Spain : The Canary Isles

Walking on Gran Canaria

Trip code: W07RI 5 (5 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
twin centre

Level: 2
Moderate

17.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

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
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Car hire

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 a hotel just outside Las Palmas. For your next four nights, you'll head to the very heart of the island and the Rural el Refugio, a gorgeous 19th century country house, now a boutique hotel. There is the option to upgrade in Tejeda to the Parador de Tejeda, subject to availability and at a supplement.

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.

READ MORE

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Gran Canaria

Collect your hire car at the airport and drive (30 mins) to the hotel for your first nights stay in the vibrant capital, Las Palmas, with its seafront promenade and historic district of Vegueta.

You stay at La Hacienda del Buen Suceso.

hotel details



La Hacienda del Buen Suceso, Arucas

HOTEL WEBSITE      

Shops
Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Tea/coffee


Located in a quiet and tranquil setting above the village of Arucas, the Hacienda was once a country estate and has perfectly retained all its colonial charm. Nestled in the surrounding banana plantations, the Hacienda is just 15 minutes from Las Palmas and makes a perfect base for the first half of your trip.

There is a lovely swimming pool, fitness centre and Turkish bath on site, and also a restaurant for your breakfast and evening meals, most welcome after a good days walking.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Caldera de Bandama Walk (7km/4.3mi)

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. Please be aware that there are sections on this walk that may not be suitable for people who suffer with vertigo.

elevation

You stay at La Hacienda del Buen Suceso.

hotel details



La Hacienda del Buen Suceso, Arucas

HOTEL WEBSITE      

Shops
Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Tea/coffee


Located in a quiet and tranquil setting above the village of Arucas, the Hacienda was once a country estate and has perfectly retained all its colonial charm. Nestled in the surrounding banana plantations, the Hacienda is just 15 minutes from Las Palmas and makes a perfect base for the first half of your trip.

There is a lovely swimming pool, fitness centre and Turkish bath on site, and also a restaurant for your breakfast and evening meals, most welcome after a good days walking.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 3: Barranco de Azuaje Walk (10km/6.2mi)

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. Buy a sample of this local tipple (to enjoy later back at the hotel) then it's on to Firgas for the circular walk today. Firgas is a well know pretty town where a fountain splashes in the plaza, and a waterfall rushes down the Paseo de Canarias, a stepped promenade waterfall framed by flower beds above an amazing mosaic lined street. From this water-rich town you walk into an evergreen canyon, the Barranco de Azuaje. The gorge is surrounded by high steep walls with almost junglelike vegetation made of bamboo cane and bay tree, willow and fern. Widening as you reach the Barranco de la Virgen - Valley of the Virgin, where the heady scents of citrus are present as you walk through orange and lemon tree groves.

elevation

You stay at La Hacienda del Buen Suceso.

hotel details



La Hacienda del Buen Suceso, Arucas

HOTEL WEBSITE      

Shops
Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Tea/coffee


Located in a quiet and tranquil setting above the village of Arucas, the Hacienda was once a country estate and has perfectly retained all its colonial charm. Nestled in the surrounding banana plantations, the Hacienda is just 15 minutes from Las Palmas and makes a perfect base for the first half of your trip.

There is a lovely swimming pool, fitness centre and Turkish bath on site, and also a restaurant for your breakfast and evening meals, most welcome after a good days walking.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 4: Artenara Ridge Walk (7km/4.3mi)

Begin the day with a drive (45 min) to Rural Refugio or the 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.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Rural el Refugio or Parador Cruz de Tejeda.

hotel details



Hotel Rural el Refugio, Cruz de Tejeda

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


This lovely rural hotel is located in Cruz de Tejeda in the middle of the UNESCO protected park and is set in a 19th century Canarian country mansion. The rooms are lovely and bright, each individually decorated and have TV and en suite facilities. There is a restaurant on site serving fresh local produce and using traditional recipes, handed down through the generations. Please note the swimming pool is only open from June - October each year.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.



