Santa Cruz de La Palma

Colourful houses with flowers in Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands

Introduction to Santa Cruz, La Palma

Santa Cruz is undoubtedly one of the prettiest towns in the entire archipelago.

La Palma’s small, yet pretty capital city - is one of the Canary Island’s true gems. Boasting colonial-style architecture, several churches & palaces and plenty of beaches, restaurants and bars to enjoy, Santa Cruz is typically Canarian and has something for everyone.

Conquered by the King of Castile in the 15th century, Santa Cruz de La Palma became an important trading post between Spain and the Americas and the city’s interesting history can be seen and explored in the historic quarter – one of Spain’s Historic-Artistic sites. Here you will find stunning palaces, sumptuous merchants’ houses and the grand town hall, built during the reign of Phillip II. There are also magnificent religious buildings, including the Renaissance-style Church of El Salvador, with a tower of volcanic stone, and the Church of Santo Domingo, which houses a superb collection of Flemish paintings.

Calle Real - the city’s main and most important street - is famous for being both a Property of Cultural Interest and a Historic-Artistic Site and is where Santa Cruz’s finest restaurants, shops and prettiest squares are found and is worth a visit to enjoy delicious local cuisine and sample the local culture. 

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Santa Cruz, La Palma

NORTH OF THE ISLAND (TOUR A)

Must do tour
  • Marvel at La Palma’s stunning and varied landscapes
  • Discover the spectacular and unique laurel forest 
  • Learn how rum is produced, before enjoying a sample! 
Panoramic Coach Tour
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 4.5 Hrs
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included

Explore the oldest part of the island of La Palma, made up of spectacular landscapes and lush vegetation that carpets the hillsides and deep gorges. The most important area is the impressive laurel forest; a unique forest which became extinct in the Mediterranean basin millions of years ago.

Admire the impressive views from the vantage point of Mirador de San Bartolo de la Galga, situated right on the edge of two deep-cut gorges, before proceeding north to the evergreen forest of Los Tilos. Here you will have a short walk. The area is one of the richest in the Canary Islands in terms of fauna and flora, and your guide will point out many indigenous plants including the Canarian holly tree, strawberry tree, heather and the Canarian bellflower.

Continue to the pretty little town of Los Sauces to enjoy a brief stop followed by a chance to sample some typical local specialities. Take a short walk along the banana haciendas, passing the natural swimming pools of Charco Azul before arriving at the rum distillery. Here you will discover how the beverage is processed, and sample this typical Canarian drink.

 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2016/7 CANARIES & MED CRUISE HOLIDAYS

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over gravelled terrain and paved inclines and there will also be steps to negotiate. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for wheelchair users. Please note that what flora or fauna may be seen is subject to seasonal change. Places of interest may be visited in a different order to that described. Please note that if our call falls on a Sunday, the church in Los Sauces will be closed.


Shore Tours in La Palma

CALDERA DE TABURIENTE (TOUR F)

  • Discover the charming island of La Palma
  • Marvel the magnificent vistas
  • Spend time at the National Park of Caldera de Taburiente and admire its vast and impressive crater
Activity Tour
Price£35.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 4.5 Hrs
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included

This tour provides you with an interesting introduction to the beautiful island of La Palma, with visits to the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves (the Church of Our Lady of the Snow) and the National Park of Caldera de Taburiente.

Travel through the capital of Santa Cruz de La Palma towards the Church of Our Lady of the Snow, considered to be the protector of the island. This pretty church boasts a silver altar and Flemish art dating from the 16th century. Continuing, you travel to the vantage point, Mirador de la Cumbrecita, where you can admire impressive views of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. The park is home to one of the biggest craters in the world, over five miles in diameter. The crater is lined with pine trees and bossed lava, which has been furrowed by cool streams. If you wish, you may like to take an optional hike around the crater border during your time here.

Your final stop will be at the Casa Yanes, where you can relax and enjoy a glass of refreshing Sangria! 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2016/7 CANARIES & MED CRUISE HOLIDAYS

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking at each of the stops, and is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. To access the viewpoints, steps will be encountered. For reference, the hike around the crater border path is optional.


Fuencaliente National Park, La Palma

La Palma Complete

  • Take in the beautiful landscapes of La Palma
  • Marvel at your stunning surroundings in Fuencaliente National Park
  • Relish the opportunity to get involved at the ceramic workshop
Price£65.00 - £70.00
DurationApproximately 8 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included

Appreciate the delightful island of La Palma - made up of striking landscapes.

