THE Canary island of La Gomera has been ranked number seven on The Times’ list of the 15 best destinations for winter sun.
The second smallest island in the archipelago off West Africa has stood out in the list created by the prestigious British newspaper and appears among destinations in the Caribbean, southeast Asia and South America.
La Gomera was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2012, while its Garajonay National Park, a densely forested are in the centre of the island was the first place in the Canary Islands to win Unesco World Heritage status in 1986.
The park is misty and humid and home to rare laurel forests and many subtropical plant species.
The island is also famous for its steep craggy cliffs towering over small coves where crystal-clear waters meet soft volcanic sand.
Three beaches on the island have earned Blue Flag certificates while tourists are also attracted to the wide range of activities available from diving to hiking and a warm climate that makes it a popular destination at any time of the year.
According to the newspaper, Christopher Columbus was so seduced by it in 1492 that he delayed his seminal voyage to discover America by a month while exploring this lesser-known Canary Island.
“Some 370 kilometres of trails wind through the misty ravines of the Garajonay National Park showcase palm groves and three black-sand beaches with Blue Flag status for cleanliness,” sates the Times in its entry on La Gomera.
“The views of Tenerife’s volcano, Mount Teide, are magnificent, and you can visit the house where Columbus stayed, and to which he returned twice.”
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