Once you are in the Canaries area, your ship is just a floating hotel, which overnight moves you to another island. La Palma, ‘the fair isle’, was our stop having left Madeira. It is so called because of its fabulous landscape. Of all the many cruise stops, Santa Cruz is up there as one of the prettiest harbours and is again small enough to explore on foot. If you were not on a cruise, your Canary Islands holiday might never see this gem.
Stroll along the Avenida Maritime promenade to the old quarter around Plaza de Espana, with its 16th-century fountain and town hall, a magnificent Renaissance church and a handicrafts market. You are in Spain so the cafes will offer wonderful tapas and their speciality are small potatoes cooked in their skins and covered in a hot sauce.
Inside the island is a huge volcanic crater, Caldera de Taburiente, it is crammed with rare animal and plant life and has been designated a national park. It is a sun trap so take water, sun lotion and a hat.
It’s night skies are so clear that a major astrophysical observatory has been built at Roque de Los Muchachos. Although La Palma is the least visited of the Canary Islands it has a definite charm and there is plenty to do and see. There is a naval museum which is under a reproduction of Columbus’ Santa Maria, interestingly made out of concrete but painted to look like wood. It is quite hilly but there are many restaurants along the way where you can have a drink and a rest. Sally Katz used our Canary Island films of this cruise to base Her Virgin Voyage on.
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Tours available from your ship will probably include
- The Heart of La Palma
- Volcanoes and Wines
- Santa Cruz Trolley Train and Walk
- La Palma Buggy Adventure
- Leisurely La Palma
- Silk Scenery and Sugar Estate
- Volcano Hike
- Wilderness 4×4 Adventure
- Violet Beckett takes her first cruise, a Canary Islands Cruise which is very accurately described.
GOOD READS FOR A CRUISE –
A serial killer on ship in the Pacific days from land? – Millions of dollars smuggled on and off ship, then goes missing? – An agoraphobic woman who has never had a relationship decides to cruise before its too late? – Great books that happen on board cruise ships, that make excellent reading while cruising – click here for our cruise novels page.