Join us in this wonderful island of contrasting landscapes- with the Garonjay forest in its centre - and the magnificent deep valleys that radiate out from the centre down to the crystal clear sea.
This guided walking holiday explores the diverse landscape thoroughly. The sea is always in view - sparkling in the sunshine. La Gomera has walking that compliments the other winter sun holidays in our portfolio- but it is different.
Food - many local cuisines are to be enjoyed- and it's unique communication system of Silbo - a whistling method of carrying messages over long distances through the valleys.
Getting to La Gomera/Flights
La Gomera lies off the coast of Tenerife. You fly to Tenerife South airport and take the hourly ferry to La Gomera - this takes 45 minutes.
From the port of San Sebastian we take a ferry to Valle Gran Rey. Alternatively - dependent on the ferry times - we may use public transport or a minibus if numbers demand it.
Note- we always try to advise that you fly from your local airport- this is one of the unique selling points for our holidays.
There may be a small flight supplements from your local airport- as we price our holidays well in advance and based upon typical London departures.
The advatages in cost and convenience however far out weigh any additional local airport supplement- and to support the environment - reducing the overall carbon footprint is good policy.
Accommodation and meals
We stay at Valle Gran Rey at the hotel Gran Rey,
The hotel is close to the beach area and the small port. The 3-star hotel, which opened in November 1996, has three floors and 99 rooms (55 with sea views, 44 overlooking the valley), including 8 superior rooms. Amenities include two restaurants, two swimming pools, a sunbathing terrace, other terraces, TV lounge, conference room, tennis court and car park.
Rooms are spacious. Dinner is taken in the hotels restaurant and is buffet style
Breakfast is normally taken on the outside terrace.Wonderful ocean views.
Guided walking programme
La Gomera offers a wide range of terrain and scenery to walk in.- see this video -http://lagomera.travel/en/videos-2/
We use our La Gomeran guides to lead this holiday- supported by our UK tour leader.
Our normal pattern for each day -s as follows
- 9.30am - transport to the walk start - normally bey=tween 20 and 45 minutes. Then we start our walk, stop for a packed lunch, then normally we try to finish so that we have time in thislovely countryside for an end of walk drink.We retur to the hotel about 5.15pm.
Underfoot conditions - generally well worn, good paths - occasionally very stony underfoot. La Gomera has some of the best signposting in the world. We ascend and decend each day - there is no flat walking on the island as it is shaped like an up turned bowl.6 hours of walking each day.
La Gomera has a network of over 600 kilometres of mysterious trails where you can lose yourself - long , deep barrancos and some excellent ridge walking. https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/heart-nature/
The island was awarded World Biosphere Reserve status in 2011, in the excellent category, thanks to the pristine nature of its marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
You can feel the magic of the place at every turn as it envelops you. Keep looking and you learn that this energy is real. Travel from landscape to landscape, through palm-filled valleys, deep ravines, black sand beaches with crystal-clear waters, luxuriant ancient forests refreshed with babbling stream- indeed a natural paradise, home to species that have disappeared everywhere else. La Gomera is so valuable that it is a Biosphere Reserve.
The Garonjay forest is unique and on one day we will explore this natural enviromnet on foot.
Grade of walking
Great care has been taken selecting our routes to ensure our guests enjoyment and safety.
However, due to the challenging nature of the mountainous terrain there will be some steep climbs and descents so a good level of walking fitness is strongly recommended, this will greatly enhance the enjoyment of this walking holiday (a suggested kit list will be issued)
Overall we rate the walking as moderate with some challenging steep ascents and descents..
On good paths, the ground is hard, dusty and very dry, we stop often – taking on water is obligatory, and not every day will be the same – we may take transport higher up, and walk quite a bit of the walk on a reasonably level terrain, then descend.
- superb hotel in super location, super food and services
- fantastic sunrises and sun sets - rooms designed to take these in.
- walking in superb scenery in the a variety of terrains in La Palma
- a different view at every turn
- local cuisine
- our relaxed,social approach
What you get on your Secret Hills La Gomera Holiday:
Individual quotation from airport of your choice.
