Gomera Island (La Gomera) in Canary Islands, Spain

By | July 7, 2022

Gomera Island with an area of 378 sq. km is located west of the island of Tenerife. The island has rounded shapes, its diameter reaches 22 km. This is a great place for hiking. In the center of the island rises the Garajonay mountain range with the highest elevation of 1487 m, protected by the national park of the same name. Garajonay is a unique place. On its slopes, the only evergreen deciduous forests in northern Africa, consisting mainly of laurel trees, stretch. In addition, Garajonay is home to canaries named after the archipelago.

According to Biotionary, Garajonay National Park (Garajonay national park) was established in 1981. It occupies a tenth of the island (about 40 sq. km). Since 1986, the Garajonay National Park has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. About 70% of the territory of the park is occupied by dense evergreen deciduous forests with a predominance of laurel, which covered Europe in the Tertiary period. The presence of such forests in these latitudes is explained by the abundance of moisture brought by trade winds from the ocean. Due to the high humidity in these places, fog often occurs. On clear days, from the top of Garajonay, you can see the nearby islands of the Canary archipelago. Cozy mountain villages are located on the territory of the National Park, where you can get by going on a hiking trip through the park. Near the northern outskirts is the village of El Cedro (El Cedro). Here, in addition to forests, the cave of Mount La Montananeta with a length of 550 m, which was formed by an underground river, is interesting. To the west is the village of Chipude, which is considered the oldest settlement on the island of Homer. The village lies at the foot of the sacred rock of La Fortaleza (1241 m), resembling an impregnable fortress in shape. The rock in ancient times was a place for rituals and sacrifices. Centuries ago, mountain shepherds from the Guanache tribes used the language of El Silbo to communicate. In fact, this is a kind of whistle that helped the shepherds, located on opposite sides of the gorges, to talk to each other. Today, el silbo is one of the treasures of the Canary Islands, there are schools on the island to teach this ancient art of whistling.

From the western outskirts of the Garajonay National Park to the coast stretches the Gran Rey Valley, the upper part of which is occupied by forests, and the lower part by banana plantations. In the 15th century, the king of the Canary archipelago Upalupa lived here, until the last he fought against the colonization of the islands. The Gran Rey Valley is dotted with hiking trails and is the island’s most popular hiking destination. On one of the cliffs of the valley is the observation deck Mirador del Palmarejo, designed by the most famous sculptor of the Canary Islands Cesar Manrique. Until recently, there was a restaurant with a panoramic view of the valley. At the exit of the Gran Rey valley on the west coast of La Gomera lies the town of Valle Gran Rey. (Valle Gran Rey). The main tourist offices are located in the city, offering hiking routes both in the valley and around the island as a whole. In addition, in Valle Gran Rey you will find long beaches composed of black volcanic sand: the city beach itself (the longest beach of this coast), located just north of Playa de Ingles (Playa de Ingles) and the beaches of Charco del – Conde (Charco del Conde), Playa de Vueltas (Playa de Vueltas) and Playa de Argaga (Playa de Argaga), which are suitable for families with children. Tourists in Valle Gran Rey will also be offered a variety of boat trips: sightseeing tours along the coast, dolphin and whale watching excursions and excursions to the northern tip of the island of La Gomera to the basalt rock of Los Organos which can only be seen from the water. The rock rises 800 m above the water surface and has a length of 200 m. The rock consists of many vertical stone “spiers” resembling organ pipes. The rock acquired a similar appearance as a result of the erosion of hardened lava masses.

On the northern coast of La Gomera, the city of Vallehermoso is worth a visit , surrounded by banana plantations. Here on the coast, in a 19th-century building used to store and ship bananas, the cultural center of Castillo del Mar was equipped. Now the Castillo del Mar hosts concerts and exhibitions. Interesting city of Agulo (Agulo) standing on a high rock above the sea. Be sure to walk along the narrow windy streets of Agulo and admire the mesmerizing views that open from here – the endless ocean, in the middle of which you can see the island of Tenerife and the Teide volcano.

At the eastern borders of the Garajonay National Park, in a mountain valley, the city of Ermiga is located. (Hermigua) – “banana” capital of the island of Gomera. Hermigua is located off the northeast coast of the island of Gomera, this part of the coast is more influenced by the northeast trade winds than any other part of the island, that is, there is plenty of moisture here. That is why Ermiga is one of the most suitable places on the island for growing bananas. Among the sights of the city and its environs are the twin mountains of Roques de San Pedro, the Dominican monastery of the early 16th century El Convento de Santo Domingo, the craft museum of Los Talearres and the beach of Playa de la Caleta (Playa de la Caleta).

Further south on the coast is the main city of the island of Gomera – San Sebastian de la Gomera (San Sebastian de la Gomera). This is a bustling port city where ships come from the islands of Tenerife, Palma and Hierro. In the harbor of San Sebastian in 1492, Christopher Columbus made his final stop on his way to the New World. The city is interesting in Las Americas square with the city hall and a small church and La Constitution with numerous cafes, the Customs building of the 17th century, Calle Real street with old buildings, the church of Iglesia de la Asuncion, the Torre del Conde tower of the 15th century, the House of Columbus, where, according to legend, Columbus stopped, and the Pozo del Aquado well of the 15th century. There are three beaches within the city – Playa de San Sebastian, where the locals mostly rest, Playa de la Cueva, the best beach in the capital, and the secluded Playa beach -de la Gancha (Playa de la Guancha). From San Sebastian you can go to Los Roques Natural Park, where four huge volcanic monoliths can be seen.

On the south coast, you can relax on the beaches of the fishing village of Playa Santiago, or head to the nearby town of Alajero, at an altitude of 800 m, with its 16th century El Salvador church, two monasteries and the island of Gomera’s only wild dragon tree.

Gomera Island (La Gomera)