La Gomera / Canary Islands

La Gomera - the second smallest of the main Canary Islands

The map shows La Gomera as a circular island. With 370 square kilometers and 98 kilometers of coastline, it is the second smallest of the main Canary Islands. In terms of geological history, La Gomera is assigned to the older of the Canary Islands. Geologists assume that the volcanic island rose from the Atlantic around 12 million years ago.

La Gomera - climate

The island's climate varies. In the north of the island, trade winds dump a lot of moist air. The moisture promotes plant growth in the region. Rain and condensed water are collected in reservoirs and used for agricultural purposes. In contrast, the southwest of the island lacks moisture. The Garajonay weather divide lies between the two regions. At 1.487 meters, it is the highest mountain on the island. It is surrounded by the subtropical rainforest of the Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is protected because of its uniqueness and plant diversity.

La Gomera - Cloud jam over subtropical rainforest

La Gomera - Cloud jam over subtropical rainforest

La Gomera's settlement history

Ethnologists speculate that settlement in the Canary Islands began 5.000 years ago. The first settlers may have been North Africans. The Guanches, the indigenous people of the islands, descended from them. Around 1.100 BC, the Phoenician seafarers, omnipresent at that time, came to the Canaries. The islands were targeted by Spanish conquerors at the beginning of the 15th century AD. From 1404 La Gomera was under the royal house of Castile. In the following centuries the island was ceded to Spanish nobles as a fief. Mainly wine and sugar cane were produced and exported. From 1837 on, La Gomera was directly subordinate to the Spanish crown.

La Gomera - economy

Feudal lords no longer reside on the island. In the second half of the 20th century, many residents left their country. The agricultural areas have not been cultivated since then. Agriculture serves exclusively La Gomera's self-sufficiency. Bananas are also grown in the flat coastal regions.

Santa Catalina - bananas as far as the eye can see

Santa Catalina - bananas as far as the eye can see

Economically, the more than 20.000 inhabitants of the island make a living from tourism, transfer payments from the central government in Madrid and infrastructure projects by the European Union. Half of La Gomera's inhabitants live in the island's capital, San Sebastián de La Gomera. The rest is spread over five parishes.

Black beach in San Sebastian

Black beach in San Sebastian

Since the island lacks extensive sandy beaches, it was spared from mass tourism. Instead, the island government relies on gentle tourism.

La Gomera - destination of the cruise ships

La Gomera is visited by cruise ships just like the neighboring islands. More than 40 passenger ships were registered in the port of San Sebastián in 2019. Under La Gomera attractions let's describe what there is to see and discover on La Gomera.

Update February 2021



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