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Canary islands

La Gomera

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The ultimate guide to La Gomera

La Gomera

La Gomera is round, green and beautiful. Amongst all islands in the Canary archipelago, La Gomera is the one that has managed to preserve its culture to a larger extent. Progress was slowed down by the lack of roads and the lack of connections with other islands. Despite a small airport was built in 1999, most visitors continue to arrive by boat, and a high proportion of these visit for just one day as part of a day excursion from Tenerife.

La Gomera guide - Contents

Best of La Gomera in a nutshell

Where is La la Gomera?

La Gomera is located southwest of Tenerife and east to El Hierro and La Palma. Its round shape implies local Canarians compare it to Gran Canaria, though in a small version. It is the second smallest island in the archipelago, with just 17 kilometers at its widest point, and 26 kilometers at its longest. From Alto Garajonay national park, the highest peak on the island, spectacular views of El Hierro, La Palma, and Tenerife can be enjoyed on clear days.

Top attractions: Garajonay, ravines and the Silbo

The top attraction in La Gomera is Garajonay. This national park boasts the largest laurel forest on the islands. It contains over 20 types of trees and its forests, along its fantastic ravines and terraced farmland, offer a striking landscape.

Silbo, or Silbo Gomero, is much more than the ability to whistle through long distances. It implies being able to communicate ideas and thoughts! The island´s geography made it difficult for locals to communicate and silbo helped them with this objective. Today´s reality with mobile phones present everywhere makes learning silbo hard work for little purpose… The local Cabildo put in place some measure some decades ago to ensure silbo was learned and transmitted. Today it is one of the island´s top attractions, with demonstrations offered to tourists that visit the island. Silbo Gomero is in the list of the intangible cultural elements of Unesco. 

Silbo allows communicating thoughts to people that are 4 kilometers away. The areas where demonstrations of Silbo are available include Las Rosas, La Zula and the parador in the Capital. it can also be enjoyed in its natural environment in Chipude. 

Quick facts about La Gomera

Despite la Gomera is a volcanic island, the last eruptions took place over two million years ago. This implies there is no trace of volcanic cones alike in other islands in the archipelago. Nature has however capricious and erosion-shaped cliffs that resemble organs and which are best enjoyed from the ocean.

Agriculture has always played an important role in local economy. The terrace hills that any visitor finds are a clear evidence of the toil and skills of local Gomeros. Today three crops bring most of the income: banana, tomato and date-palm. More than 100,000 date plams can be found throughout la Gomera and their appeal is not just visual. Local produce palm syrup and miel de palma, which is a key ingredient in local gastronomy.

La Palma is famous for the abundance of local dishes, which include goat cheese, sweets with almonds and Miel de Palma or Leche Asada, a milk pudding with miel de palma.

Gomeros are also fond of mistel liquor, a strong and sweet wine.

Natural parks, Flora and fauna

The most important laurel forest in the Canary Island is located in the Garajonay national park that boasts not just this amazing forest, but also more than 40 endemic species. There are also more than 40 types of nesting birds in the island and over 2,000 sorts of insects. Amongst the three types of reptiles, the Gomeran giant lizard is endangered with conservation programs in place. Besides Garajonay, other 15 natural protected areas account for one-third of La Gomera. Lor Organos natural park and the Valle Gran Rey Rural park are outstanding.

Brief history of La Gomera

There is a Berber village in Northern Africa with the name of Ghomera. This serves to speculate that the origin and history of the Canary Islands are somehow linked to Berber culture.

It is not clear when La Gomera was conquered. This is explained by the lack of accounts of battles and sieges as it is however the case for other islands in the archipelago.  When the Spaniards arrive La Gomera was split into 4 regions: Mulagua, Agana, Orone, and Ipalan. As in the case of other islands, a mencey ruled over each of these regions. 

If the invasion was bloodless, a very different reality happened in post-conquer years during the rule of the family Peraza-Herrera which ruled the island in a tyrannical way.

In 1492 Christopher Columbus stopped at the harbor of San Sebastian and he repeated this stop three times out of his four journeys to America.

Cliff and and water in a beach in La Gomera
Views of El Teide from La Gomera
Terraces in La Gomera

Weather in La Gomera

The average annual rainfall in La Gomera is close to 400 mm, which is a very high figure for the Canary Islands.  The climate, as in other islands in the archipelago, is subtropical. Temperatures vary a lot depending on the altitude and the sun received by different slopes.

Average temperatures in La Gomera vary from 20C to 27C (70 Fto 80F) for the maximum averages and minimum averages of 15 to 21C  (59C to 70C) with June to September as the warmest months of the year. 

 

Golden sand

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Juniper tree in El Hierro

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El Hierro is the smallest island in the Canary islands and the least known of them all. This makes of el Hierro the island where things have stayed more unchanged. Eco-friendly, home of the giant lizard and of fantastic juniper trees, el Hierro offers the best scubadiving in the iCanary slands and a a very relaxing, tourist free atmosphere where you can enjoy the real Canarian islands

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