Published on 3 October 2021
Focus on Santa Cruz de La Palma
The competitors competing in the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat EuroChef are expected to make landfall in Santa Cruz de La Palma, where the finish of the first leg of the race will be decided. A part of the Canaries archipelago (Spain), the capital of the island of La Palma is a charming little town which has always enjoyed a strong bond with the sea. The low-down.
There’s nothing quite like strolling around the streets of Santa Cruz de La Palma to immerse yourself in the history of the town, which developed rapidly once the region was conquered by Fernando Alonso Fernández de Lugo at the end of the 15th century. Moreover, it is in this flourishing export trading post to the east of the island that the first Court of the Indies was set up in 1558. Renowned for its shipyards, the latter was considered to be the third largest maritime port in the Spanish Empire.
An opulent colonial heritage
Still imbued with a colonial atmosphere today, the old town of Santa Cruz, classified as an historic and artistic site, takes the visitor on a journey back in time. Losing oneself in the streets lined with traditional residences so typical of the Canaries with their colourful wooden balconies, you discover numerous palaces and religious buildings, including the Sanctuary of the Virgen de las Nieves, which serve as a reminder of the island’s past.
To explore the town and soak up its culture, Calle Real, where the majority of the mansions, squares and shops are located, is an absolute must. Among the other key sites to visit are the Plaza de l’Alameda and its naval museum, the Castillo de La Virgen, which affords unrestricted views of the town, as well as Santa Catalina. Other spots worth seeing are: Avenina Marítima, Calle Virgen de la Luz and Calle San Sebastián, not to mention the Plaza de España and the Plaza de San Francisco, which houses the island’s museum.
Making a stopover in Santa Cruz de La Palma is also an opportunity to sample the local specialities, which include papas arrugás con mojo, potaje and bienmesabe, a dessert made of egg yolks and crushed almonds. It’s a great way to discover another side of the local culture!