Photo of Santa Cruz de la Palma

Visit Santa Cruz de la Palma

Santa Cruz de la Palma is the capital of the Canary Island, La Palma.

Santa Cruz de la Palma is an elegant town and is also the main port of La Palma with ferries to Tenerife and Gran Canaria as well as to Cadiz on mainland Spain. Interestingly it is located on an old lava flow from a volcano south of the city.

Explore Santa Cruz de la Palma

Santa Cruz de la Palma has a beautiful old town full of elegant houses with wooden balconies painted in an assortment of different colours. The main street is called Calle O'Daly after an Irish banana trader. This street has some of the best of Santa Cruz de la Palma's architecture. Look out for the 17th century Palacio de Salazar, a 17th century Renaissance Palace.

North of the Calle O'Daly the attractive town hall is found on the Plaza Espana. The town hall, which was once a cardinal's palace, was built in the 16th century after the original was destroyed by pirates. During festival time it is decorated with colourful embroidered banners. The Plaza Espana as a whole is wonderful and is the best example of Renaissance architecture on the Canary Islands.

After the town was sacked by pirates it was rebuilt and fortified. On the sea-front is the Castillo de Santa Catalino which is one of the forts built in the 17th century to defend the town from further pirate attacks.


The seafront houses are also particularly attractive and generally have lovely the typical Canaries-style painted balconies. This is also a good place to stop for lunch at one of the seafront restaurants.

Santa Cruz de la Palma also has a number of fine churches, the Iglesia de San Salvador has a wonderful wooden Mudejar (Moorish-style) ceiling. The Iglesia de Santo Domingo has a good collection of Flemish paintings and the Iglesia de San Francisco has lots of Baroque works of art.

Santa Cruz has a full-sized cement mock-up of Christopher Columbus' ship, the Santa Maria which is home to the Naval Museum.

Places to visit near Santa Cruz de la Palma

Walk the 2km to the 17th century Santuario de la Virgen de las Nieves. The walk takes you up the Gorge of the Barranco de las Nieves and from the sancturary you have some great views of Santa Cruz de la Palma and the sea below you.

By car follow the narrow winding roads over the Las Cumbres mountains for some great scenery. At the centre of the island is El Paso a village known for its hand-rolled cigars and its silk.

You can get ferries from Santa Cruz de la Palma to Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.

You can find more local travel ideas in and the Western Canary Islands guide.

See also Find Santa Cruz de la Palma hotels

Map of Santa Cruz de la Palma and places to visit


Santa Cruz de la Palma places to visit

San Sebastian de la Gomera

San Sebastian de la Gomera

San Sebastian de la Gomera is the main town of La Gomera. It was a stopping point for Christopher Columbus as he set sail for the New World.

San Sebastian de la Gomera guide