Hiking in La Gomera offers a unique hiking experience. I loved it and couldn’t believe how much the landscapes changed and how quickly on such a small island. Read on to find out more about why you’d want to hike in La Gomera.
Where is La Gomera?
La Gomera is the second smallest of the Canary Islands. It belongs to Spain but is located 100 km off the northwestern African coast. You can easily reach it with a ferry from Tenerife. There’s also an airport.
What Makes Hiking in La Gomera So Special?
The volcanic island has so much diversity with many endemic plants. You’ll find everything from lush green forests, the largest and best-preserved Laurel Forest in the world, to succulents.
The island is comprised of valleys and steep hills that rise dramatically from the sea. You’ll hike along coastal paths, in lush green forests, through red rock, the largest banana plantation in La Gomera and drought-resistant succulents in drier parts. You’ll never be bored when hiking in La Gomera.
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Who Will Enjoy Hiking in La Gomera?
If you appreciate nature and want to hike in a volcanic landscape will love hiking here. I do most of my hiking in the mountains, mainly the Alps and the Canadian Rockies and loved the change of scenery.
I also loved that except for the descent into Valle Gran Rey on the last day of hiking, we hardly saw any other hikers. It really gives you a feeling of getting away from it all. If you like hiking in a place that you’ll virtually have all to yourself, you’ll love hiking here.
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How Does a Self-Guided Hike on La Gomera Work?
I arranged mine through CanariaWays.com. They take care of booking all your accommodations, arranging the transfers and luggage transfer and provide you with an itinerary. They also offer GPS instructions which you should receive before you start hiking. These are invaluable.
CanariaWays.com make it really easy for you to focus on the hiking and not have to worry about the logistics. They also choose really great hotels and all the transfers (both for us and for our luggage) worked perfectly. I’m a BIG fan of self-guided tours and do many of my hiking tours in this way.
Interested in doing it? Use the code “MONKEYS” when you book and receive €20 off.
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When’s the Best Time to Hike in La Gomera?
La Gomera has a subtropical climate with welcome winds from the Atlantic and a mild climate most of the year. That means the hiking season is almost the entire year – September to the end of May. It’s possible to hike in June, July and August although it will be hot so keep this in mind.
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How Does Hiking in La Gomera to Hiking on Tenerife?
La Gomera is definitely less popular than hiking in Tenerife and because it’s smaller you’ll get more sea views.
However, Tenerife has even more types of landscapes than la Gomera. You have the lush green of Anaga Rural Park in the north and rocky volcanic moonlike landscapes around Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, along with coastal walks.
You can do one of Canaria Ways self-guided hikes on Tenerife that range between 4 to 12 nights. Use the code “MONKEYS” when you book and receive €20 off.
I’ve hiked on both islands and enjoyed hiking on both. They’re hard to compare since they’re so different.
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So what does six days of hiking in La Gomera look like?
Check out my 6-day hiking itinerary for La Gomera where I give you the facts and also what I liked and didn’t like about hiking each day.
Day 1: Hiking from Chejelipes to Hermigua in La Gomera
Hiking Profile: (10.6 km, (+681m, -744m)
From the ferry in San Sebastian, you’ll take a private transfer to the start of the hike in the village of Chejelipes. From there, you’ll make your way up a road to a rocky path lined with prickly pears and palm trees to the Degollada La Cumbre Gap, the highest point on the trail today where you get stunning views reaching to San Sebastian and the Atlantic Ocean.
As you descend on the other side of the mountain, the prickly pears give way to a lush forest. You’ll notice the change in smell instantaneously as dry air is replaced by a lush forest smell. You’ll then reach a lookout point over Garajonay National Park,
As you descend further into the valley, you’ll reach the quiet town of Hermigua. The first thing you’ll notice is how green the banana plantations are in contrast to the surroundings. That’s because Hermigua is the largest producer of bananas on the island.
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Hiking Highlights from Chejelipes to Hermigua
- Almost non-stop fantastic views, some reaching to the Atlantic Ocean
- The changing scenery. I couldn’t believe how quickly you went from hiking through palms and prickly pears to a succulent forest to the largest Laurel Forest in the world, then through a banana plantation at the end.
