Authentic charm meets spectacular coastal views
Just a short boat ride from Tenerife, the peaceful island of La Gomera is a world away from the classic Canary Islands stereotypes. Here, dramatic valleys are framed by towering peaks and dramatic cliffs that plunge down to an idyllic coastline. Beyond the obvious seaside attractions, don't miss the island's inland allures, its centre dominated by the UNESCO-listed Garayonay National Park host to wonderful views and unique flora and fauna. On the island's east coast, the Parador de la Gomera stands on a cliff top some 250 feet above the little town of San Sebastian, the island’s ‘capital’, with views across pretty subtropical gardens to the sea and the island of Tenerife beyond. It's a steep, 10-minute walk (or five-minute taxi ride) down to the shops and beach below.
The rooms at this charming Parador are wonderfully spacious and furnished in a colonial style, with wooden floors, period furnishings and either a private patio or balcony, many serving up superb views, particularly from the upper floors. Ground-floor rooms have the benefit of direct access to the gardens – a genuine highlight. Bathrooms feature double vanities and powerful showers.
Set in a large conservatory, the restaurant makes the most of the pretty surroundings, which are complemented by a menu that leans heavily on local dishes, particularly seafood. Canarian grouper cooked with peppers and onions is a highlight. In the mornings, a wide selection of hot and cold options including a local take on the full English.
The headline act here has to be the gardens with their exotic plants and network of walkways extending out across the headland. Take the chance for a stroll, admire the views, then head to the large outdoor pool, which looks out across the sea and is the ideal spot for a pre-dinner drink.
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