If you like breathtaking scenery and thrilling experiences, don't miss out on the lookout point called Abrante in La Gomera. It is a perfect stop during a car ride in the north of the island or as part of the hike that comes down from the mountains towards the north coast of La Gomera.
You can start the tour in the visitor centre of the National Park Garajonay called “Juego the Bolas”. This is a great place to visit to learn more about La Gomera and the special laurisilva forest. In the visitor centre you can see a model of the island, an exposition about geology, flora and fauna and a nice documentary. The staff is also very helpful if you need tips on hikes or other things to do.
The visitor centre of Garajonay opens daily from 9,30- 16,30.
The hike to Abrante starts behind the centre and goes down in northbound direction through a very particular part of La Gomera with red ferrous soil which is beautiful against the blue sea. But as I mentioned earlier, you can also arrive at Abrante by car, it's just a 5 minute drive from Juego de Bolas.
The lookout point, or “mirador” as you say in Spanish sits on the end of the Carretera del Mirador within the municipality of Agulo. It was designed by the Spanish architect José Luis Bermejo Martín and inaugurated in the year 2013. What makes it special is the 7 meter long overhang with a glass floor that allows the visitors the sensation that they are “floating” 400 metres above the precipice. Under the platform you can see the typical rural landscape with a mosaic of agricultural terraces and houses scattered over the valley of Agulo and just behind it, the Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day you can see Tenerife with its impressive Teide volcano.
You have to brace yourself to step out on the glass floor at first since it is pretty imposing to see the precipice under you, but then you realize it's trustworthy and it's definitely worth it to get a nice photo!
Except for the views this place can offer much more, el Mirador de Abrante is actually a very good restaurant as well and you should take the opportunity to try some gomeran specialities when here. We tried one of my favourite canarian dishes; “potaje de berros” which is a soup made with watercress and vegetables and it was lovely. We also had a fresh salad with avocado and tomatoes and some “croquetas”; croquettes with different filling. If your not driving you should also take the chance to try the wine they have since it's very good and hard to get hold of elsewhere.
The staff is very friendly and if they are not too busy you can ask them for a little demonstration of “silbo gomero”. This is the ancient whistle language that has survived from the original gomerans times until today, although the words have changed and today people whistle Spanish instead of the variety of Amazigh that the native population would have spoken. The reason why it was invented has to do with the volcanic nature of La Gomera; deep ravines and steep inaccessible walls made it necessary to develop a means of communication to save the distances and send messages over the valleys. It was mainly used for shorter messages between shepherds for example, but the construction of the language actually allows anything to be said, since each phoneme of the spoken language translates into a set of whistled phonemes. It can be heard at a distance up to 5 kilometres and is still widely used on the island. Furthermore it was declared Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO within the section of Oral and Intangible Heritage in year 2009 and since then it has been included as a cumpolsory subject in all the schools of the island, so today any gomeran child can communicate this way.
After enjoying the views and the food and learning to whistle like a gomeran you can continue down to Agulo, either by car or by foot. The hike starts just behind the lookout point and goes, pretty steep down, around 400 heightmetres to the village. Agulo has become known as the “bon-bon” of La Gomera, being such a charming and well-cared for village. It is an absolute pleasure to walk its streets with cobbled stones and look at all the old well-maintained colonial houses and the pretty San Marcos church. There are panels in the street that tells you more about its history and how it was founded in the 17th century, mainly by people from Tenerife and there are also a few nice bars and restaurants to have something to eat or drink. If you need, you can get the number 2 bus back to San Sebastián.