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Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canarias, Spain

The island of La Palma is a UNESCO Word Heritage Biosphere Site, inscribed for its unique volcanic landscape and lush vegetation. The old town of Santa Cruz is an atmospheric port, with narrow, stone paved streets and many older buildings. Avenida Maritima has a particularly well-preserved stretch of typical Spanish colonial houses, painted in fruit hues with characteristic cantilevered, wood-fretted balconies overhanging from the first floor. There are two castles, the Castillo de Santa Catalina and the Castillo de la Virgen, and a high mirador overlooking the harbor. The Our Lady of the Snows church sits on a mountaintop a short way from town, and has a revered statue of the Virgin, an elaborate Moorish ceiling and a silver altar. Tours maybe offered touring the island’s volcanic peaks and the lushly forested calderas of the extinct volcanos.