Flight organised for you
Transfers to hotel from airpor tto ferry port /and return
Ferry or bus transfer to Valle Gran Rey and hotel- and return
Half-board en suite accommodation, including buffet breakfast
Three course dinner
Five guided walking days
Transport to walks start and finish
Friendly, knowledgable walking guides- from the area
UK tour leader
Our administration services.
Sole occupancy supplements
For sole occupancy of a twin room there is a single supplement of £28 per night.
La Gomera - the place and history, culture
Ancient laurel forest
Unique in the world The highlight of the Garajonay National Park is its laurel forests, a green mass of prehistoric vegetation unique to the Macaronesian region. It covered the tropics millions of years ago and now survives in La Gomera thanks to its exceptional, temperate climate.
Impressive views of nature
This icon of La Gomera consists of five blocks of rocked formed from magma that never reached the surface. They guard the entrance to the Garajonay National Park and their viewpoints offer superb views.
A musical cliff
This fascinating natural monument on the north coast of the Vallehermoso municipality is a volcanic sea cliff made up of vertical lava pipes that look like a giant church organ. A spectacular geological formation that has to be seen by boat trip.
The green of a landscape full of palms
The mouth of this deep, verdant valley, one of La Gomera's main tourist destinations, has black sand beaches and vivid blue water and the valley is full of palm trees and little white houses.
San Sebastian de la Gomera, is the political and administrative capital of the island and the main gateway by sea, as it has a Major Commercial Port, used by passengers and for the importation and exportation of goods from different countries throughout history.
Today, there are two shipping companies operating, Fred Olsen and Naviera Armas. Both companies depart daily from the port of Los Cristianos in the South of Tenerife to the Port of San Sebastián de La Gomera, in a comfortable and pleasant journey not exceeding 60 minutes. We
In the North Area, exposed to the winds, there is a mixture of sun and clouds that defines the weather, raising its moisture levels and thus lowering the temperature. Due to southerly winds, the temperature raises in the South Area, the weather is sunny and much warmer most of the year. This is the reason why the main tourist points, such as Valle Gran Rey and Playa Santiago, concentrate in this area of La Gomera.
The action of the trade winds and the sea of clouds have its focus point on the northern side, where we find Garajonay National Park (World Heritage Site). Due to the height of its mountains, the rain steam condenses
creating a green forest, intact for thousands of years.
Therefore, the climate of the island of La Gomera is warm and soft, with few fluctuations, maintaining an average temperature of twenty-two degrees all year round, which allows visits during any season.
The Silbo Gomero is a whistling language used from immemorial times on the island of La Gomera to communicate over long distances. It is not a series of preset codes that allows the expression of limited content, but an articulate language, unconventional, where you can exchange an unlimited range of messages, reproducing by whistling the characteristic sounds of a spoken language.
The depth and distance between gullies produced the creation of a unique language in the world that has merited the protection of UNESCO, being recognized as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in September 2009.
It has an exceptional value, being a proof of the human creative genius. Besides being an adapted and developed system to facilitate survival in a particular environment, users have endowed it with great technical complexity and aesthetic.
The Silbo Gomero is the expression of the popular culture of La Gomera, is strongly rooted in the population of the island, has developed in a cohesive factor of the community for years, and is a hallmark of La Gomera and all the Canary Islands.
This cuisine shows the essence of those who live in the island and their way of life. Thus, cheese, almogrote (typical sauce from the Island, made with cheese, herbs and usually olive oil), mojos (typical Canarian sauce, rich in flavors, made with different herbs, garlic and oil), sweets, gofio (toasted flour from different cereals, a hallmark in the Canarian kitchen in general), wine or palm honey, represent the original and surprising flavors of the cuisine of our island.
All these products are traditional; their origin is lost in time. Up to this day, small businesses produce them in the island, helping to maintain the different agricultural landscapes and the genuine cultural wealth.
The delicatessen from the sea that surrounds the island, particular farming and their own ways of cooking are the ingredients of this cuisine, easy and tasty. Dishes like watercress soup, served on wooden plates made from the Aceviño (Small Leaf Holly, endemic to Macaronesian Islands) or Juniper are a unique culinary curiosity.
Cheese is one of the most valued of the cuisine of the Island. It is made from raw goat milk or a mixture of goat and sheep milk. It is important in the kitchen because is the main ingredient for other products such as curd cakes or almogrote. The latter product is considered a gastronomic jewel because of the excellence of its intense flavor, in addition to its endemic character, traditional production and craftsmanship.
