La Gomera Island
La Gomera Cottages Casa’s Apartments to rent on La Gomera Let yourself be amazed by the many facets of the second smallest island of the Canarian Archipelagos Rugged mountains, earthy valleys, tropical misty forests and a fascinating ocean. The island offers you all the charm of a welcoming land giving you your greatest experience of rural tourism.
La Gomera – Magical Island.
La Gomera is one of Spain’s Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa.
Follow us on our fascinating journey through this magical place’s landscapes and visit the majestic Valle Gran Rey, the beautiful Vallehermoso, the powerful waves of Hermigua and see fascinating whales offshore.
Whistled language video of the island of La Gomera (Canary Islands), the Silbo Gomero.
The whistled language of La Gomera Island in the Canaries, the Silbo Gomero, replicates the islanders habitual language (Castilian Spanish) with whistling.
Handed down over centuries from master to pupil, it is the only whistled language in the world that is fully developed and practised by a large community (more than 20,000 inhabitants).
The whistled language replaces each vowel or consonant with a whistling sound: two distinct whistles replace the five Spanish vowels, and there are four whistles for consonants.
The whistles can be distinguished according to pitch and whether they are interrupted or continuous.
With practice, whistlers can convey any message. Some local variations even point to their origin. Taught in schools since 1999, the Silbo Gomero is understood by almost all islanders and practised by the vast majority, particularly the elderly and the young.
It is also used during festivities and ceremonies, including religious occasions.
To prevent it from disappearing like the other whistled languages of the Canary Islands, it is important to do more for its transmission and promote the Silbo Gomero as intangible cultural heritage cherished by the inhabitants of the island and the Canary Islands as a whole.
The island is of volcanic origin and roughly circular; it is about 22 km (15 miles) in diameter and rises to 1487 m (nearly 5000 feet) at the island’s highest peak, Garajonay.
Its shape is rather like an orange that has been cut in half and then split into segments, which has left deep ravines or barrancos between them.
These barrancos, in turn, are covered by the laurisilva – or laurel rain forest.
Wooded upper reaches
The upper reaches of this densely wooded region are almost permanently shrouded in clouds and mist, and as a result are covered in lush and diverse vegetation: they form the protected environment of Spain’s Garajonay National Park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
The slopes are criss-crossed by paths that present varying levels of difficulty to visitors, and stunning views to seasoned hikers.
The central mountains catch the moisture from the trade wind clouds and yield a dense jungle climate in the cooler air, which contrasts with the warmer, sun-baked cliffs near sea level.
Between these extremes one finds a fascinating gamut of microclimates; for centuries, the inhabitants of La Gomera have farmed the lower levels by channelling runoff water to irrigate their vineyards, orchards and banana groves.
Some 19,580 people lived on La Gomera.
The local wine is distinctive, and is often accompanied with a tapa (snack) of local cheese, roasted pork or goat meat.
Other culinary specialities include almogrote, a cheese spread, and miel de palma, a syrup extracted from palm trees.
The inhabitants of La Gomera have a unique way of communicating across deep ravines by means of an amazing whistled speech called Silbo Gomero.
This whistled language is indigenous to the island, and its existence has been documented since Roman times.
Invented by the original inhabitants of the island, the Guanches, Silbo Gomero was adopted by the Spanish settlers in the 16th century and survived after the Guanches died out.
When this unique means of communication was threatened with extinction at the dawn of the 21st century, the local government required all children to learn it in school.
In the mountains, its original inhabitants worshipped their god, whom they called Orahan; the summit and centre of the island served as their grand sanctuary.
Indeed, many of the natives took refuge in this sacred territory in 1489, as they were faced imminent defeat at the hands of the Spaniards, and it was here that the conquest of La Gomera was drawn to a close.
Modern-day archaeologists have found several ceremonial stone constructions here, which appear to represent sacrificial altar stones, slate hollows or cavities.
It was here that the Guanches built pyres upon which to make offerings of goats and sheep to their god.
This same god, Orahan, was known on La Palma as Abora and on Tenerife and Gran Canaria as Arocan.
Christopher Columbus made La Gomera his last port of call before crossing the Atlantic in 1492.
He stopped here to replenish his crew’s wine and water, intending to stay only four days.
However, he became romantically involved with Beatriz de Bobadilla, the governor of La Gomera, and he ended up staying one month.
When he finally sailed she gave him cuttings of sugarcane, which became the first to reach the New World.
The house in San Sebastián in which he stayed is now a tourist attraction.
Canary Islands II: Tenerife and La Gomera – Spain.
This new title in the Crossbill Guides Series covers Tenerife and La Gomera, the two most diverse of the Canary Islands.
The flora and fauna of these islands is unique and consists of many species that occur nowhere else in the world.
This guidebook describes the nature of these islands from the sun-soaked lava fields on the coast to the lonely snow-capped peak of mount Teide, including all the fascinating life that can be found in these ecosystems.
The Canary Islands II: Tenerife and La Gomera gives detailed route descriptions (13 in total) and site descriptions (about 30) for naturalists throughout both islands, covering the best sites for bird watching, finding wildflowers, dragonflies and butterflies; for seeing marine life and the most remarkable geological sites.
It also gives detailed information on tracking down the evolutionary processes that shaped the unique ecology of these isolated Atlantic Islands.
This information comes with extensive descriptions of the ecology, geology, history and flora and fauna of Tenerife and La Gomera.
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