Tazacorte is a quiet, rural town of multi-coloured houses located in the south west corner of La Palma, surrounded by banana plantations and blessed (so locals say) with more sunshine than anywhere else on the island. The town is located 1 kilometre from Puerto Tazacorte on the coast, which has a fabulous beach of black volcanic sand, and a harbour surrounded by a clutch of restaurants. Yachts bob in the port next to fishing boats and excursion boats, which take visitors out to on dolphin- and whale-watching trips. Inland, some of the island’s most beautiful volcanic scenery is preserved in the Caldera de Taburiente national park and the Cumbre Vieja nature reserve, both of which are within easy reach by car.
The main attractions of Tazacorte are its sleepy charm, endless sunshine and striking black sand beach. The main village is linked to the port by a 1-kilometre-long walking path, which enjoys fantastic views. At the beach, you can enjoy some excellent snorkelling and scuba diving, thanks to the incredibly clear waters, or you could take a boat excursion from the harbour in search of whales and dolphins. Hiking is another of the main attractions here, with some excellent trails in the nearby canyon of Las Angustias, as well as inland amid the stunning volcanic peaks of the Caldera de Taburiente national park and the Cumbre Vieja nature reserve.
Tazacorte may only be a small resort, but you’ll still find a decent choice of places to eat and drink. Many are located along the seafront promenade, while others are found in the atmospheric town on the hill behind the coast. You’ll find lots of fresh seafood, which is a staple of Canarian cuisine, often served with mojo sauce. The slightly spiced red mojo sauce, and the green, parsley-based mojo sauce are served with all kinds of Canarian dishes, including sancocho canario, which features fish and gofio, the local grain. Papas arrugadas, ‘wrinkled potatoes’, are also good with mojo, and make a good accompaniment to one of the tasty country stews, made with pork, goat or chicken combined with local vegetables. There’s lots of fresh fruit for dessert – including the famous local bananas – or you could go for the nougat-like bienmesabe (which translates as ‘tastes good to me’).
Tazacorte is a great little spot for a relaxed holiday in the sun. The quiet little town is an appealing place to relax with kids, and the black sand beach at Puerto Tazacorte is calm and sheltered. Younger kids will enjoy making sandcastles while older kids will enjoy snorkelling around the breakwaters or perhaps having a go at wind-surfing. Most kids will enjoy a boat trip out in search of dolphins and whales, and inland there are some fantastic hikes and bike rides in the beautiful Caldera de Taburiente national park. Your children might also be game to try some star-gazing: La Palma boasts some of the clearest skies in Europe.
Action & Adventure
Tazacorte sits at the opening of one of the best hiking locations on La Palma: the Barranca de las Angustias, which means ‘the canyon of fear’. Considerably less frightening in reality, the canyon is nonetheless a mecca for all kinds of activities, from hikes to climbing routes. Tazacorte is also within a short drive of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park and the Cumbre Vieja nature reserve, two spectacular locations which protect some of the island’s most dramatic volcanic scenery. There are also plenty of water sports available in Puerto Tazacorte, including sailing, wind-surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. If you fancy your hand at paragliding, head down the coast to Puerto Naos.
The beach in Puerto Tazacorte is made of black, volcanic sand, and sits at the opening of the impressive canyon of Las Angustias (which means ‘the canyon of fear’). It enjoys an attractive, rural setting, with a backdrop of cliffs and fields, but you’ll also find plenty of facilities, including sunbed rental, and a good choice of cafés and shops. The beach is popular with families, and older kids will enjoy the opportunities for wind-surfing and snorkelling. A 10-minute drive down the coast will bring you to Puerto Naos, which has the longest beach on La Palma, and has plenty of amenities and facilities.
The island of La Palma is more famous for its stunning and unspoilt landscapes than it is for its nightlife, so don’t expect a lively scene in the evenings. However, you’ll find plenty of appealing spots where you can order a cold beer or a glass of wine, and chill out as the sun goes down. One or two of the bars might organise a special event or two in the summer – perhaps a karaoke event or a bingo night – but in general, expect to do little more than kick back and chat with the locals. For a wider choice of night spots, head to the island capital of Santa Cruz, where you’ll find bars and clubs to suit all tastes.
The rolling hills, banana plantations and colourfully painted houses make Tazacorte a charming place for a quiet and relaxed romantic holiday. Ideal if you enjoy the great outdoors, the area around Tazacorte is packed with superb hikes and bike rides, particularly in the Canyon of Las Angustias and the magnificent Caldera de Taburiente national park. You can also bask in the endless sunshine on the glistening volcanic beach, go for a snorkel, or take one of the fantastic boat excursions out in search of whales and dolphins. If you’re in the mood for some big-city shops and sightseeing, the island capital of Santa Cruz is about an hour’s drive away.
The little town of Tazacorte has a pretty historic centre that preserves some charming, traditional architecture, including brightly coloured Canarian homes. There’s a simple 16th-century church to admire, and some wonderful views across the banana plantations and out to sea. Most of La Palma’s museums and cultural sights are concentrated in Santa Cruz, the island capital. Its cobbled streets are overlooked by historic mansions adorned with the carved Canarian balconies and you’ll find a wide choice of museums. One of the best is the naval museum, which is set in a recreation of one of the ships used on Columbus’ fateful voyages to the Americas.