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Los RoquesOur proposal includes, at least:
  • The Visitors Centre Juego de Bolas (Ball Game), in the hamlet of La Palmita, could be a good starting point. In its well-kept garden of the island's flora, you can find a good representation of the island's vegetation and, in particular, of the trees of Laurel. In addition to the panels that explain the general aspects of flora, fauna and geology, the ethnographic centre will provide an overview of the traditional uses of the forest and of the rural culture of the island.
  • Take a walk around Las Mimbreras and the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Lourdes (Our Lady of Lourdes) through one of the areas of greatest charm and mystery of the forest of cedar.
  • Eat at the various restaurants that exist in the villages surrounding the park: Arure, Las Hayas, El Cercado, Chipude or El Cedro (don't forget to taste the almogrote, a speciality of the island).
  • Take some time at the viewpoints on the sides of the GM 2 road, which allow us to enjoy the panoramic views, especially those of the stunning Roques de Agando and Ojila.

 

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DSCN1648If you have several days, it is recommended a visit to the Visitors Centre Juego de Bolas, where, not only will you get information about the most singular aspects of La Gomera, but you can also plan your visit with the help of the reception staff. In the same day you can enter in the park through any of the circular or linear trails of easy access and low difficulty level. Also bear in mind that in the environment of the national park there are restaurants that offer traditional food of the Canary Islands and of La Gomera in particular.

Depending on the time available, excursions can be designed with the help of the map of the park. The network of trails of the park is composed of 18 routes, but in the rest of the island there are dozens of trails of great interest. Remember not to walk alone and carry with you water, some food, warm clothing, a hat and sunscreen.

For more information, see the web page of the Cabildo Insular de La Gomera http://www.lagomera.travel/es/explorar/senderismo-en-la-gomera.aspx.

Whether you are going by car until the trails or if you are walking in paths aside from the ones of the mountain, it is not bad idea to always take a swimsuit and a towel, as both if the road ends at the coast (caution when bathing in the sea, especially in the north coast), or if you have travelled by car to the park and then go to some coastal town, the island is comfortable enough to, in the morning, be engulfed in a jungle, filling your boots with mud, enjoy the local cuisine in one of the varied restaurants of the island and finish with a siesta on the beach with a bath included. The Canary Islands allow you to enjoy the beach almost every day of the year.

If the day of the visit is a Friday (also Wednesday in summer), you can book a guided tour of the national park http://www.reservasparquesnacionales.es/real/ParquesNac/index.aspx. If the dates don't coincide or you prefer to walk for several days, it is feasible to hire the services of local guides in any of the companies of walkers.

When the visit is in the summer, it is highly recommended that you attend one of the many patronal feasts that are all over the island, where you can enjoy and learn about peculiar town festivals with pilgrimage, cultural and sporting activities, not forgetting, of course, the dances with orchestras of La Gomera, without a doubt the most famous of the Canary Islands.

Spending more than a day exploring the Park will also allow us to taste the island cuisine in the restaurants and eateries in the vicinity. You can't miss the almogrote, the potaje de berros (watercress soup) or the leche asada con miel de palma (a desert, made of roasted milk with honey of Palma).

 

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The Canary Islands archipelago is made up of seven major islands: El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife (province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura (province of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) and a series of islets (La Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Alegranza and Lobos) immersed in the Atlantic Ocean about 100 km from the African coast. This geographical location places the islands in the time zone of Greenwich (increased by one hour during the summer), one hour less than the mainland Spain and Europe.

La Gomera, with a surface area of 370 km2, holds a wide variety of natural landscapes, which are the product of the climatic contrasts due to its rugged terrain (maximum height of 1,487 meters, Garajonay's peak). Its population is about 23,000 inhabitants and they are known as gomeros. The island's economy has been traditionally linked to the primary sector (agriculture, livestock and fishery). Today, tourism is the economic engine, with a great interest from the public and private sectors to promote sustainable tourism through the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. La Gomera offers the tourist tranquillity and natural charms, highlighting the Garajonay National Park. UNESCO has refused to recognize these values by declaring the national park and the Silbo Gomero (whistle language of ancestral origin) as World Heritage Sites. As well, the island was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2012.

The island is communicated with the outside thanks to the airport (flights from the capital islands) in the Municipality of Alajeró and to the port of San Sebastian, the capital of the island, where the ferries from the island of Tenerife dock several times a day, which depart from Pier of Los Cristianos, La Palma and El Hierro (always confirm destinations and schedules). There are also piers in Valle Gran Rey and in Playa Santiago, where smaller boats can be tied.

Shopping hours are generally from Monday to Saturday, from 9:30 to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8 p.m.

The opening hours of banks tend to be from 8 to 2 p.m., being reduced in the summer. The official currency is the euro and it's not easy to exchange currency apart from banks or hotels. All municipalities have ATMs.

The timetables of eateries and restaurants tend to be consistent with the local customs, in such a way that the kitchen usually closes at around 4 p.m. in the afternoon and 11 p.m. at night.

 

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DSCN3656In the case of a route on foot, it is advisable to:
  • Plan your visit in advance, consulting all the information of the itinerary in the Visitors Centre Juego de Bolas.
  • Check the weather forecast. On rainy days some trails can be undesirable.
  • Carry a map of the park.
  • Use suitable footwear and clothing for going along the trails of the park. The climatic differences can be striking in short distances, especially if we take into account the frequent influence of the trade winds and, therefore, of very wet mists in higher areas. For this reason it is also advisable to carry a raincoat or an impermeable coat, even when it's unlikely to rain. A cap or similar and sunscreen are necessary in any time of the year on the island.
  • Always carry water and some food especially in itineraries that take several hours. The points of water supply are the Visitors Centre Juego de Bolas and the information point of Laguna Grande. In the recreational areas of Epina, Las Creces and La Ermita de Lourdes water is not treated for its consumption, but people have always drunk from its springs.
  • Have a first aid kit.
  • Do not leave the road. Walking through the fields in the orography of La Gomera has meant a disgust for more than one tourist.

  

 

Prior information

The Canary Islands archipelago is made up of seven major islands and a number of islets.

 

What to do in one day

When you have only one day to get to know the national park, the visit should include, at least, some main places.

 

What to do in several days

If your stay in the island of La Gomera is going to be of several days, deepening the knowledge of the Garajonay National Park is really recommended.

 

General Recommendations

To ensure that your visit to the national park allows you to enjoy the journey in its entirety, and to avoid setbacks, it is recommended to follow a series of practical tips.