The Garajonay Natural Park occupies more than 10% of the territory of the Canary Island of La Gomera and has been declared a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve, and every year receives more than 800,000 tourists, making it the fifth most visited natural park in Spain .
Most of the visitors who come to Garajonay Natural Park are attracted by the magnificent offer of rural tourism and to practice trekking in La Gomera, among other outdoor activities.
Garajonay National Park: a magical route
With an area of almost 4000 hectares, the Garajonay Natural Park covers all the municipalities of the island. Usually enveloped in a humid mist, the park houses the largest laurel forest in Europe.
Hiking in this incomparable environment is a magical and unforgettable experience.
The best trekking routes in Garajonay National Park
Let's see some of the best routes through the Garajonay Natural Park, the best place for hiking in La Gomera.
The route is 4.5 kilometres long and can be completed in less than 2 hours.
On the way you'll think you're in a huge tropical garden. It is a circular route of very little difficulty and with very good signposting through which you will walk among the trees of a leafy fayal-brezal forest.
Its floors are full of canary geraniums and ferns that during springtime become a spectacular purple tapestry.
Satin of the Mist and Risquillos de Corgo
A small walk of about 1300 meters, which can be done in less than three quarters of an hour , but for its indescribable beauty it is worth doing, even if it is part of a larger hiking route on La Gomera.
During the tour you will be able to admire some trees that twist and turn in search of sunlight. The high humidity of the environment has caused the trunks to be completely covered with lichen and moss.
The colours of the vegetation and the mist will make you think you are in the scene of a fairy tale.
Although the walk is short, it is recommended that you go well sheltered because the wind often blows in this part of the Garajonay Natural Park.
Pajarito - Alto de Garajonay - Pajarito
Circular route of low difficulty, with an extension of 5 kilometers and a duration of approximately 2 hours and a half.
It starts in Pajarito, reaches the Alto de Garajonay, the highest point of the island with 1482 meters of altitude, to finally return to Pajarito.
If you find the weather clear you can enjoy impressive views of the islands of Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro.
Another circular route of a little less than 2 kilometers and a low difficulty. You can complete it in about 40 minutes.
The area of Meriga, which belongs to the Garajonay Natural Park, is located in the highest part of Agulo.
During the journey you will be able to enjoy, apart from the exotic laurel forest, the contemplation of a lagoon, several streams and a very varied fauna, especially birds, whose songs will accompany you during the whole excursion.
How to prepare for hiking in La Gomera
La Gomera is one of the preferred holiday destinations for lovers of hiking and outdoor activities . As always when you go on an excursion, it is advisable to take a series of precautions so as not to have any unpleasant surprises.
Here are some tips to practice hiking in La Gomera with all the guarantees.
Preparation of the route
Excursions in La Gomera, as in any other natural environment, require good planning. To get the information you need you can go to the visitor centre of the Garajonay Natural Park, to any of the tourist offices on the island or to the information point at the Laguna Grande. At least you should know the state of the roads, where each route begins and ends, the level of difficulty, the kilometers you'll travel and the weather (although this is always conducive to excursions)
Suitable clothing and footwear
It is advisable to wear special trekking shoes when you go hiking on La Gomera, which are waterproof and hold your ankle properly.
As far as clothes are concerned, make sure your socks are not too thin, as they could cause annoying chafing. Even if it is summer, always put on a raincoat or warm clothes in case there is a sudden change in the weather.
Even if you have previously been informed about the route and the paths of La Gomera are very well marked, it is never a bad idea to take a map with you. Always carry it in paper format, even if you have maps in your GPS and mobile phone, in case they run out of battery.
Even if the hiking route on La Gomera is short or of low difficulty, it is always recommended to carry one or two trekking poles, as they help to maintain your balance, distribute the weight better on ascents and descents, relieve the load on your knees and can be of great help in the event of a small sprain or injury.
The height of the trekking poles must be graduated so that the arms are at a 90º angle. It is recommended to lengthen them between 5 and 10 centimeters in the descents.
Food and Beverage
It is convenient to bring energetic foods , such as nuts. Water is essential. It is recommended to take at least a liter and a half, and see regularly to avoid dehydration.
It should be waterproof, and if possible with a good amount of pockets and waist support, so that it does not hit the back when walking.
Practically all hiking routes in La Gomera pass through the Garajonay Natural Park , with 18 numbered trails, as well as other paths. The excellent climate, the lush vegetation and the friendliness of the people of La Gomera make a holiday on this island a real dream.
Photos: Government of the Canary Islands (main) and image banks.