La Gomera is, after El Hierro, the second smallest island of the Canarian chain here in the Atlantic Ocean and it lies about 300 km from the African mainland.
The island boasts a huge array of vegetation: the evergreen north reaps the benefits of the moist air of the trade winds, while in the dry southern section, it’s the no-nonsense shrubs that dominate.
In the heart of the island you’ll find the “Garajonay” national park, which was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO back in 1986. Garajonay’s summit is the island’s highest point, 1.487 meters above sea level.
Nature & Outdoor
The most impressive part of La Gomera’s mystical natural landscape - the forested area of the "Garajonay" national park - was added to UNESCO’s roster of cultural treasures to be preserved for the good of humanity, in 1986. The 3984-hectare section boasts lush vegetation and probably the most beautiful laurel forest of all the Canary Islands.
"Los Órganos," the organ pipes, rise 80 meters from the ocean and extend about 200 meters along the coastline. These natural wonders look as though they’d been sculpted by artisans, towering ridged columns along the cliffs resembling organ pipes that are actually the result of the cooling of the core of a former volcanic vent. Over millions of years, the ocean surf has exposed these tubes, now an impressive testament to La Gomera’s volcanic origins.
The Torre del Conde, or noble’s tower, was built in 1447 as part of San Sebastián’s fortifications and is today one of the few structures on La Gomera that has been preserved in its original condition. In early years, this town was where treasure was safeguarded; today, its buildings are used for historic events and exhibits.
Cities & Nightlife
San Sebastian, the island’s capital, entices visitors with its ferry port and yacht harbour, lovely plazas and charming shops. The best way to really soak in this genuine island atmosphere is in one of the city’s beloved plazas, such as the "Plaza de las Americas" or the "Plaza de la Constitution", which have a number of attractive outdoor cafes and a market that includes a host of local specialties. The famous palm honey is a particularly good choice of edible souvenir.
Valle Gran Rey is a favourite spot on the island that gets the best sunshine. This is the place for the perfect vacation ambiance, thanks to the fine climate, the palm trees, the colourful gardens, and the safe beach.
Agulo, in the island’s north, is La Gomera’s most beautiful and historic village. The old colonial structures, the winding streets, the view of the ocean and the Teide on neighbouring Tenerife make this spot an absolute must-see.
La Gomera is not known for a particularly noteworthy night life, but it’s still possible to spend an extended, entertaining evening on the second-largest Canary Island. Many locals meet up almost daily at "Maria" in Valle Gran Rey or at the La Playa beach to jam together. The pinnacle of nightlife is in San Sebastian and the harbour district of Valle Gran Rey.
Culture & Sports
El Silbo is a language of whistles originally found across all of Canary Islands and used by its ancient inhabitants, the Guanche. To this day, this form of communication has been preserved on La Gomera and is now a mandatory subject in the schools again. Its exact origins have never been explained, but whistling was the ideal solution for being understood over rocky heights and deep valleys. In 1982, UNESCO declared this cultural curiosity as worthy of preservation, adding it to the list of world cultural heritage.
The archaeological museum in San Sebastián opens an enticing glimpse at the island’s history, from settlement and early culture to artisan handworks and the original settlers’ religious customs.
Hiking on La Gomera is a MUST for nature lovers. There is a well-maintained network of trails leading through La Gomera’s distinctive natural environment.
Mountain biking is another popular pastime on La Gomera. Take advantage of numerous guided day trips or simply start out on your own. Most towns offer convenient rentals.
The gentle winds and ocean surf make for the ideal conditions for a sailing trip around La Gomera. How about circumnavigating the island, or maybe just a brief excursion along the coastline? Find information on offerings and availability in the San Sebastian harbour.