Canary Islands, Spain
La Palma, also known as ‘’la isla bonita” (the beautiful island of the Canaries), is located in the northwestern part of the archipelago and has a distinguishing natural beauty.
On Ferryhopper, you can discover what to do and see in La Palma, Spain, as well as find details about ferry routes in the Canary Islands. Book cheap ferry tickets and plan your La Palma holidays in just a few clicks!
The pretty port town of Tazacorte in La Palma
Holidays in La Palma
La Palma is famous for its special geomorphological landscape and wild beauty. The island is of volcanic origin, evident by the magnificent black-rock landscapes and formations that will surely enchant you.
The mild, subtropical climate of La Palma makes it an ideal destination throughout the year, as temperatures range from 15 to 27°C (59 - 81°F).
La Palma island is ideal for travelers who are after relaxing moments in nature, impressive hiking trails, breathtaking views, and a true touch of local life! During your vacation in La Palma, you will walk through impressive cliffs, hang out with locals at cute restaurants and marvel at the rich natural beauty of the island.
Oh! And don’t forget to try water sports like scuba-diving, surfing or paragliding!
How to get to La Palma
You can travel to La Palma by plane or ferry. Since the island enjoys great weather year-round, this means there are ferry routes and flights throughout the year.
The airport of La Palma is 7km south of Santa Cruz and serves flights from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, as well as major transport hubs in Europe.
If you want to experience a mini cruise in the Canary archipelago, you can also travel to La Palma by ferry. Getting to La Palma by ferry is great if you’re traveling with a vehicle or going island hopping in the Canaries. See more tips to choose between plane or ferry to La Palma.
The famous Volcano Route in La Palma
What to do in La Palma
Wondering what to do in La Palma? Despite the island being less developed than other destinations in the Canary group, there’s a plethora of activities to try!
Adored by water-sports enthusiasts, La Palma is a top destination to reconnect with nature, try extreme sports or explore the volcanic seabed of the island’s marvelous beaches.
For thrill-seekers or casual walkers, the many hiking trails of the island offer the opportunity to witness the grandeur of its volcanic activity. Walking on the famous Volcano Route is one of the best things to do in La Palma.
Secluded coasts for clothing-optional swimming, easy-going beaches perfect for kids, as well as a rich past dating back to at least 1,000 BCE make La Palma a real treasure.
And the cherry on top: cherries, avocados, mangoes, bananas, papayas, and more subtropical and Mediterranean fruit grow on the island. You should definitely try them!
Plan the perfect trip with our complete La Palma travel guide below.
The magical natural pools of La Fajana in La Palma
Beaches in La Palma
La Palma is known for its otherworldly beaches with impressive volcanic rocks, reinvigorating waters and a wild beauty. Most of them are secluded and isolated, but others have a wide range of facilities.
Here are 10 of the most famous beaches in La Palma:
- Puerto Naos: this is a popular blue-flag beach with black sand. Its proximity to restaurants, parking facilities and hotels make it perfect for families. You can try scuba-diving, as well as paragliding.
- Playa de Tazacorte: the beach of Tazacorte is easily accessible and perfect for swimmers of all ages! It is an easy-going beach with plenty of visitor services, located at a river mouth.
- Charco Verde: this is a small, impressive beach with black volcanic sand. It is easily accessible and it features ramps and walkways for wheelchair access.
- Bajamar: a favorite among locals, Bajamar is close to Santa Cruz, as well as cafes and restaurants. It is covered with black sand and it’s a perfect spot to watch the sunrise.
- Nogales: Nogales is a secluded beach with impressive cliffs and black sand. It is nude friendly and popular with water sports fans, particularly in the summer. Catch a view of the coast from the viewpoint above the beach and enjoy beach moments in peace.
- Playa de la Zamora: this black-sand cove is one of the top sunset viewing spots in La Palma. There are no visitor facilities and access is a bit tricky. You can also try snorkeling!
- Los Cancajos: the beach of Los Cancajos is close to Santa Cruz. It is protected by breakwaters, promising a calm day by the sea. It is considered suitable for people with mobility disabilities and it is close to restaurants, shops and cafes.
- Arenas Blancas: this is a wild rocky beach with dark sand. It is quiet and you can also see an impressive, futuristic lighthouse on the left side of the beach.
- Los Tarajales: this is an untouched beach with occasional large waves on the west coast of La Palma. There are some hotels and shops close to the beach, but not visitor amenities.
