La Gomera, an island of secrets
Viewing point in the Garajonay National Park with views over the 'sea of clouds'
Garajonay National Park, in La Gomera
We suggest a few days' break in La Gomera, known to many as the Canary Islands' "magical island", a place where time seems to stop. You'll be able to experience the wonderful sensation of immersing yourself in a legendary natural setting on a visit to the Garajonay National Park, which has been distinguished with the World Heritage designation. You'll be able to relax on beaches with dark sand and crystal clear waters. You'll have the chance to discover ancestral traditions and explore the extensive network of trails to see for yourself why the UNESCO has declared this place a Biosphere Reserve.
Standing on top of the clouds. Can you picture it? This is just one of the secrets La Gomera holds. You'll be able to experience this sensation in the Garajonay National Park, a vast unspoilt rainforest with a dense vegetation of laurisilva trees, where you'll have the chance to see what is known as the "sea of clouds". This atmospheric phenomenon is caused by winds blowing in from the sea, and means visitors often find themselves standing on top of the clouds. You'll find several viewing points to enjoy this fabulous spectacle. Laguna Grande lake is one of the most popular spots in the Park. Legend has it that on nights with a full moon, witches used to call out the devil here. The stone circle in the centre of the open space symbolises this story. For the most spectacular views, we recommend the viewing points of Igualero, César Manrique, Los Roques and La Punta. This last viewing point offers vistas along the coast, while the others are facing inland.
Other secrets of La Gomera include its numerous species of endemic flora and fauna. The best way to see them for yourself is to come and explore one of the many paths in the extensive networks of trails, where you're guaranteed to discover animals and flowers you've never seen before. One of the most representative species is the giant lizard of La Gomera, in danger of extinction. Work is currently under way to recover its population and hopefully it will be shown to the public in the future with the opening of a Lagartarium. Cliffs along the coastline Thanks to its numerous gorges, the island's scenery is especially spectacular when viewed from the sea. For example, a boat tour offers the chance to see the natural monument known as "Los Órganos" ("the Organs"), a cliff which is volcanic in origin and recalls a giant organ with towering pipes. There are also boat tours which will take you to some of the whale sighting areas. Naturally, in La Gomera you can enjoy the sea all year round thanks to the mild temperatures typical of the Canary Islands. You'll find beaches and coves, mostly with black sands, crystal clear waters, and –in many cases– in practically undisturbed natural settings. An island of traditions Did you know that the inhabitants of La Gomera have their own language, and that it has been used for centuries? This is the language of whistles known as the "silbo gomero", a technique which reproduces the Spanish language by means of a series of whistles. It is taught in schools, appears in numerous festivities, and is featured in demonstrations and competitions designed to raise awareness of this cultural phenomenon. Its importance has been recognised by the award of the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage designation in 2009. Even Christopher Columbus himself is sure to have been familiar with this curious language, thanks to his stopover in La Gomera on his voyage to the Indies. If you visit the capital, San Sebastián de La Gomera, you'll discover a secret with an ancient history: the well from which Columbus obtained the water for his voyage across the Atlantic. The flavours of La Gomera You can't leave La Gomera without sampling its gastronomy. Its most famous products include 'almogrote' and palm honey. The first is made with the delicious cheese of La Gomera, and the second is derived from 'guarapo' (palm sap), and is used in desserts, cocktails and dishes such as baked milk pudding. We also recommend the watercress potage, delicious when served in the typical pinewood bowls, in keeping with the local custom.