Hiking in La Palma is one of the essential activities on the island: natural and unspoiled, it is a real paradise for hikers.
Far from the cliché of mass tourism that sometimes sticks to the Canary Islands, La Palma, the westernmost archipelago, always seems a bit apart. We go there more to walk than to relax in large hotels, even if some seaside resorts also allow you to enjoy the ocean.
Marked by its high volcanic reliefs, La Palma culminates at 2,426 meters above sea level at Roque de los Muchachos, while still being largely covered with forests, partly protected by the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. La Palma offers hikers of all stripes an absolutely magnificent setting.
Thanks to numerous walking paths, it is possible to cover a good part of La Palma on foot: the mild climate makes it an attractive hiking destination all year round. Beware of heat spikes in summer! With this selection of the most beautiful hikes in La Palma, all levels of walkers will find what they are looking for.
1. The ascent to Roque de los Muchachos
We start strong with one of the most spectacular hikes in La Palma: the ascent to the summit of the island, the Roque de los Muchachos. Thanks to the road, it is possible to get close enough to make this walk accessible without being a pro hiker. Plan sticks, hat, and reserve of water, the shade is rare at this altitude!
Indeed, this crest path punctuated by multiple superb viewpoints over the immense Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma, the Canary Islands and the Atlantic, still climbs to 2,426 meters high. The panorama is memorable!
2. Cubo de la Galga Forest
You’re sure to enjoy the benefits of a shady trail with this hike from La Palma that winds through the laurisilva, or laurisilva. This subtropical forest, typical of the Canary Islands and particularly present on the island, plunges you into the ancestral setting of La Palma.
Loop hike, sometimes wet, it does not present any particular difficulty, with a good little drop all the same. What a great half-day outing!
3. Ascent to the Cascada de Los Colores
This pretty hike from La Palma leads you to an emblematic site of the island, the Cascada de Los Colores. At the end of the path which climbs to the bottom of a deep ravine, we reach flows of ferruginous water on a volcanic wall, creating a surprising multicolored effect. The more the water flows, the more the site has an effect, as in the spring for example.
The trail is widely used by many hikers and remains easily accessible overall, especially as the ravine creates welcome shade on hot days. Some passages require crossing the shallow stream, and therefore sometimes taking off your shoes.
4. The Teneguia Volcano from the Fuencaliente Lighthouse
Change of sector with this hike in La Palma taking place at the southern tip of the island. The start is in Faro de Fuencaliente, by the sea. A way to better tackle the 437 meters of elevation gain to climb to access the emblematic Teneguia volcano. On the Cumbre Vieja, line of ancient volcanoes of La Palma, the landscape becomes dark and lunar, contrasting perfectly with the blue immensity of the Atlantic Ocean.
Loop route appreciated by hikers, do not hesitate to set off early in the morning, which also allows you to avoid the hottest hours. Sun protection and good shoes are a must.
5. The Dragon Riders of Las Tricias Road
Departing from Las Tricias, in the very northwest of La Palma, here is a route that is both quite short and pleasant to ride, with the only difficulty being the final climb, which is steeper after the initial descent.
Throughout this pretty hike in La Palma, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the island and the Atlantic Ocean, for breathtaking panoramas. Curiosities of the route, the Dragon Trees of the Canary Islands, plants in the shape of parasols increasingly rare, have the reputation here of being more than a hundred years old!
6. The viewpoints of Caldera de Taburiente National Park
The watchtowers (in Spanish) designate breathtaking viewpoints, and the great Caldera de Taburiente National Park has a number of them! With this high-flying hike in La Palma, at an average altitude of 1,300 meters, we chain the watchtowers to be amazed all along the route, with in order, the Mirador de La Cumbrecita, the Mirador Lomo de Las Chozas and the Mirador de Los Roques.
Road and parking make it possible to reach the start of the hike without any problem. Route popular with walkers, you will meet people on the way if you leave at rush hour: think about it when preparing your outing!
7. Climbing the Pic de la Nieve
It may not be the summit of La Palma, but Pico de la Nieve still peaks at 2,232 meters above sea level. What ensure you a superb point of view on both sides of the island, Atlantic side in the West, side archipelago of the Canaries in the East. This panorama is reputed to be one of the most beautiful in all of La Palma.
Like most hikes in La Palma, of course expect a minimum of climbing to reach this peak. Leave well equipped, even if the route remains easily accessible due to the quality of the markings and the width of the return path. To do without apprehension.
8. Walk in the forest of Los Tilos
On the foothills of the Caldera de Taburiente, the forest of Los Tilos is one of the natural sites not to be missed in La Palma. Along this humid throat still flourishes today a beautiful sample of laurisilva, type of endemic and primitive forest of the Canary Islands. The information center of Los Tilos, where the walk starts, allows you to learn more about this amazing vegetation.
Then we move on to practice along this hike in La Palma which is very successful because of its beauty (the forest, but also the waterfalls and the waterfall at the end of the route) and its accessibility. . Choose your walking times accordingly to avoid the crowds.
9. La Zarza Cultural Reserve
This superb hike in La Palma is aimed at a fairly seasoned public of hikers, both in terms of kilometers to cover and cumulative elevation gain, but also sometimes, to find your way.
One thing is certain, you come out largely rewarded for your efforts after crossing the gorges starting at the La Zarza cultural park. The vegetation, close to a real jungle, is lush and exuberant when you follow the bed of the river (watch out for slippery stones when the water is present). The exit of the throat is done at the level of the Oratorio San Miguel, before shelling several beautiful watchtowers overlooking the sea, to reach the starting point of La Zarza.
10. Las Fuentes Circular Route
One of the advantages of this hike from La Palma is that you are not far from the capital of the island, Santa Cruz de La Palma. The starting point, in San Pedro de Brena Alta, is easily accessible by car and by public transport (bus), for a pleasant half-day outing.
The loop route also allows you to return to your starting point, not without crossing forest or agricultural landscapes on the way, with the added bonus of beautiful views of the surroundings and Santa Cruz.
11. Pico Bejenado from the Mirador de Cumbrecita
Let’s end this selection of the most beautiful hikes on La Palma with a climb and a series of superb viewpoints, the great specialty of this well-cut volcanic island.
We are back in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, on a spectacular mountainside path that will take you past the Mirador La Cumbrecita, in order to reach Pico Bejenado, after a climb of moderate difficulty.