La Gomera – Canary Islands

La Gomera, one of the seven Canary Islands, is situated on the western side of the archipelago.

Description

Measuring just 370 km2, La Gomera is the second smallest and hilliest of the Canary Islands, and boasts the best forests anywhere in the archipelago. Its highest point, Garajonay Peak, stands at 1487 m and is situated in the Garajonay National Park. La Gomera is approximately 12 million years old and, like the other Canary Islands, is of volcanic origin. Its last eruption occurred around 2 million years ago.

It is known as ‘Columbus Island’ because it was the last port Christopher Columbus called at to take on supplies before setting sail for the New World in 1492.

The island’s Garajonay National Park, created in 1981, was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.  It is home to a jewel from the Tertiary Period: the laurel forest. Walking possibilities are plentiful thanks to the Park’s many trails.

Despite its small size, the island possesses unparalleled ecological treasures. Few places in the world can offer such an array of natural riches or such lush vegetation, a relic of the dawn of time and full of endemic species. The landscape is formed by steep-walled ravines, fertile valleys and farmland tilled by man to extract its products. Higher up, the tall mountains act as a barrier to the clouds, which are nudged along by gentle trade winds until they release their moisture drop by drop, creating a unique phenomenon known as ‘horizontal rain’. An authentic rain forest whose trees, some reaching 15 m high and with quirky twisted forms, give the landscape a magical and surprising appearance. Indeed, La Gomera is known as the Magical Island.  

The island has hundreds of endemic plant and animal species, including the La Gomera Giant Lizard

Agriculture has traditionally been the mainstay of the local economy. Although La Gomera’s geography does not lend itself to farming, it has been possible to grow crops thanks to the hillside farm terraces and the extensive network of irrigation canals. Farming is small-scale today and consists essentially of small family holdings. The island’s economic development has been geared in recent years to tourism, with hiking, walks and mountain biking the most common activities practised by tourists.

La Gomera is divided into six municipalities – Agulo, Alajeró, Hermigua, San Sebastián de La Gomera, Vallehermoso and Valle Gran Rey.  It has a current population of approximately 23,000 inhabitants.

 

Useful facts

Garajonay National Park

Discover the spell of a Tertiary forest, conserved among water and mist. The park has a wide infrastructure of facilities and services, which include a Visitor Centre, an Information Centre, a wide network of viewpoints, recreational areas and a network of well marked trails, which allow a better understanding to enjoy a truly natural gem of nature.

Official Website: Garajonay National Park

 

La Gomera

Find out all you need to know to travel to La Gomera. In addition to Garajonay National Park, representing 33.3% of the total area of the island, La Gomera has 16 protected natural areas.

Official Website Turism in La Gomera

 

Gomera Experience

This website helps visitors to discover the authentic La Gomera, with help from their places of lodging, restaurants and activities recommended by Garajonay National Park.

Website: GomeraExperience.com

 

Gastronomy: “Alimentos de La Gomera”

While having similar characteristics to the rest of the archipelago, the gastronomy of La Gomera has certain peculiarities that are worth knowing and, above all, tasting.

Official Website: Alimentos de La Gomera

Public transport in La Gomera: GuaguaGomera

The company Guaguagomera is responsible for regular road service to passengers. There are a total of seven lines connecting various villages of the island.

Official Website: Guaguagomera.com

 

European Charter for Sustainable Tourism

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas is a practical management tool for ensuring that tourism contributes to a balanced economic, social and environmental development of protected areas in Europe.