Elegant 4-star hotel with exotic gardens and stunningly positioned pool
Spectacular gorge and coastal walks: breathtaking views of La Palma, El Hierro, Tenerife and Gran Canaria
Excellent local cuisine: wine/water/coffee included every evening
Sun-drenched villages, colourful fishing harbours, Garajonay National Park
Masses of tropical flora: jasmine, hibiscus, banana, papaya
At a glance...
7 nights, single centre
Departs Selected dates from 25 Nov '14 to 17 Mar '15
Buffet breakfast, 5 picnic lunches and all evening meals inc wine
Sustainability rating: 74%
Varied routes for nature lovers and botanists.
Destinations with bird watching opportunities.
Discover stunning historic sites en-route.
Lots of swimming opportunities.
Especailly good for solo travellers.
Perfect for couples.
Follow stunning coastal routes.
Delightful island holidays.
Walking on La Gomera
This varied, guided walking holiday lets you discover the breathtaking natural beauty of the subtropical island of La Gomera. Our expert walking guide will be leading the walks which take you through a bewitching variety of landscapes, from the misty heights of the Garajonay peak, to fertile terraces dotted with palms and rugged ravines. We follow goat herders' tracks and ancient paths, linking almost inaccessible villages and hermitages perched above dramatic gorges. A plant-lover's paradise, we may spot many endemic - sometimes rare - species like fleshy stonecrop, yellow jasmine or pink mallow.
Our base is the stunning 4-star Parador in the charming island capital of San Sebastian. Surrounded by exotic gardens planted with hibiscus, bougainvillea and palms, the hotel's pool is spectacularly positioned overlooking the colourful harbour. Built in traditional Canarian style with elegantly furnished wooden-beamed rooms and pretty interior patios, the rooms all have modern comforts: satellite TV, mini-bar and air-conditioning. Evening meals are served in the hotel, so expect to sample Gomeran specialities such as caldo de pescado (fish soup) and papas arrugadas - delicious salty potatoes cooked in their skins and dipped in mojo verde.
Not quite what you're looking for - then why not take a look at some of our similar holidays?
We meet you at Tenerife airport and take you to La Gomera (35 mins by ferry) in time for dinner.
Day 2 - The 1000m Villages Walk 13km/8mi/4hr
Starting at Laguna Grande the walk takes us through the ancient laurel forest. There we will see traces of felled trees that are not natural to La Gomera, and will learn how La Gomera was saved from being a 'Desert Island'. We visit 16th century Chipude and see the traditional method for making pots - still alive today. Onward to Cercado for a typical Canary lunch before heading onto the remote village of Manantiales.
Day 3 - The Santiago Ravine 11km/7mi/5hr
From the hamlet of Las Toscas we descend gently through Gomeran daisies, prickly pears and palms into the tranquil upper reaches of the Santiago ravine headed by the pretty white cottages of Benchijigua and the towering Roque Agando lavafill. A short climb rewards us with stunning coastal views before we descend seawards to the hamlet of El Cabezo. On to Playa de Santiago where we end the day with a swim.
Day 4 - The Alto de Garajonay 13km/8mi/5hr
A short and spectacular climb to the Garajonay peak, in the centre of the National Park, rewards us with breathtaking views of the islands of La Palma, El Hierro, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Then cool misty uplands are replaced by ancient laurel forest, shady juniper groves, and the luxuriant banana terraces of Hermigua. We finally emerge from the spectacular gorge to reach the vertical village of Las Hoyetas, from where we return to the hotel in time for a pre-dinner swim.
Day 5 - Free Day
Perhaps take time to explore further the pretty harbour and old quarter of San Sebastian, which dates back 500 years to the times of the conquest of the Americas: Columbus's house, Church of the Incarnation and Columbus's well, where water supplies were taken for his final voyage. It's market day here today too. Or just relax in the hotel's gardens by the pool.
Day 6 - Vallehermoso Circular Walk 12km/7mi/5hr
This walk reveals the very best of the island - verdant gorges, dramatic coastline, and magnificent views. From bustling Vallehermoso in the fertile northwest, we ascend a lush ravine, fragrant with the scent of wild camomile and sage, planted with papaya and bamboo to the Santa Clara chapel for a picnic lunch. A stunning coastal walk and a beautiful descent with a commanding view of lofty Roque Cano, returns us to Vallehermoso.
