Visit La Gomera, Canary Island
With only 370 km2, La Gomera is sparsely populated and its preserved nature criss-crossed by 600 km of footpaths makes it a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.
With its Laurasylva forest dating back to the Tertiary period, the Garajonay National Park, whose relief often exceeds 1000 metres in altitude, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the centre of the island, it alone occupies 10% of its territory.
A biosphere reserve, La Gomera has a variety of faces. Ancient subtropical forests, ravines, black sand beaches and palm groves are home to hundreds of endemic animal and plant species shared by the island’s many protected areas.
These include Valle Gran Rey Rural Park, Benchijigua Nature Reserve, Majona Park…
Another special feature of the island is the silbo. Initiated by Guanches, the ancient natives, the silbo is a whistling language that facilitates communication in the valleys. It is part of UNESCO’s heritage and is widely practiced in some public places and taught in schools.
At the bottom of its bay, Sebastián de La Gomera is both the main port and the capital of the island. Christopher Columbus made a final stop on the road to the Americas, and the house where he resided became a museum.
Accessible by ferry from Los Cristianos sur Tenerife, the island is equipped with an aerodrome located near Playa Santiago which provides only inter-island connections.
San Sebastián de la Gomera
San Sebastián is the capital of La Gomera which some also call “Columbina Island” for its role in the discovery of the Americas.
Founded in the 15th century by Hernán Peraza ”El Viejo”, the city, layered on a coastal hill facing the bay, first developed around the mouth of the Villa to become the prosperous commercial port that it is. The old Casa de los Peraza, located in the district of Pozo de la Aguada is one of the main historical sites of the city.
Among the centers of interest of the port city, the Plaza Mayor and the church of La Asunción are unavoidable. Just like the Torre del Conde, a traditional meeting place for lovers, Christopher Columbus’ House-Museum, housed in a 17th-century building, or the San Sebastián hermitage form part of the city’s historical heritage.
San Sebastián de La Gomera Tourist Office
Calle Real, 32. Opening hours: every day from 9:30 a.m. to 130, then from 3:30 p.m. to 6 pm., from 10 am. to 1 pm. on Sundays and public holidays. Tel: (+34) 922 87 02 81.
Valle Gran Rey
On the western coast of the island, dominated by mountains covered with palm trees, its small fishing port, its architecture with white houses and its pleasant beaches, Valle Gran Rey is one of La Gomera’s most prominent tourist centers.
The municipality of Valle Gran Rey is part of the territory of the Garajonay National Park whose César Manrique lookout gives a splendid panorama.
The beaches of La Puntilla and La Caleta are well known to diving enthusiasts and are the largest of the black-sandy beaches in the municipality, while the Charco de la Condesa beach is popular with surfers.
A little away, the beach El Inglés is rather frequented by the amateurs of naturism.
Access: Valle Gran Rey is accessible from San Sebastián by GM-2 and GM-1 roads.
Garajonay National Park
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Garajonay Park offers different landscapes to the rest of the archipelago. The last vestiges of the subtropical forests, the laurisylve, a type of humid subtropical forest, which characterizes it, is plunged into a constant fog whose humidity produces the famous horizontal rain that allows this exuberance of vegetation specific to the park.
Among its attractions: numerous endemic plant formations and spectacular geological monuments, of which Los Roques is the most emblematic.
In the center” Juego de Bolas”’ visitors’ park, a building with Canarian architecture, offers exhibition rooms and audiovisual displays on the park and on the island.
In the center of the park, the Alto Garajonay site houses archeological remains of the Guanche civilization.
Playa de Santiago. Alajeró
Located in the south of the island in the sunniest area of La Gomera, Playa de Santiago is one of the most popular tourist centers on the island. It is organized around a small fishing port where this peaceful fishing village concentrates a large number of hotel establishments.
The seaside resort Playa de Santiago belongs to the municipality of Alajeró. It also has one of the few dragon boats on the island around Agalán, stretches as far as the abyss of Santiago and has some interesting beaches like that of Erese. Playa de Santiago is reached by GM-1 and GM-3 roads.
Natural Monument of los Órganos
Like a giant organ leaning against a cliff, Los Órganos stands 200 meters wide by 80 meters high with its prismatic basalt columns that descend into the sea. However, you should know that this jewel of natural architecture is only accessible by boat.
Located in the north-west of the island, we reach it after several hours of navigation along the coast. To reach Los Órganos, it is necessary to embark from the seaside resorts of Valle Gran Rey or Playa de Santiago, from where the private boats for the excursions leave.
Los Roques Viewpoints
Emblematic natural monuments of the island, these guardians of the rocks as they are called stand at the entrance of the park of Garajonay when one arrives by San Sebastián de La Gomera.
These enormous round blocks formed by lava magma, initially buried beneath the surface, emerge from the green forest to offer splendid views of the biosphere reserve from the watchtowers. The rock of Agando is the first we see when arriving by the road coming from Sebastián de La Gomera.
To the north of the island, less than an hour’s drive from San Sebastián, we reach the village of Agulo commonly called the “heart of Gomera” for its beauty and the views it offers.
Agulo is a peaceful coastal village with cobbled and well-maintained streets lined with typical rural houses. The village is like an immense belvedere colored green by its terraced crops which rises above the ocean. The views it offers take you as far as Tenerife and its Teide peak.
Access: by car from San Sebastián by the GM-1 road.
Founded in the 15th century with the creation of Valle Alto, the first concentration of population presided over by the convent Santo Domingo, the village of Hermingua is located in the northwest of the island in a valley a few kilometers south of Agulo.
In the neighboring hamlet of Valle Alto, the Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church dates from 1650 and, in addition to the San Pedro rock, the beaches of Santa Catalina and La Caleta, the grove of El Cedro, the village of Hermingua is a well-known paragliding spot whose massifs bordering the valley allow its practice.
Access: by car from San Sebastián by the GM-1 road.