Founded in 1981, the Garajonay National Park is the green heart of the island of La Gomera.
The National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, is also part of the european Birds Directive since 1988, a special protection area for birds.
The magical cloud forest
Characteristic for the National Park is its laurel forest (Laurisilva), the so-called cloud forest. The forest owes this name to the fact that very often it is shrouded in a dense fog. The humid fog is one of the main reasons why the forest is the home to so many lush green plants and trees, and also it gives the forest a very special, mystical character.
This canary laurel forest covers an area of about 4000 hectares, which is about 11 percent of the total island area. This laurel forest, which used to cover large parts of Europe and North Africa millions of years ago, has maintained itself in this way thanks to its particular climate, making it a real historical relic.
High diversity of plants
The forests of Garajonay National Park contain about 2,000 different plant species, many of which are endemic to the Canary Islands. Here you can find, besides the laurel forest and ferns, also mixed woods of tree heath (Erica arborea) and Myrica gale. Many trees are covered with dense green moss and hung with long beard lichen.
Within the national park there is the highest point of the island, the Alto de Garajonay with an altitude of 1.487m. From its plateau on the top you can see the neighboring islands of Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro and sometimes even Gran Canaria far away in the distance.
Activities inside the National Park
Inside the park there are many possibilities for visitors to discover and learn about its nature – for example by hiking through the beautiful hiking routes, which belong to the wide net of La Gomera oficial hiking trails. All of which can be found in the popular hiking guides and maps.
Furthermore, there are many viewpoints, the miradores, that offer great views over vast ravines, deep valleys and green forest landscapes.
You can also find information about La Gomera’s nature and landscapes, as well as about history, culture and customs at the visitors center, Juego de Bolas, in Las Rosas.