La Gomera is one of the beautiful islands that make up the seven, year round sunny isles of the Canary Islands. It is a quick ferry ride, just 50 minutes from Los Cristianos, Tenerife and a year round destination. The ferry companies, both Naviera Armas and Fred Olsen Express dock in the gorgeous little seaside town of San Sebastian de La Gomera.
It has been named San Sebastian de La Gomera from 1488 prior to that is was known as Villa de Las Palmas, Hipalan before it was renamed. San Sebastian has a rich heritage because of it’s location and the transatlantic trade following the arrival of Christopher Columbus (or Cristoforo Colombo that he is known as in his home country of Italy). San Sebastian is where he stopped and loaded supplies before continuing on to the then unknown lands of The Bahamas and other parts of the Caribbean islands. There is now a small museum, Casa de Colon that is home to exhibitions of his travels. It is in the center of San Sebastian and it is even said that Columbus stayed there while on the Island. Like many of the other Canary Islands there was often the threat of pirates from different parts of the world but La Gomera fought them off successfully and remained under Spanish rule as it still is today.
A first glance you could mistake San Sebastian de La Gomera for a different part of the world and it feels worlds away from the built up white washed tourist area of Los Cristianos Tenerife. It has a relaxed feel with its brightly coloured buildings to admire throughout. It’s a great little town that you can wander without purpose easily, walking through the pedestrianized streets taking in the sites and enjoying the architecture both old and new.
San Sebastian de La Gomera beach is generally a calm beach with both black volcanic sand and pebbles. It has a few rustic sun umbrellas and is the prefect spot to cool off on a hot day. The calm waters making it a great beach for families with younger children. You have all the normal facilities outdoor showers and toilets close. A big Fiesta on the beach happens on St Johns day around the 23rd June every year when you can see the beach lined with bonfires to celebrate the summer solstice.
The Torre Del Conde is a prominent feature along the waterfront of San Sebastian and is worth a visit to the park or to walk up if you wish. The tower was built in 1447 and understood to be one of the first and most important of the island. These days it would have to be one of the best preserved within the Canary Islands.
The Church Iglesia Matriz de la Virgen de la Asuncion and is situated just off Calle Real. Calle Real, this street is often known as the main street of the island. This has the beautiful church with beautiful detailed wood work, mixed architecture styles and paintings a place worth visiting and a place to experience the wonderful history also a place to duck out of the sun on a hot day and to enjoy the serenity of it’s interior. This church is said to be where Christopher Columbus and his men came to worship before they left on their voyage to the unknown lands.
There are a lot of options of where to stay in San Sebastian and the area makes for a good base for investigating the island. We stayed in Casa Ego an Airbnb less than a 5-minute drive out of town with the street view looking back towards the sunrises and beach of San Sebastian. We choose Casa Ego to ensure we had a kitchen to prepare out Breakfast and lunch before our hikes. It also gave us a washing machine and parking spot. Great location you can even start a hike from the top of the road the Casa Ego is on.
If you happen to visit San Sebastian on a Saturday be sure to check out the local fresh produce market Mercado Municipal it is located under the bus station and you will be able to pick up breakfast and taste the local specialty goat cheeses and ‘honey’ from the local palms trees. If you are after a local rustic restaurant I would recommend Restaurant Inta a short drive up the hill from the center of town on the GM-1. It is called a steak house but I would call it a place to try many of the local Canarian dishes like the watercress soup. But for more of an evening contemporary dining experience I would recommend La Salamandra, an edgy industrial styled restaurant located in the heart of San Sebastian de La Gomera, Make sure you book if you need a special day.
Enjoy San Sebastian De La Gomera!