La Gomera: Garajonay National Park
A National Park and a World Heritage Site
Garajonay is located in the central mountains of La Gomera. It was declared a National Park in 1981. Later, in 1986, UNESCO included it among the World Heritage Sites. It protects nearly 4,000 Hectares of a unique forest ecosystem, the best preserved laurel forest of the archipelago.
The laurel forest, a living fossil
During the Tertiary era, Europe gradually became colder and northern Africa became drier. This produced the formation of large deserts. All this led to the extinction of most continental subtropical flora. Because of its benign climate, the islands Tertiary flora could survive as real living fossils.
The national park is named after the mythical lovers Gara and Jonay, who like Romeo and Juliet, chose death rather than renounce their love.