Los Cristianos; Thursday, 22 February, 2024

The main reason for staying in Los Cristianos was actually to make it easy to hop across the strait to visit the neighbouring island of La Gomera which has far fewer accommodation options, and to help get to see the island I’d booked a day tour. The tour was originally supposed to start with a pickup from my hotel just before 9am, but whilst halfway through breakfast I got a phone call from the tour guide saying there had been a change of plans and he was going to collect me at 08:30 instead, so I quickly finished off what I was eating, popped up to my room to grab my bag and then head out to the pick-up stop.

The reason for the change was the tour guide having to do two rounds of pickups in the local area as the tour company only had a 7 seater van on Tenerife to match the 15 seater minibus on La Gomera, so he needed to collect 5 of us, drop us off at the ferry terminal, collect the other 5 people on our tour for the day and then get us all together and onto the fast ferry that left at 09:30.

Everyone corralled onto the ferry in time we took the 55 minute journey across to La Gomera, landing in the capital San Sebastián de La Gomera where we were met by the bus for the actual tour. We immediately left San Sebastián and headed straight out of the city on the main road to the West, starting a long but rapid climb up into the volcanic mountain that the island is constructed out of.

Our first stop was at the twin view points of the Mirador Colgado and the Mirador de los Roques. The first view point looks out Northeast over the island which, on a normal day, is covered by a dense fog of cloud caused by the trade winds blowing against the island, in comparison the view from the Mirador de los Roques towards the Southwest should be crisp and clear, with you passing through a cloud of mist and fog as you cross the road. However, a couple of days earlier a Calima (hot dry wind from the Sahara) had passed through the islands making the air dry and clear and the view points both spectacular, although it did mean we missed the advertised horizontal rain and cloud curtains.

Next stop was a quick coffee break in the small village of Temocodá and then on round to the neighbouring village of El Cercado to visit the Centro de Interpretación - Las Loceras. After a quick look around the museum it was then a short drive to the next viewpoint the Mirador Punta del Belete which looks directly down one of the many gorges carved out of the volcano by millennia of water flows. Along with it being a stunning natural feature for the shape of the gorge it also shows the history of the island with the clear bands of when volcanic material was laid down, thick and likely lasting many years during the early volcanic formation of the island and then much narrower representing eruptions that only lasted months in the more recent past.

From the viewpoint we then drove back into the heart of the island to visit the laurisilva forest and then stop for a traditional Canarian lunch in a small restaurant located in the heart of the forest.

After lunch we then drove to the north of the island and visited the Mirador de Abrante located high above the town of Agulo, one of only a handful of towns on the northern coast of the island. It was then a short drive back on ourselves to the Centro de Visitantes Juego de Bolas which has a small garden showing off plants native to the island, an reconstruction of a typical Canarian house from the period of the Spanish conquest, and an exhibition on the whistling language unique to the islands.

We then embarked on a the long, but very scenic, drive back initially along the north coast and then heading deep inland into the mountains before crossing through them in a series of tunnels to emerge about 10Km outside, and a good 2Km above, San Sebastián. A final drive down the mountain side and we arrived back in the city centre with about 40 minutes to spare before we needed to board the ferry back to Tenerife. The tour guide was based in La Gomera so he left us there with just enough time to have a quick self-explore around the city centre before heading back to the ferry terminal.

Whilst we’d been driving back to San Sebastián the clouds of the trade winds had started to form again over the island and with the speed of those winds it had made the sea a little choppy, so the crossing back from La Gomera to Tenerife wasn’t a smooth as the journey out, but we still arrived on time back at the harbour from where we headed back to our hotels individually. It was only 45 minutes later once I was comfortably back in the hotel that I got a phone call from the tour company as there was supposed to be a hotel transfer to meet us, but he’d got stuck in traffic and now couldn’t find any of us!

By the time I’d freshened up and headed down to dinner in was into the last hour of service and it appeared that most of the food had already been eaten with nothing much being refreshed. I was able to get a satisfactory dinner out of what was on offer, but it was hardly the excellent dining opportunity the hotel advertised. Just about sated I had a quick nightcap in the bar before heading back to my room.


Sunny Sunny
Hot (20-30C, 68-86F)