The Garajonay National Park is one of the more enchanting parks in Spain. There are several types of fauna to be seen and also lush natural scenery.
The park is situated in the north and center of La Gomera island of the Canary Islands. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What to See
There are several types of plants and flowers in the park. There are also several types of bats and birds. There are a couple of reptile species to be found: Chalcides viridanus (Gomeran skink) and Gallotia gomerana (Gomeran lizard).
There are many types of amphibians including the stripeless tree frog (Hyla meridionalis). Visitors to the Garajonay National Park will also get to see Bolle’s Pigeon (Columba bollii) and Laurel Pigeon (Columba junoniae).
The park has several kinds of forests. On the north side are protected valleys and several lush greens. At the higher mounts, the winds and sun become more prominent. The south section of the forest is made up of heather and beech. Here you will find species that have adapted to this kind of less humid condition.
The site was declared a national park in 1981. The park was named for the doomed lovers Guanche and Gara. According to legend, Gara was a princess of Agulo at La Gomera. Jonay was the offspring of the king of Adeje.
He came to the island to take part in the festivities. The two met and fell in love. But on the day their engagement was declared, the Teide volcano erupted. Their parents took this as an ill omen and canceled their wedding.
Jonay was forced to go back to his homeland. But one evening he swam across the waters and was reunited with Gara. The two escaped. When their parents found out, they were hunted down. Eventually the two were trapped in the mountains where they took their own lives.
Entrance to the park is free.
The park takes up 40 km2 (15 sq mi) and reaches into the municipalities at the island. The tallest peak on the island is also known as Garajonay. It is 1,484 m (4,869 feet) high. It also has a plateau with an altitude of 790-1,400 meters above sea level.
The Garajonay National Park is also known as one of the best examples of the laurisilva subtropical forest. During the Tertiary period, these forests were spread over the European continent.