Nature at its best and no high rise tourism!
The landscape of La Gomera has withstood the passage of time and today you will find an uncommercialised island of dramatic valleys, plunging ravines and calm friendly people.
A quiet place whose centre is dominated by the Garajonay National Park, which is a UNESCO site conserving the uniquely beautiful plant life of the island. Originally volcanic, and alternately lush and dry, the valleys are steeply terraced providing wonderful views.
Circular in shape the island is about 15 miles in diameter and rises to a peak of just under 5000ft. It is famous for being the last port of call for Columbus before crossing the Atlantic in 1492. History tells us he planned to stop for 4 days to pick up supplies of wine and water, legend says he was hosted by Beatriz de Bobadilla, Governor of Gomera, and, amid much speculation about their relationship, he stayed a month! When he finally sailed Beatriz gave him cuttings of sugarcane, which were the first to reach the New World. The house, Casa do Colon, he stayed in San Sebastian can be visited.
The other claim to fame is the Garajonay National Park, the upper area is regulary covered in cloud and mist blown in by the trade winds the moisture from which is what has created lush and diverse fauna and vegetation. It is, in effect, a small rain forest and a haven for nature lovers and hikers to explore, though we strongly recommend a guide which can easily be arranged. Alternatively you can join a group tour. Contrasting Garajonay are the warm sunnier areas in the south with their arid coastal cliffs and in between the challenge for the Gomeran farmers who grow their vegetables, vines and fuits on terrace hillsides in deep valleys such as Valle del Gran Rey. Combined together these stunning landscapes are part of what make La Gomera unique and appealing.
The steep hillsides, although not far apart are the reason the Gomerans developed Silbo, a whistling language. They would communicate across the valleys to each other and have done since Roman times. This tradition almost died out until recently when it became part of the school curriculum. Today one can see demonstrations of this unique tradition.
In essence La Gomera will appeal to those who want a calmer style of holiday and location, with some interesting natural areas to explore on a lovely island that is only slightly influenced by tourism.
Getting to La Gomera
You fly into Tenerife and then we transfer you by private taxi to Los Cristianos harbour you for the crossing to La Gomera by Catamarran or Ferry, very pleasant and one can often see Dolphins during the journey. On arrival in La Gomera you will then be transferred to your hotel, at which point you will definitely start to unwind on this tranquil island. Our excellent La Gomera representative, Nicky, will be at the ferry harbour and will advise you of her visiting times and other useful information.
" Nicky was particularly helpful and supportive throughout our holiday. The best representative we have met. We look forward to exploring another destination with your company..."
The alternative to the catamaran crossing is a short flight from Tenerife North to the small airport not far from Playa Santiago in La Gomera. If we can offer you a flight to Tenerife North, less frequent that those to the South, then we can book a connecting flight to La Gomera. If you are flying into the South, then you would have to be transferred by car to Tenerife North, this takes about an hour so may not be worth the extra journey time to you.
We highly recommend the "Gold Class" upgrade for the crossing, this is a separate lounge with reclining chairs and waiter served complimentary snacks and drinks. This really does enhance the trip over to La Gomera and can cost from as little as £13 extra per person return.
Location of our hotels on La Gomera
Other than rural houses La Gomera has few hotels and currently only two are of the quality that Prestige Holidays offers . The islands’ Paradaor in San Sebastian and the Fred Olsen hotel, Jardin Tecina in Playa Santiago.
Is the capital of the island is centred around the harbour where your catamaran or ferry will dock. It is also a fishing town and has a relatively new marina where boat trips around the island leave from. It is from here that Columbus started his crossing of the Atlantic. It has plenty of restaurants, shops and bars and is more traditional than modern and steeped in history. There is a black sand beach in town facing Tenerife and several nearby. The Parador is set on a cliff top above the town about 5 minutes by taxi.
Playa de Santiago
The Jardin Tecina hotel with its neighbouring golf course is located just above this fishing village. It is a small community on the waters’ edge and has restaurants, a pebble beach and a port where the Garajonay Express ferry arrives from San Sebastian and then goes on to Valle Gran Rey. This is an alternative way to get to the capital, only 15 minutes on this ferry, which on the good but bendy roads would take about 35 to 40 minutes by car. This is very much a local community rather than a tourist resort and therefore pleasantly relaxed. Jardin Tecina would have all the facilities you would need on site, the village is a nice local addition. Also located in this area is the new and only golf course on the island, we provide more information about this on our What to do page.
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that neither of the hotels in La Gomera have tea/coffee making facilities in the rooms, they do however have room service.
Getting around on La Gomera.
Buses do operate between the main towns and are reasonable.
The best way to see what this island has to offer without a doubt is by car, and contrary to what many of our clients initially assume, driving here is very easy with well maintained, clearly sign-posted, wide roads, although admittedly, they are bendy! If you don’t pre- book a hire car before you go the may we suggest that if there is a chance that you may decide to hire on island that you remember to take your diving licence, you would be surprised how many of us don’t! Hire cars are delivered to the hotel and collected at the end of the stay or rental period, for your convenience.
What to do on La Gomera?
We have touched on some of the nature aspect of the island and this is one of the main attractions – we add further suggestions and mention some of the beaches and information on the new golf course on our What to do page above.
Events on La Gomera
These focus around local fiestas and we list relevant dates and applicable information on our What’s on page.
Things to buy include: local wine, palm honey if it is to your taste, hand made local pottery, there are some lovely delicate wind-chimes made from clay.
Prestige Plus in La Gomera
Private taxi transfers to the ferry port in Tenerife and from the ferry port in La Gomera
Ferry tickets (return) to La Gomera
Welcome fruit and wine or mineral water in your room on arrival with our ocmpliments
Travel Guide to the Canaries
The exceptional support and services of our local staff in Tenerife and La Gomera