The cruise port of Santa Cruz de La Palma is a popular port of call on many canary island cruises. Conveniently located only 5 minutes from the capital city this is an ideal island port full of tradition, culture and stunning volcanic landscapes.
To reach the capital city from the Santa Cruz cruise port all passengers need to do is take a stroll along the Avenida Maritime Promenade to reach the city’s old quarter. Some cruise lines provide a shuttle bus to the city so look out for this if you would prefer not to walk. La Palma is only a small island and so can easily be explored during a day visit and the port offers impressive views to the nearby mountains. Whilst there isn’t an abundance of tourist attractions on this island like with some of its neighbours, it is an ideal place to stroll around the pretty streets, enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or enjoy a beach day to relax.
Plaza de Espana
We recommend a stroll around Plaza de Espana which is the oldest quarter of La Palma. Here you will find a beautiful square hosting some amazing architecture and great places to grab a coffee and watch the world go by. The old town also has plenty of markets occurring throughout the week to do a little bit of local retail therapy.
If you fancy a spot of military history then a visit to the Military Museum Santa Cruz is a must. It’s a large museum full of military weapons, tanks and artefacts from the two world wars. There are military helicopters, guns and even a flag room available to look at and learn about – perfect for history lovers!
The museum is open Monday – Friday from 10am to 6pm and from 10am to 2pm on the weekends. Entrance costs €4.50 which is a bargain in our eyes!
Puro Palmero Museum
Here at Cruise the Waves we love random museums and the Puro Palmero Museum is certainly one of those! It is a museum dedicated to the history of the famous Palmeran cigar, which happens to be a symbol of the island. A visit to the museum allows visitors to learn about the history of the cigar, tobacco cultivation and even the chance to buy some in the shop.
The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm and entry is €3 – not bad for a historical and cultural museum native to La Palma.
Las Hilanderas El Paso
Another niche museum in which the island of La Palma offers is the Las Hilanderas Handycraft Silk Workshop. Here visitors can learn about the livelihood of silk production for the people of La Palma and everything about the silk industry. The Musume shows visors the whole silk production process and is likely to be really interesting to those in the fashion or textile industry.
The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm and is again €3 to enter.
Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente
This national park is well worth a visit if time allows when you are in port. The park is actually a volcanic crater which is the biggest volcanic crater in the world! Many cruise lines offer booked excursions to the Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente where visitors can go hiking and explore the volcanic landscape. Some might even allow for a hike to the highest peak in the park Roque de Los Muchachos, which offers stunning views all around.
If you chose to take an excursion to the park that isn’t with your cruise line then as always do ensure you’ve got your timings sorted and that you will return to the ship before sail away! We know that Tui /Marella offer an excursion to the national park combined with some wine tasting – sounds ideal to us!
La Palma’s Beaches
If museums are not your thing and you’d prefer a relaxed sunny beach day then La Palma offers several beaches reachable from the Santa Cruz port. These beaches might not be the usual type you are used to seeing given the islands volcanic landscape and black sand! Santa Cruz has its own beach which is really simple to get to from the cruise port and there are places to get snacks and drinks nearby.
A little further afield is Playa de Bajamar which is about a 20-minute walk from the cruise port – ideal if you fancy a gentle stroll before relaxing on the sand!
Even if you aren’t really a beach person we recommend checking out one of the beaches just to witness the blank sand – it really is quite a different sight to the yellow/white sandy beaches you might be used too!
Food and Drink
A huge part of the diet on La Palma is local fish and seafood. Grab a table at one of the coastal restaurants and try some traditional fish and potatoes to eat like a local! Another local dish is quesa asado which is fried goats cheese – Rachel’s favourite! Be sure to wander the various plazas, marvel at the architecture of ancient churches and sip a fresh juice whilst soaking up the sun!
Have you ever been to La Palma? if so do let us know in the comments below what you enjoying doing during your visit.- we would love to hear from you!