If you are into your trekking and walking, then Gran Canaria hiking holidays should be on your list. With secret forests & volcanic craters it is the must-see island in the Canarian archipelago for those that like to explore on foot.
Gran Canaria hiking holidays
At just 30 kms across you’d be fooled into thinking there’s not much to find. Well, just take a short drive inland and you’ll get a real surprise. This isn’t hard lava fields and black-baked earth; the interior is luscious, forested in places and intriguing.
Roads snake ever higher, through mountain villages and around ravines – but let breakfast go down before you attempt a drive; the road surfaces are excellent, but the hairpin and switch back bends leave you queasy.
The centre of the islands holds the most surprises for Gran Canaria hiking holidays. Where you’d think there would be lifeless volcanoes, there are forests, alpine meadows, pine groves, palm groves – and even lakes!
Gran Canaria is rightly referred to as a miniature continent as it has three separate microclimates. Weather formations pour over the interior and cool, creating mysterious, misted forests above beds of pine needles.
The highest point is Pico de las Nieves at 950 metres (approx 6,000 feet ) at the centre of this circular island. From here deep ravines fan out and on clear days you can see to Tenerife.
Calderas and donkey tracks
Calderas (volcanic craters) and fierce looking peaks split from the earth 14 million years ago dominate the ground. Look out for routes via the Caldera de Bandama – a collapsed cinder cone, now resplendent with flowers and flora.
When enjoying Gran Canaria hiking holidays, the easiest option is following old donkey tracks. These criss-cross the island joining the villages and are the established routes. There are also forest paths which are clearly signed. Plus there are tougher, more testing options…
Next year in October or November the island is running the Gran Canaria Walking Festival – the best way to explore the mountains.
There are 5 routes over 5 days – perfect for Gran Canaria hiking holidays. With experienced guides to help reveal the best the island offers, you’ll be well fed on local produce and well rested ready for the next day.
Difficulty levels vary, but we like the look of the 13.5km route from Cruz de Tejeda to Acusa Verde. Locals maintain a peaceful and simple way of life in the mountains, and show a genuine friendliness to people on Gran Canaria hiking holidays.
So get off the beach, get walking in the mountains – and if you are planning on travelling in October or November, take a look at the Gran Canaria Walking Festival.
What to wear
Boots: Quality walking boots will always see you through when there’s mixed terrain. A decent pair of 2/3 season lightweight boots will help you cover most of the ground.
The going is rarely wet so summer boots will often be sufficient. Often mountain trainers are good enough. But if you can only pack one choice, we’d opt for the boots.
Trousers: You could wear shorts most of the year round. Although it does get cold early mornings and evenings, so pack a pair of ‘longs’. These are also useful to protect from vegetation, which is hard in places.
Waterproofs: We’d always say pack a waterproof when off walking, although in Gran Canaria it’s unlikely you’ll need one. So perhaps just pack a thin Pertex shell or similar to help keep the wind off and the infrequent rain as bay.
Walking poles: This is up to you. The paths are not that technical that you need them, but they certainly take pressure off the knees and help when things get rough.
Swimming gear, hat and sunscreen: Be sure to take it on Gran Canaria hiking holidays. You’re never more than a few hours from the beach and the sun can be fierce at any time of year.
If you would like to know more about the Gran Canaria Walking Festival head to: www.grancanariawalkingfestival.com