If you're an outdoor person, someone with a love of nature and not afraid of a little exercise, La Palma is a superb holiday destination. There are plenty of opportunities and places to relax, of course, but it's more an island for people who like to 'do'. Although a rental car is really handy if you want to visit the whole island, you might be forgiven for thinking that God created La Palma to be a paradise for keen hikers and cyclists!
Although they're not the island's biggest draw, there are several black sand beaches on La Palma for sun lovers, and the water is crystal clear. Scuba diving is a popular activity on La Palma and whether you're planning on taking a PADI course, or an experienced open sea diver, the waters around La Palma are well worth a visit. Being in the middle of the Atlantic and surrounded by sealife, you might take a look at some of the regular whale and dolphin watching trips. Paragliding might not be to everybody's liking, but La Palma is an excellent venue for enthusiasts and host to national championship events. The list below should not be taken as a definitive guide on things to do on La Palma, but as a quick guide to the more popular activities.
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There's no getting away from the fact that La Palma is a walker's paradise, with 1000km of marked trails crossing the island, including spectacular hikes through the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, along the volcano route and through fairytale forests.
The subtropical waters of La Palma offer fascinating dives for both beginners and experienced scuba divers, especially on the west coast in the Puerto Naos area, with diving locations stretching south to the islands's only marine reserve.
With around 1000km of marked trails crossing the island and plenty of opportunities for going off-track, and top quality bike hire readily available, offroad cycling enthusiasts travel from all over the world to enjoy the La Palma experience.
I admit that paragliding isn't something I've ever tried, but if it's your cup of tea, La Palma has a reputation for being a great paragliding area for experienced pilots, even hosting national competitions.
While there are plenty of activities to keep you amused on La Palma, you shouldn't forget the beaches. Put your feet up on the black sand beaches at Tazacorte, Los Cancajos, Charco Verde, Puerto Naos or Nogales Beach and chill out with a cold beer!
Keen astronomers probably don't need telling that La Palma, the first UNESCO Starlight Reserve on Earth, is one of the best places in the world for star gazing. Visit the Roque de los Muchachos and really see the stars!