The Legend of Gara and Jonay


Before the Spanish conquest, a beautiful princess called Gara lived on La Gomera. She fell in love with a prince or poor peasant’s son from Tenerife (the stories vary), called Jonay while they were attending a festival.

He fell in love with her immediately and sailed on a raft made out of goat skins to the neighbouring island every day, to visit his one true love.

However, sadness and doom was heading their way. A religious man predicted great misfortune for both parties and his prophecy seemed to come true when the volcano, Teide began erupting. According to the legend, the ocean around La Gomera was turned red, like blood and the island began to glow.

Due to this natural phenomena, and the fear instilled in the people by the religious man, the princess’ father attempted to stop the marriage and returned Jonay to Tenerife.

His love for Gara was so strong that only a few weeks later, he managed to make his way back to La Gomera and the couple fled together to the peaks and hid in the forest.

The locals, fearful of their own safety after the predictions followed them up into the hills.

Poor Gara and Jonay had no way out of their situation and made the sad decision to end their lives. 

Jonay sharpened a stick of laurel and both ends and they pierced each other's hearts while in an embrace, ultimately dying together.

Since then, that very place and what is now the national park on La Gomera, goes by the name Garajonay.

Daniel Dixon