Ancient forests and mist-covered trails give rise to countless stories and legends that have left their mark on the roots of our island. Stories of witches, impossible love, tragedies or old forgotten rites that for centuries have been told by the people of La Gomera and have been passed down from generation to generation which shows once again the magical aspect of La Gomera.
Perhaps one of the best known legends is that of Gara and Jonay. Two young lovers, key players of a forbidden love, decide to run away. In their flight and cornered by their own people, they took their own lives on the highest peak of La Gomera, giving name to what is now the natural heart of the island, the Garajonay National Park.
Love ending in tragedy is the theme of many other legends such as that of the petrified lovers or the story of Iballa. The former is that of another impossible love that results in the lovers deciding to remain petrified rather than give up their passion, which, as has been told for centuries, can be seen represented as the stone giants of the Natural Monument of Los Roques. The former tells the story of one of the most outstanding episodes of the conquest of La Gomera and goes through the heroic resistance of a people and a passionate love. It is the story of Hernán Peraza, married to the lady of the island and very much in love with the beautiful indigenous woman Iballa, who lived with her mother in the cave of Guahedún. For the Gomeran people, the young woman’s loving surrender to the lord of La Gomera was an offence, so they decided to put an end to him and his government. In one of the visits of the lord to the cave of Iballa, the islanders kill Peraza and sing their victory, carrying the news throughout the island through whistles. What they did not know was the harsh retaliation that the wretched man's wife would inflict on the population, which was decimated, either by death or by slavery.
The power of nature also leaves its mark in the legends of La Gomera, in this case it is the water that shows its magical arts. It is said that those who visit the Chorros de Epina can fulfil their wishes if they drink from the fountain of the seven spouts without breathing. If the person doing so wishes to marry, if it is a woman she must drink from the even numbered spouts and if it is a man he must drink from the odd numbered spouts. It is also said that if any woman wants to become a witch may fulfil her wishes by drinking from men's spouts.
Legend also has it that other omens of love can be known through the purity of the water of this spring. If the water is clear and calm to the observer, luck in love awaits him or her, but if on the contrary it is cloudy, he or she can only expect the condemnation of a life of unrequited love.
Do you want to know more of these and other magical stories from our island? We look forward to telling you about them.