Eco Retreat • Finca Los Zarzales • La Gomera

We live and work with our two children on a former potato finca in the green north of the island above the village of Tamargada in a high valley at 600m above sea level surrounded by trees, plants, shrubs and animals.

 

The finca includes five smaller houses in which the workers' families lived and which are now distributed over the grounds as overgrown, decayed ruins adorn the landscape, as well as the up to 6 metres high natural stone walls that marked and limited the individual sections of the terraces.

Access was only possible through donkey paths until the 1980s, then a serpentine slope was pushed, which allowed traffic to Las Rosas.

In 1995, the last potato harvest was recovered and the plant stopped. For 25 years now, nature has been conquering the land bit by bit and the soil has had a lot of time to regenerate and recover

 

In a fantastic, partly terraced location with views of the surrounding hills and the sea, grow and bloom in lush year-round green vegetation tree heather, bay leaf, pine, chestnut, rose apple, palm trees, mulberry, figs, orange and apple trees, nispero, Cape Gooseberry (Physalis), rosemary, peppermint, oregano, capuchins, as well as Bougainvillas, roses, camellia, kalla, hydrangeas, hibiscus, oleander, geraniums, shrubs, lilies and many other tree species and flowering plants that are constantly being added. On new fruit trees we have planted kiwi, almond, raspberry, plum, nectarine, peach, mango, papaya, pear and persimmons and banana. Until the new trees bear fruit, a while will have to pass, but we are looking forward to it and watch them grow for so long.

We only use natural fertilizers such as donkey manure, coffee grounds or extracted liquid from the Bokashi bucket of EMS (effemicroorganisms.We do not use any form of chemical pesticides or fertilizers.

 

While walking, you occasionally encounter one of our two donkeys, a cat or a chicken, who run around freely on the grounds. There is a stable and a chicken house but it‘s exits are open day and night. 

So you can hear iiaaaIhhh or Kikeriki sometimes.

There are also a few frogs, (which you only hear when it rains and they greet the same quaking) and different species of birds living here such as buzzard, sparrow, laurel pigeon (we have a few laurel trees and some have settled there), Boll's laurel pigeon, redlittle blackbird, blackbird, monk wedge, Canary Zilbzalb, Buchfinch, Woodsnipe and Kestrel.

 

The power supply is completely powered by solar energy, boiled and showered with gas cartridges.

La Gomera

is located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 11 million years old and belongs to the group of Canary Islands (Spain)

The Canaries are the solar islands of Spain off the west coast of Africa. 

It is, with 370 square kilometres to El Hierro, the second smallest island in the Canary Islands and has about 20,000 inhabitants.

The Spanish mainland is 1.300km away, the African continent is 300km.

Like all islands in the Canary Islands, La Gomera is of volcanic origin and consists mostly of cold lava, tuff and basalt rocks.

Wind and water have created Barranco (notched valleys) and Valles (trough valleys) over time. The last volcanic eruption is about 2 million years ago.

Why the North and not the South?!

Mild in winter, not too hot in summer and a temperate climate all year round. La Gomera, as in all the Canary Islands, has a very mild climate all year round. 

This is caused by the north-east passat and a branch of the Canary river, which ensures almost even temperatures throughout the year (15-22 degrees). 

However, the climate zones on the island have to be taken into account. 

It may well be that it is cloudy and rainy in the north and at the same time the sun shines in the south with a bright blue sky. From December to March, it can be really fresh and cool for Canary conditions. Never below freezing but around 8 degrees already, sometimes accompanied by rain and wind. During this time, we heat the ovens and make ourselves comfortable in front of it. 

Already on our first trip we agreed that air, temperature and vegetation in the north, we liked and enjoyed much better than the comparatively dry heat and barren landscape in the south, but this is of course a matter of taste.

By car you are there in about an hour. One day a week, we have a beach day in Valle Gran Rey. 

Since we have also come to the island to grow fruit and vegetables and plants of trees and flowers, a humid, wooded and more rainy environment was offered.

Getting there                             Mobility                           Nutrition

La Gomera is not directly accessible from mainland Europe. The journey takes place from Tenerife South Reina Sofia Airport (TFS) and from there by ferry (Fred Olsen or Naviera Armas), which run three times a day between the islands, from the port of Los Christianos Tenerife South to San Sebastian on La Gomera. 

You can get to the port either by bus (Titsa terminal at the airport) or by taxi and the journey time is about 25 minutes. 

The last ferry leaves at 19:00 (without guarantee), so we recommend that you book the flight so that you have enough time (1 1/2 - 2 hours) to reach the last ferry at the latest.

You can book and compare between the two shipping companies at:

www.directferries.com

If you want to spend a relaxing holiday on the island and want to be mobile, you should rent a car with which you can easily explore and discover the island. 

The house is accessed from the main road via a private and hiking trail along rocks and through the forest. Since this is partly uneven and Scottish, it is not advisable to use a normal car to drive down the slope to the house (1.6 km). 

The car can be parked at the top of the road and we will pick you up and bring you up, of course. 

Sounds adventurous, and so is. 

If you do not want to rent a car, we will be happy to pick you up from the port or airport for a fee.

We do not use meat, fish and cow's milk products as far as possible. Instead, we offer a varied diet consisting of fresh vegetables, fruits and everything that nature has to offer seasonally. 

Tofu, Soya & Strings are available in a few shops and we are happy to give advice on where to get something or go to eat.

If you don't want to miss out on milk, meat and fish, you can bring something from the supermarket or drive/hike in one of the restaurants in the area offering Canarian dishes.