La Gomera is an island filled with unique and charmful spots, and with propper information and route planning you can make the best of your time in the island. Here are just some of the places you might like to visit. For more information, you can read our blog www.apartamentosgomera.com/blog.
1. JUEGO DE BOLAS (GARAJONAY NATIONAL PARK VISITOR'S CENTER)
Also known as the National Park Visitor’s Centre, a brief visit to this exhibition allows you to have a basic insight on the wonders of Garajonay, the island’s history, origins and culture. A brief introduction into the best-kept secrets of the island that will help you appreciate what you will see in your tour around the island.
2. GARAJONAY NATIONAL PARK
The National Park englobes the island centre, and many of it’s natural atractives. The footpaths network provides you of multiple possible routes with breathtaking landscapes. Previous information might be important, as some paths are very steep or long. Inside the National park are many spots whose access is easy:
Forest of El Cedro:
Named so for a long-time lost cedar tree, it actually is the most impressive valley laurel rainforest of the island. Access is by a track that ends near the Ermita, a small chapel in the middle of the forest. A large footpath allows you to reach the hamlet of Cedro and the water cascade. The restaurant La Vista is also a good viewpoint for Hermigua valley.
The island’s peak, after which the Park is named. A brief footpath from the main road allows us to have a glance of the island’s plateau and it’s clouds sea. On the peak remains an ancient altar where aborigins made ritual sacrifices. The legend of the peak’s name is a story that even local kids know. It is worth to ask.
Laguna Grande (The big lake):
An unusual plain among mounts, this meadow is surrounded by deep forest, and a recreational area popular among families. It’s history is one of mistery and magic, as it suppossedly was a witchcraft gathering point. A parking, restaurant, Information Centre and kid’s playground makes it a perfect resting point.
3. FORTALEZA DE CHIPUDE (FORTRESS OF CHIPUDE)
Spanish name for “fortress”, it’s name is obvious when you glance it’s shape, as a sharp plateau. It is a perfect defensive fortress, perfectly rounded and with unaccessible walls. Declared Natural Monument, many aborigin remains have been found in it. Apart from it’s peculiar shape, it has been a peregrination destination for the aborigins, either for pasture, refugee from pirates or religious gatherings. A footpath leads to it’s base, and for the daring, to it’s top. The ascension route is not a difficult one, except for the last steps.
4. LA ASUNCIÓN CHURCH
The building was erected in the middle of San Sebastian, over an ancient chapel and it contains several artistic treasures: the Reniassance altar, the Mudejar roofing and the paintings or figures, such as the Crucifixion. The current distribution is the result of several reconstructions after the pirate’s pillage along the 16th and 17th centuries, and it englobes Mudejar, Gothic and Baroque styles.
5. TORRE DEL CONDE (COUNT'S TOWER)
Set in a park just off the coast (visiting hours from 10:00 to 13:00 – 16:00 to 18:00 monday to friday) this is considered the islands’ remaining most important example of military architecture. Here, Beatriz de Bobadilla, wife of the cruel Hernán Peraza, had to barricade herself in 1488 until help arrived. The fort was the first building to be erected on the island. When erected, it’s goal was to protect the Governor from the island’s inhabitants, and therefore was useless to defend the islanders from the pillages that were often in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Though it is now in a meadow, the tower was built by the shore and was even beaten by the sea, as the erosion of it’s base shows.
6. HERMIGUA OLD DOCK
By Santa Catalina beach, built in a cliff is the former davit of Hermigua. One of the most impressive constructions of the island, where the beauty of the shore and the massive rocky columns make an amazing sight. It is a sample of the struggle that the Gomeran has endured with it’s surroundings. By the end of the 18th Century, when the economy was completely based in agriculture, Hermigua was the island’s main banana producer. The difficulty of the road access and the lack of a seaport made it necessary to build a davit to load the ships from the shore. First, the spanish Civil War, and later, the construction of a propper seaport in San Sebastian made the davit purposeless. Dismantled in 1957, nowadays the 150 meters high columns remain as testimony of a glorious past. It has become a popular meeting point for visitors, attracted by it’s wild beauty and the crystal clear water of the natural swimmingpool.
7. AGULO TOWN
This charmful village was founded in 1607. Settled in what looks like an impossible landscape, surrounded by rock walls, mountains and over the ocean. It’s circle shape and the narrow paved streets are an invitation for a light stroll. It’s inhabitants have very well maintained the traditional façades. By the town, the majesty of a hundred meters wall from where drops a waterfall. These days you can actually see the cascade in very rare occasions, as the course of the river is interrupted by La Palmita dam. One of the most popular footpaths of the island descends from the dam to Agulo, having amazing sights of Tenerife along the way.
8. CÉSAR MANRIQUE VIEWPOINT
A visionary in art and architecture, Cesar Manrique has left designs all over the Canary Islands. Faithful to his philosophy of joining both natural and artificial creations, the viewpoint, with it’s soft shapes, weather vanes and garden is a must for those on route to Valle Gran Rey. A restaurant allows you to enjoy excelent views, though these are just as impressive from the outdoors terrace.
9. AGANDO, ZARCITA AND CARMONA ROCK
By the road to the National Park, these three rocks are one of the most impressive sight of the island. Their height and shape are even more breathtaking at night. It’s shapes reveal their volcanic origin, due to the erosion that left the volcano chimney at sight. Whitnesses of a past of fire and ashes, it’s rough lines constrasts with the ondulated soil of their surroundings.
10. CANO ROCK
Pride and symbol of Vallehermoso valley, this rock is right over the town. Being the tallest of the island, this monolith is 250 meters high in it’s northern side.