Begin your tour with a brief scenic drive to the district of La Galga, where you will visit the breathtaking viewpoint of The Mirador de San Bartolo. Here you can witness the stunning views that overlook the town and the neighbouring houses of San Andres and Sauces. You will then move on to the second viewpoint which is in San Bartolome. It is located on top of the Nogales Ravine. Situated on this lookout point is the statue of Leaping Love, which symbolises a famous legend of the island where a shepherd gave his life in proof of his love. Once you have finished gazing over the magnificent backdrop, you will journey towards the Los Tilos forest.

Los Tilos houses one of the most important laurel forests in the Canary Islands. It has been declared a world biosphere reserve and retains a natural heritage of exceptional value. A variety of flora can be viewed here.

You will then visit the village of San Andres, which is a small village on the north east coast of La Palma encircled by banana plantations and fields of sugar cane. Just north of the village is Charco Azul with its natural swimming pools.

Next you will be driven to Las Nieves; a small settlement above the capital Santa Cruz de La Palma. The attraction here is the church of Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves, the patron saint of the island of La Palma. You will then stop for dinner at a typical restaurant.

Refreshed, you will then embark on a drive to Fuencaliente, to admire the magnificent San Antonio volcano - be prepared for an impressive moonscape. In the pretty town of Los Canarios is the Volcano Visitor Centre, which shows you the most recent volcanic history of the island. You will enjoy a beautiful walk along the huge volcano crater. As you reach its highest point, panoramic views can be enjoyed.

Finally you will stop at The Mill which houses a pottery workshop and an ethnographic museum. In the workshop, you will learn primitive techniques and reproductions of ancient ceramics and original designs. You will then head back to your awaiting ship.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves moderate walking and therefore is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. You are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes. Please note that lunch usually consists of cheese, bread, chicken soup, chicken or pork, potatoes, salad, mojo (a typical Canarian sauce) and bananas. Please note that this tour may operate in a different order.


Shore Tours in La Palma

LEISURELY LA PALMA (TOUR C)

  • Take in the beautiful landscapes of La Palma from the comfort of your coach
  • Have your camera on hand to capture the impressive scenery
  • Learn about the San Antonio crater with an interesting stop at the visitor centre  
Panoramic Coach Tour
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hrs
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Suitable for wheelchairsSuitable for wheelchairs

For those who would appreciate a panoramic view of La Palma, with limited walking involved, this tour is perfect!

Travel through the area of Fuencaliente in the south of the island to the volcano of San Antonio. Prior to the 17th century, Fuencaliente was a well-known spa thanks to the hot water springs that gave the town its original name, Fuente Santa, or ‘Holy Fountain’. Accounts of the spectacular recovery of patients reached America and Europe, and people suffering from all kinds of ailments came from both continents to La Palma in search of a cure. However, when the San Antonio volcano became active over a period of two months, between 17th November 1677 and 21st January 1678, the continual lava flow buried the Holy Fountain forever.

Observe the impressive San Antonio crater, just a short distance from the town, from the path that runs around the entire rim, before taking the opportunity to explore the visitor centre. Pass by El Paso and Breña Alta and cross the unique countryside whilst savouring the spectacular scenery. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/18 CANARIES & MED SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves minimal walking but is suitable for wheelchair users.  Please advise at the time of booking if you will remain in your wheelchair throughout this tour, participants must be able to get on and off the coach unaided. The walk along the path of the crater is optional and not part of the organised tour – it involves some walking over uneven terrain which limited mobility guests may find difficult.

 


Quad biking through La Salemera, Santa Cruz, La Palma

QUAD BIKING THROUGH LA SALMERA

  • Brace yourself for an exhilarating quad bike adventure
  • Admire the island of La Palma from a unique perspective
Activity Tour
Price£55.00-£65.00
DurationApproximately 2 1/2 Hours
LimitationVery Limited
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Enjoy an unforgettable quad biking experience as you explore La Palma’s rugged terrain and take in wonderful views of the surrounding scenery.

Your tour begins with a coach ride to Los Cancajos, where upon arrival you will receive a safety briefing before your adventure begins! Boarding your buggy, you will drive up the mountain of Mazo and enjoy a brief stop here to stroll around the outskirts of this charming village.

