La Gomera is the second smallest of the main islands of the Canaries. It is one of the wildest corners of the chain, with nature taking over every corner. Visitors can hop aboard dolphin and whale-watching tours, relax on black sandy beaches or follow one of the many trails crossing the island’s volcanic landscape and the laurel forest of Garajonay National Park. In the heart of it all is San Sebastián, the laid-back capital with its pastel-coloured buildings lining the hills like rows of lego.
Our three-day itinerary will show you the best things to
see in La Gomera, including iconic viewpoints, trails and picturesque
We’re kicking off our trip at the island’s capital, San Sebastián de La Gomera. Christopher Columbus stopped by La Gomera on his way to America. Casa de Colón is the costume house where some say he spent the night. Inside is a collection of pottery by South American Chimú tribes, the type of art he would have encountered when he reached the new continent. Legend says the renowned navigator also took water from the island to bless the New World. These historical ties explain why La Gomera is also known as La Isla Columbiana.
After touring the house, head to the Archaeological Museum, where you can learn about the island’s archaeological features. Other things to see in San Sebastián include the municipal market, Iglesia De La Asunción and Torre del Conde, a 15th-century fortress surrounded by gardens.
From the centre, take a walk down to Puerto de San Sebastián. Near the harbour is the beautiful volcanic beach of Playa de San Sebastián. The water is very calm, making it ideal for a swim. Backing the beach is a promenade filled with bars and cafés.
Make your way up the hill to the Mirador de Los Roques, set within the Garajonay National Park. This is one of the most spectacular viewpoints on the island. Standing here, you’ll get a glimpse of three iconic rock formations: Roque Agando, Roque Ojila and Roque La Zarzita.
Not far away from the last stop is another iconic viewpoint, the Mirador del Morro de Agando. You can see the Roque Agando from here and even Tenerife on a clear day. There is also a 12.4km trail down to Playa Santiago, which takes about four hours.
One of the top sights in La Gomera is the Garajonay National Park. This ancient forest covers over a third of the island and is home to thousands of species of fauna and flora, with misty laurel trees being the predominant feature. The park gets its name from the myth ‘Gara and Jonay’, the Canarian version of Romeo and Juliet. According to the legend, Gara from La Gomera and Jonay from Tenerife ran away to the island’s highest point but ended up jumping to their deaths. You can learn more about the park and its surrounding trails at the Juego de Bolas visitor centre. An easy option is the Cañada de Jorge, a 3km route that starts near Valle Gran Rey.
Still within the park is the Alto de Garajonay, the highest peak on the island at 1,487 metres. The easiest way to get here is to park your car at Los Pajaritos or El Contadero. From there, it’s just a short walk to the peak, albeit a little hilly. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy incredible views of La Gomera and the surrounding islands if the sky is clear.
Enjoy a relaxing morning at Playa de Santiago, a charming village on the island’s south coast. Capture the colourful houses framing the waterfront, and then head for a refreshing swim at the black sandy beach. The beach is also the departing point for many activities, such as kayaking, diving and snorkelling, which allow you to explore the nearby caves.
Heading north through the mountains, you’ll soon reach the small town of Chipude. Take your time to explore its quiet streets, stopping to visit the local pottery shop and the 16th-century Iglesia Virgen de la Candelaria.
On the outskirts of Chipude is the Fortaleza de Chipude, a volcanic mountain that draws many hikers. Standing at more than 1,200 metres high, it is visible from nearly every corner of the island.
From Chipode, you can follow the stony road to the top. The hike takes around one hour each way. Once you get there, you can expect unparalleled views of La Gomera as well as nearby Tenerife and La Palma.
Make your way west until you reach Valle Gran Rey. This small coastal town is a favourite holiday spot among locals. There are several black sandy beaches where you can go for a swim and catch the sunset, such as La Calera and La Puntilla. You can also head up to one of the nearby viewpoints like Curva del Queso or Mirador de El Palmarejo.
End the day at Playa del Inglés, one of the best beaches on the island. This beautiful stretch has a particular feature: clothing is optional. Despite this, it is a very peaceful beach with calm waters ideal for the whole family.
For our last day in La Gomera, we’re exploring the north side, starting at Pescante de Hermigua. The village is surrounded by a couple of davits, a type of suspension equipment that locals once used to load and unload boats that were too big to reach the shore. These are no longer active but remain part of the island’s history. You can also visit the natural swimming pools. Due to regular landslides, however, the pools can be temporarily closed, so always check before visiting.
After visiting the picturesque village of Hermigua you can visit the Roques de Pedro y Petra (the Roques de Pedro and Petra) which is a short 20 min drive inland. According to the popular legend, Pedro and Petra were two lovers that were turned to stone and separated by lightning. These rocks were formed due to the volcanic activity on the island.
On the way to Agulo, stop at Mirador de la Punta and enjoy the stunning views of the Hermigua valley and the sea in the distance. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of Tenerife too.
Agulo is often called the “bon-bon of La Gomera”. This picturesque village sits high on a hilltop, surrounded by lush banana plantations. Take a walk along the village and enjoy the panoramic views along the way.
About 10km away from Agulo, you’ll find the Mirador de Abrante, a viewpoint which also houses a restaurant. For the best views, head to the glass skywalk, which stands 625 metres above sea level. At the restaurant, you can order a round of tapas and other Canarian dishes while enjoying Silbo demonstrations. El Silbo is a type of whistle historically used by La Gomera residents to communicate between the ravines.
Los Órganos is a natural rock formation that resembles giant church organ pipes, hence the name. Formed by the solidification of basalt magma, this natural structure is 175m wide and 80m high, with more lying underwater. To see it up close, we recommend booking a boat tour.
Our last stop on this tour is Vallerhermoso. Among the top attractions here is the Plaza de la Constitución, the town’s central square. It’s flanked by the town hall and several bars and restaurants. Take some time to explore this area and the surrounding streets before heading to the botanical garden, a four-acre park featuring plants from across the globe.
La Gomera may be a small island, but it is full of family-friendly attractions. Around Playa de Santiago, you can experience several watersports, including kayaking and snorkelling. This is also the departing point for many dolphin and whale-watching tours. Other beaches ideal for children includes Playa del Inglés, Play San Sebastián de La Gomera, La Caleta and Las Vueltas.
Kids will also enjoy exploring the misty grounds of the Garajonay National Park. There are several easy trails ideal for families who want to hike the area. In the south of the island, you can join a horseback riding tour to capture the Drago of Alajeró, the island's oldest Drago tree. While up north is Los Órganos, an impressive chain of lava tubes shaped like organs.
La Gomera has a rich cuisine based around local ingredients, such as cheese, potatoes, gofio and guarapo (sweet sage). Among the most popular dishes is the almogrote, an aged cheese with a pate-like texture and mojo canario, a spicy spread that pairs perfectly with Gomeran wine. Of course, there is also room for the papas arrugadas, the wrinkled potato dish that you’ll find all over the Canaries. Another famous recipe is the watercress stew, often paired with pork ribs, corn and a little bit of gofio. For dessert, don’t miss the torta de vilana, a cake made with potatoes, raisins and almonds. Below are some of the best places to eat in La Gomera:
Like most of the Canary Islands, La Gomera has subtropical weather with mild temperatures all year round. Most days are sunny, with the occasional rain pouring inland. This means you can visit the island during pretty much any season. The hottest months, however, are August and September, with temperatures reaching the mid-20s. This is the ideal time for beach days, but it can also be slightly busy with tourists. Alternatively, you can schedule your trip around one of the island’s traditional festivals.
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