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LA GOMERA (A Most Privileged Place in the Canary Islands Points of Interest)

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In the heart of the Atlantic Ocean sits the calm and peaceful La Gomera Island. Surrounded by towering rock walls, this subtropical paradise looks like an impermeable piece of land. The island, seen from up close though, is incredibly charming with its mist-shrouded Laurel forest, soaring volcanic rock formations, and breathtaking cliffs. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: LA GOMERA (A Most Privileged Place in the Canary Islands Points of Interest)


1
LA GOMERA
A Most Privileged Place in the Canary Islands
Points of Interest
2
In the heart of the Atlantic Ocean sits the calm
and peaceful La Gomera Island. Surrounded by
towering rock walls, this subtropical paradise
looks like an impermeable piece of land. The
island, seen from up close though, is incredibly
charming with its mist-shrouded Laurel forest,
soaring volcanic rock formations, and
breathtaking cliffs. Although often overshadowed
by its bigger neighbors Tenerife and Gran
Canaria, La Gomera is one of the most privileged
in the Canary Islands. Wind, sea, and rain have
worked together as architects and carved out the
beautiful island landscape. Gorgeous and
pristine areas seemingly untainted by mass
tourism compensate for the lack of long, golden
beaches and commercial attractions. British pubs,
upscale hotels, and neon strips are as uncommon
as the cold weather here. With all La Gomera has
to offer, this tiny lozenge of land is a haven of
peace and suits those wishing to escape the
bustle of the larger resorts.
3
UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve
The landscape of La Gomera is as vast and varied
as it gets. In the heart of the island, verdant
forest wraps the fire and laurel trees with mist
and water. On the rim, rugged mountainous slopes
dominate the scene. 2,000 plant species and
diverse animal population find refuge on this
unique terrain, some of them endemic to the
Canary Islands. Its natural qualities and
enormous variety of ecosystem located in 146
square miles of land are a UNESCO World Biosphere
Reserve since 2012. However, the natural
landscape is not the only thing thats unique to
La Gomera. Loud, high-pitched whistles welcome
visitors to this treasure island. The intriguing
Gomeran whistling language, known as El Silbo, is
easily recognizable as it travels great distances
to deliver messages. Whatever it is they want to
convey, there are whistled words to express it.
In 2009, UNESCO declared the one of a kind
language as a Masterpiece of the Oral and
Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
4
Things to See
In La Gomera, theres more than meets the eye.
The island does not offer the typical tourist
resort trappings of golden beaches or a lively
nightlife. But what it offers is a perfect escape
and a myriad of activities that revolve around
its culture, traditions and natural wonders.
Natural Wonders and National Park
Garajonay National Park
When dinosaurs lived, thick green laurel forests
thrived in many parts of the world. Today, these
forests can only be found in Garajonay National
Park and a few other countries. As such, the
protected 4000-hectare National Park gives more
value to the pristine beauty of La
Gomera. Viewed from Google Maps, this UNESCO
World Heritage Site is the large green area in
the middle of the island. As if being guarded
against the outside world, steep slopes surround
this gem. And just like the island, this park is
also not so impassable. In between rolling hills
and mountains are openings that serve as entry
points and roads that cross through the park.
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One of the parks highlights is El Cedro.
Stepping into this inner forest is like being
transported to a fairytale world, where tangled
trees have lives of their own. Follow the hairpin
bends and witness El Chorro de El Cedro, the
highest waterfall on the island.
Los Roques Natural Monument
When visiting Garajonay National Park, guests
will surely not miss the impressive natural rock
formations on the entrance. These monuments are
astounding examples of intrusive volcanic
landforms that were only made visible by
continuous erosion. These imposing rocks, set
amidst the deep green forest canopy, bless the
landscape with their majesty. Head to the Los
Roques Viewpoint for a sweeping view of the
monuments. Here, visitors can enjoy spectacular
sunrises and sunsets made even more dramatic by
the rocks silhouettes. Be a witness to this
stunning natural phenomenon and watch the sun
splashes wonderful shades of red to everything
its light touches.
