La Palma, isla bonita – island of splendid sea views
From almost every spot there is a view of the wide blue surface of the ocean. The land, graduating from the Cumbres (a mountainous ridge of volcanic origin, spreading from north to south), offers impressive sceneries. Watch the spectacle of the passing clouds mirroring in the face of the sea.
Popular with hikers is the national park “Caldera de Taburiente” in the north of the island. Inside the huge caldera, rising up to 2500 metres – which is, according to recent findings, not the remains of a single and big crater, but of several smaller craters – there are hiking trails of every level of difficulty.
The capital Santa Cruz de la Palma is still treasuring the glamour and opulence of the past, when the town became rich through the trilateral trade between Africa, the Old and the New World. Even though today Santa Cruz doesn’t count more than 20.000 inhabitants, the town feels like a real mtropolis: Watch people promenading up and down the Calle O’Daly, having a cortado in the “Café La Palma” while reading the latest news and talking to the neighbours about business. And in the evenings go to the Avenida Marítima or to the “Placeta”, with fine restaurants with international cuisine.
The volcanic origin of the Canary Islands most obviously takes shape on the island La Palma: The more to the south, the younger the soil. The north of La Palma is, like La Gomera, several million years old, whereas on the southern headland an active volcano is erupting every 50 years, generating new soil. The last time the Volcán de Teneguía was spitting fire in 1971. The first plant to conquer the new soils is always the Canary Pine. Mighty trunks rise up to 30 metres. The roots are keeping the sediments and constitute the soil for following plants.
The oldest part of La Palma maintains a rest of Europe’s oldest primeval forest (from the tertiary). In “Los Tilos” gnarled laurel and tree heath are combing humidity out the foggy trade winds – a real fairy tale forest. (Of that kind, only the neighbouring island, La Gomera, can provide a more impressive cloud forest.)
The highest peak of the island is, with 2426 metres, the “Roque de los Muchachos” at the northern border of the Caldera de Taburiente. The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes is situated there, and, for the joy of the Palmerian kids, the area is snow-covered from time to time in the winter. This place is notably beautiful during sunrise or sunset…
…Early in the morning on the Roque de los Muchachos – a thousand metres below the land is fading underneath a sea of clouds. The sunrays are already pricking the skin, but yet not strong enough to banish the clouds…
Fuencaliente – Holidays in the sunny south of La Palma
To the municipality of Fuencaliente belongs the main village Los Canarios and the villages Las Indias, Los Quemados and Las Caletas. On the southern headland a small active volcano is erupting every 50 years, generating new soil. The last time the Volcán de Teneguía was spitting fire and ashes in 1971, perfect soil for cultivating very good wine.