Written by Emilie Stokes
Even though La Gomera is the second smallest of Spain's Canary Islands, it's said that you could walk its trails for two weeks without tracing your steps. Two weeks on the hoof might sound like quite a long time, but on this sunny island, dotted with comfortable villages abuzz with activity, it will probably go by pretty quickly.
La Gomera is a walker's paradise – it's got volcanic peaks, dramatic cliffs, shaded valleys, palm groves, ancient tropical forests, sandy coves AND warm waters for most of the year. So there's plenty to keep your eyes off the path and your mind off the steeper sections. Here's how you might like to walk La Gomera.
International flights don't land on La Gomera, so most visitors arrive via Tenerife and then catch the hydrofoil – a crossing which only takes 40 minutes.
Of all the charming towns on La Gomera, two good hub choices are Vallehermoso in the north and San Sebastián, the island's capital. Of course you could also opt to spend half you time in each, as there are interesting walking trails out of both.
When you first arrive, visit the Garajonay National Park, for one of the island's easiest walks, the Las Creces trail. One of the reasons to walk this way first is that it's near Agulo and the Juego de Bolas visitor centre, where you'll find a large collection of free hiking maps to better plan your time here.
There are a couple of nice comfortable day walks out of Vallehermoso. You can walk, via a terraced ravine bushy with palms, to a point on the island's tip for a view across the sea, that on a good day will include Tenerife. You can also walk up Roque Cano, the volcanic plug behind the town, on a route vertiginous carved into the volcanic rock of this 600m peak, or village hop along the south-west coast along precarious mule paths admiring the alternative views of small towns and open spaces.
Most of these routes can be picked up at any point along them, so if you'd prefer more gentle strolls you can catch local taxis out to various points.
San Sebastián was Christopher Columbus's last stop before he headed out into the Atlantic, and an island he was enamoured with, so walking round here you'll often find yourself following in his footsteps. San Sebastián has several shark's-tooth-like peaks behind it for any mountaineers amongst you: the 624m Jaragán, and Garajonay peak are among them. It also has several nearby pretty towns and hamlets and a couple of unusual black sandy coves.
Because of their position the Canaries enjoy temperate winters, so make a good choice for a winter walking destination.
Inntravel know multiple good walking routes in the Canary Islands and will be happy to help you find one to suit.
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