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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

La Gomera

La Gomera Holidays

La Gomera is the quietest of all the Canary Islands and offers something different compared with its neighbours. While holidays to the Canary Islands often revolve around eating and enjoying the beach, La Gomera holidays are extra special. Here you'll get a new perspective of the islands – think empty, secluded beaches, mountainsides with thick forests and laid-back, traditional villages.

La Gomera is a small island, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character, and especially its landscape. From majestic mountains to black-sand beaches, La Gomera is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. You won't find any high-rise buildings, themed pubs or buzzing neon bars here. Instead, expect traditional family-run restaurants and hotels set within a stunning landscape.

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You'll be whistling a happy tune

La Gomera holidays gives you a taste of Canary Island culture in a way the other islands don't. Visitors here can learn to whistle like the residents. Before mobiles and telephones, islanders used this as a way of communicating across the deep valleys and challenging landscape. The Silbo Gomero is a special-sounding Castilian-Spanish whistle which has enjoyed a recent revival and protected status from UNESCO. See if you can join in the conversation!

You may also be lucky enough to see men and women practicing the 'shepherd's leap'. You'll find them up mountains, carrying sticks. This was how shepherds would keep up with their flocks as they roamed the valleys and ravines.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • Approx 21,136
  • GMT - 0

The landscape's a real treat

Holidays in La Gomera put a large emphasis on walking, mainly because of its wonderful landscape. To truly explore the dense rainforests, quaint villages, deserted beaches and formidable volcanic mountain ridges, you need to be on foot.

Agulo is a village high up in the mountains, surrounded by green banana fields. You can walk around its 17th-century architecture and marvel at how it contrasts with the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

Really keen hikers will love exploring the El Cedro forest in the centre of Garajonay National Park. Take a trail through the park and get a real treat at the end in the form of El Chorro Waterfall, which really is something to behold.

Stay for a few hours or a day – on the outskirts of the park is Laguna Grande, the island's most popular picnic spot.

Do some whale-watching

Holidays to La Gomera, Canary Islands, aren't just rich in wildlife on land – the ocean's teeming with life too. Travel to the south of La Gomera, to Valle Gran Rey, to board a boat and explore the vast Atlantic Ocean. It's more than likely that you'll see dolphins – there are 21 different types that live off the island's coast. You may also see whales, including pilot whales, sperm whales and roquals.

There are around 300 whales that visit the island's waters, so it's worth booking on to a tour to try to catch a glimpse of these fascinating animals. The boat trips are great fun, even if you don't see any marine life. You'll get lunch on board, and usually stop for a swim and a rest at some of the island's more private beaches.

Follow Chris Columbus' footsteps

Holidays in La Gomera, Canary Islands, offer the unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Christopher Colombus. Head to the island's capital and walk around the buildings he was associated with. Start with Casa La Aguada and the Church of the Virgin, before visiting the Iglesia de Asunción and Casa de Colon.

If you want to discover more about La Gomera's history, the Ethnographic Museum is worth visiting. It's set within a gorgeous old building and its exhibitions focus on everything from fishing to forestry.

Nothing's boring about these beaches

Like the other Canary Islands, La Gomera has the trademark gorgeous, black-sand beaches. While you may dream of white sands, these beaches have a much greater atmosphere. Many of the them are secluded, with a hint of the wild about them.

The black sands of Playa del Valle Gran Rey contrast with the vivid green banana fields that sit behind them, and there are a handful of cafes to try on the beach too. In San Sebastian is Playa del Cueva, one of the island's most vibrant beaches. It's the place to go for stylish bars and spotting yachts in the tidy marina.

Nearby is Playa de Avalo, but it couldn't be more different. There aren't any sun-loungers or restaurants, so remember to pack a picnic and settle down for a relaxing, quiet day.

Visit the neighbouring islands

The beauty of staying in the Canary Islands is being able to island-hop between them all. It's easy to jump on-board one of the many ferries that run regularly across the ocean, and visit somewhere new while you're on holiday.

El Hierro, the smallest of all the Canaries, is a short ferry ride away from San Sebastian. The island is home to over 800 volcanoes, so you can walk around solidified flows of lava, moon-like craters and still-green forests. For a livelier day out, take a boat trip over to Tenerife. Life moves much faster on this popular island, and it's great if you fancy a good night out.

Get back to nature and witness the unseen side of the Canary Islands on La Gomera. Far from the busy crowds and typical tourist hotspots, you can explore the glorious landscape in your own time. It's an other-worldly experience thanks to its contrasting, diverse nature and atmospheric black-sand beaches. If you aren't looking for loud bars and towering hotel blocks, and prefer somewhere quieter and slower, La Gomera is the island for you.