La Gomera is full of charming places such as picturesque hamlets among ravines in the middle of nature, villages of traditional and rural architecture and historic buildings of great relevance for its Columbian past. In this special article we will talk about one of the most beautiful municipalities of La Gomera: Valle Gran Rey.
Spending a vacation in Valle Gran Rey is to feel that time stands still. Its ravine flows into black sand beaches and accompanies the traveler throughout his stay in this town. Swimming in the ocean watching the sunset marks the end of a relaxing day in Valle Gran Rey, but also the beginning of a night in which to enjoy the typical cuisine and folk dances.
Valle Gran Rey, a charming municipality
In the pre-Hispanic period, Valle Gran Rey belonged to Orone, one of the four cantons into which La Gomera was divided upon the arrival and establishment of the Europeans in the 15th century. Valle Gran Rey must have been an important territory: the abundant toponymy suggests that it was the place of residence of "kings" and soothsayers.
Currently, Valle Gran Rey is a municipality belonging to the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the island of La Gomera. It is the second most populated municipality of the island, after San Sebastián de La Gomera, the island's capital. In its name, the word "king" refers to Hupalupa, king of the Gomeros in 1488.
This municipality is located in the west of the island, bordering Vallehermoso and has an area of 32.36 square kilometers, the altitude of the municipal capital is about 50 meters above sea level, reaching a maximum altitude of 1225 meters at the central summit of the island.
Its urban area is mainly divided into two main nuclei. On the one hand, the Upper Valley, with population centers such as: Los Granados, El Hornillo, La Vizcaína or El Retamal, and the Lower Valley, with population centers such as: La Calera, Borbalán, Vueltas or La Playa.
The municipality with the largest area of protected natural areas
Despite being the main tourist center of La Gomera, Valle Gran Rey is far from mass tourism, which gives it a pleasant bohemian atmosphere. Temperatures are warm and mild also at night and allow you to enjoy this enclave surrounded by nature at any time of the year. In addition, tasting the delicious Gomeran cookies and palm honey, which can be bought in many stores in Valle Gran Rey, is a must for the visitor.
In addition, this municipality has an area of the protected natural spaces of the Garajonay National Park, the Valle Gran Rey Rural Park and the Lomo del Carretón Natural Monument. It also has the entire surface of the sites of scientific interest Charco de Cieno and Charco del Conde.
What to see if you visit Valle Gran Rey
As already mentioned, Valle Gran Rey is the main holiday destination for those who want to have the comforts of one of those beach destinations but without losing the essence of the village and contact with the locals. It is a municipality with a lot to offer, from magnificent beaches to spectacular viewpoints and monuments.
Among all its beaches we can highlight, on the one hand, the Charco del Conde, perfect for children. This puddle owes its name to Count Hernán Peraza who, according to the chronicles, used it as a leisure area with the aboriginal Yballa. This forbidden relationship triggered the rebellion of the Gomeros in 1488. It is a shallow natural pool that is also protected from dangerous currents. On the other hand, the beach of La Calera, comfortable and close to the village. It should be noted that in summer this beach is black sand, while in winter is in sight the callao.
Viewpoints with incredible views
It also has magnificent viewpoints from where you can appreciate all the beauty of the valley. We can highlight, on the one hand, the viewpoint of the Curva del Queso. From here we can see the middle and lower part of Valle Gran Rey, as the village is arranged between the cliffs of La Merica and Teguerguenche and then opens wide into the sea.
On the other hand, the viewpoint of Juan Rejón. At the apex of the neighborhood of La Calera, is this viewpoint, in the area where in the past was located the academy of Valle Gran Rey. From here we can see the entire lower part of Valle Gran Rey: Vueltas, La Puntilla, La Playa, El Palmar, etc. Banana trees, tropical crops, sea, from one of the most interesting neighborhoods of the municipality: La Calera, the ideal place to stroll and see how the buildings are superimposed on stairs between plants and flowers.
The Canary Islands is a land with a thousand things to see, explore and learn about. If you are interested in learning more interesting facts about the Canary Islands, here is a link to the Explora Canarias section of Marca Canaria.
Photos: directoalpaladar.com, lagavetavoladora.com, Turismo de Gran Canaria, traveler.es, viajes.nationalgeographic.com