This jewel of the Atlantic, located in the northwest corner of the Canary Islands, has all the ingredients to become the perfect place to disconnect from problems, renew completely, and feel in tune with nature again.
La Palma, Biosphere Reserve, offers family experiences in which to get back in touch with the natural environment and breathe the freshest air. Here nature manifests itself in all its intensity through 706 square kilometers of unique, abrupt and imposing landscapes. An uncrowded natural paradise that you can have almost all to yourself.
Bathing in the forest
Disconnect from problems to reconnect with nature. The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is already a trend that crosses borders but is not really a recent “invention”. Contact with natural spaces improves our physical and mental health and even plays an important role in the prevention of some diseases, according to various research studies.
La Palma has many places to recover that lost energy. But one of the most incredible is the Bosque de Los Tilos, one of the most important laurel forest ecosystems of the Canary archipelago and the first Biosphere Reserve of the island.
This is an ecosystem inherited from the tertiary era. Located in the municipality of San Andrés y Sauces, it preserves a natural heritage of exceptional value both for its flora and fauna. In addition to relaxing while strolling among laurel trees, barbuzanos, strawberry trees, or extraordinary giant ferns, we can also visit the Interpretation Center, a space that has a permanent exhibition that explains the natural values of the environment.
Breathe the purest air in Spain from one of its viewpoints.
La Palma is one of the islands with the greatest difference in altitude in the world, where we can go from sea level to 2,400 meters above sea level on the Roque de los Muchachos, its highest point.
In addition to these contrasts, which make its viewpoints even more special, there is another factor that makes this experience more complete: the quality of the sky. A clean and unpolluted horizon will even allow you to observe other islands of the Canary archipelago. In La Palma you can discover the phenomenon known as the sea of clouds, created as a result of the encounter between the trade winds and the high mountains. When they do not pass over the mountain to change slope, they accumulate, forming this curious sea of clouds so characteristic of the island.
Different points of the geography of La Palma allow you to admire its beauty and diversity of landscapes. Some of the most outstanding viewpoints are: the Cumbrecita viewpoint, the San Bartolo viewpoint or the Time viewpoint. Even at night we can find several astronomical viewpoints to observe the stars.
Caminar alrededor del cráter de un volcán
One of the most unique experiences one can have on this island is to walk on its volcanic soil, either on foot or by bike through landscapes of lava, ash, calderas and volcanic eruptions. There are many volcanoes on the island, but there is one area that stands out for its craters, the Cumbre Vieja Natural Park. There we can find the Teneguía Volcano, which experienced its last eruption not long ago; in 1971. Very close to there today we can learn more about volcanology at the San Antonio Volcano Visitor Center, where we can learn its secrets and walk around its crater.
But undoubtedly one of the most complete experiences to enjoy this phenomenon of nature (although not suitable for all audiences) will be found in the popular Route of the Volcanoes, a spectacular route of 20 km.
Walking along one of the island’s hiking trails
Precisely, if there is a destination in Spain that is the cradle of hiking, that is the island of La Palma. Its network of trails (with more than 1,000 km of marked trails) covers the entire island, taking advantage of the traditional paths used for centuries by the inhabitants of this island. In La Palma the hiker will find an enormous variety of climates, reliefs and landscapes, both natural and cultural. From high peaks of 2,000 meters high, through areas of midland crops, pine forests, volcanic landscapes to lush masses of laurel forests. La Palma offers nature lovers a magnificent network of trails, suitable for different levels, attracting expert hikers and amateurs from all over the world.
Whale and dolphin watching
In La Palma the Atlantic has some hidden surprises for lovers of the seabed and its species. Volcanic eruptions created an ecosystem of rocks, fascinating arches, towers, and caves within its waters. Undoubtedly an incredible place for diving.
But for those who do not dare to practice this sport, there is the option of discovering these secrets from the surface with a boat. From the port of Tazacorte, on the west coast, we can take a boat to enjoy the sighting of various species. We will have the opportunity to see cetaceans, turtles and various species of fish (including the funny flying fish), which delight those who venture out to enjoy a day at sea.
Camping in the middle of nature
One of the best ways to interact with the natural environment is to be able to camp in the middle of it. La Palma has one of the best settings for this. Its nature stands out for its diversity. From small plants near the sea, survivors of the sun and salt, to graceful and small flowers with bright colors on the highest summit, through a “Jurassic” vegetation and imposing pines. Lo mismo con sus especies animales. An open-air encyclopedia open to knowledge.
On the island of La Palma there are several camping areas, undoubtedly the best option to discover and enjoy 100%. and be able to sleep under the stars. Some of the best camping areas are: Barlovento Lagoon, Taburiente Caldera National Park, and Pilar Refuge.
Visitar una finca platanera
La Palma tastes like banana. To connect with nature we must also make use of our palate and enjoy the wonders it has to offer. On this island, banana cultivation goes far beyond a gastronomic issue and enters into the cultural DNA of the Palmeros themselves.
On the island we will recharge our energy thanks to the vitamins and properties of its most emblematic fruit and we will be able to visit some banana farms where we will discover first-hand its cultivation techniques, uses and different applications. In La Palma there is even a museum dedicated to this fruit, and the entire landscape of the island is tinged with banana green even in the most unusual corners.