Few places in the world have the natural wealth of this circular volcanic island, highlighted by its singular prehistoric character. The variety and contrasts of the Gomera landscape are surprising.
After El Hierro, La Gomera is the smallest of the Canary Islands, with a surface area of 378 square kilometres, approximately 10 percent of which is covered by the Garajonay National Park which has been declared a Mankind Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Island, in the centre of the westernmost part of the Canary Islands, between La Palma, El Hierro and Tenerife, is the ideal setting for outdoor activities throughout the year.
A walk though charming little villages will take you through the rugged terrain, with surprises in store around every bend in the road. The natural wealth of the whole Island is so impressive that it has, in fact, won the highest possible distinction as a protected natural space.
Benign temperatures make it easy to enjoy activities like rural tourism or trekking. La Gomera is a wonder of countless beautiful tracks and trails.
And the trade winds, which bring welcome rains, have generated a lush vegetation of interesting native species that in turn encourage the formation of clouds that give its forests a certain other worldly charm.
The Gomera scenery is surprisingly varied and full of contrasts; impressive gorges, grand rock monoliths, marvellous palm groves and the Garajonay National Park, which offers an unprecedented ecological treasure of crystal clear waters and lush laurel forests.
There is such a variety of microclimates that just a few kilometres away in the south west of the Island, temperatures are pleasantly temperate, reaching 20ºC in winter and 29ºC in summer.
All this lush ambience has led to the creation of some beautiful residential and tourist areas, where peace and calm prevail. La Gomera is genuine and a special effort has been made to conserve its natural treasures as seen in the multitude of protected areas: Garajonay, Benchijigua Integral Nature Reserve, Puntallana Special Nature Reserve, Majona Nature Park, Valle Gran Rey Rural Park, the natural monuments of Los Organos, Roque Cano, Roque Blanco, La Fortaleza, Barranco del Cabrito, La Caldera, El Lomo del Carreton and Los Roques, Orone Protected Landscape as well as places of scientific interest like Alajero Cliffs, Charco del Conde and Charco del Cieno.
La Gomera`s deep-rooted customs and history should be savoured slowly: stopping in the villages, talking to the people, understanding the typical whistles the locals use to chat from one side of the gorge to another, trying the culinary specialities or losing yourself to the rhythm of the dance of the drums. There are several spectacular routes for doing this: El Cedro (The Cedar) route, the cheese route, La Aguililla route (Egyptian vulture), the Valley to Valley route, Argodey route, or the Los Roques route.
A typical product of La Gomera is 'Guarapo', the sap taken from the countless palm trees dotted around the Island which is cooked to make 'palm honey' . The cultural centres include the Juego de Bolas Interpretation Centre devoted to promoting its culture and natural environment. The Colon Museum, with an excellent collection of pre-Hispanic pottery, is another place that should not be missed.
The most important rock formation on the Island, Los Órganos Natural Monument, is in the borough of Vallehermoso in the north. This is an impressive cliff that rises up out of the sea, and has been eroded into the form of towering parallel tubes looking like a classical church organ, thus giving the monument its name. El Cedro National Park deserves special mention as a magnificent example of a cool shaded laurel forest, criss-crossed by cold clear streams, that allows you to forget the sun shining outside.