Los Organos Natural Monument
To experience the best of La Gomeras land and
water attractions, head out to the northern coast
of Vallehermoso. Here, a short boat trip will
take visitors to the fascinating Los Organos
Natural Monument. This stunning natural
attraction is an imposing volcanic sea cliff that
rises to 700 meters high. Sculpted by nature and
shaped like a church organ, this monument is a
sight to behold.
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La Fortaleza
Set in the southeastern town of Chipude, La
Fortaleza is one of the most recognizable images
of La Gomera because of its flat mountain top.
This impressive rock formation is as mysterious
as it is magical when experienced
up-close. Since the ancient times, the monument
was held in high regard and deeply sacred to the
residents of the island. Its mountaintop houses
25 stone-made sacrificial arches. A great church
that has the sky for a roof and the celestial
vault had witnessed different rituals which took
place here. Conquering La Fortaleza involves a
challenging hike, but the peak rewards visitors
with astounding views.
Alto de Garajonay
La Gomeras highest point, Alto de Garajonay, is
almost 1.5 kilometers above sea level. The roof
of the island is a natural platform for observing
the skies and verdant vegetation below. From this
vantage point, visitors can see as far as the
neighboring western Canary Islands on a clear
day. At night, with the relative lack of light
contamination in the island, Alto de Garajonay is
the perfect spot to enjoy stargazing.
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Beaches and Water Activities
In La Gomera, with numerous black sand beaches,
lovers of tranquility will surely find their
favorite spots at one of these wild, pristine
beauties. Also, for those who want to see the
wonders beneath the sea, there are boat tours for
snorkeling and scuba diving. The warm waters and
welcoming waves in the Canaries are also a
favorite of dolphins and other mammals so expect
to see them along the way.
Playa del Valle Gran Rey
Backed by green fields full of banana plantations
and cliffs rising on either side of the beach,
Playa del Valle Gran Rey has a dramatic setting.
At the same time, the tranquility and remoteness
of this beach are enough incentives for visitors
who braved winding roads to get here.
Furthermore, the waters are crystal clear and
perfect for a refreshing dip anytime of the day.
Finally, refreshments are available via two cafes
by the shore.
Playa del Ingles
Known as a nudists and tranquility lovers haven,
Playa del Ingles is also one of the best beaches
in Valle Gran Rey. This pristine beach is made up
of black volcanic sand and rocks with waters that
are perfect for surfing. Towering cliffs dominate
the backdrop, giving a remote feel to it. Even
so, this beach is not completely devoid of
amenities. Nearby are cafes, restaurants, and
other entertainment, enough to keep visitors
going until the magical golden hour.
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Playa de La Calera
Experience the Atlantic Ocean at its calmest
state at Playa de La Calera. The longest beach on
the western coast of the island boasts splashing
fun for visitors of all ages. Gentle waves, dark
volcanic sand and a clean beach set among cliffs
await here. Spend a day building sand castles,
lazing on the powdery sand and soaking up some
sun. The beach has an air of remoteness on most
days. However, its not entirely devoid of
facilities. As the day ends, guests may enjoy
some hearty meal at one of the quaint beach-front
restaurants.
Playa de Avalo
Despite many tourists visiting on a regular
basis, Playa de Avalo is still the way nature
intended it to be. In other words, it remains
pristine with no amenities, restaurants or even
sun loungers. As such, its the perfect spot for
families, couples and even single travelers to
enjoy a private picnic. Nearby, visitors will
also spot a small chapel as well as one of the
most beautiful palm tree groves on the island.
Playa de La Cueva
Located in San Sebastians rural area, this
220-meter stretch of black sand is one of La
Gomeras liveliest beaches. Theres a yacht club
close by, as well as a slew of bars and
restaurants dotting the coastline. Here, visitors
enjoy basking in the heat of the sun during the
day, and as the sun sets, have some drinks over
acoustic entertainment.
