Spectacular hiking on Gran Canaria’s Caminos Reales: an extensive network of historic footpaths
Explore the sculpted volcanic terrain around Gran Canaria’s pine-forested central peaks
Discover the lush northwest, a veritable oasis of banana, orange and avocado plantations
Stay in peaceful and charming white villages, with exotic palms and colourful bougainvillea
Hiking on Gran Canaria: Self-guided walking holiday
Discover Gran Canaria’s rugged and beautiful mountainous interior on this 8-day self-guided walking holiday.
As with Tenerife, once you get away from the beach resorts of Gran Canaria’s south coast, you discover the most incredible mountainous terrain that is just made for hiking. Starting in the fertile northwest of the island, among banana and avocado plantations, the Agaete Valley offers exhilarating walking trails with magnificent views over plunging ravines and rugged sea cliffs.
In the centre of the island, the landscape is particularly dramatic and reminiscent of the USA’s Grand Canyon. Two iconic peaks stand out: Roque Nublo and Bentayga, towering high above deep ravines. They were named by the Guanches; Berber people who inhabited the islands before the Spanish conquest. Nowadays their volcanic slopes and cool pine forests can be explored via an extensive network of hiking paths and classic routes known as the Caminos Reales.
Finishing up in La Lechuza, you have a choice of walks through the lush vegetation of the island’s northern region with views out to the Atlantic and the capital Las Palmas.
|8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS||From €750 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for triple rooms. Please enquire for prices.
||The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Some of the hotels we work with are listed below. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra nights can also be booked at any of the hotels along the way.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, throughout the year.|
Day 1: Arrival in Gran Canaria
Arrive at Gran Canaria airport. A taxi transfer (approx 1hr) will be arranged to take you to Agaete, a verdant seaside town on the island’s rugged north-west coast. Check in at your accommodation, a former colonial mansion situated just outside the town amidst orange and banana plantations. Enjoy some relaxing time by the pool to start off your holiday.
Day 2: On the Camino Real, via Mirador de la Paloma
Distance: 12.5 km | Ascent: 525 m | Descent: 650 m | Walking time: 4½ hrs approx.
Your first walk starts right at your hotel in Agaete. As you make your way up the barranco (ravine), why not take the chance to select a lightweight yet very strong walking stick from the fronds of bamboo all around you. Reaching the village of San Pedro, you start your ascent along the Camino Real to Montaña Bibique (645m), a rugged outcrop with fabulous views over the Agaete Valley. Continue to the vista point at Mirador Vuelta de la Paloma (850m), where you will enjoy views out over several valleys. Finally, you descend from Puerto de las Nieves on a narrow gravel path along the ridge, before taking a bus or taxi back to Agaete.
Please note: today’s route is not recommended if you are afraid of heights.
Day 3: From Agaete to Tejeda
Distance: 12.5 km | Ascent: 1,000 m | Descent: 850 m | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.
Today begins with a 35-minute taxi transfer to the pretty village of Firgas, with charming streets decorated with original glazed tiles. Your walk from here takes you through the amazing Barranco de Azuaje, a stunning gorge in the island’s verdant northern sector. The barranco enjoys protected status as a Special Nature Reserve due to its unique laurisilva forests, crystal-clear waters, abundant waterfalls and lush green vegetation. Before exploring the ravine itself, you will have a chance to admire the gorge from above, as you walk up to the village of Carratería, just opposite Firgas on the other side of the ravine.
At the end of the day you will be driven to the idyllic mountain village of Tejeda, famed for its almond products. You’ll spend three nights in a comfortable and charming hotel in a converted 19th century inn.
Day 4: Around Roque Nublo
Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 800 m | Descent: 400 m | Walking time: 5½ hrs approx.
This walk traverses some of the island’s most dramatic and beautiful terrain, on steep slopes around Roque Nublo; a mystic and iconic rock tower that seems to teeter precariously on the edge of a plateau. This may not be Gran Canaria’s highest peak, but it is certainly the most easily identified, as it’s visible from almost anywhere on the island.
The walk starts directly from your hotel. After 1 km 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 tranquil fir forest – to reach the col where you can catch a bus back to Tejeda. In case you miss 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).
Day 5: Roque Bentayga
Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 700 m | Descent: 700 m | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.
After three strenuous routes, today you do an easier – yet equally beautiful – walk to Roque Bentayga, a UNESCO heritage site of great cultural, ethnographic and historic importance on the island. Amazing views of the Caldera de Tejeda on the north, the area of El Espinilo to the south and, as always, the Cumbre of Gran Canaria under the watchful gaze of Roque Nublo.
Day 6: From Tejeda to La Lechuza
Distance: 12.5 km | Ascent: 500 m | Descent: 325 m | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.
After a short 10 min 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 the reward is worth it: a refreshing swim in the pool awaits!
Overnight: San Mateo-La Lechuza
Day 7: Choice of walking routes OR visit Las Palmas
Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 715 m | Descent: 715 m | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.
Today you have the choice of doing a shorter walk near the historic town of Teror, a longer route through ravines on the north side of Cumbre OR taking a rest day with an optional visit to Las Palmas. The walking routes are beautiful, and you’ll see all sorts of fruits, vegetables and even chestnut trees growing in the barrancos.
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.
Overnight: San Mateo-La Lechuza
Day 8: Departure
Your arrangement comes to an end today after breakfast, unless you have booked additional nights. Transfer to the airport for your return flight.