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National Parks Network

Garajonay National Park

Roque Agando y Barranco de Benchijigua [Autor: J.S. Socorro]

 

"At only a short distance from the desert-like coasts of the Sahara, the rugged highlands of the island of La Gomera in the Canaries are the final refuge of one of the most unusual and emblematic woodlands in Spain. The almost permanent shroud of mists rising from the Ocean and hanging on the mountains impregnates them with moisture and freshness, and favours the miraculous survival of these splendid and mysterious forests, the last remaining vestige of the ancestral subtropical woodlands which covered the Mediterranean area millions of years ago."

The Canarian laurisilva or laurel forest, an ecosystem which has survived since the Tertiary Period, having disappeared from the Continent as a consequence of the climatic changes of the Quaternary, finds refuge in the area of mists of the Canary Islands. Garajonay is currently the best conserved example of this ecosystem, housing over half the mature forests of laurisilva in the Canaries. Other treasures of the National Park are the diversity of the types of plant groups, the large number of endemic species and the existence of spectacular geological monuments, such as Los Roques.