This week’s “Go Expat in…” article from Matthew Hirtes features moving to La Gomera. Some of you may remember how enamoured Alan was with this little island during his walk in 2012. It really is stunning, and… should a Euromillones win come up… we have our eye on a holiday property in the valley that leads down to Valle Gran Rey in the South.
Small is beautiful on the Canary Island’s second-littlest isle
La Gomera’s old-school Canarian. You won’t find any faux Irish bars here. Nor all-day English breakfasts or American burger chains.
There are more baby boomers on La Gomera than babies. This Canary Island has an ageing population. The young tend to relocate to the likes of Tenerife and the Spanish mainland for the extra employment opportunities, although they’re looking even further afield thanks to La Crisis.
In and out
The nearest resort to La Gomera airport’s the southerly Playa Santiago. However, it’s only 34km to the capital San Sebastían de la Gomera in the north east of the island. The airport’s tiny and accommodates inter-island flights during daylight hours.
International schools simply do not exist on the island. So you’re going to have to go state. Which has its drawbacks as the public Spanish education system goes big on learning by rote rather than encouraging pupils to think independently.
Shop until you drop…
There’s no mall culture in La Gomera. Playa Santiago, one of the main resorts which nevertheless still feels like the fishing village it originally was, has a handful of souvenir shops and not much else. If there, pick up some almogrote, La Gomera’s famously piquant cheese paste.
Capital-dwellers favour apartments, as is the case across the Canary Islands. However, Fred Olsen have created Pueblo Don Thomas in the south of the island if a villa’s more your idea of home. Which is either expat heaven or hell with its adjoining country club, golf course, and gym.
One-two bedroom apartments, €100.000-€150.000. Detached Villas, €250.000-€500.000.
In Praise Of
“The Gomerans are a very friendly and accommodating people who will go out of their way to make you feel at home and help you improve your Spanish. It’s a bit like my county in Ireland,Donegal, except it’s got sunshine virtually all year round. There’s a unique Mediterranean rain forest on the top of the Island which is a throwback to before the last ice age, and it’s green and lush with fabulous walks for all to enjoy.” Andy McCarter (Gomera Walking)
• Are you an expat in La Gomera? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know below.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He’s travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.