Hikes of
      La Gomera

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The village of Valle Gran Rey

Vallehermoso - Agulo - Hermigua - San Sebastián - Playa Santiago/Alajeró - Valle Gran Rey 

The commune of Valle Gran Rey was the ancient cantón of Orone, where lived the most powerfull indigenous kings, and you can still find today many relics of this past.
After the conquest, the colonization started in the higher part of the valley, and the Counts of La Gomera turned it into one of their main residences. In 1812, it was separated from Chipude, and the capital of the entity was installed in Arure from which the commune took its name.

Occupation of the lower part, the proper valley, didn't start until the second half of XVIIIth, and rose when they introduced the growing of banana trees and tomatoes for exportation, toward the end of XIXth. This started an impressive economical and demographical rise in the coastal area, where were situated the main population knots, Vueltas and La Calera. It became capital of the commune of Valle Gran Rey in 1950.

Nowadays most of the people live on the slopes of the ravine, between small gardens and palm-trees that makes it an enchanting landscape. Vueltas helds a small harbour that still keeps quite a fairly important fishing activity.
Above the valley are situated the villages of Taguluche, Las Hayas and Arure, the last two on the edges of the Garajonay National Park.

The steep slopes with deep ravines and vertical cliffs, as La Mérica, have conditioned the communications until recently. For centuries, there were only abrupt and windy pathes, that have turned today into a real treat for hikers !

The traditional basis of economy was agriculture for export and artisanal fishing on the coast, and vegetables growing for familial consumption (potatoes , beans, squashes) in the small banks of the upper part.
The palm trees are not only a cultural and esthetical complement, but still also economical as they're used for their dates, and moreover for the extraction of guarapo and the utilization of their palms.

Then both agriculture and fishing have lost their importance over the last decades : turism, both residential and daily types, has taken over thanks to its sunny weather, its beaches (La Playa, Playa del Ingles and Araga) and its wonderful scenery. But also because of the offer in cheap lodgings coming from the rural houses left vacant by the emigration. Apart from that, a lot of holidays apartments have been built in la Puntilla and la Playa, and numerous services related with turism are prosperous.

Hiking :

Noteworthy places to visit :

- Arure village ,
- San Nicolás de Tolentino hermitage, with an original structure dated 1515,
- La Adoración de Los Reyes hermitage, also built in 1515, but renovated in the 1900's,
- La Merica's cliff,
- Beaches of La Playa, Playa del Ingles, Argaga

 

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