Welcome to our 'Garafia' page.
Here you can enjoy a little bit of history and information about Garafia and a few snapshots too! With your booking of holiday accommodation in Garafia, we include our full 6-page area guide for free!
Garafia is the oldest part of La Palma and the first to be inhabited due to its source of natural springs, abundant vegetation and caves. In fact, the name ‘Garafia’ in the original language of the Aborigines literally means ‘living place’ which distinguished it from other parts of the island that were barren and not a ‘living place.’
Although it is the most rural part of La Palma with acres of countryside, impressive gorges, mountain ridges and cascading terraces, it also has the amenities to help everyday life along such as two small supermarkets, numerous bars, restaurants and an excellent bus service.
Garafia spans from sea level right up to the highest point of the island at 2426m and extends from Barlovento in the east to Puntagorda in the west. Although it is the second largest municipality on the island, it is also the least populated. It's a special place to be, especially for anyone who wants to experience the stillness and beauty of nature that Garafia offers. And apart from having the highest point on the La Palma at the Roque de Muchachos, it's also got a mighty fine beach!
To holiday in Garafia is like stepping back in time - here the norm for holiday accommodation is casas rurales, the old traditional houses and cottages of La Palma made from stone and wood. Lovingly built more than 100 years ago, they provide the perfect place from which to enjoy the countryside. Along with the rural houses, quaint shops, walking paths, trekking trails and restaurants where meat is cooked over firewood, Garafia is an experience not to be missed!
Main points of interest in Garafia:
| The Roque de Muchachos |
The Roque de Muchachos (or Rock of the Young Men) is at the highest point of the island at 2426m above sea level. It sits right on the GR131 El Bastón walkiing route which runs all the way from the Puerto de Tazacorte up to the Roque de Muchachos and then down the spine of the island, the Cumbre, along the Volcano Route and down to the Fuencaliente lighthouse.
The observatory of La Palma is located at 2400m above sea level, just below the Roque de Muchachos.
In the 1950’s, a series of rock engravings were discovered at this site and these, along with later findings, have proved to be the most important in the Canary Islands. The small museum at La Zarza depicts life in Garafia from the 15th century onwards when people lived in caves. Alongside there is a circular walk along a wooded path to view the petroglyphs and caves.
The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Luz, Our Lady of the Light, Santo Domingo
The current church was built between 1651 and 1664 and, with its two naves, it is the only one of its type in La Palma and one of only a few in the Canary Islands. It has one of the most important Moorish alters in the Canaries.
The Church of San Antonio del Monte at San Antonio (photo : right) was the location of the first church for Santo Domingo. Nowadays it is an important part of the annual 3-day fiesta centered around 12 June with a procession, animal fayre and live music.
The Port of Santo Domingo and Port of La Fajana, Franceses
There are only two major ports across the whole of the north coast although neither of these is in use any more. They do however remain an area of natural beauty and interest.
Windmills and Eras (stone threshing circles).
Walking and trekking in Garafia
If you are coming to La Palma for the walking, Garafia certainly has some of the most stunning scenery and trails to keep you amused (and challenged)! La Zarza, GR130 Camino Real, Roque de Muchachos ... caves, pine forests .... it's all there. Detailed walking notes are included with your booking.