La Gomera is one of Telegraph Travel’s 20 best destinations for 2016. Follow this link to see our full guide to the year’s most exciting places to visit.
It was early December. I was little more than half-a-day’s travel from wet-and-windy London, and just 50 minutes by ferry from the egg-box apartment resorts of southern Tenerife. But standing spellbound on the side of that mountain, on the lesser-known island of La Gomera, I felt light years away from the chaos and brashness associated with the Canary Islands’ more obvious tourist destinations. Bathed in sunshine and silence, with only sea, sky and nature for company, I could have been in a different century.
I’d arrived in La Gomera by ferry. The runway of the island’s airport is too short for international flights, which helps explain the absence of tourist hordes – yet the ferry ride is a delight in itself. Head for the viewing deck as the boat begins its approach, and you’ll get an amazing first glimpse of the scale of the island’s landmass. Ringed by volcanic cliffs rippled with sandstone strata of vivid aubergines and golds, it rises from the ocean to a height of almost 1500 metres: an inscrutable primeval mountain.