La Gomera is the second smallest island in the Canaries and is known for its Canarian charm and incredible nature. There is much to explore and see while visiting the island, and we here at Road Affair don’t want you to miss out on any of it. That is why we have carefully curated a list of the best things to do in La Gomera. From beaches to museums and viewpoints, these are some seriously great attractions you won’t want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Start scrolling to plan the perfect itinerary for your trip to La Gomera!
Spend a Day or Two in San Sebastián de La Gomera
San Sebastián de La Gomera, the capital of the island, is a great area to spend a day exploring while sightseeing in La Gomera.
One of the first spots visitors should head to is Torre del Conde, a 15th-century stone tower with fantastic views of the city and sea. The tower is located in the Torre del Conde Park, just down the street from a statue of Christopher Columbus. Another fascinating attraction in the city is the Iglesia de la Virgen de la Asunción. Local lore says that Christopher Columbus and his men prayed at this triple-nave church before setting off for the Americas. The original 15th-century church burned down, but the current church was rebuilt in the 18th century. Casa de Colón is another great attraction linked to Christopher Columbus. This beautiful 17th-century mansion is where he spent his last night before sailing for the New World. For those looking to learn more about the island and its people, the Museo Arqueológico de La Gomera is the place to go. Visitors who want to spend a day in the sun can sunbathe and go for a swim at Playa San Sebastián and Playa de la Cueva.
Visit the Ethnographic Park and Museum in Hermigua
The small town of Hermigua on the north end of the island is a nature-lovers’ paradise and a must-see in La Gomera.
Rolling rocky landscapes and laurel forests cover the area surrounding this quaint village, offering the perfect spot to dive into nature. At El Parque Etnográfico de La Gomera, tourists can walk the botanical route and explore over an acre of native plants. The museum and farming garden also introduce visitors to native farming techniques and agriculture tools through an audio guide, a museum, and panels. Another great attraction to learn more about the culture of the island and its people is at the Museo Etnográfico de La Gomera. Here, visitors can view ceramic artifacts, handmills, and even mousetraps that locals used.
Go for a Swim at Pescante de Hermigua
The natural swimming pool of Pescante de Hermigua is a beautiful and unique attraction for tourists.
Currently, Pescante de Hermigua is officially closed due to a rock slide, but many still visit and swim at their own risk. The natural pool is quite large, and the views from the cliffside over the sea are stunning. A set of stairs and platforms lead down to the calm pool waters, where visitors can enjoy a relaxing dip while watching the waves crash into the rocky cliffside. Tall pillars sit beside the pool, giving a glimpse into what the pool once was used for. In the 19th century, La Gomera was exporting fruits such as bananas and tomatoes to mainland Europe, but many large boats and barges couldn’t reach the rocky cliffside of the island. So, instead, the locals would build these small calm pools with davits so that small boats could be loaded up and make their way out to the larger boats off the coast.
Explore the Laurel Forests of Garajonay National Park
Garajonay National Park is one of the best La Gomera attractions, and for good reason.
The national park is not only home to an incredibly dense laurel forest that covers 70% of the park but is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is plenty to see and do in Garajonay National Park, but visitors’ first stop should be at Juego de Bolas Visitor Center. Here, they can learn more about the nature and pick up a hiking trail map. One of the most popular hikes in the park is the El Contadero to El Cedro trail, which is a 12-kilometer loop path that takes roughly 4.5 hours to complete. Garajonay National Park is also home to several spectacular viewpoints, such as the Mirador del Alto de Garajonay, which is the highest peak on the island. Other notable viewpoints to visit include the Miradores de Los Roques and the Mirador de Igualero.
Walk Along the Beach at Playa Santiago
Playa Santiago is a quiet beach town located on the southwest side of the island, and it’s become a very popular spot for enjoying a beach stroll and swimming.
If you’re wondering what to do in La Gomera, consider sunbathing on the pebbles and black sand of Playa Santiago. You can also take a stroll along the beach promenade to one of the bars and restaurants for a bite to eat and a refreshing drink while overlooking the ocean. Those looking to get away from the crowds and enjoy a more remote vibe should head to Playa del Medio, located 10 minutes from the town.
Spend a Day at Valle Gran Rey
If you’re looking for places to visit in La Gomera that are excellent for a beach day, then consider making your way to the small seaside town of Valle Gran Rey.
Valle Gran Rey offers two unique beaches to visit. The first is Charco del Conde, which is a sand beach offering tourists and young children the chance to swim in a calm natural pool. As the tide goes out, a small puddle lake is left where little ones can splash and run without parents having to worry about the waves. Even with the tide in, the beach area has a natural rock barrier that separates it from the sea, making it well protected. The second beach at Valle Gran Rey is the main beach, Playa de Valle Gran Rey.
When driving into the town, there are numerous beautiful viewpoints that should not be missed. Some of the top ones include Mirador de la Retama, Mirador de El Palmarejo, and Mirador de la Curva del Queso.
Sport Your Birthday Suit at Playa del Inglés
Are you not a fan of tan lines? Well, most of us aren’t, but the only way to avoid these pesky lines is by dropping those drawers and letting it all hang out (so to speak).
