La Palma’s highest point is the Roque de los Muchachos (meaning rock of the boys), at 2,423m, marked by three rock pillars. From here, the views are breathtaking – literally; the air is thinner. Walk along the roughly paved walkway along a vertiginous ridge to the lookout; gaze down into the massive volcanic crater, the Caldera de Taburiente, across the sea towards El Teide on Tenerife, Spain's highest peak at 3718m, and the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro. Dress warmly; it can be 20°C colder than on the coast, but it’s always sunny because you’re above the clouds. Contrasting with the red and black lava are wildflowers such as gentian, gorse and towering echium spires, and look out for grajas, the red-legged choughs that are the symbol of the island. Some of the world's largest telescopes are sited up here, with white domes and reflective mirrors. Viewing conditions are ideal, thanks to the island’s remote location in the Atlantic, and those clouds at lower levels which block light pollution mean you can stargaze successfully simply with binoculars. Book a (daytime) visit at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.
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Roque de los MuchachosLiterally breathtaking views from the island’s highest point
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