The circular island of La Gomera has long been considered the hiking paradise of the Canary Islands. With its many ravines and microclimates, the island always presents something new, possessing an incredibly diverse array of vegetation in a surprisingly small area. And one mighty hiking trail will let you see it all: The GR 132. Circling the island clockwise, this path takes you along the rugged coastline of La Gomera and guarantees one seriously varied adventure. At some stages, you’ll fight spectacularly steep inclines, push through dense jungles of juniper—and be left with the belief that you’ve made it to Mars.
While hiking, the GR 132 will take you past at least one settlement everyday. As the island is famously sparsely populated, however, you should be careful when planning your overnight stays. As with people, the supply of food—and more importantly water—should also be taken into account. Keep an emergency reserve in your backpack should you need a little longer to complete a certain stage, and remember that not all wells contain drinkable water. What’s more, the sun is always going to be a factor here—even in deep winter. So, feel free to ask any restaurants you pass for a refill as they’ll normally be glad to help you out.
Officially, wild camping is not allowed on the island, although it’s most often tolerated when it seems to be the only option—just be sure to leave your spot exactly as you found it. And if you want to check out the famous cloud forest to the center of the island, consider hopping on the GR 131 hiking trail when it crosses your path, which will take you across the island.
To get to La Gomera, your best option is the ferry from Tenerife, where you’ll find two international airports. The ferries run between Los Cristianos and San Sebastian de la Gomera, and of the two companies that offer the service, Las Armas is cheaper. If it’s speed your after, consider taking one of the Fred Olsen ferries, just bear in mind it’s the more expensive option.
The first stage of your tour of La Gomera begins in San Sebastián, the capital of the island. Here, the ferries to the neighboring islands on and off, the city is the economic center of the island. In the streets you will find cozy bars and all sorts of shops if you have forgotten something.If it is mostly flat in the center, it is partly steep in the outer parts of the city, a taste for the next days.
From Hermigua it goes on today's stage to the beach of Vallehermoso. You walk through heathland, past cultivated terraces and on paths that are densely grown by juniper trees.From the beach you follow the coastal road. If you look up the mountain, you will see many terraces on which all sorts of plane trees are grown. Plane trees are the Canary version of bananas.
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At the beginning of your day of hiking, a steep but beautiful climb from the beach to the Mirador Montana de Alcala awaits you. If you have reached this and you enjoy the wonderful view, the path runs more leisurely on a ridge uphill. This is the geologically oldest part of the island and offers unusual sights. In any case, the path will always give you wonderful views of the north coast of the island.
Your stage today will take you from La Dama via Alajeró to Playa de Santiago. Basically, it goes up the mountain once, until Alajero and then down again. But not without visiting some gorges again, as is typical for La Gomera. Up the hill you are on the run of Barranco de la Negra. This belongs to the protected landscape "Orone", here nest some rare birds, such as the osprey.