Lying off North Africa, the Canary Islands are a perfect destination for a relaxed activity holiday, renowned for their sunny climate, extraordinary landscape and friendly people. Mountainous Tenerife, lush La Gomera, dramatic Gran Canaria and the strikingly beautiful island of La Palma are spectacular destinations for discerning walkers with an eye for abundant flora and natural beauty.
Home of the indigenous Guanche people, the islands were conquered by the Spanish in 15th century - La Gomera was Columbus' departure point for the Americas in 1492. Beautiful colonial buildings and historic towns dot Tenerife, while traditional farming life remains unchanged for centuries in La Gomera's remote hamlets. A veritable paradise for bird-lovers and botanists, the flora on these islands is unique. Look out for curious indigenous shrubs and stonecrops, extinct elsewhere but on La Gomera, or hardy alpine vegetation on the slopes of Mount Teide. The terrain is rocky, volcanic and lush providing a superb habitat for 200 species of bird from falcons to the native canary.
Tenerife's appeal lies in its soaring volcanic cliffs, snowcapped Mount Teide, and fertile valleys abundant with cork and splashes of yellow mimosa - and all can be explored on our guided and independent walking holidays here. La Gomera is home to ancient protected laurel forest and precipitous palm-lush ravines. La Palma boasts verdant forests, volcanic craters, a mountainous national park and rich vineyards which produce the sweet Malmsey wines, while Gran Canaria offers incredibly varied landscapes from lush forests and towering mountains, to beautiful white beaches and the cosmopolitan capital, Las Palmas.
Less than 100 miles off the northwest coast of Africa, in the centre of the Canaries Atlantic Archipelago, the volcanic island of Gran Canaria - roughly the same size as Greater London - is often referred to as 'a continent in miniature' with its extraordinarily varied landscapes ranging from lush green forests and valleys in the north, to the towering mountainous interior, to the desert-like dunes and beautiful white beaches of its southern shores.
Renowned as the 'Island of Eternal Spring', Tenerife's wild beauty varies from the dramatic landscapes of the UNESCO Teide National Park, capped by the famous volcano itself, to its spectacular coastline with stunning ocean views.
La Palma, nicknamed La Isla Bonita (the pretty Isle), is a relatively unheard of volcanic island in the western Canaries. For its small size it features a vast amount of diverse scenery, from dense cloud forest to volcanic landscapes with twisted rock formations and black sand beaches. This walking itinerary is designed to take advantage of the island's well waymarked paths. These start on the eastern side of La Palma, follow the coast to the north and then finally head south across the great Caldera which dominates the island.
A naturalist's paradise, the climate in Tenerife is so perfect for wild flowers, butterflies and birdlife that our walks are an explosive celebration of colour: at sea level, swaying banana palms contrast with yellow cacti, while inland hibiscus and geraniums adorn traditional white villages.
Enjoy varied guided walking on the sub-tropical island of La Gomera. Stay in the 4 star Parador in the island capital of San Sebastian. Excellent cuisine, and spectacular gorge and coastal walks. Finish off the day with a dip in the pool overlooking Mount Teide on Tenerife.