La Gomera - Inspirational Island
Beautiful La Gomera, Canary Islands View La Laja in a larger map
I live in La Gomera, Canary Islands for part of each year and have a long connection with the island. The volcanic landscape and dark forests are important to me in providing significant inspiration for my work. The island is roughly circular and has very little flat land with steep valleys (barrancos) between the mountain ridges rising to about 4500 feet. There is little of the type of tourism found in nearby Tenerife and the pace of life tends to be slow and relaxed. The total population is about 30,000. It is one of the older volcanic islands and is very green compared with other Canary Islands. This is mainly due to the way in which clouds condense on the north side of the mountains forming streams and feeding water courses all year round. The forest and national park on top of the island has been designated a world heritage site. (See the video below)
In July 2012 the International Coordinating Council of the MAB program of UNESCO in Paris declared the whole of La Gomera and a significant part of its marine area as a Biosphere Reserve in the excellent category.
Temperatures are usually pleasant - daytime between 20 and 25 degrees at sea level but can occasionally rise to 35 degrees in the summer if winds come from the Sahara and bring a calima (sand and dust in the air). La Laja is at about 1200 feet and will often be about 5 degrees cooler than the southern coast. This is an Atlantic Island so the weather can sometimes be changeable, with short periods of heavy rain not unusual between November and February. Most holiday makers visit the island to take in its natural beauty, for relaxation and walking. La Laja is an excellent centre if you are a walker and the island has many well-marked hiking trails. La Gomera is not generally a holiday destination thought suitable for children and young people.
More Gomera Information   ...and more   ...bus routes and timetable
La Laja is a thriving agricultural community spreadout over about 1.5 kilometers at the top end of the barranco (valley). My house is towards the top end of the community where there are about 20 inhabited houses scattered at the end of the winding mountain road 15 minute's drive from San Sebastian, the island's main town and port. It is a very quiet and beautiful location with several footpaths into the mountains and forests.
The usual way to arrive at La Gomera is by flight to Tenerife South airport (TFS). From the airport take a taxi to the port of Los Cristianos - about 20 minutes costing about 25 euros and then a seacat (50 minutes) or boat (60 minutes) across to La Gomera. Boats run from about 8.30am - 7.00 pm (8.30pm on Sundays) but times do change during the year and are best checked on the internet just before going - Fred Olsen or Armas. Whilst there is a bus service from San Sebastian to La Laja, it only runs twice a day (not Sundays or holidays) and a hire car is usual for most visitors.
Email for details of accommodation in La Laja and for details of walks. Many of the best walks are difficult to find and not on maps or in the books. Guided walking for very small groups available when I am in La Gomera.