Start: Agaete Finish: Las Palmas
Flight to Gran Canaria airport and taxi transfer (approx 1hr) to Agaete, on the island’s rugged north-west coast. Arrival at your accommodation, situated just outside the town amidst orange and banana plantations, and time to relax by the pool to start off your holiday.
After a delicious breakfast of orange juice, warm bread and all sorts of sweet and savoury toppings, you start your first walk right from the hotel entrance. All over the Canary Islands, the shortest route is by way of the nearest barranco (at least it is in dry season). You walk up among fronds of bamboo with a chance to select a light-weight yet very strong walking stick to use throughout the trip. In the village of San Pedro, you start your ascent along the Camino Real to Montaña Bibique (645m), a rugged outcropping with fabulous views over Agaete Valley. You walk further on, to the vista point at Mirador Vuelta de la Paloma (850m), with views out over several valleys. The descent from Puerto de las Nieves follows a narrow gravel path along the ridge. Bus or taxi back to Agaete. Today's route is NOT recomended if you are afraid of heights.
Challenge: 10.5km, 525m ascent, 650 dencent, 4.5 hrs.
Views to impressive summit of la Cumbre, to your next accommodation, where you’ll spend three days at a comfortable hotel situated high up in the mountains, in the village of Tejeda. After a short taxi transfer (10min), you walk up the valley (to reach an elevation of 485m), then go straight on up along the ancient Camino Real through a remote ravine. After 2 hrs walking, you’ll have done 555m in ascent! From the village of Fagajesto, you encounter a section on tarmac, but the route is free of traffic and you walk along a high ridge surrounded by pastures, barns, flocks of sheep and dairies where cheese is made. Stop to rest a bit before you begin the second steep ascent of the day, following footpaths through the fir forests near Galdar to reach an elevation of 1715m. Then you start your descent to the crossroads at Cruz de Tejeda. Time to stop for some refreshment – a cold beer or some hot chocolate – before you walk down off the ridge, where 25-degree temperatures will have you stripping down to your T-shirt! When misty and cool up high, temperatures is Agaete may be some 15 degrees warmer. The rest of the descent, to Tejeda, takes you down the south side of an extinct volcanic crater, with views to the sea.
Challenge: 16km, 1300m ascent, 700m descent, 7.5 hrs.
This walk traverses beautiful terrain, on steep slopes around Roque Nublo, a rocky out-cropping teetering on the edge of a plateau. This may not be the highest peak on the island but it is certainly the most easily identified, as it's visible from almost anywhere on the island. The walk starts directly from your front door. After 1km the tarmac gives way to steep paths which zig-zag up toward Roque Nublo. The peak’s volcanic origins become evident higher up and you gaze hundreds of meters down steeply eroded ravines. On the descent, you follow a different route – through a peaceful fir forest – to reach the col where you can catch a bus back to Tejeda. In case you lose the bus or want to walk a little more, you can take the historical road that leads back to Tejeda, with occasional stretches of asphalt (8km extra, 400m difference in descent, 2 extra hours )
Challange: 12km, 800m ascent, 400m descent; 5.5 hrs.
After three long walking routes, today you do one of the loveliest walks on this program over Altavista ridge, at the edge of Tamadaba Natural Park on a huge extinct crater (caldera). You’ll walk all day in the sun, with clouds below you and sweeping views all the way to Tenerife. The same bus which takes you to the start of the walk in the morning, will picks you up this afternoon in Artenara.
After the walk, you’ll have time to visit the Spice Centre in Tejeda, for insight on the island’s traditional use of medicinal plants. There’s a botanical garden and laboratory, and you’ll have the option of sampling different spices. Tejeda also has a small ethnographic museum and cultural centre with ongoing exhibits. This evening, enjoy the sunset from the hotel (roof-top) terrace, with the silhouette of Bentayga Peak in the background.
Challenge:14km, 500m ascent, 450m descent, 4.5 hrs.
After a short 10min transfer to La Culata (elevation 1225m), you begin a walking route which takes you up over la Cumbre toward the green north sector of the island. The first part of the ascent (up to Roque Nublo, by way of yesterday’s route) gets you to 1620m. Then you follow the ridge for about an hour, enjoying views to Gran Canaria’s highest peak, Pico de las Nieves (1951m). Your descent follows footpaths and rural tracks all the way to your accommodation. Unfortunately, to reach La Lechuza there’s no way to avoid doing the last 2,5km on tarmac. But your reward is great: a swim in the pool awaits!
Challenge: 12.5km, 500m ascent, 325m descent, 5 hrs.
Today you choose between a long, demanding walk through ravines north of la Cumbre OR a day trip to Las Palmas. The stunning part of the walking route, aside from the stupendous views, is the variety of vegetation to be found in the "barrrancos" (canyons) – where all types of fruit, vegetables and even chestnut trees are grown. If you decide to visit Las Palmas today, you start off with a walk to San Mateo (45min, 2.75km, mostly downhill) There, you catch a bus to Las Palmas de G.C. which drops you off in the historic town centre known as La Vegueta. In addition to the town’s interesting Castillan-style colonial architecture, you also have Santa Ana Cathedral and the Casa de Colon, where Christopher Columbus was a lodger for a time before undertaking his long journey overseas. There’s also the Museo Canario, with the island’s best collection of archaeological artefacts. At the end of the day, bus back to San Mateo and walk / taxi back to your hotel.
Challenge: 15km, 715m ascent/descent, 6.5 hrs.
Your arrangement comes to an end today after breakfast. Departure from Canary Islands.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, throughout the year
The nearest airport is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (LPA)
Aiport transfers are included in the programme
GPS tracks are available on request.
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