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)

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!

elevation

You stay at Hotel Rural el Refugio or Parador Cruz de Tejeda.

hotel details



Hotel Rural el Refugio, Cruz de Tejeda

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


This lovely rural hotel is located in Cruz de Tejeda in the middle of the UNESCO protected park and is set in a 19th century Canarian country mansion. The rooms are lovely and bright, each individually decorated and have TV and en suite facilities. There is a restaurant on site serving fresh local produce and using traditional recipes, handed down through the generations. Please note the swimming pool is only open from June - October each year.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.



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 6: La Fortaleza de Ansite Walk (11km/6.8mi)

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!

elevation

You stay at Hotel Rural el Refugio or Parador Cruz de Tejeda.

hotel details



Hotel Rural el Refugio, Cruz de Tejeda

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


This lovely rural hotel is located in Cruz de Tejeda in the middle of the UNESCO protected park and is set in a 19th century Canarian country mansion. The rooms are lovely and bright, each individually decorated and have TV and en suite facilities. There is a restaurant on site serving fresh local produce and using traditional recipes, handed down through the generations. Please note the swimming pool is only open from June - October each year.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.



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 7: Roque Nublo Walk (12km/7.5mi)

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.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Rural el Refugio or Parador Cruz de Tejeda.

hotel details



Hotel Rural el Refugio, Cruz de Tejeda

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


This lovely rural hotel is located in Cruz de Tejeda in the middle of the UNESCO protected park and is set in a 19th century Canarian country mansion. The rooms are lovely and bright, each individually decorated and have TV and en suite facilities. There is a restaurant on site serving fresh local produce and using traditional recipes, handed down through the generations. Please note the swimming pool is only open from June - October each year.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.



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 8: Leave Gran Canaria

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

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights?  

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £456.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £456.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Extra legroom seats available
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights
TUI Airways Gatwick to Las Palmas and car hire (air-conditioned hire car with all insurances included). Drive to hotel, 30 minutes. Return: Drive to airport, 1 hr then TUI Airways Las Palmas to Gatwick

Extra legroom seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 4pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

The booking experience, holiday information and the walking app were all very good.

The briefing documents from the local rep didn't arrive until the evening of our first day, but otherwise, apart from one route not being navigable, all went well.

Richard Sumption, 14 Mar 2024

 

lovely walking routes which although short were very scenic and challenging .

Driving in Gran Canaria is probably not ideal for unconfident drivers

Theodore Emms, 11 Mar 2024

 

Great holiday - we did self guided. We had a great time. Found room in first hotel unbearably dark although a very nice room. Needed one on lower level with decent window. On first walk we hadn't got the sounds the app made (for wrong way etc) sorted out and got very lost down the gorge ! Path down there very tricky to find and we met a lot of lost people (Spanish).once we sorted out app it worked really well. Loved Tejeda and being in little village - unfortunately as off season very little open in evening (but enough).

Jane Lavender, 19 Jan 2024

 

Excellent service, information etc. both before and during the holiday.

Paula Hargreaves, 27 Sep 2023

 

Excellent holiday with very good accommodation and wonderful, scenic walks. Favourite walks were in Firgas (the one with the climbing ropes and log bridges!), Artenara ridge (make sure you have a phone to ring for a return taxi) and Barranco de Guayadeque with spring flowers. Both hotels were very good, although it's worth mentioning that they have central air-con which was still set to heating in a 26 degree heatwave. Fortunately Alberto was able to help us persuade them to switch over to cooling mode.

We weren't able to eat at El Mondalon as the restaurant was closed for the 3 nights we were there (2 nights for a private function and closed Monday as standard). Casa Miranda, a 10 minute walk up the road, was very good but also closed Sunday evening and Monday. At the Parador there's a choice of either the restaurant or the cafe/bar and the watercress soup is an absolute must (it's not vegetarian, despite the name). Tejeda, a 15 minute drive away, has lots of eating options too.

Mrs Marchant, 11 Mar 2023

 


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
twin centre

Level: 2
Moderate

17.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

7 nights from £989

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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