La Gomera is one of the Canary Islands in Spain, which is best known for its natural resources and beauty. Even though the seven islands that make up Canary Islands are known for their unspoilt beauty, La Gomera takes that to a whole new level. In fact, those who were able to travel to La Gomera were surprised that it wasn’t recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve until 2012. It might be the second smallest out of all seven Canary Islands but it sure does pack a lot of punch!
The island of La Gomera is formed of volcanic origin. It is roughly circular in shape with an approximate diameter of 22 kilometers. When you travel to La Gomera, you will find that majority of the island features a mountainous topography. In fact, several areas of the island are made up of steep slopes. The highest peak in the island (Alto de Garajonary) measures at 1,487 meters high.
The upland portions of the island’s densely wooded region are so high in altitude that they are mostly covered in mist and clouds. Hence, the area is home to diverse and lush vegetation. These parts are included in the Garajonay National Park area, which is one of the most valuable protected areas in all of Spain, not just within the Canary Islands.
Despite the steep slopes and dense wooded areas, many seasoned hikers travel to La Gomera to explore these slopes. From the trade wind clouds, to the intimidating slopes and the thick jungle, these hikers brave the elements for the stunning views that await them atop the mountain. Aside from the physical elements, they also have to battle the several microclimactic conditions throughout the island’s mountainous areas.
La Gomera: A Cultural Destination
Even though La Gomera is known for its natural beauty, a lot of tourists travel to La Gomera to experience its wonderful culture. The wine industry in La Gomera is one of the most distinctive wines in Spain. It is best paired with local cheese, roasted pork or some tapas, which is a famous Spanish snack.
Aside from its wine and food, the natives who lived in La Gomera have several eccentric rituals that are unique to them (some even practiced by locals until today). One of the most unique aspects about the natives is their way of communication. They use a so-called whistle speech when they communicate across deep ravines. Many believe that it can be heard up to 2 miles away. This type of language is indigenous to the island. However, the evidence of this type of communication points to its use even during the Roman times.
Another huge part of the culture that you’ll get to experience when you travel to La Gomera are the festivals. The biggest festival in the island is the Bajada de la Virgen de Guadalupe. The festival follows the transport of the Virgin of Guadalupe via boat to the beach of San Sebastian de la Gomera. The Virgin of Guadalupe is the patron saint of the island. When the patron saint reaches the beach, the locals converge on a feast and many other forms of merriment.
La Gomera in Photos