La Gomera is accessible by a 45 minute ferry from Tenerife – you might see whales and dolphins on the journey. It has no big holiday resorts which ensure that this beautiful island remains unspoilt and tranquil and utterly beautiful.
The island has no traffic lights, no dual carriageways, no roads straight enough to use top gear and no advertising hoardings. The island prides itself on a very old fashioned pace of life that inspire visitors to want to protect its fragile magic from the outside world.
It is however a magnificent island for walking.
The cost of this holiday is higher than our other holidays. That’s because we have a ferry and bus journey to negotiate before we get to our hotel
But if you thrive adventure and seek sublime unspoilt beauty and quietness and magnificent walking then this holiday will be unforgettable.
Getting to La Gomera/Flights
Getting to La Gomera
La Gomera lies 30 KM off the south coast of Tenerife and is only accessible by a 45 minute ferry from Tenerife, The ferry ride adds to your holiday as the views from the ferry to La Gomera, and back to Tenerife, with Mt Teide are stunning. Whales and Dolphins can also sometimes be seen from the ferry.
Note- we always try to advise that you fly from your local airport- this is one of the unique selling points for our holidays.
You fly to Tenerife South airport- then we transfer you to Los Christianos, where the ferry port for La Gomera is.
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 advantages 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.
We will plan to take one ferry together, so some of you may need to spend some time in Los Christianos until all of you meet for the ferry departure.
From San Sebastian ferry port you will then board a transfer bus for the 75 minute very scenic drive of which you get to really see the island to our fabulous Hotel on the West of the Island.
The journey is a fantastic part of the holiday.
Accommodation and meals
We stay at Hotel Gran Rey in Valle Gran Rey- see https://hotelgranrey.es/en/hotel-la-gomera/
We stay in the beautiful valley of Valle Gran Rey which is situated on the West of the Island. The hotel is located right on the ocean front with views across to other Canary islands of El Hierro and La Palma. The Hotel on most nights has beautiful sunsets – a treat when watching from the Hotel rooftop terrace bar with pre dinner drinks.
Free Wifi is available throughout the Hotel
The Hotel en suite rooms all have balconies which face the mountains and gardens unless you request a sea view room with an added supplement. The Hotel boasts a fabulous rooftop pool and sunbathing area with views of the mountains and ocean as well as numerous other areas to sit and relax.
We stay half board, buffet breakfast is taken on the roof terrace, giving you the option to eat outside, or inside, with ocean views. Dinner, again buffet style is in the Hotel restaurant. The Hotel food is excellent and caters for any dietary requirements. The local wines are also very good.
Lunch can be bought at the various shops locally situated, to suit your needs, or a packed lunch can be pre ordered from the Hotel and charged to your room.
Next to the Hotel are shops, bars and cafes.
The Wellness Area with outdoor swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi is a space where you can recover a sense of peace and forget about everyday stress. Besides, you may enjoy our best treatments, eliminating aches and tensions while recovering inner and outer balance.
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
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. The Garajonay forest, famous for its laurisilva is also a World Heritage Site so the walking we do is outstanding. La Gomera has a network of over 600 KM of excellent trails and tracks so during the holiday you will get to walk five varied walks in different parts of the Island to ensure you see as much as possible.
Our walking programme is extremely flexible to allow for any island weather changes.
We use private transport to get us to walk starts and to collect us. These journeys are very much part of the holiday as we see so much and can vary from 20 minutes to an hour. We depart the Hotel at 9am and return between 4 and 5pm to allow for a swim in the hotel pool, or ocean. We walk between 4 to 6 hours each day with plenty of stops.
We walk three days, then a day off followed by two more days. Packed lunch is required each day along with lots of water
Grade of Walking
Can you add that our walks are between 7 to 10 miles with ascents and descents between 500 metres to 800 metres. Walking poles are strongly recommended on this holiday to aid long descents which can be on loose, rocky terrain. We rate this walking as moderate with some short strenous stretches of ascent and descent
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.
- 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 Gomera
- a different view at every turn
- local cuisine
- scenic ferry journey - maybe see dolphins and whales.
- 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
Taxi or minibus transfer to 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 £25 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.
What our clients said
Please read what our clients have said about their holidays....
This was the first time I had ventured on a guided group walking holiday and I have to say it exceeded my expectations. La Gomera itself is accessed via a 50 min ferry crossing from Tenerife’s Los Cristianos and on arrival you immediately feel that you are in a less touristy part of the Canaries which makes the extra travelling worthwhile. I was the only one of 11 who had not been on a Secret Hills holiday before and only two of us had not been with the guide Jill which speaks volumes for both her and the company. The base at Valle Gran Rey provided a perfect spot for sunsets and transport each day to the start of the walks meant that we experienced almost everything the island has to offer from rugged mountainous terrain with truly fantastic views to beautiful valleys and the laurel forest of Garajonay National Park. The local guide Ernst added much to the trip as he had a wealth of knowledge having written an exhaustive book (albeit in German Rhyme!) on the flora of La Gomera. A great trip with a lovely group of people. I shall definitely travel with Secret Hills again.
Mike Carter, La Gomera - February 2020. Five excellent walks offering varied terrain and a good appreciation of the island. Employing a local guide in Ernst Jager provided much added value with advice on the island’s flora , fauna & geology. Completely enjoyed as always. Organisation - nothing was left to chance. Excellent choice of Hotel and base at Gran Rey. The next holiday is already booked & I am always happy & confident to recommend to others. Keep up the good work and attention to detail which continues to set Secret Hills apart from your competition.
Paul & Gill Ostler, La Gomera - February 2020. Hi Alan. We would always look at secret hills website first when booking a walking holiday. La Gomera was a lovely island and beautiful scenery . The hotel was very good. Good location and good food and service. Looking forward to next holiday. Kind regards Gill
Paul & Sheila Davis, La Gomera - February 2020. The walks were varied and harder for me than I had anticipated. However, Jill (walkj leader) was on the ball and after the 1st day, we rested, recovered and re-joined the group for the 3rd day. By lunchtime, I was tired, so Jill showed us (Paul & I) an easier, very pleasant, shorter route back, whilst the rest of the group continued on the longer walk. Hence, we were able to enjoy the remaining days’ full schedule. Such flexibility is essential. Hotel - Excellent service from friendly, competent staff. I thoroughly enjoyed the variety, flavour and presentation of our meals, from local to international recipes. I really enjoyed this holiday, good food, great company, beautiful mountains, ideal transport to and from the walks and fine weather. We were looked after very well, thanks, Jill. Yes, we will reserve another holiday and we do recommend your company to friends.
Julia Carroll, La Gomera - February 2020. The walks were excellent as were both Jill and Ernst the guides. The hotel was very good. Nice atmosphere, good staff and good facilities. The rooms were modern with some thoughtful touches. The food was good with a wide selection. 'Would you reserve another holiday with Secret Hills Walking and would you recommend our Holidays to others?' - Absolutely.
“ A truly inspiring and fabulous holiday. We were treated to a variety of walking from coastal paths to high mountain tops, from open valleys to magical forests, led by a knowledgeable walk leader happy to share his enthusiasm for the local flora. Whilst the journey to la Gomera was long, much of it felt like it was part of the holiday. I loved sitting in the sunshine on the ferry looking for wildlife ( we saw pilot whales of the return journey) and the drive across the island gave us a good introduction to the island and the views we could expect for the rest of the week.”