Beyond the lush vegetation of its landscapes, its spectacular trails and its characteristic laurisilva, La Gomera has incredible natural monuments and pleasant, picturesque towns where you can discover areas full of charm. Unique spaces where you can connect with Canary Islands culture and its influence on episodes of universal history such as the Discovery of America in a distinctive experience. A must-visit.
Garajonay National Park
This is one the most important natural treasures in the world and is worthy of its acknowledgement as a World Heritage Site. Garajonay is home to one of the most extensive and best-preserved examples of laurisilva, a group of plant species that became extinct on most of the planet millions of years ago.
The lush, primitive forest of El Cedro, where there has been almost no human intervention, found shelter on La Gomera thanks especially to the humidity and the ‘horizontal rain’ phenomenon caused by the trade winds. Enormous trees and ferns that barely let the light through, the moss, the silence interrupted only by the sound of endemic birds and streams, the smell of wet earth… It all creates an almost phantasmagorical atmosphere that is reminiscent of strange tales and far-off lands. Daunting!
Roque de Agando
Integrated into the Los Roques Natural Monument, the Roque de Agando is the most iconic of the five enormous volcanic monoliths that erosion has gradually shaped over millions of years. These impressive structures are true landmarks in the magnificent scenery that can be admired in all its glory from the Morro de Agando, Los Roques and El Bailadero viewpoints.
The stature and imposing presence of this giant stone justifies its prominence. The grey of these volcanic masses that seem to want to touch the sky contrasts with the green of the laurisilva crowning the peaks of the surrounding mountains. And in the foothills of Agando, a sad but necessary reminder: the monument to those who perished in the fire of 1984, one of the most voracious the island has ever seen.
This natural monument can only be seen from the sea, but the boat trip to this place is well worth it. The cooling down and subsequent erosion of the old volcanic rock in the cliff gave rise to a spectacular structure that is reminiscent of the pipes of an organ that rush dizzyingly down into the sea. They are so real-looking that it seems as if music will start playing from one minute to the next. Yes, nature is also whimsical!
If we tell you that this delightful island town is also known as ‘the beauty of La Gomera’, you’ll get an idea of how pretty it is, so, yes: a must-visit. The historic quarter is one of the best preserved in the Canary Islands, but it is furthermore built on a volcanic platform, from which we have extraordinary views of the majestic Teide Volcano on the neighbouring island of Tenerife.
Surrounded by the vegetation in Garajonay National Park and with an extensive, well-maintained network of trails, this picturesque town still conserves the ruins of an old davit that used to load up the island’s bananas and tomatoes for export.
Vallehermoso and Valle Gran Rey
Both municipalities spread along the east of the island, running inland from the coast, so their landscapes are extraordinarily varied. Vallehermoso, the longest valley on La Gomera, covers the northern and southern sides and doubtless honours its name, which means ‘beautiful valley’ in Spanish: lush peaks covered in vast, green palm groves, valleys scattered with charming hamlets, an historic quarter with interesting specimens of traditional architecture and, at the mouth of one of its abrupt ravines, a little beach and pools for enjoying a relaxing splash. It’s got it all!
Valle Gran Rey has become the main tourist hub on the island. The beauty of its intricate orography, where handsome palm groves are the main feature alongside slopes covered in perfectly tended terraces of crops, and especially its beaches of fine volcanic sand contrasting with the intense blue of the ocean make this place one of the most visited on La Gomera. Besides enjoying the beach, we must make the most of the occasion to explore some of the numerous trails or go for a cycle. The best plans for connecting with nature!
San Sebastián – the capital city of La Gomera
The capital city of the island, founded about 1450, conserves traces of Christopher Columbus’s visit before heading off to discover the New World, and an interesting ensemble of buildings that date back to the 15th and 20th centuries. One of them, a must-visit, is the famous Torre del Conde, a fortification built in 1470 for defence against internal rebellions. It currently houses an exhibition of historical maps of La Gomera.
Nor should we miss the Archaeological Museum in the House of the Echevarría, on whose façade there is a wooden coat of arms. Inside, there are pieces of great value made by native islanders, recreations of archaeological sites and comprehensive learning materials so that we can get to know the island’s past better. Besides the churches and shrines, we cannot miss the Casa de Colón (Columbus’s House) on our historic route: an old, 18th-century dwelling that houses an interesting exhibition of pre-Columbian sculpture.