It may be the second smallest of the Canaries’ seven main islands, but that doesn’t mean that La Gomera is any less spectacular. At 14 miles wide, the round landmass reaches 5,000 feet into the sky at its highest peak and spans all types of landscapes, from banana orchards to mossy rainforests socked in by a layer of ethereal cloud cover. In fact, its mountainous La Garajonay National Park is such an impressive sight that it boasts status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The landscape isn’t the only thing that makes La Gomera especially noteworthy, though: Its culture is pretty special too. The island offers gastronomic specialties ranging from wine to cheese and pastries. And then of course there’s its famous whistling language, called silbo gomero, which has survived since Roman times. Traditionally used to communicate up to two miles across the island’s deep ravines, the language perseveres to this day thanks in part to its inclusion in school curriculum.
La Gomera gains fame for another reason, as it is on this island where Christopher Columbus made his last port of call before sailing on to the Americas with his three ships. Columbus had intended to stay only four days but ended up staying for a month and followed up his first visit with several others. Nowadays, visitors to the island can check out several landmarks dedicated to the explorer.
Boats make the roughly one-hour journey to and from La Gomera from Tenerife several times a day. La Gomera can also be reached by plane via a 30-minute flight from Tenerife.