Garajonay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. La Gomera has over 650 kilometers of trails and a lot of them cross the national park. The Garajonay National Park is like stepping into a completely different world – and a good one. A crazy thing is that parts of this place are best experienced when it’s foggy! Join us as we enter this magical place in the center of La Gomera island.
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Garajonay National Park – A magical place
The park is a densely forested area with laurel trees. When I was a child, I used to watch Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears. When entering this forest, it felt like walking straight into that cartoon and I almost started looking for the different Gummi Bears. It was so special that we all held our breath for a minute. We got lucky because there was also fog during our visit and that made the experience even more awesome.
The whole park (4 000 hectares) is very well maintained and there are several entry points. We got to spend the day with Jacinto Leralta Pinan, a guide at the park. He showed us some really nice spots and places that we now want to share with you guys so that you can explore this place and get the most out of it. So let’s start from the beginning and start the visit with a stop at the visitor’s center.
Start at the visitor center – Juego de Bolas
The visitor center is three kilometers from the National Park. This is the best place to start since it’s here that you will get all the information you need. At the center, there are displays and audiovisual recordings. They will make sure that you are ready to enjoy the National Park. Get pamphlets, leaflets, books, and maps here before you start to embark on your hike.
There is also a garden where you can see some of the plants that grow here and you will know what to look for when going to the National Park. But there’s even more here. The visitor center is made in a way so that it’s also a cultural center. Learn more about the whistling language of La Gomera and more about the history of the island. La Gomera is 12 million years old and there are several different landscapes on this small island.
Information about Visitor Center Juego de Bolas
Address: La Palmita, Agulo, La Gomera.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:30 – 16:30.
Eat the best Gofio Cookies at the Visitor Center
As I mentioned, there is more to explore at the visitor center. Idelina is selling her homemade Gofio cookies. There are only three people that make Gofio Cookies on the island and Idelina is one of them. There are many different flavors to choose from and we got to have a tasting. All of the flavors are idéas that Idelina came up with herself.
My favorites were curry. I loved the strong kick that the cookies had. But also, the cinnamon once was really tasty. Mini, like always found the chocolate ones to be the best. Coffee is the perfect match for the cookies and this place is also a café. Buy a cookie or two and then just enjoy them inside the store with a cup of coffee.
Wine tasting at the Visitor Center
Each Friday there is a local Bodega that comes to the visitor center and presents its wines. There are 19 bodegas on the island and they take turns presenting their products. There is a micro vineyard that you can walk through and where you will learn more about the grapes. The wine tastings are free of charge but you need to make reservations. During our visit, we got to try out some local wines.
- Garagonay – The local bodega of the whole island. It was a young wine that tasted a little tropical and had a hint of bubbles. Super fresh!
- Vina Cheo – This is a whine where they leave the skin of the grapes for 24 hours. Fresh, nice, and I believe that it would be awesome with some cheese!
- Vina Cheo Tinto – A red wine that is soft and not that dark for being a red one. Also really nice! To sum it all up, La Gomera vines are great!
La Laguna grande – a perfect place for lunch
La Laguna grande is part of Garajonay National Park and it’s a great place to have some lunch. Well, lunch either that you brought with you or in the restaurant that is located here. There is a place where you can start a fire and maybe fix some hotdogs or a steak. We got a nice lunch bag with sandwiches and fruit and then we all scattered around the Laguna and just enjoyed life and nature.
This is a very popular place since a lot of the trails pass through here. In the park, there are 18 different trails to choose from, and a lot of them are connected to La Laguna Grande. We ended up spending quite some time here, even getting accompanied by a tiny bird that wanted a taste of our food.
Address: Carretera General S/N | Parque Nacional de Garajonay, 38849 Vallehermoso.
Hiking in the Garajonay National Park
So, there are 18 different hiking trails in the national park and they have several different lengths and difficulties. Some of them are circular and others are linear. The routes are well marked so no need to worry that you will get lost in the park. If you prefer, you can join a guided excursion that the park offer. In order to join a guided tour, you need to make reservations, either at the visitor center or by calling +34 922 80 03 90.
Circular trails – come back to where you started
- La Laguna Grande I: 0,7 kilometers – takes about 20 minutes and is an easy walk.
- Barranquillos: 0,8 kilometers – takes about 20 minutes to get around and it’s an easy walk.
- Contadero – Alto Garajonay – Contadero: 2,5 kilometers – 90 minutes to hike and it’s an intermediate trail.
- Canada de Jorge: 3,4 kilometers – the trail takes about 80 minutes to walk and it’s an easy one.
- La Laguna Grande II: 4,2 kilometers – an easy walk that takes around 2 hours to hike.
- La Creces: 4,5 kilometers – this trail takes more or less 2 hours and is easy to explore This trail also crosses just outside of the hotel Casa Fatima.
- Pajarito – Alto – Pajarito: 4,6 kilometer – takes 2 hours and 45 minutes and is an intermediate hike.
- Pajarito – Ajugal – Pajarito: 7,3 kilometers – takes about 3 hours and is an easy hike.
- Laguna Grande – Alto Garajonay – Laguna Grande: 10,2 kilometers – the hike takes about 6 hours and is intermediate.
- Pajarito – Chorro del Cedro – Tajaque – Pajarito: 16,1 kilometers – this trail takes about 9 hours and 10 minutes to walk and is a difficult hike.
Linear Trails at the Garajonay National Park
- Bailadero: 0,9 kilometers – the hike takes about 30 minutes and is intermediate.
- La Meseta De Hermigua: 1,1 kilometers – the trail takes about 30 minutes and it’s an intermediate hike.
- Raso Bruma – Risquillos Corgo Raso Bruma: 1,3 kilometer – it’s an intermediate hike that takes about 40 minutes.
- Ermita De Lourdes: 1,8 kilometers – the route takes about 45 minutes and it’s an easy hike.
- Agando – Casa del Manco – Agando: 2,5 kilometers – an intermediate hike that takes about 2 hours to walk.
- Reventon Oscuro – El Cedro – Reventon Oscuro: 5,8 kilometer – it takes three and a half hours to walk and it’s an intermediate trail.
- Meseta Hermigua – Chorro del Cedro – Meseta Hermigua: 6,5 kilometer – takes four and a half hours to do this intermediate trail.
- Contadero – El Cedro – Contadero: 11,6 kilometers – an intermediate hike that takes about 7 hours.
Our visit to the Garajonay National Park
I’m pretty sure that all of us were super impressed by this place. We got a sneak peek of several different trails and we all walked among mist, moist, and ferns. There is no doubt that everyone that comes here, enjoys their visit. Magical is a weak word when trying to explain how it feels to walk in the national park. And with all the paths marked really nice, you can walk without having to be worried that you’ll get lost.
There are so many hiking trails in La Gomera – and all of them don’t pass through the national park. This makes this island perfect for hiking!