LA GOMERA: COLUMBUS ISLAND

One of the seven Canary Islands located just off the coast of Tenerife, La Gomera is unknown outside of the Canarian inhabitants and visitors. A small island with access only by ferry and a population of roughly only 22,000, La Gomera is home to a lot of beauty and an interesting history.

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The island is also known as Columbus Island as in 1492, Columbus set sail to discover America from here after stocking up on supplies. It was from La Gomera that he documented viewing a volcano eruption across the water on Tenerife.

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During my own travels around La Gomera, we visited a banana plantation. The island grows a wide variety of different fruits but its most widely produced are bananas which the Canary Islands are also famous for. Whereas the main islands have a lot of banana plantations covered with netting, the plantations of La Gomera and completely natural, left to grow until ready. Canarian bananas are a lot sweeter than from other locations and over the Canarian islands, you will find they put banana in everything. During my time in Tenerife, I have even tried banana pizza… I did not expect it nor enjoy it. It was great to see bananas growing from the trees and also learn a bit about one of the main trades of the islands.

During our lunch in a little village, we were treated to a show of the Gomeran whistling language. This language dates back to the 16th century when inhabitants would communicate to each other across deep ravines of up to 2 miles using a whistling speech. Although not as widely used in modern day, children are still taught the whistling language in school as part of the Gomeran culture. It’s incredible to watch as to the naked ear, its just a whistle but to each other, its a full on conversation. If you find yourself in La Gomera, ask for a demonstration, you will be amazed. If not, at least give it a YouTube.

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The capital of San Sebastian is a small little town on the coast with cute little streets of cafes, ice creams parlours and gift shops. There is not a great deal to see or do in San Sebastian but its nice for a little wander through during your Gomeran explorations.

La Gomera shows the side of Canaries away from tourism. An island full of authentic Canarian culture, beautiful landscapes and a rich history. Easily accessible from Tenerife, definitely worth a visit. I loved my day in La Gomera even if I did have two batty women attach themselves to me because they thought I knew where I was going being a rep when I didn’t have a clue and also insisted on calling me the wrong name all day, despite correcting them three times.

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