Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts Self Guided Walking Holiday
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Highlights

  • The volcanic landscape of the 80 metre tall monolith of El Roque Nublo
  • Explore the charming whitewashed Mediterranean villages brimming with bougainvillea
  • The Caminos Reales - an extensive network of paths and classic routes
  • Lush tropical valleys, rolling sand dunes and dense woodlands
  • Gran Canaria’s white sandy beaches and rugged coastline

Often referred to as a continent in miniature, the Canary Island of Gran Canaria offers a unique walking experience, from the rugged coastline broken up with sandy beaches and whitewashed villages, to lush forests, tropical plantations and arid volcanic mountain ranges. Your journey starts in the whitewashed fishing village of Agaete on the Northwest coast, with its winding narrow streets. Sample the local goats cheese or fresh seafood paella. From here you will follow walking routes through valleys where bananas, mangoes, papayas and citrus trees grow in abundance. Walk the ancient Camino Reales along mountain ridges and deep ravines offering panoramic views of the valleys below.

Your base for the next few days is the village of Tejeda in the centre of the island, set in the protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. On a clear day you will enjoy views across the mountains and out to Tenerife in the distance. Visit the village market and try some traditional sweets and marzipan made with locally grown almonds and honey. See the volcanic landscape of Roque Nublo and Gran Canaria’s highest peak Pico de las Nieves. Your tour comes to an end in the tiny rural village of La Lechuza. Enjoy a loop walk or take a day trip to the capital city of Las Palmas where you can soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying some tapas in one of the café filled side streets.

Popular travel resource Rough Guides featured our Island of Contrasts walking tour in a recent article. Their writer said "At the end of our week...we will look back at the peaks up which we have walked and smile at the memories of our discovery – that the Canary Islands are so much more than beaches and bars."

Indispensable travel resource Rough Guides featured an article on Gran Canaria "Beyond the Beaches" which featured our Islands of Contrast walking itinerary, which was also described in UK newspaper the Daily Express's article on Gran Canaria's mountains, volcanoes, and tropical valleys

DAY 1:
Arrive Gran Canaria/Overnight Agaete

Arrive at Gran Canaria Las Palmas Airport where a driver will be waiting to take you to your accommodation just outside Agaete (1 hour). Take some time to explore the charming fishing village of Agaete or relax by the swimming pool for the afternoon.


Dinner & Overnight: Finca Las Longueras, Agaete


Your accommodation for the next two nights is a colonial mansion, located in a tranquil valley outside Agaete. With a backdrop of craggy mountains, a pool surrounded in palm trees and a tropical garden filled with oranges, lemons, papayas and avocadoes this is a great base for you to explore from.


DAY 2:
Walking on the Camino Real

Enjoy a breakfast of freshly squeezed juice and warm homemade bread on the terrace before starting your first walk. Leaving the hotel you will walk up a path along a ravine to the village of San Pedro. From here you will start your ascent along the Camino Real to Montana Bibique (645m), a rugged outcropping at the top of the steep cliffs, with views over the lush Agaete Valley.


Walk further on to the Mirador Vuelta de la Paloma (850m) which looks out over several valleys. The descent from Puerto de las Nieves follows a narrow gravel path along the ridge and is not for the faint hearted. Once at the bottom take a bus or taxi back to Agaete. If you are afraid of heights you are best to retrace your steps from the Mirador back to the hotel instead of following this path.


Walk: 10.5km , 4.5 hrs, 525m ascent/650m descent


Overnight: Finca Las Longueras, Agaete



DAY 3:
Walk to Tejeda


Today you will enjoy views of the impressive summit of la Cumbre on your way to your next hotel situated in the mountain village of Tejeda, where you’ll spend the next three nights.


After a short taxi transfer (10 min), you will start a challenging walk today taking on two steep ascents to reach an elevation of 1715m.



Following the ancient Camino Real to the village of Fagajesto, you will then walk a tarmac section along a high ridge surrounded by pastures. Stop for a rest before beginning your second steep ascent of the day, following paths through pine forests near Galdar. After descending to the crossroads at Cruz de Tejeda stop for a cool refreshment before descending down the ridge to Tejeda. Enroute you will pass the south side of an extinct volcanic crater, with views to the sea.


Walk: 11/16km, 7.5hrs, 1300/700m ascent, 700m descent


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Fonda de la Tea, Tejeda


This rustic 19th century guesthouse is warm and comfortable and provides a great base for the next few days. Relax with a book in the courtyard or enjoy the spectacular views over the Gran Canaria Biosphere Reserve while soaking up the sun on the rooftop terrace.