9
Charming Villages and Towns
Some of the most charming bucolic villages in the
Canary Islands are in La Gomera. Without the
influx of mass tourism, the locals did great in
preserving its traditional localities. From
coastal fishing villages to towns perched high up
on a mountain, visitors cant help but fall in
love with each areas exceptional character.
San Sebastian de La Gomera
Retrace the steps of Christopher Columbus voyage
at this historic island capital. Aside from the
rustic Canarian-style houses, many of the
attractions are related to the explorers journey
in discovering the Americas. One is Casa de La
Aguada where Columbus drank water from a well.
Another is the nearby Church of the Assumption
(Iglesia de la Virgen de la Asunción). It is here
where he prayed before his expedition. After a
day of strolling, visitors may take delight in
some snacks in one of the old towns beautiful
colonial terraces.
Agulo
Dubbed as the Green Balcony of La Gomera, Agulo
sits on a natural platform with expansive views
of the ocean and Mount Teide. A lovely patchwork
of green banana fields creates a stark contrast
to the ochre roofs of the houses. Visitors
strolling through the old streets of this
peaceful village will see well-restored stone
houses. Within the village, the Moorish-style
church of San Marcos, with its four white domes,
is also worth a visit.
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Valle Gran Rey
A lovely village to unwind between the palm trees
and the sea, Valle Gran Rey seems like a world
away from other crowded towns in the Canaries.
The calm, bohemian atmosphere surrounded by the
pristine beauty of nature is a delight to senses.
Holidays here consist of hours swimming in the
ocean, relaxing on the black sand beaches and
watching the day go by at one of the cafes. Also,
visitors should not miss the traditional cuisines
offered at local restaurants.
Playa de Santiago
Time seems to be at a halt in Playa de Santiago,
a fishing village that is as laid back as it
gets. Sunbathing sessions on the beach officially
start the day that eventually progresses to
leisurely walks on the harbor. At lunchtime,
guests may choose from a plethora of seafood
restaurants that not only serve the catch of the
day but also offer stunning views of the ocean.
11
Cultural and Historical Hotspots
Torre del Conde
Standing tall and proud as it should amidst
greenery is the historic Torre del Conde. This
15th-century tower is the only military-type
building in the archipelago that has been
preserved in its original state. Here, visitors
can enjoy peaceful walks on the surrounding
subtropical park before heading to the old
fortress. Stepping inside the museum is like
being transported to the years gone by with its
fascinating historical exhibition
La Gomera Ethnographic Museum
The two-story ethnographic museum is home to
exhibitions showcasing the islands natural
resources and local crafts. Guests will surely
find the information and artifacts of Gomeran
fishing, forestry, farming, weaving fascinating.
The museum, set in a charming historic building,
has a rustic ambiance that makes visitors feel as
if theyre stepping back in time.
Church of the Assumption (Iglesia de la Virgen de
la Asunción)
Guests following the paths of Christopher
Columbus will undoubtedly come across this small
yet fascinating church. It is the area where the
explorer and his men prayed before setting off to
the New World. Although fire destroyed the
original chapel, what visitors will see now is a
reconstructed place of worship with beautiful and
intricate details. Anyone wandering inside will
be treated to a feast of colors from the
religious sculptures, paintings, and Mudejar
ceiling.
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Food and Drinks
Visitors will be surprised by the gastronomic
treats of La Gomera. The simplicity of cuisines
using a variety of local produce from the land
and the sea are a delight to the palate. Having
food as vast and varied as its landscape, many
tourists feel as if theyve been to different
places when dining at La Gomeras slew of
restaurants and bars.
