Escape from the crowds to La Gomera, the second smallest of the Canary Islands. Natural attractions and towns to visit for your next beach adventure.
Want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city? If you want a new experience on your Europe travel, La Gomera offers a refreshing change of pace. Despite being the second smallest Canary Island, it’s packed to the brim with natural attractions and pretty little towns. These top picks are a great way to kick off your next Canary Islands adventure.
Garajonay National Park
For those who love the great outdoors, Garajonay National Park is unmissable. The UNESCO World Heritage Site sits covered in laurel forest, veiled in a cloud of mist, creating a world that lets your imagination run wild.
The mysterious park is a hiker’s dream. Walking paths are clearly signposted, and there are different routes to suit all skill levels. Wherever you wander, you’ll pass mountain brooks, waterfalls, bridges and ancient trees. There are also picnic sites and information points where you can stop for a break—just you and nature.
Don’t forget to bring your camera to take pictures of the Canaries’ native flora and fauna. Some species such as the Laurel Pigeon and the Bolle’s Pigeon aren’t found anywhere else in the world. But save some photos for the staggering viewpoints you’ll encounter on the way up. La Gomera’s highest peak, Alto de Garajonay, is high enough that other islands are visible in the distance.
Agulo is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in La Gomera. Traditional and charming, it was one of the first towns to be built on the island. Colourful houses, jagged cliff-faces and terraced fields compose the landscape. In the distance is a gorgeous view of Mount Teide, a magnificent volcano on the neighbouring island of Tenerife.
If you fancy even better views, you’re in luck. Mirador de Abrante is a glass bay window overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, 625 metres above sea level. 2 km from Abrante there is the visitor’s centre, Juego de Bolas. 300 m from Juego de Bolas is a restaurant serving great tapas and local food. Watercress soup, cheeses, grilled meats and homemade desserts topped in palm honey go well with the sights.
Between the food and the views, Mirador de Abrante has a friendly staff that’s always happy to show customers the Silbo Gomero. This ancient whistling language is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage that is the only one of its kind to be fully developed and practiced by a large community.
San Sebastián is steeped in heritage. The capital was Christopher Columbus’s last port of call on his voyage which led to the discovery of America. Nowadays, boats dock in the island’s main harbour, and historical sites wait around every corner.
One site of interest is the Aduana Customs House, the first house to shelter the island’s nobility. It has a well dating back to the 15th century, from which Columbus filled his water reserves before heading over the Atlantic. Another historical site is La Torre del Conde, the oldest military fort tower in the Canaries, built in 1450 to defend against possible revolutions by the indigenous population.
The main street of San Sebastián is framed by cobbled streets and manor houses. A small promenade leads directly from the harbour to the Plaza de Las Americas, a popular meeting place lined with classic cafes, shops and restaurants. Next to it is the Plaza de La Constitution. Laurel tress of India, planted in the early 20th century, shade the entire square and provide fresh air, perfect for unplugging, enjoying a local snack and watching the world go by.
Valle Gran Rey
Valle Gran Rey is one of the best places to appreciate La Gomera’s island spirit. Tropical fruit and banana trees pepper the terrain as an impressive gorge carves its way down to the island’s longest beach.
Along with the scenery, Valle Gran Rey is a great place to work on your suntan. Volcanic black sand beaches make for a pleasant stroll while deeper exploration can be had at diving sites such as La Puntilla and La Calera. Charco del Conde is the best natural pool for those travelling with young children. Playa del Ingles, on the other hand, is a naturist beach benefitting from nearby amenities plus spectacular views of the mountains, ocean and sunset.
Say goodbye to the daily grind, fly into Tenerife and catch a short ferry or flight to La Gomera.
For more, visit the official website.