San Sebastian de La Gomera – Altos de Uteza

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La Gomera's main claim to fame has been as Columbus's last European landfall before setting off across the Atlantic to discover the Americas. Today it is becoming well-known as offering some of the best walking in the Canaries. It is extremely mountainous, hence the development of the unique whistling language to ease communication across the deep valleys. The central mountains, clothed in laurel forest, have been declared a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the tortuous nature of the roads make a walk there while on a cruise unrealistic.

This walk is just a ten-minute bus ride from San Sebastian and explores part of the Parque Natural de Majona, a land of deep ravines and superb views. It is said that whenever the Gomerans have a little time to spare they construct a path up a mountainside and this route uses one of these amazing engineered paths to zigzag the 900 feet from the road to the crest of Altos de Uteza Ridge. A rather narrower and occasionally somewhat overgrown path leads down from the ridge to meet a pista forestal or forest track and this leads round the mountain with some stunning views, then gently downhill to the road and the bus back to town. The excellent path means the ascent is not at all difficult, though it is a steady climb.

You do need to ensure you are back at the road at 3pm at the very latest (on the timetable at the time of writing in 2010, but if you find this route too short there are a couple of possible extensions, both out and back the same way so you can time your expedition.

This walk also makes an excellent day trip from the holiday resorts in the south of Tenerife, using the ferries from Los Cristianos to San Sebastian, which dock near the cruise ship berth in San Sebastian. You perhaps don't see as much of the island as on the organised excursions but you do get up close and personal with this magnificent landscape, rather than looking at it through a coach window.

Spain - Canary Islands - La Gomera - Cruise Walk


Great Views, Sea