Parador de La Gomera
This elegant restaurant in the island capital is,
without a doubt, the most refined establishment
in town. Set in an old manor house with an
excellent view of the ocean, Parador de La Gomera
offers a superb dining experience. Try servings
of mouthwatering creative versions of traditional
Canarian favorites such as their Gomeran fish
casserole, watercress soup, boiled blennies and
caramelized milk with palm syrup. Parador de La
Gomera is perfect for special occasions for
couples and the whole family.
Restaurante Juniona
Situated opposite the harbor of Playa Santiago is
a local favorite, Restaurante Juniona. Upon
arrival, their friendly staff welcomes guests to
an elegant dining room decorated with
contemporary artwork. Sample their unique take on
vodka and prawn sauce and black pasta with salmon
in a lobster. Also, the exquisitely prepared
Dorada a la Plancha is also a must-try.
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La Forastera Restaurant
Ranked number one on TripAdvisor, La Forestera
provides a dining experience like no other in the
heart of the island capital. This tiny bistro set
in the old town, with the menu chalked up on a
green board, boasts delicious local and
international cuisines. Also, it is proud to
cater to particular dietary requirements
including vegan and gluten free options. Because
of their excellent service and reasonably priced
food, it is no wonder visitors keep returning to
this delightful hole in the wall.
Las Chacaras
Visitors looking for good atmosphere and great
food in Hermigua should not miss Las Chacaras.
Traditional Canarian dishes like tuna steak, goat
stew, and local grilled cheese await. Also, the
homemade desserts and wine top off any meal
perfectly. The clean dining area and kitchen, as
well as the swift and polite service, make Las
Chacaras a perennial favorite among locals and
guests.
Bar-Restaurante El Puerto
Located by the port of Valle Gran Rey, visitors
can expect the freshest seafood dishes at
Bar-Restaurante El Puerto. This traditional
restaurant is one of the highly-recommended spots
to sample traditional delicacies such as Lapas a
la Plancha (grilled limpets) and Paella. Guests
here not only feast on affordable and delicious
Spanish cuisines but also enjoy the relaxed and
friendly atmosphere.
14
Hotels in La Gomera
While many visitors only plan a day trip from
Tenerife or other islands, La Gomera really cant
be explored in a single day. So, anyone wanting
to stay a little longer will surely find a home
away from home at one of the islands holiday
resorts.
  • Hotel Jardin Tecina
  • Parador Conde de La Gomera
  • Gran Rey Hotel
  • Baja del Secreto Apartments
  • Hotel Playa Calera

15
Getting to and Around
Unlike the other bigger islands in the
archipelago, the airport in La Gomera is only
served by local planes from Tenerife North
Airport. Binter Canarias, an interisland airway,
connect La Gomera to the rest of the Canaries via
Tenerife, several times daily. Most visitors opt
to fly to Tenerife South, then board a ferry from
Los Cristianos. The fastest option for boats cost
32 and takes 40 minutes. On the other hand, the
daily trip from Santa Cruz de La Palma costs 42
and takes about 120 to 150 minutes. Once in La
Gomera, getting around is easy with a car hire.
However, bear in mind that the roads are narrow
and winding. It is better to drive conservatively
and never exceed 50km/h. Most car hire company
have offices on the islands main
port. Alternatively, guests can take the
convenient and reliable bus service. Public
transport has improved in recent years with
regular bus services to the main centers of the
capital.
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La Gomera in a Nutshell
With all the stunning and unique sights La Gomera
can offer, it is unquestionably more than the
island Christopher Columbus stopped by in transit
to the New World. At the islands center,
visitors can literally and figuratively surround
themselves with the grandiose of nature as they
follow the walking trails. Those who have a
penchant for traditional villages find more than
enough options and perhaps end up having each as
their favorite. Although the beaches are limited
and not as glamorous as some of the famous ones
in other islands, they do have their brand of
amusement. La Gomera is a real paradise that
emerged from deep within the Atlantic Ocean. This
self-made island, shaped by time and its
inhabitants, remains pristine and welcomes its
visitors with open arms.
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