Day 7 - Arure, Las Hayas and Valle Gran Rey 8km/5mi/3hr
Starting in Arure with its patchwork of green and gold terraces it's then on past a reservoir and palm trees to the quaint village of Las Hayas. Here, we eat in a famous Gomeran restaurant where we may taste 'Gofio' - the staple food of the Canaries. We stroll back to the minibus and stop for some sightseeing en-route to sunny Valle Gran Rey where we stop for a drink and a swim.
Day 8 - Leave La Gomera
We take you back (35 mins by ferry) to Tenerife in time for your flight home.
This single-centre holiday is based at the following hotel. If you'd like to extend your stay here, or upgrade your room, just let us know at the time of booking.
Parador de la Gomera, San Sebastián (4 Star)
The Parador de la Gomera enjoys a stunning position perched on a cliff known as the Lomo de la Horca (Gallows Ridge) above the port of San Sebastián. The hotel is set in subtropical gardens from where you enjoy spectacular views across to Mount Teide on Tenerife looming up out of the sea.
Each of the twin rooms is furnished with 16C style furniture, with wooden floors, en-suite marble bathrooms, mini-bar, telephones, satellite television and hairdryers. All have either a balcony, or overlook well-tended patio gardens.
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
Hotel San Roque (4 Star)
This hotel is one of the very few original Canarian mansions still in private hands. Located in the heart of Garachico, the building - like so many Canarian mansions seems quite unassuming from the outside. Inside though, the luxurious bedrooms surround two striking central courtyards, each with attractive wooden walkways at first floor level. The hotel has an outdoor pool. Meals are taken in the hotel restaurant or around the side of the pool in fine weather.
La Quinta Roja is a restored nobleman's mansion right next to the village square in Garachico, so you could not be more central.
They have preserved all that is historic and beautiful - ancient wooden boards on the first floor balcony enclosing the central courtyard, and the original stone stairs for example, while modern and luxurious touches heighten the appeal of a stay here. The varied room dimensions, towelling robes in the bedrooms, marbled bathrooms and modern comforts add to the quirky but compelling style. Our rooms here are the 'Doble Plus' ones shown on the hotel website.
Transfers included from Tenerife South Reina Sofia airport at 14:00 and back to Tenerife South Reina Sofia airport at 07:00. Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email email@example.com to arrange connecting flights.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Reviewed by Mrs Carter on 13/04/2014
The highlight of the holday was the excellent local guide Ricardo and the Parador hotel on La Gomera. However our experience of the flight booking and travel between La Gomera and Tenerfife was very poor. We arrived at Gatwick airport check-in to find that we had been booked in for the wrong year - 2015 instead of 2014. We had also been told the wrong travel information in Tenerife and so had not taken a direct flight from Edinburgh to Tenerife south which made the journey much longer than necessary. When we arrived at Tenerfie South Airport we were told that we had 5 hours to wait until the next ferryto La Gomera and so spent hours waiting around in the airport. The connections on the return journey were also poor with a lot of unnecessary waiting around.
Reviewed by Mr Harding on 28/03/2014
La Gomera is a very mountainous island and is a 'two and a half boot' experience and not for the unfit walker. Because of the terrain and complexity of the walks a guide with local knowledge is essential, as is walking gear for all eventualities. A very rewarding experience and one not to be missed.
Reviewed by Mr Batty on 25/03/2014
Good walking, very helpful guide and excellent company. Unseasonable rain meant that our guide did not take us on one of the listed walks, but he was good at chasing the sun!
Reviewed by Mrs Stewart on 01/03/2014
Good island venue for interesting walking in warm weather, with good accomodation and guide.
Reviewed by Mrs Mendoza on 15/02/2014
Great walks, dramatic scenery, and a wonderful, tranquil parador.
Reviewed by Mr Whyler on 07/02/2014
The walks did not do justice to the beauty of the island. The fire damage from 2012 still sadly evident. Timings of flights and ferries far from ideal.
