La Gomera is a tiny island in the Canaries, known as a biosphere reserve. Dense subtropical forests with unique fauna and unique birds occupy most of its territory. Take advantage of the Canary Islands boat rental and watch these lands from the sea like Columbus, who had stayed here before setting off to discover America.
Garajonay National Park occupies tenth part of La Gomera’s territory. Its name comes from the highest point of the island (1484 m). The legend tells about the local Romeo and Juliet. Princess Gara and Prince Jonay had fallen in love, but then Teide volcano had erupted on a neighbouring island, and parents thought it to be a bad sign. The young had been hiding in the woods. Then they had been found and decided to take their own lives on the highest rock. Which then was named in their honour.
The “sea of clouds” is an extraordinary place in the national park. You can stand on the high place and watch clouds gathering there when the wind blows from the sea. Fogs and rains feed the soil abundantly, which is why the place has a hot and humid climate all year round. Because of this, the vegetation, which has little water outside the valley, feels good here.
Moist laurel subtropical forests (Monteverde), which also grow on the Azores and Madeira, have found shelter in Garajonay. They create a separate area with grassy plants, insects, birds and bats. Here lives the giant lizard of La Gomera, the only in the whole world.
Laguna Grande is one of the most popular places in the park. According to legend, the locals had been summoning the devil here in the full moon. Now only a circle of stones remains from the rituals, so you are unlikely to succeed in repeating them.
There is an unusual well in San Sebastián city, the capital of La Gomera. Christopher Columbus himself had been drinking from it, according to the legend. The flotilla of the great navigator had gone in search of India after visiting the island and later discovered America.
Locals have a special language for communication at long distances. They pronounce the words of the Spanish language like the whistle sounds, and these sounds can be heard much further than ordinary speech or screams. It’s much easier to communicate in the island gorges that way: the whistle doesn’t cause an echo, and you hear messages without distortion.
Silbo Homero was declared as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009. Native speakers are called 'silbadors' (whistlers). Locals study whistling tongue in schools to prevent it from dying out.
La Gomera Kitchen
There are specific dishes that you will not taste anywhere else but La Gomera. The most famous of these is the delicious almogrote, spiced cheese paste, which is likely to hummus by the consistency. It can be served as a separate meal, or you may eat it with bread, chips and vegetables.
Island cafes offer to taste palm honey, which is used in desserts and cocktails. Another popular dish is a watercress soup served in wooden juniper bowls. If you seek for drinks, try homerone, a cocktail made of rum with coffee liqueur and ice. Because of it, the Canaries sailing enthusiasts come here.
5 facts about La Gomera
Trade winds blow all year round on the island, making weather dry in the south of La Gomera and rainy in the north. Locals use this climate difference and grow different plants in each zone.
There are no harmful factories or plants on La Gomera. The ecologically clean area attracts green tourism enthusiasts from around the globe.
It is considered that the name of the island comes from the name of Noah’s grandson, Homer. But, most likely, this was the name of Berber tribe which had settled in these places long ago.
Pole-jumping through the gorge is one of the traditions of the La Gomera inhabitants. Don’t be shy and ask some locals to demonstrate them.
Visit Los Organos on a sailing yacht. These are impressive volcanic rocks built in the shape of an organ.
Marina La Gomera
Marina La Gomera is located in San Sebastian, the main port in the eastern part of the island. The marina is located deep in the harbour. Anchorages are prohibited here. But if you wish, you may find them southwest of the port.
You need to contact VHF 09 and request permission before entering the marina. After mooring, the captain must report arrival at the office in the west of the marina. The staff is working for 24 hours, but not everyone speaks English here. During the La Gomera season (usually from November to February) you should book berths in the marina in advance, especially for boats over 33 feet.
A long breakwater protects port in the southwest. Despite this, a strong southerly wind may be uncomfortable for vessels in the marina.
Marina La Gomera has 335 berths for sailing yachts 20−65 feet long. It provides many services such as refuelling, 24-hour security, weather report, supermarket and wi-fi. Also, you can use a ramp to put the yacht for repair. The marina is close to the centre of the island’s main city, which makes it advantageous for tourists who want to explore La Gomera.