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Overview

One of the smallest Canary Islands at a mere 144 square miles, La Gomera has a precipitous landscape of steep ravines ending at tiny seaside villages. Crowning its highlands, Parque Nacional de Garajonay protects the world’s largest pre-glacial forest and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the park’s plants and animals are indigenous only to La Gomera. In the island’s capital, San Sebastián, Christopher Columbus outfitted the Santa Maria, Pinta and Niña for their voyage, filling water casks, so it is said, at the Pozo de Aguada next to the Customs House, Casa de la Agunada near the harbor. The only intact relic of the Columbian period, ...

One of the smallest Canary Islands at a mere 144 square miles, La Gomera has a precipitous landscape of steep ravines ending at tiny seaside villages. Crowning its highlands, Parque Nacional de Garajonay protects the world’s largest pre-glacial forest and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the park’s plants and animals are indigenous only to La Gomera. In the island’s capital, San Sebastián, Christopher Columbus outfitted the Santa Maria, Pinta and Niña for their voyage, filling water casks, so it is said, at the Pozo de Aguada next to the Customs House, Casa de la Agunada near the harbor. The only intact relic of the Columbian period, the stone Torre del Conde, sits in a park nearby. The island is small enough to make San Sebastián a base for exploring, with good bus connections to the whole island. The beach town of Valle Gran Rey and the surrounding natural park include the huge ravines of Barranco del Gran Rey and the steep cliffs above it. Along these ravines, cultivated terraces grow fruit and vegetables for the whole archipelago. Whale and sightseeing cruises are the only way to see the huge basaltic columns that rise hundreds of feet above the sea at Los Organos, off the northwest coast.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: La Gomera is one of Spain's Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. In area, it is the second-smallest of the seven main islands of this group.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The Canary Islands are a year-round destination, with spring-like weather most of the year; they can be quite hot in the summer.