One of the best beaches in La Gomera is Playa del Inglés, located just north of the town of Playa de la Calera. Here, tourists can bare it all if they choose while sunning (and mooning) on the fine black sands. The area was a popular hippy hangout in the 1970s and is quite private, away from the nearby town. It’s also a fantastic spot to watch the sunset.
Stand On the Glass Floor at Mirador de Abrante
If you’re looking for a free thing to do in La Gomera, then why not head to one of the most popular viewpoints on the island?
Mirador de Abrante, located just outside Agulo, is a breathtaking viewpoint where visitors can walk out into a glass observatory over the cliffside. Tourists who are prone to vertigo may opt to not walk out, though, as the glass floor and surrounding glass can make the head spin. The building that houses the observatory platform is a restaurant, so visitors can enjoy lunch or a refreshing drink while looking at panoramic views of Agulo and the ocean in the distance.
Hike Fortaleza de Chipude
Another fantastic tourist attraction in La Gomera is the natural monument of Fortaleza de Chipude.
This iconic tabletop mountain has been a place of refuge and wonder on the island for hundreds of years. The height and shape of this natural monument made it attractive for local farmers and natives looking for refuge against invasion or weather. Fortaleza de Chipude is also linked with many local myths and legends.
You can choose to hike the mountain or view it from afar at Mirador de Igualero. However, if you do plan on hiking it, just take note that it isn’t the easiest trail and it can be quite steep in places. There is only one trail up the mountain. The Fortaleza de Chipude trail is an out-and-back path that is roughly two kilometers long and takes about an hour to walk. Those who do make it to the top will be rewarded with outstanding panoramic views.
Go Dolphin and Whale-Watching
If you’re on the hunt for some fun activities in La Gomera, then why not head out on a boat excursion to go dolphin and whale-watching?
You are on an island, after all, so heading out on a boat should be on your bucket list! One of the best places to go on a dolphin and whale-watching is with Oceano Whale Watching La Gomera in Valle Gran Rey. The company offers two tours a day with a maximum of 10 guests on each boat, making the experience a bit more intimate and allowing guests to have all their questions answered. The tour lasts about three to four hours.
Take a Boat Trip to Los Órganos
If you’re looking for a unique and fun thing to do in La Gomera, then you should most definitely book a boat excursion to Los Órganos.
Los Órganos, or the Organs, is a cliffside of massive prismatic basalt columns that stack in front of each other, resembling church organ pipes. It is quite an impressive and spectacular natural occurrence that can only be accessed by the sea. The organs, or pipes, have a hexagon-shaped base and are a rare phenomenon that has occurred due to the cooling of lava from a past eruption. The volcano would have been slowly pulling magma up through its chambers to the earth’s surface, and when these chambers cooled, we were left with these beautiful organs.
Try Local Delicacies
As Deborah Cater said, “You have to taste culture to understand it,” and there is no better place to enjoy local foods than in the Canary Islands. Let’s be honest, too: Is there really any room for a diet on vacation?
La Gomera restaurants serve up some fantastic local island dishes and Canarian dishes that should not be missed. Queso Gomera La Cabezada is a cheese that is the island’s pride and joy. It is typically made of goat’s milk or a mixture of goat and sheep milk and pairs nicely with a glass of wine in the afternoon. Speaking of wine, La Gomera is well known for its white wines, specifically those that are made from a variety of the Spanish Forastera grape. So if you’re looking to try a local white, look for those made from Forastera Gomera (Forastera Blanca). Watercress soup, or potaje de berros, is a local dish made from a cabbage-like leafy green plant. Another famous dish of La Gomera is a paté-like dish called almogrote. Its main ingredient is Queso Gomera La Cabezada, but it is characterized by its use of red peppers, tomatoes, and oil. Almograte pairs well with bread as a starter or a snack. One of the most unique products that have come from the Canary Islands that you can try in La Gomera is Palm Tree Honey, or miel de palma. This is a raw sap that is tapped from Canarian palm trees that must be at least 20 years old, and it is used in dishes and desserts or can be drunk straight out of a shot glass. If you want to learn more about palm tree honey, then visit the Casa de la Miel de Palma.
Explore the Village of Vallehermoso
Last on our list of the top things to do in La Gomera is a visit to the beautiful village of Vallehermoso on the northwest side of the island.
This charming town filled with colorful homes and lush nature is a great spot to spend a few hours. On your way into the village, make sure to stop in at Mirador El Almendrillo to get an incredible view of the town and Roque Cano. Roque Cano is a rock formation and an impressive natural monument located on the outskirts of town. Its almost vertical walls are a challenge to even the most experienced climbers, and it stands at over 200 meters tall. You can admire the formation from afar or hike to it. Once you get into town, head to Maritime Park for a dip in the free public swimming pool, where you’ll also get a great view of the Playa de Vallehermoso. If you continue outside of town north toward the seaside, you can visit Castillo del Mar, which is the remains of a small castle-like structure along the coast that was used for storing and loading bananas. Unfortunately, access into the castle is closed, but it is still a unique and interesting attraction to view from afar.
There you have them, all the best attractions in La Gomera to add to your itinerary. Hikes, viewpoints, local cuisine, and swimming places are all here. All you have to do now is figure out how to fit all these fantastic attractions into your trip.