- Hiking in the largest Laurel Forest (very exciting when your name is Laurel 🙂
- Small lizards as almost constant companions. Sometimes in plain sight, sometimes rustling through the undergrowth.
Keeping the Journey Real
Both at the beginning and end of the trail, you’re hiking on an asphalt road. They’re not busy, so traffic isn’t a concern, but I prefer hiking on trails, not on asphalt. These were also the hottest parts of the hike.
More on Garajonay National Park
This UNESCO World Site has an incredible 25% of the flora and 50% of the fauna is endemic. What I found really cool is that it’s home to the largest and best-preserved laurel forest in the world. Besides, having my name, this forest is special because it’s a prehistoric forest that is now considered rare. And it’s even home to the Laurel Pigeon.
Day 2: Hiking the Hermigua Coastal Loop
Hiking Profile: 13.4 km, +584 m, – 578 m
Your hike starts by walking through the largest banana plantation on La Gomera, then you make your way up among the houses, then down to Playa de la Caleta – a stunning black sand beach. Go early and you may just have it all to yourself. There are picnic benches or cool off with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Then, you’ll make your way up walking along a coastal route which is some of the most stunning scenery of the entire trip. You’ll continue walking upwards along a desolate path before returning to Hermi PLaya la CaletaGreool
Hiking Highlights of the Hermigua Coastal Loop
- Having Playa de la Caleta to ourselves for two hours until other people started arriving. Truly magical and in October the Atlantic Ocean is refreshing.
- Walking along the coastal route that offered stunning views of La Gomera’s dramatic coastline. This was one of my favourite parts of the entire hiking trip.
Keeping the Journal Real
We got lost making our way up through the windy paths through local’s houses and had to ask for directions several times (having a GPS would have avoided that – see more of that later on). While I loved hiking on the coastal path, the rest of the hike was less inspiring.
Day 3: Hiking from Agulo to Vallehermosa in La Gomera
Hiking Profile: 13.3 km, +743 m
You’ll be transferred to the village of Agulo where you start with a steep climb. Soon, your efforts are rewarded with a gorgeous view over Agulo and the Atlantic Ocean at Mirador de Abrante, a lookout point and a restaurant where you can stop for a cool drink to take in the views.
Then, the landscape changes dramatically as you find yourself hiking on red rock and sand. Not long afterwards, you get a view over the lush green Garajonay National Park and shortly afterwards you’re hiking in the park and arrive at the Visitor Centre, which I’m pretty sure has some of the best cookies on all of La Gomera.
Then, you continue hiking making your way past Roque Cano, a huge impressive rock marking the way down to the village of Vallehermosa.
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Hiking Highlights from Agulo to Vallehermosa
I loved how quickly the landscape changed. We had fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean, then were hiking on red sand and then in the green of Garajonay National Park. - Exploring Garajonay Visitor Centre.
It has some interesting exhibits and makes for a great rest stop. Fauna lovers will appreciate the gardens. I also loved hiking towards Roque Cano. It’s fun to see where you’re going in advance when the village is still out of sight.
Keeping the Journey Real
This was one of my favourite days, if not my favourite day of hiking. It was so full of surprising landscape changes that there was never a dull moment. I have nothing negative to say.
Day 4: Hiking from Vallehermosa to Chipude
Hiking Profile: 14.3 km, +1163 m
Today is the hardest day of hiking and you’ll be doing a lot of elevation as you make your way to the terraced hamlet of Los Chapines, then up the ridge into Garajonay National Park where you’ll get stunning views of the park as you hike in a deep forest of ferns.
Then you’ll make your way down to the village of Las Hayas before continuing down a deep gorge and the up again to Chipude.
Hiking Highlights of Vallehermosa to Chipude
I loved hiking in Garjonay National Park and the stunning views you got over it. Absolutely stunning.
Keeping the Journal Real
I loved the hiking up to the village of Las Hayas where we stopped for a much-deserved drink. From there, I found the hiking was less inspiring but that’s also because we got lost (again having a GPS would have avoided that – see more of that later on), making an already long day much longer.
I loved everywhere we stayed but the place in Chipude pales in comparison. It was fine (and it’s the only hotel available) but it didn’t have the wow factor of the other places we stayed in. It was also my least favourite of all the villages we stayed in.