DAY 4:
Walk around Roque Nublo

Today you will traverse the steep volcanic terrain around the famous landmark of Roque Nublo. This may not be the highest peak on Gran Canaria but it is the most identifiable, as it is visible from almost anywhere on the island. Follow steep paths zigzagging up toward Roque Nublo. As you get higher, gaze hundreds of meters down steeply eroded ravines. On the descent follow a different route through a peaceful pine forest before catching a bus back to Tejeda.


Walk: 12/20km, 5.5-7.5 hrs, 800m ascent, 400/800m descent


Overnight: Hotel Fonda de la Tea, Tejeda



DAY 5:
Walk from Tejeda via Altavista

Today you will do one of the loveliest walks of the trip over the Altavista ridge, at the edge of Tamadaba Natural Park on a huge extinct crater (caldera).



After taking a transfer to the start of the walk in the morning, you will walk all day with the clouds below you and enjoy sweeping views all the way to Tenerife. This afternoon you will be transferred from Artenara back to Tejeda, where you will have time to visit the spice garden and sample different spices. Enjoy the sunset from the hotel’s roof top terrace this evening, with the silhouette of Bentayga Peak in the background.


Walk: 9.5/14km, 3-4.5 hrs, 300/500m ascent, 300/450m descent


Overnight: Hotel Fonda de la Tea, Tejeda



DAY 6:
Walk to La Lechuza

After a short transfer to La Culata you begin a walking route which takes you up over La Cumbre toward the green north of the island. Ascending up to Roque Nublo, you will follow the ridge enjoying views to Gran Canaria’s highest peak, Pico de las Nieves (1951m). Descend along footpaths, rural tracks and tarmac to your accommodation where you can cool off with a refreshing dip in the pool.


Walk: 12.5/19km, 5-7.5 hrs, 500/785m ascent, 325/410m descent


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Rural Las Calas, La Lechuza


Your accommodation for the next two nights is a century old manor house, in a fertile valley set amongst an orchard filled with fruit, almond and palm trees. Make use of the swimming pool in this small rustic hotel.


DAY 7:
Walking route or visit to Las Palmas

Today you have the choice of another day of walking or a day trip to Las Palmas. The walking route offers stunning views alongside gullies and valleys brimming with a huge variety of tropical vegetation.
If you decide to visit Las Palmas today, you start off with a walk to San Mateo where you will catch a bus to Las Palmas. Explore the historic town centre taking in the Castillan-style colonial architecture, the Santa Ana Cathedral. Soak up the atmosphere before returning to the hotel for your final night.


Walk (Optional): 15.5/14km, 5/6.5 hrs, 400/715m ascent, 615/715m descent


Overnight: Hotel Rural Las Calas, La Lechuza



DAY 8:
Departure Gran Canaria / Onward travel

Additional Nights and Extensions

You can add additional nights at any point during the trip or before or after the holiday.


Tailor Made Holidays

We are always more than happy to tailor our standard itineraries to suit your holiday plans. Just let us know what you would like and we will be happy to arrange tailor made walking holiday.


Alternate accommodation

During high season, you might be booked into a different accommodation which is not listed in the description, and the start or end of some of your walking routes may be slightly altered. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Meals

Breakfast is included each morning. Three dinners are included, but lunch and other dinners are not included. Most hotels are happy to provide a packed lunch, this should be requested on arrival, or you can pick up lunch from a local deli or along the trail. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby bars, cafes and restaurants.

Availability & Time of Year

You can start this holiday on any date during the year. High season runs from 1st November to 30th April & Low Season from 1st May - 31st October. Option & Extension prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


High temperatures can be experienced during the peak summer months of July and August and extra water should be carried at this time to ensure you stay hydrated.


Additional Nights and Extensions

You can add additional nights at any point during the trip or before or after the holiday.


Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers (at a supplement) but we do recommend that you are an experienced walker who is comfortable and confident with walking and navigating alone as some of the trails can be quiet. 


Grade & Terrain

This walking tour is graded Moderate to Strenuous. Walks of 4.5 to 7.5 hrs a day, some long ascents and descents (max of 1300m in ascent, 715m in descent). The walks follow rural tracks, both surfaced and un-surfaced, footpaths and animal trails. You may encounter some loose rock, or muddy / slippery sections in wet weather. There are also some steep drop offs on the ridges. Ascents and descents can be steep and footpaths rough. The higher areas may experience occasional snow during early spring and weather conditions up high may be totally different from those experienced in the valleys, so always take extra warm clothing with you. From June till September you should protect yourself against sun and heat. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this holiday.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The routes on this trip are generally way marked but you will need to follow the route notes and maps supplied.


Getting Around

Transfers are included on days 3,5 and 6, according to the programme.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, appropriate clothes and a day pack.


