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VALLE GRAN REY WALKING TOUR - LA GOMERA, CANARY ISLANDS

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Our first view of Valle Gran Rey was spectacular. A rainbow arched over the low-rise buildings nestled below the barren mountain, Teguerguenche.

Rainbow over Valle Gran Rey below Teguerguenche mountain
Rainbow over Valle Gran Rey below Teguerguenche mountain
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

This southwest La Gomera port was one of the interesting destinations that we visited during our Canary Islands cruise. The town of 4,200 people is very safe and easy to see on foot.

In one day, we walked from the port through the municipality's six districts, each with its own personality. After following the street through the business district, we returned along the coastal road bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

Cyclist on palm-lined road through Vueltas
Cyclist on palm-lined road through Vueltas
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Vueltas

Palm trees lined the road through Vueltas. Exploring the steep, narrow alleyways between houses, we discovered that many were rental apartments.

Cats slept next to potted jade plants and cascading pink bougainvillea. Doves cooed. Along the main street, artisan shops, restaurants, grocery stores, bike rental locations and bakeries attracted visitors and locals.

Borbalán

Vueltas merged into Borbalán. Several red tile-roofed buildings featured wooden balconies, a trademark of Canarian architecture. Peaking inside an open door, we viewed a teacher and students practising yoga.

Canarian architecture with wooden balcony, Borbalan
Canarian architecture with wooden balcony, Borbalan
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

From the end of the 19th century until the 1980s, the flat land (llano) around Borbalán was a thriving agricultural region. Farmers planted tomatoes and bananas for export.

Banana tree, Valle Gran Rey
Banana tree, Valle Gran Rey
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

To our surprise, we found small plantations of banana trees, laden with clumps of fruit, growing between buildings. The municipal market, at Plaza Lomo de Riego (open on Sundays) and the Borbalán supermercado are a good places to buy bananas and other fresh fruit.

La Calera

From the turning circle where one branch of the road goes to Arure and San Sebastian, the whitewashed houses of La Calera climb up the mountain like a pile of giant sugar cubes, punctuated with palm trees.

The Tourist Information Office at the base offers maps and free Wi-Fi. If you bought lunch ingredients at the market or the supermercado in Borbalán you can eat your meal at the picnic tables here, surrounded by palm trees and bougainvillea. (Lemon-scented cookies made by Panaderia Los Reyes in Arure are a tasty dessert or snack.)

Houses of La Calera
Houses of La Calera
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

We burned off the calories with a walk up the road to a beautiful white chapel with large wooden doors. Standing below its bells and cross, we looked out over the roofs of Valle Gran Rey and across to the stark cliffs of Teguerguenche.

White chapel above La Calera
White chapel above La Calera
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

La Playa

A 15-minute downhill walk brought us to the black sand beaches of La Playa district. Even though it was mid-February, the temperature was warm enough for sunbathers. Only a few swimmers ventured into the surf.

Sunbathing on black sand beach, La Playa
Sunbathing on black sand beach, La Playa
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Numerous restaurants, apartments and shops anchored the beach at one end. We followed the palm tree-lined road along the coast to the districts of La Puntilla and Charco del Conde, where there is a sheltered beach popular with families.

The road continued back to the port. For decades, an iron crane on the original quay hoisted tons of fruit for export to Europe. Today, the wharf welcomes cruise ships like ours (the Harmony V) that bring visitors to Valle Gran Rey on La Gomera.


TRAVEL INFORMATION

Contact GLP Worldwide for brochures, bookings and information about Variety Cruises Canary Islands trips.

More things to see & do in the Canary Islands:

Lanzarote, Canary Islands - Wine, Volcanoes and Cesar Manrique's Home

Las Palmas Gran Canaria Tour to Teror and Santa Brigida

Fuerteventura, Canary Islands - Beaches, Surf, Dunes and Aloe Vera

Los Cristianos Tenerife - Beaches, Marina and Restaurants

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Walking Tour - Cruise Shore Excursion