Island attractions outside Playa Santiago

The port town and capital that Christopher Columbus visited in 1492 before setting out on the voyage for which he is best known. (A notice at the local well records how the explorer drew its water to 'baptise America'.)

The Museo Casa Colón charts the last five centuries of the Canary Islands and their relationship with America. Visitors can learn about this rich history through maps, the permanent exhibition, a library and a centre for special studies.

San Sebastián itself is quiet, friendly and well kept. With a population of 7,000 or so, it is the island's largest municipality. Its handful of shops, restaurants and bars are all within easy walking distance, making it an ideal destination for a light lunch, a reviving glass of wine and people watching in the central square.

Splash Gomera - Island attractions outside Playa Santiago

Other attractions include La Galería de Arte Luna, located in a restored 17th-century building in the old town, the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, and the Torre del Conde. The Castilian-style tower was built in 1447 as part of the town's defences and is now a museum.

On clear days, Valle Gran Rey to the west offers a panoramic view of the neighbouring island of El Hierro. As well as its popular beaches, shops and restaurants, the region holds many reminders of La Gomera's fascinating past. These include the San Nicolás de Tolentino and La Adoración de los Reyes hermitages, which date back to the early 16th century.

For something completely different, head for the sea and some whale watching.

Splash Gomera - Island attractions outside Playa Santiago

Or head to Vallehermoso in the north of the island, to the Castillo del Mar, an old storage facility. Built in 1890, all sorts of goods, including bananas, were packed and loaded onto steam boats from here. The building now houses a variety of exhibitions, from sculptures to photography, in a homage to its past.

We have to mention the natural monument of "Los Organos". It is basically basaltic colonnade shaped in tubes, only visible from the sea. But the similarity to a Giant Black Church Organ gives the name to this outstanding view. The spirituality felt during a boat trip can be unforgettable. You can hear as if the sound of the waves was coming out from the Organs tubes. Worth trying. Don´t miss out.