Route around the south of La Gomera: Los Roques Viewing Point, the hamlets of Chipude and El Cercado, El Palmarejo Viewing Point, Laguna Grande

Route around the south of La Gomera: Los Roques Viewing Point, the hamlets of Chipude and El Cercado, El Palmarejo Viewing Point, Laguna Grande

La Gomera, located in the east of the Canary Islands, has been a Biosphere Reserve since 2012. It is famous because Christopher Columbus made a port of call there on his way to discover America (1492). Here we find Garajonay National Park – World Heritage Site, where the laurisilva from the Tertiary Period is still conserved. This route combines viewing points that look over extraordinary landscapes, such as Los Roques and César Manrique, traditional hamlets like Chipude and El Cercado, and recreation areas for the whole family in the middle of the forest, at Laguna Grande.

 

From San Sebastián to Los Roques Viewing Point

We set out from the port in San Sebastián de la Gomera, located in the east of the island, heading to Garajonay National Park, which is home to a natural jewel belonging to the Tertiary Period – the laurisilva, the only one in Europe. A 26-minute drive takes us to the group of viewing points at Los Roques, providing impressive views of this scenery, considered a living relic of a territory that is about 12 million years old. From here, we can see the so-called “sea of clouds”.

 

From Los Roques to the Hamlets of Chipude

From the Los Roques Viewing Point, we continue on along the road to the area in the middle of La Gomera. About 20 minutes and 35 kilometres away by car is a beautiful hamlet at the bottom of the archaeological site of Fortaleza de Chipude (practically at the geographic centre of La Gomera). Along with the Parish Church of La Candelaria and its group of traditional houses, the main features are the Los Ayala Country Estate – one of the few estates conserved on the island.

 

From Chipude to El Cercado

Barely 6 minutes outside Chipude by car, we come to El Cercado – a group of undistinguished buildings with stone walls and slate roofs. El Cercado is worthy of note due to its pottery production, so visitors can purchase very interesting vernacular ceramics. The female potters from El Cercado are famous all over the Canary Islands for the quality and purity of their work, inherited from the way of working of the first inhabitants of the Canary Islands.

 

From El Cercado to the César Manrique Viewing Point

We take the road from El Cercado towards Valle Gran Rey. After a 22-minute drive, we will come to El Palmarejo Viewing Point, now in the south-west of the island, built by the Lanzarote-born artist César Manrique – his last work before his death in 1992. The viewing point is the perfect —and ever more popular— place for trying La Gomera gastronomy while enjoying some of the best scenery on the island, including lush palm groves, farming lands and little hamlets.

 

From El Palmarejo Viewing Point to Laguna Grande

After leaving El Palmarejo Viewing Point, with its beautiful views over Valle Gran Rey, we have about a 20-minute drive to Laguna Grande (in the centre of the island), where most of the areas for public use in Garajonay National Park are concentrated. Laguna Grande is the most extensive recreation area on La Gomera, from where hikers start their routes into the park. It has a bar and restaurant and a full recreation area with barbecues, ovens, tables and playgrounds built of wood.