Reviewed by Mr Cross on 01/02/2014
In late January 2014 we had exceptionally poor weather and this, plus long minibus rides to start points of walks, reduced our enjoyment of the spectacular scenery of La Gomera. Our guide/rep. Roger, did a good job in the circumstances. The Parador was excellent. The long gaps in the transfers are a negative but again Roger did his best to keep us entertained.
Reviewed by Mr Rowlinson on 18/01/2014
Good fun, though walking was harder than we expected having not been on a walking holiday before
Reviewed by Ms Weber on 17/04/2012
Absolutely wonderful, loved it. Great variety of walks, and the hotel was just lovely. Also Neil is a fantastic guide and his picnic lunches are legendary :-)
Reviewed by Ms CattersonSmith on 17/04/2012
Our group of 7 bonded immediately - haven't laughed so much for ages! Neil was a great guide and not too full on - just right in fact. A brilliant holiday.
Reviewed by Mrs Constantine on 17/04/2012
we were sad to come home,this is the best holiday we have had,the hotel/food,the company,and neil,we have booked Portugal in july but i doubt it will live up to la Gomera
Reviewed by Mrs Collins on 17/04/2012
I can't rate this highly enough: everything about this holiday once we had landed in Tenerife was wonderful and surpassed my expectations. The only small niggle was that the food that Thomson offer on their flights is horrible.
Reviewed by Dr McLean on 31/03/2012
Extremely well organised with additional extras that were not anticipated
excellent.long journey due to ferry times late arrival at hotel
Reviewed by Mr Tunbridge on 10/03/2012
Very enjoyable and suited us both
Reviewed by Mr Boyd on 10/03/2012
Very good. Neil is a knowledgeable guide and skilful at pacing the walks to the different abilities of his clients, to everyones benefit.
Reviewed by Mis Smith on 08/03/2012
The walks were well chosen, the secenery lovely, the food truly excellent. Neil was, as ever a great guide, paying attention to the walking capabilities and preferences of all the group members, being prepared to accomodate requests and doing his best to mitigate the long gaps between the flight and ferry connections. He is also knowledgeable and good company. The holiday was slightly marred by the fact that I was woken up regularly during the night by other guests in the room above and the hotel staff seemed unwilling to put any effort into trying to change the room until the last night.I would suggest Headwater might consider booking upstairs non-smoking rooms away from the stairwell in the Parador San Sebastian as this would have been much pleasanter and quieter. Also (as below) the Thomson charter flight was really unpleasant and I would not travel by this means again. These two small things slightly marred an otherwise excellent holiday.
Reviewed by Mrs Kennett on 18/02/2012
Excellent guide. A little cold at night so warmer clothes need to be recommended
Reviewed by Mr Stevens on 11/02/2012
Extremely pleasant and well organised winter walking break.
Reviewed by Mr Shaw on 10/02/2012
Very enjoyable. Well thought out programme of walks with excellent input from Neil Flynn.
Reviewed by Mr Anderson on 10/02/2012
Neil was a fantastic guide -- well informed, interested in people and generally helpful.
Reviewed by Mr Durkin on 22/11/2011
For first time with Headwater it was an excellent introduction. First rate walking with a guide who loved his job and took pleasure in imparting his knowledge and love for the island.
From our postbag
In addition to comments received on our post-holiday questionnaires, we've also been sent the following comments from our satisfied customers.
Mrs J Davey travelled to The Canary Isles in 2008
Neil was simply the best guide all-round we have had - in 20 years of holiday trekking in the Himalayas, Ethiopia, Tenerife and USA. He was so clever and supportive of Jane, a slightly less-strong walker, whilst enabling quite a strong Marathon runner to enjoy a smart pace at the front. His lunches were delicious and incredibly varied. He has great knowledge and experience, and amusing and highly articulate with it!
The Parador at San Sebastian is a beautiful hotel with meals and service to match. I hope you go on using it. The walks were well chosen through dramatic scenery, if perhaps not so colourful as in Spring.
Travel and transfers all seemed very efficient. Congratulations!
P and J Davey
Departure dates & prices
Minimum group sizes
A minimum of 2 people (in total) are required for each departure.
Guided walking, single centre. Managed locally by Headwater employed guide.
Selected dates from 25 Nov '14 to 17 Mar '15, for 8 days (7 nights).
Buffet breakfast, 5 picnic lunches and all evening meals inc wine.