La Gomera history & Facts
The island of La Gomera is the second smallest island in the Canary Islands.
La Gomera surface is 375 km2; its highest peak is 1487 meters. (Alto de Garajonay)
La Gomera is one of the most beautiful volcanic islands in the archipelago, although it is the 3rd youngest of the canary islands it is already extinct, having ceased to erupt about 3 million years ago.
The origin of the native population is still unclear, it is thought that the first to discover the islands were the Phoenicians who were bold sailors that crossed from what is today Cadiz in order to explore the Atlantic Ocean.
The first to settle in the island from 5000 B.C. are thought to be either from North African tribes or they might be part of a megalithic culture, it is unclear if the settlements were part of a specific migration.
It is assumed that the ancient inhabitants of the island, known as “Guanches” did not have contact neither with neighbouring islands nor with Africa. They lived a peaceful life in a Stone Age culture sustaining themselves from fishing and pastoral farming. The social structure of the Guanches was egalitarian and is thought to have been highly developed.
La Gomera’s conquest began in 1404, when the Norman Jean Bethancourt annexed the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura for the Spanish Crown. His first invasion failed because of the strong resistance of the natives, the second attack subdued two of the tribes. It was in 1447 when Hernan Peraza together with Beatriz de Bobadilla ruled over La Gomera.