La Palma holidays are more than a bit off the beaten track – think volcanic countryside and grade-A stargazing.

Make-up free

Nothing whispers under-the-radar quite like Spain's La Palma. It’s neighbours with Tenerife, but that’s practically where the similarities end. This place has stuck with the natural look, with just a handful of settlements and hotels nosing out from the banana plantations and pine-covered hills. Even the bigger towns, like Santa Cruz de la Palma and Puerto Naos, are cut from a classic Canary Island cloth.

Volcanic scenery

The beaches more than hint towards the island’s volcanic backstory – they’re black-sand stretches and some proudly wave a Blue Flag award, too. Away from the volcanic sands, the peaks of Teneguia and San Antonio steal the spotlight in the south, while the pine-clad Caldera de Taburiente National Park dominates the northern landscape. Hiking trails are threaded along the Cumbre Vieja ridge, with Insta-worthy views at every angle. Call in at the village of Fuencaliente and you can hike the hillside trails down to a hundred-year-old lighthouse.

Starry nights

La Palma’s home to one of the world’s largest telescopes. Observatories peek above the clouds on the island’s ridge-like spine, ready to show off their skills when the sun goes down. It’s all thanks to the glassy sky, which is so clear after dark that the stargazing conditions are among the best on the planet. UNESCO's slapped a protected tag on the entire island, making it a biosphere reserve from top to toe.

At a Glance

  • Hit the beach at Puerto Naos
  • Hike along a volcanic trail
  • Visit the traditional village of Fuencaliente

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