The mountain village of Chipude, on the plateau, is considered to be the oldest settlement on La Gomera. Even in the pre-Spanish era, the inhabitants knew to appreciate the fertile land near the cult mountain, La Fortaleza. Today, Chipude is a popular starting point for hikes.
Up until 200 years ago, Chipude was the most populated village on the island. The centre of town is the village square, where the Iglesia Virgen de la Candelaria was built in 1540.
A big island fiesta
On the 15th of August, the annual fiesta in honour of the village’s patron saint is held. The fiesta is the centre of attraction of the entire island.
A ceremonial procession is followed by an exuberant fiesta full of dancing to the music of local bands into the early hours of the morning.
Typical Bars in Chipude
Clustered around the Plaza are the bars of Chipude, which attract locals and hiking tourists alike. The town is the perfect base for hikes into the national park or the town’s landmark, the table mountain La Fortaleza de Chipude.
The Old Cult Site La Fortaleza
The table mountain, an eroded volcanic vent with an expansive summit plateau at 1241 metres, was seen by the inhabitants before the arrival of the conquistadors as a holy place of sacrifice.
With the arrival of the Spaniards, the solid massif was used as a retreat from the besiegers. The Ancient Canarians named the mountain Argoday, meaning the powerful.
Imposing Plateau of the Table Mountain
The name becomes self-explanatory, when you look at the mountain. It can be seen from miles away, imposing with its 500m high cliff-faces it dominates the landscape of the island’s southwest from its exposed position.
On the flat top of the table mountain, the original inhabitants erected not only stone circles, but also sacrificial altars.
Hikes to the Cult Site Fortaleza de Chipude
Hike along historical tracks and visit the formerly most important cult site of Gomera’s La Fortaleze de Chipude.
Leaving from Chipude, it takes about three hours to reach the top. You walk through the centre of town, to the settlement Pavon, then take a left turn after approximately 20 minutes, onto a path void of streetlights.
After passing an abandoned farmhouse, you come to a path on the right-hand side, which has steps leading up the hill. A stone pyramid marks the start of the massif.
From here you can hike directly to the plateau, where a wonderful view of the Barranco and surrounding area awaits you.