Each of the Canary Islands possesses its unique beauty and charm, featuring true wonders that are worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime. One such Canarian gem is the municipality of Valle Gran Rey, celebrated for its captivating and contrasting landscapes.
Situated in the west of La Gomera, Valle Gran Rey covers an area of 33 square kilometers, making it the second smallest municipality on the island. In the pre-Hispanic era, it was part of Orone, one of La Gomera’s four cantons, and it held significance as a territory associated with “kings” and soothsayers, evident from its rich toponymy.
A must-visit Canarian village: what to see in Valle Gran Rey
La Calera and La Puntilla Beaches: These beaches, though technically a single expanse, are separated by a small rocky cliff at the Valle Gran Rey ravine’s mouth. Featuring black sand and excellent swimming conditions, they constitute the largest beach on the island.
Plaza de San Antonio: This almost circular square, chosen for the construction of the hermitage of San Antonio, offers magnificent views of the upper valley. It combines walls, palm trees, and houses to create one of the Canary Islands’ most admired landscapes.
Footpaths: Despite its small size and rugged terrain, Valle Gran Rey boasts an intricate network of footpaths, often following ancient bridle paths used by locals until the 20th century. These paths offer access to the challenging terrain of deep ravines and steep cliffs.
Paredones and Andenes: The dry stone walls, known as Paredones and Andenes, are a striking feature of the Gomeran landscape. These walls were constructed to hold the necessary soil for cultivation and can be found throughout Valle Gran Rey.
Festivals: The municipality’s festivals reflect the inhabitants’ ability to preserve traditions and introduce new elements into their celebrations. The “drum dance,” a unique combination of song and dance with rows facing each other, accompanies processions. This traditional music is a distinctive feature of Gomeran culture.
Valle Gran Rey: routes not to miss
The municipality offers hikers various routes that allow them to explore its diverse landscapes, from the coast to the summits, in a straightforward and safe manner. Two long-distance footpaths, the GR 131 (Cumbres de La Gomera) and the GR 132 (Circular Costas de La Gomera), pass through Valle Gran Rey, providing ample opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore the area’s nature, landscapes, and ethnography.
Additionally, travelers can combine these routes with others in the island’s network or connect to local paths that link the municipality’s neighborhoods. Specialized companies in the area can provide guidance and information for those interested in exploring these routes.
How to get to Valle Gran Rey
- From the Port of San Sebastián de La Gomera: Travelers can reach La Gomera through the port of San Sebastián, with daily ferry services from Tenerife. The journey takes approximately 60 minutes and may include connections to La Palma and El Hierro.
- Buses: Valle Gran Rey is served by two daily bus lines. Line 1 connects to San Sebastián, while Line 6 connects to Playa de Santiago, where the airport is located.
- Taxis: The taxi rank is situated in the La Calera district.
Valle Gran Rey beckons with its natural beauty, cultural richness, and hiking opportunities, making it a must-visit destination on La Gomera.