Gofio is flour obtained from cereal grain such as millet and wheat, sometimes mixed with barley or others. This product is valued for its dietetic benefits for its interesting properties in the gastronomy.
The most distinctive wines of the island are white, of a yellowish color, with a great variety of aromas, pleasant to the palate, full bodied and special bouquet. The red wines of beautiful ruby color and fruity aromas are soft and balanced. Since 2003, these wines are protected by the Garantee of Origin “Vinos de La Gomera”.
The pastry from La Gomera, of a great variety, has a widely recognized reputation on quality product and craftsmanship. Butter ring shaped-pastry, Bilana Cake, Morones, Vichi doughnuts, cookies…. their exquisite taste is appreciated as well as its traditional way of elaboration.
Palm honey is the hallmark of the kitchen in La Gomera, it is made from the sap of the Canary Island palm tree (Guarapo), boiled and thickened. It is used in desserts and cocktails or accompanying other dishes like baked milk pudding. The palm honey or Guarapo symbolizes the most striking and evident proof of the close bonds that the people of La Gomera have always maintained with the palm tree. This process has created a genuine culture, always associated to the palm tree.
Our relationship with New Experience Holidays
Our Partners in Europe Walking
Secret Hills Walking are pleased to be associated with New Experience Holidays, who organise flights, accommodation and transfers for these holidays and provide you with ATOL security.
All your joining instructions and individual flight arrangements will be made by Paul and Deborah Sawyer. Once you have committed to a holiday, and have accepted the individual quote we send, we will forward a New Experience reservation form, and you should pay all deposits and final payments to New Experience Holidays.
Secret Hills Walking is responsible for marketing and selling the holidays and for arranging your itinerary when you arrive at the airport in the country you are visiting. You will receive individual attention throughout your holiday from us.
ATOL Bonding - New Experience Holidays REGISTRATION
Insurance - you need to be fully covered
It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against travel,medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). Our partners New Experience holidays will ask for this information as a condition of reserving a place.
If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance
How to book your holiday
Do not book on line at this point. Read on and follow the instructions
In order to conform with ATOL bonding requirements, prior to you reserving a holiday with us, we need to provide you with an official quotation. This will contain all the details and costs of the holiday and your requested choice of flights and airports. You will find a GET QUOTE button at the top of the page, use this and fill in the form in order to start the quotation process. Once you have filled in the Quotation Request form, you will get an email confirmation from us.
We partner with New Experience Holidays who provide the ATOL bonding, so all quotations will be sent by them, and you will reserve and pay for your holiday with them.
The quotation process - ATOL BONDING requirement- the quotation is the first part of the contract between us and you.
The quotation will include
- the basic price of the holiday as advertised
- any flight supplement from the airport of your choice
- single supplement if this applies
- a choice of flights if this is applicable
- any specific requirement such as additional nights/ sea view rooms etc.
- final price and payment information
The Quotation stage - who sends you your quotation
In order to conform to ATOL bonding protection rules, New Experience Holidays will send you your full quotation normally by email- please ask if you want to receive the quotation by post.
Your contacts at New Experience Holidays are Matthew Newcombe, Anna Brown and Paul Sawyer.
We need to know your preferred departure airport. We can guide you about the right airport and options - simply read the web pages for the country you are wanting to visit, or email us for flight advice.
The Booking Process
Once you have accepted the quotation, fill in a New Experience booking form (this can be done online) or send in the completed form, and pay both the deposit – normally £125 - plus any additional flight supplements to New Experience.Holidays Final payment is also made to New Experience.Holidays.
Once you have booked, you will not be sent a reminder of when to pay the full amount, so please diarise this.
About three weeks prior to departure, New Experience Holidays will send you holiday joining details, including your flight details with instruction to print off your boarding cards.
Once you arrive at your holiday destination
Secret Hills Walking Holidays (Slovenia Walking Holidays) organise all aspects of your holiday– including guiding, transport to walks start and provide you with an experienced tour guide.You make your won arrangements to get to the airport in the UK, we meet you at the airport you are flying to, and help you with your transfer to the appointed hotel.
It is important to read New Experience Holidays' Terms and Conditions - click on the tab on their web site - before you sign the booking form.