Lying to the west of Tenerife, La Gomera, is the most relaxing of all the Canary Islands with dense forestry, beautiful cedar groves and breathtaking ravines. Small villages are scattered inland amongst the terraced valleys and the mountains sweep the coastline as dramatic sea cliffs.
La Gomera's verdant interior where the green terraced valleys cut steeply through the mountains is spectacularly beautiful although driving is not for the feint-hearted with a plethora of hairpin bends. In the centre of the island is the protected Parque Nacional de Garajonay with its dense, lush flora and fauna; great for walkers. More than a third of this small island which is less than 13 miles from north to south is protected by UNESCO, and due to the mountainous terrain there are some particularly quaint old customs such as the whistling language, historically used by the locals to communicate between the valleys!
The capital and main port, San Sebastian with numerous restaurants, bars and shops, is famed for its links with Christopher Columbus and the small town is riddled with memorabilia and plaques denoting the places that he visited or stayed, and a weeklong Columbus festival is held annually. The main street, Calle Real, and main square, Plaza de las Americas with its balconied mansions, picturesquely evoke memories of former colonial times.
Playa de Santiago
The small, peaceful fishing village of Playa de Santiago is located at the southernmost point of La Gomera in a sheltered and attractive setting. There is a pebble beach and a port and at the centre of the harbour area, Plaza del Carmen, a favourite meeting place for the locals with restaurants, bars and a seafront promenade.
Twin Centre Holidays
Many Classic customers choose to stay on the island of La Gomera for the whole of their trip, but two centre holidays are very popular. Combinations can be arranged to include any hotel on neighbouring Tenerife and you might like to spend a week or so in the popular resorts of Playa de las Americas, Costa Adeje or Los Cristianos followed by a week in the peace and tranquillity of La Gomera.
Transfers to La Gomera
Fly to Tenerife South airport and following a 20 minute transfer to Los Cristianos port, cross by catamaran or ferry to La Gomera (approx 40 minutes). Crossing timetables are limited and you may need to stay overnight in Tenerife at the beginning or end of your holiday especially if your flight arrives in Tenerife after 3pm. Christmas and New Year ferry times are restricted and we advise booking a Tenerife hotel if your journey involves a flight on 24, 25, 31 Dec or 1 Jan. Please note that transfers on Tenerife and La Gomera may be in a shared minibus, and that ferry timetable changes and delays may result in us making alternative arrangements on Tenerife.
Earthy, simple and a great culinary treat is how the local cuisine on La Gomera can best be described. A good range of restaurants and bars serve traditional fare, each offering their own special dishes, be sure to try the dish of the day.
The local speciality is almogrote, a delicious and slightly spicy paste made with cheese, pepper, oil and tomatoes and usually served with bread or papas (potatoes). Palm honey from the palm-tree sap is one of the staples of the island and widely used in desserts, cocktails or simply as an accompaniment to cheese.
La Gomera is world renowned for its unripened sheep and goats cheese, considered by some among the best in the world. Fish is prominently featured with various types of bream, sole, perch and the local speciality parrot fish, served either plain grilled or in hearty stews and casseroles. Meat dishes include rabbit, beef, pork and chicken with Conejo en salmonejo, rabbit in a herb and white wine sauce, a particularly popular dish as is watercress stew served in bowls made from Phoenician juniper wood and of course the typical Spanish paella and tapas are widely available.
Traditional desserts include bienmesabes, made with ground almonds and honey, or torta vilana, made with eggs, potatoes and sugar. Finish off with café solo, a strong espresso or carajillo, espresso with a shot of brandy.