Quiet excursion around Santa Cruz de La Palma

Quiet excursion around Santa Cruz de La Palma

An historic city

Santa Cruz de la Palma is a city with important architectural and artistic heritage. It was one of the main ports in the Canaries, where merchants came to trade from all over the world: Holland, Italy, England, Ireland... This means that it has an interesting collection of works of art that have come from different parts of the world (including America). You have time to enjoy the colonial architecture, the craftwork and the gastronomy.

 

Shopping in the city

Once we reach Calle O'Daly (known as Calle Real), we find countless shops selling craftwork from the island. It is a pretty and pleasant cobbled street, very close to the port. Here you can buy produce from La Palma cuisine, including its cakes and pastries. La Palma is the sweetest island on the Canarian archipelago (make sure to try "rapaduras" and "almendrados"). You can also buy a souvenir of the island in the many craftwork shops on the same street.

 

The Renaissance square

A pleasant walk along Calle O'Daly will take you to Plaza de España. This area contains the best example of Renaissance architecture in the Canaries: the town hall façade (from the reign of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V), the Renaissance fountain (the only one on the seven Canary Islands) and the entrance to the Church of El Salvador. We will also see the statue to Manuel Díaz (a priest who was persecuted for his liberal ideas who died in 1863) and some of the main stately homes in the city.

 

Church of El Salvador

It has an interesting collection of works of art (Mon–Fri 10 a.m.–8.30 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 6 p.m.–8.30 p.m.; Sun 8.30 a.m.–1 p.m. and 7 p.m.–8.30 p.m.). There are important Flemish carvings (Saint Louis, King of France, etc.) and works by the Canarian painter of religious images Fernando Estévez (Cristo del Perdón, etc.). Also of interest are the main altarpiece (Antonio María Esquivel), the Carrara marble font (the oldest of this kind in the Canaries) and the in Mudejar style ceiling – the most beautiful on the archipelago.

 

Relaxation + coffee

Time to relax. Calle O'Daly and Calle Pérez de Brito (the city's main streets) bustle with tourists and residents alike and their appeal is added to by a large number of cafés with terraces where we can sit down. There are a variety of cafés for visitors to choose from all along both streets. Besides coffee, if you would like to try something from the island, we recommend ordering a local island artisan beer, cheese roasted with mojo sauce, pork cracklings, etc.

 

La Alameda and the boat

Once we've "recharged", we should continue on to Plaza de la Alameda (5 minutes). We will continue to feel history accompanying us in this pretty square: The Cruz del Tercero (the city's foundational cross), an eclectic kiosk, the statue of the dwarf and the Virgin's boat. This is a boat made of cement but it looks like it's made of wood. We recommend visiting the naval museum inside it, which tells us about the city's seafaring past (Mon–Fri 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat–Sun 10 a.m.–2 p.m.).

 

Tour of San Francisco

We have barely any time left so it will be almost impossible to go into the old San Francisco Convent and Museum. However, we can visit the outer square. We recommend visiting the church if possible (6 p.m.–8.30 p.m. every day). We will find an excellent collection of Flemish art (Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child, Immaculate Conception, etc.), Mexican art (Christ on the Cold Stone), Andalusian art (the spectacular Christ Falling by Benito de Hita y Castillo) and much more.

 

Avenida Marítima

Santa Cruz de La Palma is a coastal city. Besides making out the sea from Avenida Marítima, we will also see historic buildings of great importance, featuring the Castillo de Santa Catalina (the main one on the island and the only castle in the style of the Habsburgs left in the Canaries) and La Palma's extremely famous seafront balconies. If we go on this way, we will come back to the port, ending our pleasant walk around the city.