- Playa Nueva (Echentive): during the winter months, this black-sand beach is a surfer’s paradise. There are also hot springs and natural pools in the area.
Tip: the best beaches for swimming in La Palma are on the southern part of the island.
Black sand at Puerto Naos beach
Sightseeing in La Palma
The island of La Palma is home to some of the most impressive natural wonders in the world, known for its distinctive landscapes. UNESCO has declared the whole island as a Biosphere Reserve!
At the same time, La Palma has a strong cultural element, as there are many museums, churches and buildings of beautiful architecture.
Here’s what to see in La Palma according to ferryhoppers:
- Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, standing at 2,396m above sea level
- La Caldera de Taburiente National Park
- Old town of Santa Cruz
- Los Tilos forest, one of the most important natural sites in the world
- Salt fields of Fuencaliente
- Plaza de España
- Castillo de Santa Catalina
- Sunken crosses of Malpique, one-of-a-kind dive site
- Avenida Marítima
The Roque de Los Muchachos Astrophysics Observatory
Nightlife in La Palma
Nights in La Palma are calm with a low-key atmosphere. Although nightlife on the island is not as intense as in other islands of the Canary archipelago, there are bars and restaurants mostly in Santa Cruz, where you can enjoy a drink or try the local cuisine.
As for drinking and dining at the beach, you will find chiringuitos and some all-day canteens. There are also small local establishments in the mountain villages, which are mostly frequented by locals.
Tip: get some wine or locally produced beer and go enjoy the sunset at one of the awe-inspiring beaches of La Palma!
Food in La Palma
While in La Palma, don’t miss out on traditional recipes with seafood, fresh vegetables and herbs, as well as exotic fruit. In addition, La Palma is known for its wide range of fine wines like the Malvaiser or the Vino de Tea.
Here are some local delicacies to try in La Palma, Canary Islands:
- fresh fish (stone bass or gilt-head bream)
- gofio (corn flour used in baking and stews)
- puchero canario (meat and vegetables stew)
- queso palmero (unpasteurized goat milk cheese)
- papas arrugadas con mojo rojo (boiled potatoes with red pepper sauce)
- mojo cilantro (pepper, garlic and cilantro sauce)
- sopa de picadillo (chicken soup)
- bienmesabe (sweet almond-based paste)
Tip: La Palma is widely influenced by Cuban culture. For that reason, you will find rum and more sought-after Cuban products of premium quality on the island.
Villages in La Palma
The capital of the island is Santa Cruz de La Palma, the liveliest place on the island.
Nevertheless, there are more towns and villages to visit in La Palma either to explore the beaches and natural sights or to experience the local lifestyle.
Here are the top towns and villages to visit in La Palma:
- Los Llanos de Aridane
- El Paso
- San Andrés y Sauces
- Breña Baja and Breña Alta
Good to know: the municipality of Llanos de Aridane is the agricultural center of the island with more permanent residents than the island capital.
Here are some more useful tips to help plan your holidays in La Palma, Canary Islands:
- The ridge of La Palma, Cumbre Vieja, is an active volcano. It is safe to visit La Palma, but make sure you follow local news and emergency evacuation updates at all times.
- Although scientists have suggested the possibility of a mega tsunami in La Palma, it is highly unlikely such a phenomenon occurs any time soon.
- La Palma is said to be the steepest island in the world. This means it’s a great place to hike and go climbing.
- You need 5-7 days to see most of La Palma. If you wish to extend your stay, we recommend you travel to more islands of the Canary group!
The capital of La Palma at sunset
Useful information for La Palma
The island of La Palma has been constantly developing over the past years and it has found its way to many travelers’ bucket lists!
Santa Cruz and Los Llanos de Aridane are the two largest towns in La Palma, where most travelers stay. You will therefore find a range of accommodation options, as well as all necessary services and visitor amenities there. There are long-term holiday homes, private villas, hotels, and vacation rentals for all budgets.
As for medical services, there are 4 medical centers in La Palma, located close to the main towns. In Santa Cruz, you will find the Santa Cruz de La Palma Health Center, as well as the General Hospital of La Palma.
