Spain : The Canary Isles

Walking on Gran Canaria

Trip code: W07GN

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
twin centre

Level: 2
Moderate

SUMMARY

  • Sunny fertile valleys, sweeping plateaux, plunging gorges, iconic rock formations and ancient calderas
  • Masses of archaeological, botanical and geological interest
  • Traditional white villages, forgotten farming hamlets, fascinating cave dwellings
  • Cosmopolitan capital Las Palmas: gorgeous beaches, fascinating museums, stunning historic centre
  • Extensive walking options available - choice of 1 and 2 level walks daily

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts
  • Comprehensive route directions
  • Car hire (included when booking a flight-inclusive package)

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Less than 100 miles off the north west coast of Africa, in the centre of the Canary Islands archipelago, sits the volcanic island of Gran Canaria - often referred to as 'a miniature continent' with its extraordinarily varied landscapes ranging from the north's lush green forests and valleys, to the towering mountainous interior, to the desert-like dunes and beautiful white beaches of its southern shores. For millennia, the elements have sculpted the most outstanding natural beauty: steep volcanic mountains punctuated by deep palm ravines; imposing rocks towering above high plateaux; vast fertile valleys of prickly pear, aloes, almonds and figs - it's little wonder that nearly half of the island is protected by UNESCO Nature Reserves and offers some of the finest hiking in Europe.

This twin-centre holiday offers varied and interest packed walking routes, with easier and more difficult choices of walk daily. We take you from the cauldron of Bandama whose eruption, over 2,000 years ago, influenced the entire geography of the island, to the emblematic Roque Nublo, an imposing natural crag made of volcanic rock from which there are 360 degree views of the whole island. Then there is Gran Canaria's vibrant and colourful capital, Las Palmas, where you can step back in time in the city's charming historic old quarter.

You spend your first three nights at the Hotel Rural El Mondalon on the outskirts of Las Palmas, nestled in tranquil vineyards but just a short drive from the city centre. For your next four nights, you'll head to the very heart of the island and the Parador de Tejeda, sitting at 1560m above sea level and boasting one of the best panoramas on the island.

Terrain

Walks on this holiday are on village streets, country lanes, farm tracks and rural paths. Walking boots are essential. Walking poles are recommended. As the walks do not start directly from the hotels, a hire car is required.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Los Hoyos

Collect your hire car at the airport and drive (30 mins) to the Hotel Rural El Mondalon, set in the most important vineyard area on Gran Canaria. It's convenient too for the island's vibrant capital, Las Palmas, with its seafront promenade and historic district of Vegueta.

You stay at Hotel Rural El Mondalon.

hotel details

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Hotel Rural El Mondalon, Los Hoyos

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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Located on the edge of the Caldera de Bandama nature reserve and overlooking fertile vineyards is the Hotel Rural El Mondalón. Whist having a wonderfully tranquil location, it is only a 20-minute drive from the centre of Las Palmas. The hotel benefits from a heated outdoor pool with vistas onto the surrounding volcanic landscape and vineyards, whilst the bedrooms come with all the comforts you'd expect from a 4* hotel as well as a small terrace. There is a restaurant on site (closed Mondays) which serves traditional Canarian dishes with a modern twist.

Room upgrades and extra nights: Contact us for details.

Day 2: Caldera de Bandama Walk 7km/4.5ni/3hr

It's a 10 minute drive to the fascinating Caldera de Bandama via the Jardin Canario - a stunning botanical garden set within a cliff - and Monte Lentiscal with its rich vineyards and wineries. Walk to the rim of the 1000m wide volcanic crater, created after Gran Canaria's last volcanic eruption, and savour the far reaching views over the mountains to Las Palmas - on a clear day, you might even see as far as Fuerteventura! Then descend to the bottom of the Caldera, passing ancient caves, deserted houses and abandoned fields, all that remains of previous habitation, before returning to the hotel.

Day 3: Finca de Osorio Walk 10km/6mi/4hr

Drive to Arucas (35 min), home of the Ron Arehucas Factory where you can learn about the history of the island's rum making and the almost disastrous effect it had on the local Doramas forest. Sample some of this local tipple perhaps, then it's on to Finca de Osorio and the colonial Hacienda de Osorio. Your walk here starts from the Hacienda's lovely gardens and takes you through evergreen laurisilva and chestnut trees to the tranquil Laguna de Valleseco, a haven for many native and migrant birds. Continue alongside the Acequia de Crespo canal to Finca de Osorio. On your drive back to the hotel, visit lovely Teror, arguably one of the most beautiful villages in Gran Canaria with its brightly coloured houses, traditional Canarian wooden balconies and 18th century Basilica dedicated to the island's patron saint, the Virgen del Pino. Then continue to the 'sparkling' white village of Firgas where more than 200,000 bottles of sparkling mineral water are produced every day! There's plenty to explore in this historic village, including its iconic stepped fountains.

Day 4: Artenara Ridge Walk 7km/4.5mi/3.5hr

Begin the day with a drive (45 min) to Parador Cruz de Tejeda, your home for the next 4 nights, to drop off your luggage before setting off on today's stunning walk. After an initial ascent to the Caldera de Tejeda ridge, the descent offers outstanding views over the deep ravines, picturesque mountainside villages and iconic rock formations in the centre of the island. The snow-capped peak of Mount Teide on neighbouring Tenerife can be seen in the distance too! Explore the UNESCO recognised old troglodyte settlements of Cuevas Caballero and Cueva de Los Candiles before arriving in Artenara - at 1,270m it's the highest village on the island with nearly 400 cave houses, most dating back to the 15th century. From here, it's a short taxi ride back to the hotel with its superb spa facilities and panoramic swimming pool overlooking the surrounding cliffs and ravines.

