or take in the view of the 8km-wide crater from one of the visitor centres.
If you’re looking more for rugged coastline, then the island’s black sand beaches won’t disappoint with popular locations such as Puerto Naos Beach and Playa Nogales never failing to impress visitors.
Naos has a few facilities including toilets, changing rooms and lifeguards during peak seasons, as well as easy access to bars and restaurants in the nearby town. Meanwhile Playa Nogales is a little more remote, but worth it for the views. One holidaymaker wrote on Tripadvisor: “It is not an easy walk to get to this beach and I would not recommend it to anyone with limited mobility. However, the way to the beach is absolutely amazing The cliff path is out of this world! The beach itself is not the best for swimming as the currents are very strong so don’t go out of your depth.”
La Palma isn’t all remote beaches and rugged landscapes though. Its capital, Santa Cruz, has everything you could want for a bit more hustle and bustle. The port town’s cobbled streets are home to plenty of bars and restaurants serving up that classic Spanish fare, as well as a wide array of museums if you want a bit of culture. Meanwhile the town’s historic houses with their wooden balconies make for heaps of Instagram-worthy backdrops.
As the island isn’t the most popular in the Canaries, visitors can enjoy extra perks such as budget-friendly accommodation. For example, on Tripadvisor you can find hotels from £32 a night, while there are direct flights on Skyscanner from £94 with the likes of TUI and easyJet.
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