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SPAIN & PORTUGAL LA GOMERA DESTINATIONS LEFT:


Dolphin- watching


RIGHT: Valle Gran Rey


SAMPLE PRODUCT


Inntravel offers a seven-night, self-guided walking holiday on La Gomera


from £825. The price includes breakfast and some other meals, plus ferry crossing from Los Cristianos,


luggage transfers, maps and notes. Flights are extra. inntravel.co.uk


Prestige Holidays has a week’s B&B in a standard


room at Parador Conde de la Gomera from £873. The price is for a March 7 departure


from Gatwick and includes catamaran


crossing and transfers.


prestigeholidays. co.uk


Headwater’s guided tour,


Walking on La Gomera, is based


at the Parador and costs from £1,519 for departures


from January 16, 2018, to April 9, 2019. Flights from Gatwick, ferry crossings and hotel transfers


can be arranged. headwater.com


BELOW:


Garajonay National Park


which he lived, alongside the church he frequented. It’s relatively small and certainly quiet, but it makes a good stopover to break up a long journey or, if clients are hiring a car, a suitable spot from which to explore the rest of the island.


w VALLE GRAN REY The most popular base, though, is Valle Gran Rey, a coastal resort and once tiny fishing village on the island’s western side. A handful of small cafes and restaurants serving fresh catches wrap around a black-sand bay, and there’s a distinctly laid-back, hippy feel that dates back to the 1960s, when bohemian Americans set up home on the beach. Today, it’s felt via tanned yogis stretching out when the sun rises and dreadlocked bongo


The highlight was a dolphin and


Atlantic mists create a lush layer of green, with mosses, ferns and lichens covering twisted tress, so that it looks Avatar-like


players crowding round when it sets. Despite its popularity with the German market, it still feels pleasingly secret and happily serene – to the extent that when I wandered along to Playa del Inglés, 15 minutes around the corner, I had calming views over the glistening, sun-drenched sea almost entirely to myself.


whale-watching trip out from the harbour. Thanks to a certain breed of dolphins that live here permanently, visitors are almost guaranteed a sighting – and we weren’t let down. Within half an hour, there was a horde of the marine creatures diving in and out of the water right next to the boat, and 10 minutes later, we were witnessing huge pilot whales up so close and personal that we could hear them breathing in and out like old men snoring (from €35 for a three-and-a- half-hour trip with Excursions Tina, including tapas and sangria).


w GARAJONAY NATIONAL PARK The island’s tour de force, though, is Garajonay, a Unesco World Heritage Site and sprawling expanse of


11 January 2018 travelweekly.co.uk 93


PICTURES: LA GOMERA TOURIST BOARD


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