Most people have never even heard of La Gomera, and neither had I until earlier this year. Having stumbled across it whilst doing some travel research, the more I read, the more I knew I had to go. I booked a flight straight away, and left the rest as a mystery until I arrived.
Getting to the island does involve some planning. We flew to Tenerife, then caught a ferry from Los Cristianos (you can book it here) to La Gomera’s mainland. From here we hopped on a coach for an 80 minute scenic ride towards Vallehermoso, home to our gorgeous Airbnb cottage – a traditional and rustic 19th century Canarian house.
This video shows the pathway towards our Airbnb. Isn’t it lush?
Arriving here felt like I’d stepped foot in a scene from Jurassic Park, a world away from hectic London city-life.
The first thing you notice are the colours. A blanket of vibrant greens, pinks and blues spread beautifully over rugged, mountainous terrain. There was almost no noise at all. Just the gentle whisper of trees, echoing across the land.
For large portions of the trip it really felt like we were the only people in this natural wonderland, often walking in complete isolation, vast swathes of the island virtually untouched.
La Gomera is one of the smaller Canary Islands, stretching only 25km across. The island is renowned for it’s natural beauty and biodiversity, even being described as a miniature continent.
Almost the entire island is criss-crossed with hundreds of hiking trails, weaving their way up steep mountains, through dense, green forests and sleepy villages.
We spent most of our trip hiking, trail-running and recovering with delicious tapas in the one village restaurant within walking distance in Vallehermoso.
For any active travellers out there, this really is a fantastical place to explore.
We started off with a coastal cliff hike towards a nearby stony beach, Playa del Vallehermoso. It’s home to Castillo del Mar, an abandoned restaurant/castle perched ominously on the edge of a craggy cliff.
Weaving up and down rugged trails, we made our way back to the cottage, ready to fire up a BBQ and plan our hike in the mystical Garajonay National Park.
Thanks to my Dad I’ve done a lot of hiking in forests around the world, but none in my experience have quite the same magical aura as this one.
The evergreen laurel dense forest is known for creating this eerily thick, rolling mist that appears at any instant. Also with over 2000 species of plants, the unique and diverse fauna makes Garajonay a very special gem within La Gomera.
I love this photo below, as it really sums up how magical the park is. With a wide, twisted canopy of interwoven, moss-covered trees, it could almost be a painting from a Disney fairytale forest.
Our trip here started with a coach ride from Vallehermoso plaza towards Hermigua, where we hopped off at El Convento to begin our hike.
Not for the faint-hearted, our hike almost immediately began with a steep 900m ascent, taking about two hours to reach the peak at El Cedro.
From El Cedro we entered the park and hiked to our final destination, Alto de Garajonay, the highest point of the island.
We wouldn’t have been able to do these hikes so easily without the app maps.me. It was an absolute live saver and a pleasant surprise to see almost every single trail clearly mapped. My brother recommended it to me and now I really don’t know how I ever traveled without it! You just download your destination when you have wifi connection, even pin certain locations you want to highlight, then navigate your way around completely offline.
After many attempts at hitchhiking back to our cottage, we finally arrived with tired legs, eager to try La Gomera’s cuisine and wine, snapping away en route.
While the cuisine was not one of the highlights in Vallehermoso, anything at this point would have satisfied us! However the bread with garlic dip was incredibly good, I often still think about it now..
If you’re looking for a unique and unpretentious place to travel to, I highly recommend La Gomera. Go discover it before everyone else does.