The evergreen misty forest, with its unique atmosphere fascinates in the heart of La Gomera. The area around the highest mountain, Garajonay (1487m) has been a national park since 1981. Since 1986 it has also been protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The unique eco-system of the Laurisilva forest in the protected centre f the island is thought to be the remnant of subtropical woods which covered the Mediterranean area during the Tertiary period.
Today, La Gomera has more than half of the entire Laurisilva population of all Canary Islands.
View from the Summit
The highest point on La Gomera, the summit of Garajonay, lies in the middle of the 0 square kilometre large area of the national park.
On a clear day, the four other Canary Islands can be seen from here: El Hierro, La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
Thick Misty Forests
Anyone searching for the forest with its lush vegetation will often walk through a thick mist and breathe in the damp, pleasantly cool air.
You find yourself in a make-believe world and feel as if civilisation is very far away.
In the Land of Fairytales
This is the land of mischievous gnomes and elves, with a backdrop of gnarled tree roots and branches, which have a mind of their own.
Here and there, rays of light make their way through the canopy of trees and small streams and waterfalls splash by the wayside.
Laurels and Lichen
Even though the park goes by the name El Bosque del Cedro in the local dialect, there are no Cedar trees to be found.
Instead, the national park has many varieties of Laurels, which can grow to over 15m, as well as a multitude of other, mostly endemic plants.
The misty clouds allow for the growth of wonderful moss and lichen, which bear witness to the clarity of the air.
Beautiful Hiking Trails
The entire area is very accessible, not only from the highway, which was built years ago. Visitors can gain an insight into the unique natural landscape from the many hiking and rambling paths.
Information Centre Juego de Bola
The visitor’s centre Juego de Bola near Las Rosas on the northern access route of the national park educated visitors in the many exhibition rooms about the special qualities and unique nature of the volcanic island.
Botanic gardens as well as a small ethnology museum, in addition to free, guided hiking tours through the national park museum complete the ensemble.