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El Balcón de Santa Ana

Playa de Santiago, La Gomera

Walk 9 - Garajonay walking and hiking route


Walk Instructions

The route includes the ascent of the highest point of the mountainous core of the island. The peak is 4864ft (1482m.) above sea level, well above the height of our own Ben Nevis.

There is a touching little legend concerning the name; Gara was a local princess much admired by Jonay, a prince living on Tenerife. Believe it or not, Jonay would swim across the intervening twenty miles or so to visit his princess without in any way dampening his youthful ardour. However ... the local Gomerans took a poor view of this situation and, armed with spears, eventually pursued the fleeing Gara and Jonay up the mountain. Realising that there was no escape from death, at the top the desperate lovers fell on their own spears rather than be taken.

As the car parking area is at a high level, the ascent is by no means as strenuous as might be expected and there are no difficult sections of path. In fact, apart from the initial steep rise, which takes not much more than 20 minutes of steady effort, this is a comparatively easy walk. But do choose a clear day; cloud over the high ground of La Gomera is very frequent and there is little point in climbing Garajonay without the views, which are superb.

The remainder of the route is along broad unsurfaced roadways at easy gradients, partially through the Laurisilva forest of the Garajonay National Park. Most junctions are signposted.

Start Point

Informal roadside car park at the Pajarito junction. Drive past Alajero, then pass the junction with the road to Chipude. At the next junction (Pajarito), a left turn heads for Laguna Grande and Valle Gran Rey; keeping right head for San Sebastian or Hermigua.
None along the route of the walk. Stop at Alajero en route.

Start up the broad, stony track between the Alajero and Laguna Grande roads. There is a ‘Alto de Garajonay 3.6’ signpost.

1. Turn right in 50 yards at an ‘Alto de Garajonay 2.5’ signpost to rise more steeply through the Laurisilva on a good path, aided by many steps. There is one short descent which breaks the rise to the summit ridge.

2. At the ridge join another path. Contadero lies to the right. Follow ‘Alto de Garajonay’ to the left for an easy little stroll along the broad ridge, enjoying the fine views. Cross a shallow depression; at a junction go straight ahead, rising again to reach the summit. Other Canary Islands (Tenerife (Mt Teide!), Hiero and Palma) and much of the topography of La Gomera are included in the magnificent panorama. The mighty Fortalezza seems relatively insignificant. Identification is aided by an information board.

3. Leave the summit on the far side, descending past a small building, with more information boards to the right, emphasising the importance of the laurisilva rain forest and of Garajonay as a meeting place of ancient tribal areas. Within 50 yards of leaving the summit our broad track curves back to the right, reaching a junction in a further 30 yards. Go right here, to head north along a fine easy roadway, with long views.

4. At a major junction turn sharp left to head for ‘Pajarito 3.9, Igualero 2.9’, passing a chain barrier. In 200 yards the track forks; go left ‘Parajito 3.5, Igualero 3.4’, soon circling easily round the southern flank of the mountain. A view of the Fortalezza and the path which provides the easiest ascent of that mountain should remove any latent ambitions in that direction. The track rises a little through laurisilva and areas rich in wild flowers and butterflies. Stay with the main track as it bears to the left at a corner, now heading east. There are pine trees as it contours beautifully above a deep valley.

5. At a signposted junction continue to follow ‘Pajarito 2.4’. In 40 yards fork left at a point where the Igualero route goes to the right. Keep straight on at the next junction, rejoining the outward route just 50 yards from the main road and the car park at the Pajarito junction.


Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.


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