La Palma is an island belonging to the Atlantic Ocean archipelago of the Canary Islands (Spain). Of volcanic origin and with a great variety of landscapes, La Palma is a very abrupt island. In fact, it is one of the steepest islands on Earth, with abundant vegetation due to a wet and cool weather. Its mountains are filled with Canarian pine, laurel and at the coast, numerous Palm trees. Many consider the island a miniature continent.
In 2002, the entire island of La Palma was declared a “World Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO. In 2006, La Palma became the first place in the world to declared a “Sustainable Tourist Destination”.
The exceptional quality of the island’s night skies, which are further protected by a specific “Sky Law” designed to minimise light pollution, are the main reason why one of the best professional observatories in the world is situated on the island. La Palma, the first Starlight Reserve on Earth (UNESCO), has become one the premium astronomy sites on Earth for both professionals and amateurs.
Must see places in La Palma are:
- The Caldera de Taburiente National Park, with a crater 8 km wide. This park has an extremely rich landscape and is botanically spectacular.
- Bosque de los Tilos, situated in a narrow valley. It has the largest water resources of the island. It was the first area of the island protected by the Biosphere Reserve.
- Santa Cruz de la Palma, capital of the island. Originally it was a fishing village with lovely houses dating back to the XVI century.
- Natural Cumbre Vieja Park, a series of volcanoes that form a ridge from the center to the south of the island. Among them are the San Antonio, San Juan and Teneguía volcanoes (Teneguía being the latest volcanic eruption in Spain, 1971).
- La Palma´s rural and quiet atmosphere & its nature and diverse range of climates and landscapes.
- The network of walking trails which makes the island a paradise for hikers.
The Observatory of El Roque de Los Muchachos, one of the best observatories in the world. Visiting the telescopes at the Observatory is possible. Booking in advance required. Click here for further info.