Continue your driving experience, you descend to the coast of La Salemera, where you can appreciate the wonderful vistas of La Palma’s coast. Here you can also enjoy a tasting of local fruits.

Driving off-road back to Los Cancajos, you will re-board your tour coach and head back to the quayside.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Each buggy holds two guests. Please note that guests wishing to drive must have held a valid driving licence for at least a year. Please check On this drive around half of your drive will be off-road. Comfortable shoes and layered clothing is recommended. Guests must be reasonably fit to take part in this tour. Before booking this tour, please ensure that your travel insurance will cover you for taking part.


Roque de los Muchachos, Santa Cruz, La Palma

ROQUE DE LOS MUCHACHOS

  • Uncover the natural beauty of La Palma as you hike to the renowned Roque de los Muchachos viewpoint
  • Relish the opportunity to observe the fascinating observatory
  • Be intrigued as you visit one of the Canary Islands’ archaeological assets
Price£65.00- £75.00
DurationApproximately 8 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Admire La Palma’s highest point, while capturing the most incredible views from above the clouds.

Departing from the ship, you will embark on a scenic drive, first passing through the capital Santa Cruz La Palma. Admire the classic balconies before going by the neighbourhood of Mirca, which is on the outskirts of the city. You then begin passing flora and abundant vegetation, on your way to a point where you leave the clouds below and continue up to the highest point of the island - Roque de los Muchachos.

Arriving at the Roque de Los Muchachos, at a height of 2,426 metres above sea level, you can appreciate the outstanding views over the Caldera de Taburiente and the other Canary Islands. At this point you can embark on a short, approximate 25 minute, walk to see the observatory of La Palma, which is one of the three best observatories on earth and it is home to the largest optical telescope in the world.

After this stop you will travel down the west of the island until you reach the park of La Zarza and La Zarcita where you will see the fascinating petroglyphs of the aborigine people as you take a 45 minute walk around the park. This rock art site is one of the most important archaeological sites of the Canary Island archipelago.

You will then stop for a typical Canarian dinner, before setting off on a drive to the El Mirador de El Time viewpoint. Marvel at the spectacular views overlooking the beautiful landscape of The Valle de Aridane. You will then take another scenic drive, passing Barranco de los Angustias before reaching the east of the island and back to the port.

 

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS YOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking over uneven terrain. It is not suitable for wheelchair users or guests with limited mobility, heart problems or high blood pressure due to the altitude. You are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a bottle of water. Please note that the clarity of views from Roque de los Muchachos viewpoint are dependent on the weather. The tour may operate in a different order to that described.

 


Santa Cruz Trolley and Train

SANTA CRUZ TROLLEY TRAIN & WALK

  • Explore the sights of Santa Cruz by road train
  • Stroll through the beautiful plazas of Santa Cruz
  • Enjoy some local tapas
Price£30.00-£40.00
DurationApproximately 2 1/2 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Put on your wireless headset and enjoy a panoramic tour of the town by trolley train along Santa Cruz’s main avenue - Avenida Maritima, before reaching the first Spanish settlement in Santa Cruz – La Encarnacion. Here you will disembark your train briefly for a stroll along the city’s streets taking in the sights of Encarnacion Square and the Castillo de la Virgen – a castle offering beautiful views over the town and harbour.

Rejoin your trolley train for a short ride to Barco de la Virgen, a replica of Columbus’ Santa Maria before embarking on a guided walk through the city. Visit the remarkable buildings and streets such as Plaza Alameda, Plaza San Francisco, Placeta Borrero, Calle Perez de Brito and Avenida El Puente.

After building up an appetite, you will stop for some local tapas in a traditional bar, accompanied by a refreshing glass of wine, beer or soft drink before heading back to your awaiting ship by foot via Plaza Espana and Calle O’Daly.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2015/6 CANARIES & MED SEASON

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately one and a half hours of walking over cobblestone and uneven surfaces and there are 15 steps to negotiate. We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes.

