The relationship between the Canarians and the sea began more than 2,000 years ago, when the first settlers of the archipelago arrived in the Canary Islands.

It is not clear whether they arrived by their own means or were deported by other peoples who had won a confrontation, but it is obvious that they arrived in the Canary Islands by sea, settling on each island and starting a rudimentary fishing activity as a means of sustenance.

Puerto de Talavera
San Andrés

With the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, began a strong relationship between the islands through navigation; first for people´s transportation, whether settlers or slaves, and later to launch a prolific trade relationship between the islands and with the European territories.

These were two-way relationships where tobacco was exported from La Palma, as well as wine or sugar cane, and which brought back art and wealth. This would lead not only to the growth of the capital’s port, but also of numerous ports and wharves along the coast, in order to facilitate transport within the island itself. The great majority of them still remains today.

All of this meant that, during the 16th and 17th centuries, the main port of La Palma was considered the third most important in the world (after Seville and Antwerp), due to the exports and its strategic location in the connection between the Old and New World.

In the history of La Palma we discover that it also suffered several pirate attacks, some of them dramatic.

Over the following centuries, this industry developed until it became a real source of income for the island. Until the middle of the 20th century, the island’s shipyards continued to manufacture ships for the inter-island cabotage, as well as for fishing in Africa and traffic with America. This line proliferated with the arrival of the crises following the world wars, the Civil War and the beginning of the emigrations to the Indies..

Santa Cruz de La Palma
Santa Cruz de La Palma
Since then, the people of La Palma have looked to the sea remembering with nostalgia something that went away and, in many cases, did not return. There were also many successful examples of those who, after a prolific migration, returned to their homeland with wealth to be invested in La Palma. They came back by sea to the place they had left in search of another fortune.

Discover La Palma by sea and coast

Close Search Window