La Gomera in the Canary Islands – Hilly Hikes leading to beautiful beaches
La Gomera,one of Spain’s most infamous Canary Islands, is the most picturesque, tranquil island within the Canaries, known for its luscious greenery and famed for its natural life, provides a perfect holiday re-treat for tourists looking to be at one with nature. Visitors can encounter botanical wonders whilst participating in rural hiking tours, or explore hidden bays with breath-taking scenic views.
For those who enjoy an exciting, enchanting hike, followed by a refreshing dip in the ocean, La Gomera will not fail to impress. Endless rugged hiking trails lead to quaint, boutique-hidden coves, and as the majority of sandy spots are only found by foot this is perfect opportunity to combine a mid-morning trek with an afternoon at the beach.
Until the middle of the last century, the crisscrossed network of trails dispersed throughout the island, were known as the ‘Royal Roads’. The importance of these historic paths still stands today, as many tourists choose to visit the island, highly due to its natural charm.
A highlight for visitors is the walk from San Sebastian, (the capital) to El Cabrito, known as “the little billy-goat”, found at the south east of the island. Hikers will experience rocky mountain groves, unique wildlife, calming tranquility and unparalleled views as they venture down the path, before reaching the Playa del Cabrito. This quaint beach is home to black sands, clear waters and the best view of the islands sunrise.
Hermigua, a luscious wide valley within the island, is situated romantically between two high mountain ranges. The region, due to its water-filled ravines is home to one of the largest banana harvests. Visitors can trek down the path to the beach, whist wondering past impressive landmarks and sites, such as the ‘Roques de San Pedro’ comprised of two volcanic vents, the ‘Monastery el Convento de Santo Domingo’ home to historical architecture and the parish church, ‘Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion’, built in the 1900’s. When the trail comes to an end, at the east of Hermigua lies the pretty ‘Playa de la Caleta’. This wind- protected bay is renowned for its secluded shores and fresh-fish bar.
One of the best hiking experiences within the island and a must-see for nature lovers is the outstanding Garajonay National Park named after the legend of two lovers, who sacrificed their lives for not being permitted to love. The park consists of dense forest with endless plant species, surrounded by a mist of magical cloud. There is approximately two thousand species of plant living in the park, along with a variety of habitats, which are rich and diverse in fauna, vertebrates, amphibians and exotic birds. Visitors can experience recreational areas and a network of well-marked trails.
After a long day’s hiking in the National Park, a relaxing swim in crystal waters is very appealing; one can head on down to the remarkable Valle Gran Ray, located in the West of the island, home to impressive beaches, including La Calera. This lengthy stretch is a highlight of the island due to its stunning black sands, picture-perfect backdrops and clear waters, ideal for keen swimmers. Families, friends and couples can enjoy a summers evening at the beach whilst watching the melting sunset.
Landscape lovers, strenuous hikers, sun worshippers and those who wish to indulge in tranquility, are sure to enjoy the memorable experiences La Gomera has to offer. From hiking through botanical gardens and cultural villages, to exploring hidden coves and pretty beaches, the naturalistic wonders of the island are unparallelled.
Flights run regularly from the UK to Tenerife where visitors can then enjoy a short ferry ride to the island within 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can fly to Tenerife North from the UK and board a 30 minute connecting flight to La Gomera in a small plane.
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