This review is in three sections – island, resort, accommodation
La Gomera………A bit of a challenge getting there. Up at 4am for flight from Gatwick, land at Tenerife South Airport around lunchtime, ferry at 18:30 (or 19:30), hour and a half drive across the centre and highest point of the island, land at the apartment at about 21:30. Phew! The island scenery and vegetation is amazingly diverse. A 15min drive can take you from a barren and arid almost desert to verdant and lush rain forest. But the forest and mountain peaks are often shrouded in cloud with high winds and driving mist/rain. The main roads are superb, but incredibly twisty and the minor roads often head off to a village and it’s a return journey on the same route. The footpaths are superb, with well maintain surface and comprehensive signage. Sandy beaches (black) are few and far between with most of the coast rocks or cliffs.
Calera and Playa de la Calera…….Calera is the original village, built on the side of a valley, so lots of steps, alleyways and few roads. Playa de la Calera is the newer resort by the sea. It has a very sheltered and safe town beach that stretches SE along the coast to the next resort of La Puntilla. It also has a lovely naturist beach beyond the north end of the resort, but the sea can be very challenging with high waves and strong currents. La Calera has a couple of small, but very welcome food shops and a couple of bars/restaurants with great sunset balconies. Playa de la Calera is dominated by a couple of very large hotels/apartment complexes and will never have the intimate charm of La Calera itself. The food in the restaurants I would say is dependable although to be fair, this is not based on a huge sample.
Casa Bibi….. The apartment is a short walk from the nearest point that you can bring a car and there are narrow and steep steps from the apartment’s gate to house door. There is very limited parking near the drop-off point, but loads of parking on the main road below the village and if you are not carrying anything heavy it is only about 5min walk up to the apartment. The most direct route from the apartment to the road leading down to the sea consists of about 150 steps. Then there is about a 15-20min walk to the sea. There is a food shop about 10m from the front gate and a bar/restaurant 20m in the other direction.
Viv the owner met my wife and me after our long drive and gave us a pretty thorough and useful run down of the characteristics of the apartment, and there was a nice welcome pack. The apartment is very spacious with airy rooms and a lot of ventilation. This proved to be really necessary as there is no air conditioning. (At first, we were worried about this as both of us had been the victims of mosquito bites on previous holidays in locations of similar climate, but surprisingly we hardly got bitten during the whole 11 days of our stay). The bed is huge and very comfortable and delivered a great night’s sleep. The kitchen is of a good size, has a good dining table for indoor eating, with ample food preparation surfaces and is well equipped with modern appliances. If unwashed dishes or crumbs are left around, then they will be quickly discovered by ants and some dry food storage containers would have been useful. The lounge is a great place to retire for a night in or after a night out. And if you want to catch up with whole series’ of UK TV programmes, then Viv’s collection won’t disappoint.
Outside and on the same level there is a small patio with clothes dryer and small table and two chairs. This is really too small for two people to do anything and if you want to enjoy the outdoors section of Casa Bibi you head up another flight of stairs, wooden and much wider than the apartment access stairs. Here there is a great patio with, two sunbeds, a “rustic” couch, table and 4 chairs and a substantial sun umbrella. This is a lovely spot with the dramatic mountain across the valley and views over lower properties to the sea. The patio is relatively private, but as the house was built on a slope you are overlooked by two or three other properties.
This was a really good holiday, but knees took a bit of a bashing with all the slopes and steps.
If you think of La Gomera as being laid back, relaxed and stunningly beautiful, and you want to reflect this in your accommodation, you won't do better than Casa Bibi. Of course it's comfortable, and very well equipped, and located in the most lovely part of Valle Gran Rea, but what really sets it apart is it's character, impossible to adequately describe but also impossible to miss. A wonderful base for a wonderful island.
We don't often return to a holiday destination as there are so many places to visits, but it was lovely being back in La Gomera for the second year running, especially staying at Casa Bibi. The house is very comfortable, spacious and well equipped and the area of La Calera is one of our favourites in Valle Gran Rey. We wanted a quiet relaxing holiday with plenty of good restaurants to choose from and that is what we got. Viv, the owner is very helpful and quick to respond to any questions before and during your stay
We enjoyed our two week stay in this beautiful 3 room apartment. The interior is decorated with style and is almost too roomy for 2 persons. From the terras there is a great view on Valle Gran Rey and the ocean and on a towering hill on the other side. Small shop and restaurants around the corner in this little and cosy La Calera some kilometer away from the boulevard of Valle Gran Rey. This location is an excellent starting point for hiking in this beautiful island. It certainly is handy to have a car.
So we will certainly be back.
This was our second stay at Casa Bibi and our third holiday in La Gomera. It was wonderful to return to accomodation where we knew what to expect -and on climbing the steps and opening the door it felt like returning home......with just a couple of exceptions.......as if anything, the apartment seemed even more spacious than we remembered it to be and exceptionally clean and tidy! The ' welcome pack was much appreciated, especially the water, milk, tea coffee and wine!
Casa Bibi is a traditional Gomeran dwelling, some 120 years old and built in the old island way. The ceilings are high and the thick walls keep it cool inside although once the shutters are open it is also light and airy. Both the lounge and bedroom are exceptionally large iwhich is unusual for a one- bedroom rental ( ample space for more if the sofa bed is utilised in the lounge) There is a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen and a separate dining area. The kitchen is very well equipped and has a large ' American style ' fridge freezer with ice and water dispenser.
As we are walkers, the washing machine is essential for us and there are facilities to dry clothes inside or out. Loads of books to read and dozens of DVD's to watch if you find time. TV in both lounge and bedroom - and a dishwasher.
La Calera is a hill village so unless you are lucky enough to find a parking space on the top level, you will need to park in the large car park adjacent to the lower road and walk up the numerous steps. It's worth bringing the car up top to unload and drop off your bags. There are now two Spar supermarkets in the coastal Valle Gran Rey area - both well stocked and within walking distance. The new one even has a fresh meat counter. There is also a local store right next door to the property which is particularly good for fresh bread and rolls in the morning. Also numerous restaurants in the vicinity including two on the same level as Casa Bibi. Lots of wonderful little shops selling interesting things too. We love this house and its location. It's quiet and peaceful yet you feel part of the village community. Just remember that there are a god few steep steps up to the property and the front door and that when this house and it's neighbours were built there were no cars on the island and very few roads, so properties didn't come with garages, parking spaces or lifts. But you will be very comfortable indeed in one of the prettiest spots in the village with glimpses of the sea and surrounding mountains and valleys. Thanks Viv - another lovely stay❤️
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