 


Shore Tours in La Palma

STAR GAZING (TOUR H)

  • The night sky in La Palma is one of the darkest and most transparent on earth
  • Keep your eyes peeled for a meteor streaking across the night sky
  • Marvel at the planets, moon, stars and galaxies as you gaze at them through a telescope
Activity Tour
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApproximately 4 ½ Hrs
LimitationVery Limited spaces
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Nowadays La Palma is one of the very few places with excellent conditions for astronomical observation. It has recently been awarded as the first Starlight Reserve on Earth, an honour certified by the UNESCO Starlight Initiative, which confirms that the island is committed to preserving the quality of the night sky while also facilitating access  to everyone to the light of the stars.

 

Enjoy a brief panoramic drive to the village of El Paso and then proceed further up to the star viewpoint Llano del Jable. Here you will be able to take part in a star gazing activity, looking through telescopes and binoculars. Learn more about and discover the sky of La Palma, and its importance as you observe night sky objects including visible planets and the moon, stars, galaxies, nebulises and star clusters. There will also be detailed, but simplified, explanations about astronomy and a description of the night sky orientation by using constellations. After this unusual, yet hopefully unforgettable night, you will head back to the pier.

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2015 CANARIES & MED CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is weather dependant and can be cancelled at the very last minute prior to the tour departing. There will be a lot of standing involved during this tour. Guests are advised to dress accordingly – a jacket is advisable as the weather can be chilly. Please note that there will be no toilets on this tour.

 


Shore Tours in La Palma

VOLCANO & WINES (TOUR G)

  • Appreciate a visit to the beautiful town of Fuencaliente
  • Enjoy a closer look at the Teneguia Volcano
  • Savour a taste of local wines 
Wine Tour
Price£30.00 - £45.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hrs
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Surrounded by spectacular scenery, the town of Fuencaliente offers some amazing panoramic views of the San Antonio volcano and neighbouring islands of El Hierro to the south and La Gomera to the southeast. Set amidst vineyards, the town is best-known for its sweet and heavy wines, and today you will be able to sample a selection.

Travelling south of Santa Cruz, marvel at panoramic views of Breña Baja and Mazo villages en route to Fuencaliente. Mazo is situated 500 metres above sea level and, weather permitting, offers wonderful vistas of La Gomera and Tenerife.

At Fuencaliente enjoy a visit to the San Antonio volcanic park. Fuencaliente was once a well-known spa thanks to the hot water springs that were believed to treat leprosy, but the continual lava flow buried the Holy Fountain. During your visit, take in an approximate 30-minute walk to admire the Teneguia Volcano, which last erupted in 1971.

Continue to the Bodega Carballo wine cellar, where you can sample some of the local wines, before visiting the well-known pottery house. Here you can admire the tropical garden and handicrafts.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2016/7 CANARIES & MED CRUISE HOLIDAYS

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU?  This tour involves a moderate amount of walking over gravel and cobbled terrain, and there are a few steps to negotiate. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. For reference, toilet facilities are available at San Antonio. Places of interest may be visited in a different order to that described.


 


Shore Tours in La Palma

WALKING THROUGH THE ENCHANTED FOREST (TOUR I)

  • Hike through the mysterious and charming Laurisilva Forest
  • Marvel at the breathtaking vistas
Activity Tour
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApproximately 5 Hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Enchanted forests, volcanic landscapes and stunning coastal views all make for a great walking experience in La Palma, and offer visitors the opportunity to admire a vast array of unspoilt scenery across the island.

 

Leaving the quayside, travel towards Cubo de la Galga, passing through some of the most exotic and leafy environments on the island of La Palma. You will reach La Somada Alta, an incredible viewpoint situated approximately 900 metres above sea level. Here you are sure to be amazed by the landscape dotted with small villages on the verdant northeast of the island. Descending on foot through the Laurisilva Forest, you will discover the heart of the pre-historic jungle bursting with leafy vegetation, majestic ferns hanging from damp cliffs and beautiful plants and flowers in every corner. View an agricultural area where farmers will be preparing their crop terraces and admire the typical houses dotting the landscape.

 

Delight in a light picnic of olives, cheeses and local wine in the unique setting of this traditional forest, before concluding your scenic walking tour, after which you will drive back to the pier and your awaiting ship.

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2015/6 CANARIES & MED CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a strenuous amount of walking, and a certain pace is required to get the most from this tour. Unfortunately it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Guests are advised to wear flat, comfortable footwear with good grip, and layered clothing. Depending on weather conditions, some paths may be muddy and slippery – guests are advised to pay due care and attention. What flora or fauna may be seen is subject to seasonal change.

 


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