La Gomera

An Ecological Paradise.The last island without an airport is, perhaps for this reason, a haven of customs and incredible natural beauty that astounds the visitor with its rare vegetation and abrupt terrain. In effect, the 370 square kilometers (144 square miles) of this island is cut by deep ravines. This uneven terrain of Gomera has always made communications difficult between towns, keeping many areas practically untouched.

The scenery in Gomera is splendid with an amazing system of terrace farming and thousands of palm trees perched on steep green valleys, in addition to the exotic foliage of the central plateau, inhabited by the ancient laurel forest enveloped in mist.

All of these attractions have made a day trip to Gomera from the tourist resorts on southern Tenerife a popular pastime. The ferry makes the trip in 90 minutes, and the jet-foil in 40. However, a visit to this island truly requires more than a one-day excursion on account of the difficult roads which make it impossible to see the many attractions in a short time.

The best way to explore the scenic areas of La Gomera is to take several days and either travel the many paths and peaceful trails of the island on foot or by bicycle. Lodging may be found in the capital city of San Sebastian, at Playa de Santiago, and in Valle Gran Rey. San Sebastian is the largest town on the island. The ferry and hydrofoil from Tenerife dock here, and there are several small hotels and boarding houses. The Tourist Parador rises on a cliff overlooking the city in a beautiful setting. The majority of tourist lodgings can be found at Playa de Santiago, the sunniest spot on the island. This small tourist complex is located around a fishing town where excellent fresh fish can be enjoyed. Near the outlet to the sea of the idyllic Valle Gran Rey, there is a small beach and quiet harbor with a number of small hotels, boarding houses, and apartments.

Valle Gran Rey has been for some years the center for an alternative tourism committed to the environment that has chosen this spot as the ideal place to escape from an impure civilization.