Cruising guide: La Palma
Take time to cruise the Canaries and you'll discover what they have to offer, including the pretty island of La Palma
L a Palma, nicknamed La Isla Bonita – the pretty island – is the most northwesterly of the Canaries, and as yet untarnished by mass tourism. Almond-shaped, the island has an area of 270 square miles and is said to be the steepest in the world, rising to almost 2,400 metres above sea level in the space of just 10 kilometres. La Palma is an island of stupendous scenery with dense, jungle-like forests, volcanoes, black sand beaches and star-filled night skies untarnished by light pollution. This volcanic island rises almost four miles from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, and has road access from sea level to within a few metres of its highest point, Los Muchachos (The Boys), which stands at 2,426m (7,959ft) near the apex of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. Close by are many observatories, due to the clarity of the atmosphere. The island was declared a starlight reserve in 2012. La Palma has more water than the other islands, making it the greenest of the Canaries and contributing to its reputation as the prettiest. Fill your drinking water tanks here before a transatlantic crossing. Much of the island’s income used to be derived from growing bananas, which 10 years ago made up a whopping 80% of the local economy. However, tourism has been increasing steadily and is now the main source of income. The trekking here is among the best in the islands.
Cave dwellings can still be found around the coast. These are close to Punta Gorda