Welcome to the already 4th station of our summer cruise to the Canary Islands, here in the La Gomera Travel blog.
This time we send greetings from the smallest isle by area, but therefor eve more charming of the Canary Islands, La Gomera.
Our La Gomera holidays was truly something special and we want to tell you today why it was like this.
With a base area of around 370 square meters (which is not even half the size of Berlin) and around 21,000 citizen, this nearly circle rounded island, located around 800 miles distance to mother Spain was discovered fastest at all.
Due to its volcanic origin, La Gomera is partially rugged and reminded us of Lanzarote, the travel post about this island you find here.
La Gomera, as small as it might be has some tremendous differences in altitude.
The Garajonay is the highest place with already even 1,500 meters.
Interesting facts about La Gomera
So what makes La Gomera so special?
For sure the Laurel woods!
La Gomera has multiple micro climate zones and in the upper heights and the north of the isle you can witness these amazing woods.
Nearly all of these areas are National parks.
Big parts of these woods have been destroyed couple of times by forest fires, sometimes even with fatalities.
Looking back in history, La Gomera was for example the last station of Christopher Columbus before his discovering of America.
Unique is also the so called El Silbo, which is some whistle communication, with which the locals were able to communicate over the long distant valleys. Well iPhone was not invented yet back in those times.
Bit let us now start with our very own impressions and experiences from Ghomara, which is the name of an old Berber tribe and possibly namesake of this island.
Cruise to La Gomera
In the morning hours of July 12th 2016 we reached with our cruise ship AIDAcara the port of the capital San Sebastián de La Gomera on the most far east point of the isle.
The plan for today scheduled a trip from one end of La Gomera to the other one, namely into the Valle Gran Rey, the “Valley of the kings”.
Valle Gran Rey consists of 3 single locations Calera, Vueltas and La Playa, but before they are pretty small and end up in each other, it all seems like one common place.
Crossing the isle by Bus
We decided to spend our La Gomera Stay most possibly “local like”, which was by taking the bus.
The Line 1 is running four or five times a day between San Sebastian and Valle Gran Rey, takes around one and a half hour and costs 5 EUR per person.
Officially the track is not that good developed yet, but hey! What to expect from such a tiny and steep isle like La Gomera?
Well OK, some of the passages were a bit adventurous and also the serpentines go pretty high steep and downwards, but you will survive also this.
The track is about 30 miles long and we could enjoy during the whole trip an amazing view over the truly unique and impressive landscape of La Gomera.
Have a look at some snapshots here that we took during our ride.
La Gomera holidays start
We went through tiny little picturesque villages, but most of the time the dry climate and the Lava-landscape was dominating the eye of the beholder.
When we finally arrived at around 11 AM in Valle Gran Rey, the African sun was burning already merciless so we had to keep the heads clean with enough cool drinks all the time.
Valle Gran Rey fascinates at first with its location in this royal valley and the stairs architecture on the mountains with their palms and banana trees is impressive indeed.
From the Av. El Llano directly located at the beach you go left handed into the city center.
This center is so manageable that you went every place within latest 30 minutes.
La Calera is unbelievably picturesque, colorful facades, exotic, splendid flowers, palms, glowing sunshine and a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere… yes obviously we discovered here another small paradise on earth!
Apropos atmosphere – Valle Gran Rey is also a formerly Hippie and dropout community.
In the 70s and 80s many flower power kids moved here and they even lived in the caves nearby.
Partially you can still feel this spirit here and there, but tourism is of course dominating here nowadays.
But strangely not in a very obvious or annoying way, but decent and nice.
I am not really sure if it was because of wrong time / wrong location, but there was no sign of mass tourism at all.
Very local and cozy.
Next to the wonderful and dreamy city center you have also excellent possibilities for water sports in Valle Gran Rey.
Beaches, also very beautiful black beaches invite to swimming time par excellence!
Due to the fact that our time was a bit limited, we decided to stroll along the beach promenade Av. Marítima Charco de Conde and inhale some of the fresh sea breezes.
Valle Gran Rey charmed us with its picturesque, bit dreamy and peaceful atmosphere.
Owls to Athens or La Gomera?
Well, some moments we experienced some surprises of a special kind.
Such was the sudden discovering of this huge owl while we strolled through the alleys of La Calera.
At the very first moment you ask yourself, what exactly you see there.
Such bird. Here. Why?
Obviously chained, the fate of this gentle giant was completely unclear for us.
I was quite skeptical since I could not see any sense in this.
Yes sure, impressive it was to see that “live”, but there was a different “flavor” due to the fact to see such a bird here chained in this heat somewhere…
Back to San Sebastian
After a comfortable light and quite late lunch we decided to head back to San Sebastian, since we also wanted to explore also this place a bit more.
San Sebastian is tempting similar to Valle Gran Rey with a peaceful and calm atmosphere , pretty characteristic for our whole stay on La Gomera.
Time is literally standing still here.
The slightly more intense activity and the size let you know then quite fast, that you are back in the Capital of La Gomera.
Back in San Sebastian we had to reduce a little bit our activities, because it was simply too hot this day and the sun burned out nearly all our energy.
But that was the right moment for a refreshing tasty ice cream that we enjoyed in the Restaurante El Pincho Pincho. After that we slowly walked through the streets of San Sebastian, always in search for shadows.
Ah – not to forget to mention the Munumento de La Torre del Conde, a towrt in the locally biggest park.
This Torre del Conde the “Tower of the Count” is the oldest original existing Building of the whole island.
The La Gomera Travel Blog ends
Built in the year 1447, the Conquistadores were keeping here their treasures from the Latin American conquer crusades.
Nowadays you can visit here and there some exhibitions in this old defense tower.
Well, here ends our La Gomera holiday.
An isle – sympathetically, friendly, colorful, real, old and terrific.
It was a little bit like a journey back in time and we are thankful, to have seen this place as part of our Canary Cruise.
With these nice impressions we slowly went on to our last station of our cruise. The isle with the highest mountain of Spain – let’s head to Tenerife.
All our travel photos you find here in the gallery.
See you then – Adiós Amigos!
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Thank you sincerely, Birdie & Hendrik.