You stay at Parador Cruz de Tejeda.

hotel details

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Parador Cruz de Tejeda, Tejeda

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


The fantastic Parador Cruz de Tejeda occupies an enviable and elevated position 1500m above sea level, offering spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, and is adjacent to the El Nublo Nature Reserve. The bedrooms are decorated in cool contemporary colours with wooden furniture and tiled floors; all have panoramic views and balcony. The hotel boasts an elegant restaurant serving traditional Canarian cuisine, spa facilities and a pool overlooking the ravine and valley. Please note the holiday is based on the Hacienda del Buen Suceso and the Hotel Rural el Refugio. If you wish to upgrade to stay at the Parador instead of the Hotel Rural el Refugio, please enquire at time of booking. This is subject to availability and a supplement.

Room upgrades: Superior room and Junior suite

Day 5: Barranco de Guayadeque Walk 12km/7.5mi/5hr

Starting from the extinct volcano of Caldera de Los Marteles (20 min drive), you ascend through pine forest to Cruz del Socorro with views onto the Barranco de Guayadeque, one of the most iconic ravines on Gran Canaria. Descend into the gorge past cacti, palm trees and poppies and take your pick from one of the many picture perfect picnic spots offering superb views of the dramatic landscape. The valley is full of stone walls, terraced fields, troglodyte dwellings and ancient caves, some of which are still in use today. Almond trees, agaves and prickly pears are in abundance and you're likely to spot the Gran Canaria Giant Lizard, kestrels, buzzards and ravens too. After your walk, perhaps head into the lower valley and Montana de Las Tierras or Cueva Bermeja. There are several labyrinthine bars inside the manmade caves here - perfect for a post walk drink or a snack! On the way back to the hotel why not finish your day with a stop at Pico de Las Nieves (1.949m), the island's highest viewpoint, with vistas that won't disappoint!

Day 6: La Fortaleza de Ansite Walk 10.5km/6.5mi/5hr

Today's route takes you to Santa Lucia de Tirajana (50 min drive) and a descent through Canary palm groves to the pretty little villages of El Ingenio and La Sorrueda. Explore their characterful streets before continuing to the archaeological site of La Fortaleza, a 2000 year old fortified settlement chiselled out of steep rock which more recently was used in the 15th century by the indigenous islanders in their futile attempt to resist conquest by the Spanish. From here, pass through the site's original carved tunnel to an uphill path through olive trees back to Santa Lucia. Complete your day with a visit to the sleepy, white village of Tejeda, where their speciality almond biscuits and cakes are highly recommended!

Day 7: Roque Nublo Walk 12km/7.5mi/5hr

Balanced on an 1800m-high rock plateau, the volcanic monolith of Roque Nublo dates to the Pleistocene Era and is a must-visit. Starting from Llanos de La Pez (10 min drive), ascend through pine forest to the Riscos de Tirajana ridge. From here, wide landscape views open up to the south, revealing deep barrancos and vertical cliffs. As you reach La Foguera, there are spectacular views to Roque Nublo, the Caldera de Tejeda - with Roque Bentayga towering in its centre - and deep ravines cascading down to the ocean. Then, ascend to 'The Rock' with 360º views over the island and as far as Tenerife, La Gomera and even El Hierro on fine days. Return to your car via the Presa de Los Hornos reservoir, the highest dam on Gran Canaria and consequently also known as the Summit Reservoir. Perhaps enjoy a spa session at the hotel and a drink on the terrace to admire the last stunning sunset of the week before dinner.

Day 8: Leave Gran Canaria

The above itinerary and walking information is based on the level 2 walks.

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Hotel Santa Catalina, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

hotel details

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Hotel Santa Catalina, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

HOTEL WEBSITE      

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


The Hotel Santa Catalina oozes luxury, style and elegance and has been welcoming guests since 1890. Situated in central Las Palmas, it sits within a palm tree garden and makes for the perfect choice for those wishing for easy access to the city's amenities whilst staying in 5* comfort. There are opulent lounges, a fitness and wellness centre, piano bar, roof top bar and 3 restaurants featuring local, tapas and gourmet cuisine.

Room upgrades: Deluxe superior and Junior suite
Deluxe superior rooms are larger than deluxe rooms and come with balcony. The junior suites are bigger again and come with exclusive access to the roof top infinity pool and bar service.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website.

Please contact our sales team on 01606 720199 to for further details or to discuss alternavie trip options.

REVIEWS

Luke worked really hard to get us the holiday we had dreamed about.

Bernard Nolan, 21 May 2024

Sergio went the extra mile with working out all the timetables to see if the flights worked. He was very patient and a joy to talk to.

19 Jan 2024

Friendly, well informed, clear, helpful, efficiently sorted through the booking.

John Taylor, 24 Oct 2023



1 Jan 1970


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
twin centre

Level: 2
Moderate

This trip is currently unavailable, please call us for further details.

Call: 01606 720199

 

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