Important phone numbers for your stay in La Palma
Here are some useful contacts for your trip to La Palma:
- Santa Cruz de La Palma Port Authority: +34922412121
- Tourist information services (Santa Cruz de La Palma): +34922694151
- Santa Cruz de La Palma Medical Center: +34922479444
- Los Llanos Medical Center: +34922592400
- La Palma General Hospital: +34922185000
- La Palma Airport: +34913211000
- La Palma buses: +34922411924 / +34922460241
- La Palma taxi services: +34686553868
- Local Police: +34971225500
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in La Palma
The best way to get around La Palma is by car, as you can explore every corner of this beautiful island. You can choose to bring your own vehicle or rent one there.
Bear in mind that although La Palma has a good road network, the island's mountainous terrain means you may spend a little bit more time on the road than expected.
You can also opt for other means of transport like local buses or taxis. Bus lines 100 (Santa Cruz de la Palma - Tazacorte) and 200 (Santa Cruz de la Palma - Los Llanos) connect central areas of the island. As for taxis, you can get one at major sites around the island, call one or make a reservation request online.
Good to know: There are also boats taking visitors to remote beaches.
Tip: many of La Palma’s attractions are best enjoyed on foot. So, if you’re thinking of going on walking holidays in La Palma, you’ve made the right choice!
Ports in La Palma
The main port of La Palma is located in Santa Cruz, the capital of the island.
The port is really close to the city center and it is easily accessible by car, taxi or on foot from downtown Santa Cruz. You can also get to the port of La Palma by bus from major towns and villages on the island.
As for traveler services at the port, someone can find gas stations, parking lots, tourist info points, restaurants, shops, and more services.
Good to know: Bajamar beach is also close to the port of La Palma on foot.
Tip: there’s also a smaller harbor on the western coast of La Palma. The port of Tazacorte does not serve ferry routes, but you can hop on a boat trip to explore the coast of the island.
The port of Santa Cruz de la Palma
Island hopping from La Palma
The port of Santa Cruz de La Palma is well connected with most of the Canary Islands, which makes it an ideal destination to organize an island-hopping adventure in the archipelago!
The most frequent ferry crossings from La Palma are to Tenerife and La Gomera. Also, there are weekly ferry trips to more distant islands like Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.
The ferry companies that operate the connections are Trasmediterránea, Fred. Olsen Express and Naviera Armas.
Here are more details about popular ferry routes from La Palma:
- La Palma to Tenerife ferry: there are 2-4 daily ferries from La Palma to Tenerife. Most ferries travel to the port of Los Cristianos, but there’s a weekly crossing to Santa Cruz de Tenerife as well. The journey duration ranges from 2.5 to 5.5 hours.
- La Palma to La Gomera ferry: there are several weekly ferries from La Palma to La Gomera. The port of Santa Cruz de la Palma is connected to the port of San Sebastian in La Gomera. The trip takes about 2 to 6 hours.
- La Palma to Gran Canaria ferry: there are usually 4 weekly sailings to the port of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria from the port of Santa Cruz de la Palma. The La Palma - Gran Canaria ferry trip lasts about 7.5 to 15.5 hours, normally stopping at Tenerife.
- La Palma to Lanzarote ferry: Arrecife, the port of Lanzarote, is connected with the port of Santa Cruz de la Palma with 1 weekly crossing. The La Palma - Lanzarote ferry journey lasts approximately 30 hours and it is a perfect opportunity for a cruise in the Canaries!
Tip: read our complete guide to island hopping in the Canary Islands, to plan your multi-day escape!
The colorful houses of Avenida Marítima in Santa Cruz de La Palma
La Palma ferry: schedules and tickets
The port of Santa Cruz de La Palma is connected with mainland Spain with direct routes from Cádiz, as well as indirect ferry crossings from Huelva.
The duration of the crossing means the route is not for the faint-hearted! But if you wish to live an adventure in the Atlantic Ocean or transfer your vehicle from the south of Spain to the Canaries, choosing a La Palma ferry is the way to go!
Here are more details about ferries to La Palma:
- Ferry Cádiz to La Palma: ferries from Cádiz to La Palma are in operation once or twice a week (usually every Tuesday). It takes 54-56 hours to reach the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma.
- Indirect Ferry Huelva to La Palma: the ferry to La Palma from Huelva is available twice a week via Tenerife. It takes more than 40 hours to reach Santa Cruz de La Palma.
Where to book ferry tickets online to La Palma
Did our travel guide to La Palma give you an uncontrollable urge to sail in the ocean? Then, book ferry tickets to La Palma online on Ferryhopper at no additional cost. On our Map of ferries, you can find all available ferry connections from/to La Palma and the Canary Islands, to plan your island-hopping holidays with ease!