Playa Santiago de La Gomera is a small port and beach positioned between two of the many magnificent cliffs that enclose the island of La Gomera. It is a gorgeous mix of old and new tourism as well as locals. As you wander the village and roam between the banana plantations and the art center you can see locals enjoying their evenings. The older men enjoying card games with their mates and the kids running free with their toys in the square. This all blends together to make up an eclectic mix of sleepy fishing village and tourist spot.
As we were staying in San Sebastian we took the ferry just a short 20 minutes, it is 45 minutes to drive. The ferry runs near the coast and for that reason on most days it is a very calm ferry ride. It is a great way to see the island from the sea and all the volcanic layers in the cliffs of La Gomera. You can also bird spot along the way as you leave the aqua coloured water and are taken into the intense dark turquoise blue deep ocean. If you are lucky you might see some whales or dolphins along the trip, unfortunately we didn’t get to see any on the day we went. There are also a couple of small bays along the way where you can see a few very small traditional canary fishing houses.
Playa Santiago beach is connected to the marina. The beach is a pebble and sand beach and is set in from the cliffs so is quite well protected from the elements, so great spot for sunbathing and for children playing on the beach. It is also on the drier southern side of La Gomera Island so it has the best chance of getting sun on the island.
You have a good selection of restaurants to eat at in this little fishing village of Playa Santiago. La Chalana restaurant was recommended to us from a friend but it was closed for the owner’s vacation while we were there but it comes with good reviews so please post comments below if you enjoy a meal there. Don Tomato restaurant was a very popular place and did a good vegetarian selection it is Mediterranean food from pizza to meat dishes. El Paraiso is the place to go for location and is a great restaurant right at the end of the beach serving local Spanish seafood and Canarian dishes.
The Art Centre here is fantastic it gets called an Art Studio and is located right on the beach in an old Canarian style building that has been transformed into a store and art center where local artists and artists from other canary islands bring there amazing products to be sold.
It is run by a lovely lady who has lived in La Gomera for over twelve years and her husbands makes a lot of the jewelry that is sold in the shop and you can see his little workshop as part of the shop. They have a vast selection of jewelry as well as paintings, clothes, musical instruments and all sorts of other interesting items you would never find anywhere else and almost all hand made.
There is also some great collaboration with La Gomera families working with families in Africa to bring some beautiful clothing to this shop and the world. There is so much neat stuff it is well worth a visit I found a kaleidoscope that is what I am looking through in this photo.
There is also a luxury hotel up on the hill of Playa Santiago. It is run by the Fred Olsen group and is called Hotel Jardin Tecina. It is nice how it has been put on the cliff tops so you get an awesome view when you stay there. This positioning has left the quaintness of the old town of Playa Santiago looking similar to how it did years ago. Perfect for the traveller that wants all the luxury but would also like to experience the local vibes and restaurants. It has all you would want, a golf course, restaurants, bars, many pools. You can even experience a romantic dinner in a cave which is definitely on the must do next time I am there.
Getting to playa Santiago is a simple ferry ride from San Sebastian de La Gomera. It’s approximately ten euros, Ferry Olsen express is the ferry provider and you can get tickets from the counter at the ferry terminal in San Sebastian near the port. It sails from San Sebastian about four times a day. Playa Santiago would also be a nice place to base yourself on the island you could find local accommodation or stay in the luxury Fred Olsen resort based on the hill over looking Playa Santiago that also has a lift carved inside the cliff if you need it. Playa Santiago is also the closest area to the La Gomera airport. It has all you need restaurants, shops, post office and medical center.