Are you looking for a place where you can not only have great adventures, but also relax and enjoy a cool weather? Are you a fan of hiking and cycling, but you want to spend time on the beach with a glass of wine too? Then you should visit La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands located in the Atlantic Ocean in the Spanish territory near Tenerife.
Full of valleys, mountains, ravines, impressive cliffs and beaches, La Gomera has thousands of natural landscapes that need to be discovered by those who dare to wander around.
One of the best things about the la gomera island is its wheather, which generally maintains its temperature between 22ºC and 28ºC during the day and 15ºC and 21ºC during the night.
The capital of this small island is San Sebastián de La Gomera, also known as “La Villa”, which is located at the hottest point of the place and is home to major tourist attractions, like Majona Natural Park and San Sebastián beach.
This municipality has a great history, in fact, Christopher Columbus stayed at the place in 1492 before discovering America, the house where he spent a few days is a museum nowadays; in addition, the town organizes an annual carnival in September called “Fiestas Colombinas” where they celebrate this amazing historic event.
Being the main city of the island, most tourists disembark in its port, also the best the hotels and restaurants are here. Furthermore, the economy is based on tourism, so the capital is the best place to stay if you are planning on spending the holidays in La Gomera.
In addition to the great metropolis, the island has five municipalities: Agulo, Hermigua, Vallehermoso, Alejeró and Valle Gran Rey.
First of all, Angulo is located to the northwest of the island; it has an area of 25.39 square kilometers covering less than 10% of La Gomera. With two protected natural areas, Roque del Blanco and the Garajonay National Park, considered UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, this municipality is perfect for those who love hiking and nature.
Then there is Hermigua at the north, a must if you like outdoors or rural adventures since it is full of valleys, protected areas (such as Majona National Park), farms and forests.
Being the second largest municipality of La Gomera, Vallehermoso is located to the west completely surrounded by the other cities, excepting Angulo. This place is a great cultural center thanks to El Castillo del Mar, an old factory where concerts are held and movies are played.
Also it has excellent beaches such as Alojera and Rajita, a botanical garden and majestic mountains which are part of Garajonay Park.
Alejeró is one of the island’s coldest places; here you can find La Gomera Airport, as well as rural landscapes characterized by cliffs, volcanic sites and several protected areas where endemic species live. Finally, if you want to spend a sunny holiday on the beach, Valle Gran Rey is what you’re looking for. This municipality has eight beaches, perfect temperatures and scarce rain; moreover, it is also the second most visited city by tourists who want to relax and enjoy the sea.
There are two ways to access the island, by air and then by water or directly by air taking two flights. The most popular option is the first, where you must take a flight to the Reina Sofia airport in Tenerife and then board a ferry in Los Cristianos to reach the island. There are two companies that connect Tenerife with La Gomera, Naviera Armas that has two routes, one to the capital and the other to Valle Gran Rey, and Olsen Express that sails to San Sebastián de La Gomera. Nevertheless, if you do not like ferries you can land at Los Rodeos Airport, north of Tenerife, and take a second flight to La Gomera, although this option is much more expensive.
Transportation is one of the island’s main activities, so there are many ways to get around La Gomera. Once you have arrived, there are bus services, taxis and car rentals to help you get to your accomodations. Most tourists prefer to rent a car because it is the easiest way to visit all the municipalities and their attractions, however, a much cheaper option is to take a bus at La Estación de Guaguas (a bus terminal); in addition, if you prefer to avoid getting lost on your trip and do not feel like driving, there are taxis throughout the place.
Popular accommodations are in the capital and in Villa Gran Rey, where good restaurants, shops and the best beaches are located. Some of the most prominent hotels are Hotel Gran Rey and Hotel Jardín Concha in VGR and Parador and Hotel Torre del Conde in San Sebastián.
On the other hand, if you prefer to be closer to the mountains and the cliffs with colder weather, the hotels in Vallehermoso, Hermigua and Alejeró are a great option. At last, there are small hostels and apartments that have kitchen, water and electricity for those who enjoy solitude and want to save some money.
As mentioned above, the island represents the best of two worlds, the rural and the tropical, so there’s always something to do and something to see. From taking long climbs through parks, mountains and valleys to relaxing massages on the shore and walks to the most important monuments, La Gomera will never be boring for travelers.
The charming beaches of La Gomera are often describe as quiet, with black sand and beautiful blue water, a real and small paradise even during the winter. Beaches like Playa de Ingles, Playa Gran Rey and Charco del Conde, a protected natural pool, are located in Villa Gran Rey, where the temperature is perfect all year.
Also, Playa San Sebastián and Playa de la Cueva are two amazing beaches you can find outside the capital.
On the south side of the island there is Playa Santiago, very popular between those who are staying in Alejeró or San Sabastian. Playa de la Caleta is the best beach at the north of La Gomera, it’s protected from the trade winds and there are picnic tables and bars to eat, drink and enjoy. Finally, if you are an experienced swimmer you should visit Playa de Vallehermoso, which has a swimming complex with snacks and bathrooms.
Being considered a Biosphere Reserve since 2012, La Gomera has amazing natural attractions in all its territory.
Garajonay National Park, a World Heritage Site since 1986, extends through the whole island; it has a great variety of forests and valleys wrapped by mist and a humid environment. The park is visited by more than 400,000 tourists a year who marvel at the sight of volcanic rocks and the endemic species of birds, reptiles and bats.
A landmark that you should definitely see is Roque de Agando, a big volcanic rock that you can watch from Garajonay, however, it is not accessible by foot and hiking is illegal, so you can only appreciate its magnificence from afar.
Moreover, the Majona Natural Park, formed by two ravines on the northwest of San Sebastián, represents the best destiny for wanderers who would like to see canyons and amazing cliffs.
Other attractions include religious celebrations like the Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe, held annually on the Monday after the first Saturday of October. Every five years the native put the Virgin out of her hermitage and walk her through the capital and the whole island for a couple of months.