Dubbed ‘the island that time forgot’ La Gomera, second smallest in the Canary Island chain, lies just 28 km from its nearest neighbour Tenerife. But if this conjures up visions of concrete jungle, beer-swilling youth and late night clubbing, think again: La Gomera, World Biosphere Reserve, differs in almost every conceivable way.
Although like the other islands it is volcanic in origin, its jagged rocks have been sleeping for 2 million years, while its rural lifestyle appears equally placid. The steep, verdant slopes are traditionally farmed using terraces while the whole island is criss-crossed with well-kept hiking trails leading from the highest peaks down vertiginous ravines to surf-sprayed beaches.
In the centre of the island (and a UNESCO world-heritage site), the Garajonay National Park swirls in mist, its ancient laurel cloudforest dripping with moss and lichen, the tangle of branches and vegetation distinctly primordial. Giant heathers and ferns line the way while natural lookouts allow unexpected glimpses of tumbling white villages and cobalt sea, while Mount Teide across the water creates a spectacular backdrop on clear days.
Culturally rich, La Gomera has an interesting history and its inhabitants are proud of their traditions which include a unique whistling language. This is now being taught in schools and is used to communicate from hillside to hillside across the’barrancos’.
Strikingly different, off the mainstream tourist path yet an effortlessly easy and relaxing destination, it’s easy to fall in love with La Gomera.
- Next Trip(s): March 2020 (please enquire for exact dates)
- Duration: 7 nights from Los Christianos, Tenerife
- Price: £1895 (15% discount for those sharing a room). Non-painting partners are welcome on this trip: £1100
Gentle La Gomera lends itself perfectly to a relaxing, yet fascinating sketching holiday: Unique and varied landscapes, warm winter sunshine, fabulously comfortable hotel accommodation and private local transport which will whisk us each day to some of the loveliest views on the island.
During this short trip we will cover most of the island’s main sights without too much travelling. There will be plenty of sketching and painting, some gentle walking (please see the ‘Are these holidays for me?’ section for details of this) and we will have some pure relaxation time, too.
Please ask for a detailed day-by-day itinerary for this trip
Cool, misty Garajonay forest; weird volcanic rock formations; striking views of Mt.Teide; quiet mountain tracks and Gomera’s highest peak
- Day1: We will meet at the ferry terminal in Los Christianos, Tenerife for the short sea crossing to San Sebastian and transfer to our hotel
- Day 2: 1 rock, 3 views: sketch the awesome Roque de Agando from different angles
- Day 3: The rugged northeast, pretty Hermigua and a woodland walk to a tiny chapel
- Day 4: Hike up to the island’s highest point. Strange forests and views to Mt. Teide
- Day 5: Morning visit to a mountain hamlet set in pine trees. Afternoon free to enjoy the beautiful hotel grounds, pools or local village beach, with optional sketching
- Day 6: A longer walk to the tiny settlement at Benchijigua with stunning views and typical Gomeran landscape
- Day 7: A beautiful drive and outstanding viewpoint will lead us to Valle Gran Rey in time for lunch. We can enjoy a swim before catching the afternoon boat back round the coast to Playa Santiago and our final night in the hotel
- Day 8: Ferry back to Tenerife where the trip ends
The price for this trip includes:
Ferry Tenerife – La Gomera return; transfers from ferry to hotel and back; transport each day to wonderful painting locations (including boat trip from Valle Gran Rey to Playa Santiago); 7 nights half-board (buffet breakfast and dinner) at wonderful 4* hotel on a single-occupancy basis; 4 packed lunches as per itinerary; art pack containing artists’ quality materials and as much guidance and instruction as required
The price does NOT include:
International flights or travel between your home country and ferry port on Tenerife; any accommodation or meals needed while on Tenerife; 2 lunches during your stay on La Gomera as per itinerary; drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) in hotel bar or with dinner; snacks, coffees etc. while out and about; optional extra activities and services at hotel such as spa treatments, room service, mini bar; tips
There will be a couple of longer days during our stay but we will balance them with a more restful day and a free afternoon in which to enjoy our hotel and immediate area.
Most days will start with breakfast at 8.30am and departure from the hotel around 9.30am.
The average driving time to reach the first sketching spot will be under an hour.
Usually there will be 2 or more different locations for sketching and often a walk as well. In some cases this can be a few hours in length (please ask for a detailed itinerary). We will stop and sketch en route.
Although I encourage quick sketching, I usually allow an hour or more at each important location and in some cases much longer.
Nearly every day we will take a packed lunch with us so we don’t have to worry about being near a restaurant at the right time.
