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La Gomera

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Here is an oasis of quiet in stunning natural surroundings. There is no mass tourism here, and certainly no high-rise buildings. Instead, there are small villages with friendly inhabitants, potters, fishermen and banana growers. Beautiful views of the ocean, terraced hillsides, mountains and ravines cutting through them. At the centre of the island is an ancient, foggy rainforest. La Gomera is a magical island, perfect for hiking.
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La Gomera's star attraction is the rare laurel forest that dominates the upper levels of the island. Fossils show that many of the species contained in this mist-enveloped jungle, known as "laurisilva", were thriving millions of years ago. These great forests disappeared from the European mainland beneath the inexorable push of ice-age glaciers. The one on La Gomera offers a tantalising glimpse of how much of mainland Europe once looked.
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As well as the flora, the island's main delight is the sheer beauty of the walking and diving. Much of it is up and down, but the thrill of rounding a corner or cresting a ridge to see a new range of burnished coppers or emerald greens can be an exhilarating experience.


Economy

The traditional economy of La Gomera is similar to that of the other Canary Islands; agricultural produce for both local consumption and for export.This use of the land was developed after the colonisation of the island, and is based upon the location of springs and humidity in the centre of the island and is where crops now grow in the valleys and ravines. As a result, the population of the island is unevenly divided, being situated mainly in the main valleys to the north of the island.

Valle Gran Rey and Playa Santiago have only recently begun to be developed. The main crops are cereals and pulses (peas, beans, lentils, etc.), potatoes and fruit such as grapes. On irrigated land, the variety of crops has changed from sugar cane in the 16th and 17th centuries to tomatoes, potatoes, corn and bananas in modern times. During the 1960's cultivation on the island was threatened, firstly due to emigration and later due to the increase in transport costs, communication problems and the developing tourist industry, which is now the main economy of La Gomera.