Tiny but atmospheric, with beaches, rugged cliffs, and dolphins right off shore
Where it all began
La Palma is of course full of small towns, but the smallest of them all is among the island's most important historically. It was here on the spot now occupied by the port of Tazacorte that the forces of Spanish conquistador Alonso Fernández de Lugo made landfall on September 29, 1492 - St. Michael's Day - and christened the entire island San Miguel de la Palma. The town derives its own name (from the Spanish for "Court of King Tazo") from the local leader vanquished by the conquerers. Today Tazacorte is a pleasure to visit because of its extensive banana fields and lovely area beaches such as Playa Nueva. You can also take boat excursions to be wowed by the enormous, rugged cliffs north of here, as well as spotting dolphins and whales in the vicinity.