Unspoiled, green and lush, this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has many secrets to reveal. A Canary Island capital like no other, life is lived at a refreshingly lackadaisical pace here. Wander between San Sebastian's faded pastel hues, which spill across the coastline, and bathe in this seaside city's warm sunshine, as waves splash onto sunny beaches. A sleepy capital city, travellers have been resting, relaxing and rejuvenating here for centuries – including Christopher Columbus, whose presence remains in museums dedicated to his visit. He called in to restock water supplies while voyaging to discover the new world. Silbo, an extraordinary whistling language, used to communicate over great distances, adds even more cultural fascination to this luscious island’s mountain scenery, crafts and traditions. Head to beaches like Playa de San Sebastian to revel in the black volcanic sand that the Canaries are known for, and Playa de la Cueva, where you can look across to Tenerife’s soaring cone.

Or explore this island's own natural wonders, at the verdant terraced landscapes of La Gomera’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Garajonay National Park. Trek through the trails of Laurisilva forests, laurel plants and heather trees. La Laguna Grande is another elegant location of colourful natural beauty, where island legends of witchcraft swirl. Discover ceramic traditions - handed down through generations - at El Cercado, where glazed jugs used to store chestnuts are moulded by hand. Squeeze more local charms into your bulging suitcase along San Sebastian’s pretty Calle Real street - where everything from palm honey to woven baskets and local snacks are up for grabs. Or settle into city squares, where life plays out in palm tree shade and café gatherings.

tour 1 Garajonay National Park Hike

Be enchanted by the rain forest of La Gomera, with a visit to Garajonay National Park. The highlight of the Garajonay National Park is its ancient laurel forests, a green mass of prehistoric vegetation unique to the Macaronesian region. It covered the tropics millions of years ago and now survives in La Gomera thanks to its exceptional, temperate climate. Start with a 1 hour drive to the national park, upon arrival you will have the option to choose among an easy, a moderate and a more extensive walk, based on the level of activity desired. Garajonay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to over 2,000 native plant species, including Indian bay, evergreen laurel and linden trees as well as huge viñátigos and tiles, which can reach heights of 35 metres. Additionally, the park is rich and diverse in fauna, and many amphibians, reptiles and birds are endemic to the region, such as the Rabiche and Turque pigeons. Wander the forests accompanied by local experts and the Expedition team. After all groups are back we will return to the ship in San Sebastian.

tour 2 La Gomera Highlights

Discover the island's northern part on a relaxed scenic tour. Drive 45 minutes towards Hermigua, pass several banana hacienda, discover the island's narrow roads, lush valleys and emerald greenery on the way. Passing by Hermigua, a charming village in the north of La Gomera located in a wonderful setting: a ravine, the sides of which are covered in terraces planted with crops, and views of banana plantations stretching almost as far as the sea. Stop at a view point to admire this landscape. On a clear day you can see the island of Tenerife and el Teide. Next continue with a panoramic drive towards to Juego de Bolas Visitor Center. Here you can discover the history of the island and the different flora of the Canray islands at its botanical gardens. Return to the ship through the center of the island, with different views of forests and mountains and more occasions for photo taking, before arriving back at the ship.

On to Al Dakhla

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