On this trip I will tailor ‘tasks’ and ‘challenges’ to individual and group aspirations and development and you may choose whether or not to participate, although often this can lend a useful focus for the day and be a lot of fun.
We’ll arrive back at the hotel in the late afternoon and meet up before dinner to look over our day’s work and discuss any difficulties or, indeed, admire our successes!
A sketching or painting holiday in La Gomera would be a very rewarding experience for most people.
Tranquil, clean and well-organised, you do not need to be especially intrepid to visit the Canaries and La Gomera is particularly easy.
On this trip we use an extremely comfortable, attractive and well-appointed hotel. Probably the best hotel on the island, it is large enough to support 2 swimming pools, tennis courts, a spa, film room, large bar and 3 restaurants yet always feels like an oasis of calm. Set on a high cliff above the small beach and fishing village of Playa Santiago in the sunniest part of the island, the rooms are laid out like little cottages and are designed to mimic a Spanish village. The well-maintained grounds are rampant with semi-tropical plants and alive with birds, and the hotel has its own banana plantation.
Each person (or couple, if sharing) will have their own large room with balcony, perfect for a sundowner. We don’t rough it in La Gomera!
Food in the main restaurant is included in the price of the holiday: We enjoy a buffet breakfast and dinner with dishes of every imaginable type, appealing to all tastes. Delicious local cuisine sits alongside Italian, British and other favourites and the menu changes nightly. Special diets are catered for.
There is some walking involved on this itinerary.
Not much of the island is flat, and any walking will necessarily involve some steep inclines both upwards and downwards. The trails are very well-maintained, however, and should not present much of a problem to anyone who is used to regular walking at home.
Although we do climb to the highest point of the island, the walk is not especially long and the gradient not too extreme.
The longest we will walk for in a day is around 4 hours; on most days considerably less.
Please contact me if you are worried about the walking involved.
You will need to get yourself to Los Christianos in Tenerife by yourself. Many affordable flights leave from the UK and other parts of Europe. There is public transport from the airport and taxis, or you might possibly need to spend the night.
If you are unsure about organising this aspect of the trip I will do my best to help you.
The ferry from Tenerife takes an hour. Once on the island we will travel by minibus with an experienced local driver. The distances on La Gomera are short but the narrow, winding roads make driving slower than you might expect. We’ll be using the vehicle every day, but nowhere is more than an hour or so away and with a view around every corner, we’ll make lots of stops.
The volcanic landscape is jaw-dropping, the vegetation distinctive. The complexity of the scenes can sometimes be overwhelming, especially where man has sculpted the land in the form of terraces and other structures. For this reason I would class the painting subject -matter here as challenging, and ideally suited to a painter with some experience. However, beginners and novices will be given all the help and support they need.
This trip is a ‘holiday’ rather than a structured ‘course’. I am on hand at all times to offer help and guidance and to aid personal development where needed. Experienced painters are also welcome to come along and enjoy the company of a like-minded group and persue their own painting whilst having all logistics taken care of.
As with all my holidays we’ll be making use of the ground or rocks to sit on while sketching so you’ll need to be ok with this to get the most out of this trip.
All in all, ‘Mists of Time’ will suit:
Anyone with an average to good level of fitness who is able and willing to walk up and downhill to find the best sketching spots and to enjoy the scenery to the maximum.
Anyone who would like to see and experience a truly different type of landscape without having to leave their comfort zone.
Those who like to stay in good quality accommodation and have most costs included
Painters of any level looking for a bit of a challenge
Those who enjoy warm and sunny weather but don’t want an over-developed holiday resort with lively nightlife (do not expect much evening ‘entertainment’ in La Gomera!)
Anyone who would like to bring along a non-participating partner happy to look after themselves while we are painting.
- Firstly, please use the contact form to send an e-mail to me, and let me know which trip you are interested in. I will send you more information to make sure it’s the right trip for you. If you are unsure which will suit you best, we can go through the options.
- When you are ready to make your booking I will send you a booking form and payment details so that you can pay your deposit.
- I will send you essential information about how to join the group if you are not being met at the airport; advice on choosing flights (if applicable) and what you need to bring with you on your holiday, as well as a Useful Information fact-sheet for the country you will be visiting, if you have not already requested this.
- The balance of your payment is due in British pounds, 2 weeks before the commencement of your Sketching Holiday. You may make a bank transfer (recommended), via Paypal or if you prefer to pay by cheque (in pounds sterling), this must be presented and cleared in my account well before the commencement of the holiday.
Non-UK residents may choose to pay in cash on arrival at the destination but please speak to me about this first.
By making your booking you are agreeing to our ‘Terms and Conditions’ which can be found by clicking here.
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