Day 5: Hiking from Laguna Grande to Chipude
Hiking Profile: 12 km, +314 m
Your day starts with a transfer to the highest part of the island. You’ll start in Laguna Grande and make your way up through a forest to Alto de Garajonay, the highest point in La Gomera at 1487 m.
On a clear day, you can see Mount Teide on Tenerife. Going down, the landscape changes again and you’ll make your way through pine trees until you reach On your way down you will pass by Mirador Igualero, a lookout point with spectacular ocean views.
Igualero Chapel is also there although it was closed when we were there. Then, you’ll continue on a path with ocean views past La Fortaleza, a giant rock that looks like a fortress and was an important archeological site for the Guanches, the aboriginals of La Gomera. You’ll arrive back early and have time to relax.
Hiking Highlights of Laguna Grande to Chipude
I loved hiking in Graojonay National Park and if the weather would have cooperated I know the views from Alto de Garajonay would have been fabulous (the only time on our trip where it was overcast coincided with our visit to Alto de Garajonay), but fortunately, we had similar views on days before.
I also loved how quickly the landscape changed yet again as we made our way down to Mirador Igualero and really enjoyed this part of the hike as well. After a long day of hiking the day before, it was nice to arrive back to the hotel early and have some time to relax.
Keeping the Journey Real
I really enjoyed today and have nothing negative to say.
Day 6: Hiking from Arure to Valle Gran Rey
Hiking Profile: 9.7 km, +85 m, -880 m
You’ll be transferred to the village of Arure where you can visit a church. The descent from Arure to Valle Gran Rey is considered one of the best hikes on the island because of the non-stop views of the Atlantic.
You’ll pass friendly goats then a natural plateau with sweeping views of the Atlantic. Then you’ll zigzag your way down to the cheery resort town of Valle Gran Rey. This marks the end of the hiking part of your tour.
Hiking Highlights of Arure to Valle Gran Rey
The non-stop views were amazing. I must have said WOW a hundred times. It was a great finale to six wonderful days of hiking. We arrived just after 12:00 so we had time for a leisurely lunch with sea views and then did a whale watching sunset safari which was a great way to end the day. You could also go to the beach or do other activities.
Keeping the Journey Real
I really enjoyed the hike today. Nothing negative to say.
Day 7: Relaxation or Sightseeing Day in San Sebastian
You’ll take a transfer from Valle Gran Rey and see parts of the island you haven’t seen yet by car (ask your taxi driver to stop at a couple of the lookout points, which are stunning) to San Sebastian.
You can either explore the liveliest town in La Gomera or relax at your hotel. I stayed at the Parador de La Gomera. It’s absolutely stunning with a garden, swimming pool and lounge area and views of the Atlantic. It’s truly a wonderful way to end your hiking vacation.
Logistics of Planning a Hiking Trip to La Gomera
When to Arrive
Your hike starts in the morning from San Sebastian after you get off the ferry from Tenerife. We choose to arrive a couple of days early and went diving in Playa Santiago, which I really enjoyed, especially a day before our hike relaxing at the gorgeous Hotel Jardin Tecina which has a wonderful pool area. CanariaWays.com can arrange a pickup for you from Playa Santiago for an additional fee.
Alternatively, you could also plan to arrive a day early and hang out in San Sebastian. You’ll have a day at the end of your trip to do this as well but if you’re travelling from overseas or want a combined vacation of relaxation and hiking this is also a good option. In that case, I recommend that you stay at the Parador de La Gomera. I LOVED my stay here. See my description under Day 6.
How To Arrive
You can take a ferry from Tenerife or there’s an airport in La Gomera directly. From there, you can take a private transfer to your hotel.
What to Know Before Booking Your Tour
CanariaWays.com (remember to use the code “MONKEYS” when you book and receive €20 off) will provide you with an itinerary but in all honesty, I often found the written instructions confusing and we got lost several times because of this.
They offer GPS instructions on request and I’d HIGHLY recommend that you ask for this and ensure that you receive it before your tour starts so that you can ensure that everything is working as it should be.
La Gomera Day Trips from Tenerife
I loved our self-guided hiking tour of La Gomera and can’t recommend it enough. Garajonay National Park, in particular, is a magical place and being named Laurel, I loved hiking in the Laurel Forest.