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La Gomera: the Island That Tourism Forgot

If you’re looking for completely unspoilt natural beauty then La Gomera in the Canary Islands could be the perfect destination for you. As one of the smallest of the seven Canary Islands it seems that mass tourism has passed it by in favour of the larger ‘party islands’.  But this beautiful volcanic landscape is welcoming to visitors and just crying out to be explored.

La Gomera is tiny, just 15 miles across, but you’ll find a wealth of extraordinary natural beauty and a variety of different micro climates. In the centre there is a cloud forest that’s every bit as green and exotic as you’d want it to be. Down on the coast you’ll find deep canyons, date palms and even desert. For those of you that want a tropical holiday with a difference, La Gomera is an ideal location.

Why does no one go there?

Perhaps one of the reasons for its lack of popularity is its terrain. It’s too precipitous to build runways long enough to land international sized jet planes, meaning that the only flights to the islands are by turboprop planes once a day. La Gomera handles just 32,000 passengers a year in comparison to the 13 million that are processed through Tenerife’s airport.

You can also arrive by boat, with a journey time of just 40 minutes, although this seems too long to attract the majority of the Tenerife tourists. This means that La Gomera has a far more relaxed atmosphere than the tourist hubs found on the bigger islands. Although visitors are always welcome you’ll find that the island is untouched by industrial tourism.

Why should I go to La Gomera?

The main reason for visiting La Gomera is the wildlife rather than the raucous nightlife, and you’ll get the best experience by taking to the road. And the best part is, there’s nothing harmful on the island. There are no snakes, deadly spiders or other creepy crawlies. The worst you’ll come across is the occasional mosquito. So get your hiking boots on and explore the island with the help of Beat the brochure!

Where to go in La Gomera

One of the best places to go in La Gomera is Playa Santiago, a quaint fishing village on the south coast. You’ll find a scattering of souvenir shops and a few family run restaurants and hotels, great if you want to experience a more authentic local lifestyle.

But you won’t be out too late, after dark the town shuts up shop and you won’t find a single nightclub on the island. Most restaurants are closed by 10pm so if you want to go out for a meal, plan to eat early.

Photo: The sunset over La Gomera

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