Further Reading

You can read about our Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts walking trip on indispensable travel resource Rough Guides' website, or, Britain's Daily Express newspaper website published and article on escaping to Gran Canaria on a trekking holiday, featuring our trip.


Weather

Gran Canaria has the perfect climate for all year walking. Average maximums range from mid teens in the winter to mid twenties in the summer. For more details view climate guide.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to/from Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria Las Palmas airport is served by numerous low cost and charter flights from throughout the UK. These include Easyjet, Ryanair, Thomson, and Air Europa. Flying time is just over 4 hours.
Other airlines fly from throughout Europe and connect from further afield.



Travel Insurance


It is a condition of booking with us that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover illness, injury, cancellation or curtailment of your holiday.

Included

  • 7 Nights hotel accommodation
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 3 Dinners
  • A detailed information pack, route notes and maps
  • Full information pack on local history, culture & traditions as well as advice on restaurants, bars and local attractions
  • 24 hour emergency telephone support and assistance
  • Return airport transfers
  • Luggage transfers between accommodation on days 3 and 6
  • Transfers for days 3, 5, and 6 according to the programme

Excluded

  • Lunches, dinners not specified, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any transfers not specified
  • Flights
  • Personal expenses such as phone calls, drinks, extra transport etc
  • Optional extras
  • Extra nights during, before or after the tour
  • Single room supplement

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

The walking is graded moderate to strenuous so you should enjoy a good level of walking fitness. The paths are rough and exposed in places so a head for height is an advantage.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

Gran Canaria Las Palmas, which is served by low cost, charter and scheduled airlines.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this holiday is extremely popular especially in the Winter months. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.  

When is the best time of year?

The best months for walking are October to April as the summer can be very hot.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureGran Canaria: Island of Contrasts
 
4.4

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (14)
  • Great accommodations (10)
  • Fun (9)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (15)
  • Trying something new (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • World traveller (5), Occasional traveller (4)

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Stunning views around Tejeda

By Shaz

from Wales

About Me Occasional Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Great Accommodations
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday

    Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

    This is the first time we have used Macs Adventures and we're pleased to say that everything went very smoothly. The hotels were lovely rural hotels with extremely friendly and helpful staff. The transfers were on time with friendly drivers eager to point out features and where our walks started.

    We loved the walking, especially around Tejeda. The mountains and rock formations are fantastic. It's tough but rewarding walking .

     
    5.0

    Great week walking in Gran Canaria

    By JS

    from Derbyshire

    About Me Avid Adventurer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

      Really well organised from start to finish.
      Easy to follow route guides.
      Great scenery and selection of routes.

       
      4.0

      Overall a great trip

      By Marianne

      from Bournville

      About Me World Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Well Organised

      Cons

      • Occasional inaccuracies with directions
      • Some issues with accommodation

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Isolation
      • Physically active break

      Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

      Overall very well organised trip - occasional minor issues with directions - some of them could be a little out of date but mainly very good.
      Pre-trip information states that Hotel Fonda de la Tea in Tejeda has an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel does not have a swimming pool either indoor or outdoor.
      Hotel Rural las Calas was very nice. However we were not asked either in advance or when we arrived about dietary requirements. There was only one (meat based) option for dinner which was no good for my husband who does not eat meat. The hotel information also promised that we would be offered a dinner menu for the next night at breakfast, and the option to purchase a packed lunch. However neither of these things happened. This was disappointing as there are no shops in La Lechuza, nor did we encounter any on our 14km walk the next day. There is also only one place to eat in the evening which was fortunately open the night we were there but may not be open on other nights.

       
      5.0

      Truly an island of contrasts

      By Waller Gentry Trio

      from Durham, North Carolina, USA

      About Me Occasional Traveller

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Trying Something New

        Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

        Interesting variety of geography in a small place -- pine forests, lush greenery, rocky mountain trails, amazing vistas everywhere. Very friendly natives in mostly small towns. Trails were mostly up and down, not much level walking, some pretty strenuous for this 65 year old. March was a good time of year, plenty of flowers booming and not too hot (we could tell summer heat would be brutal here). We really liked having the option for longer or shorter walks most days. The printed trail guides were good and very necessary for staying on the trail, although there were so many side trails and junctions navigating still required attention. The supplied maps and Kompass map were also important. Overall I highly recommend this trip especially for anyone who likes mountain walking and interesting topography and local culture.

         
        5.0

        Excellent walking

        By The Scanlans

        from London

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Great Accommodations
        • Very enjoyable
        • Well Organised
        • Wonderful walking

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

          We had a really lovely holiday in Gran Canaria. The walks were all beautiful, with wonderful scenery. The walking instructions were very good, except for one small part on one day because the signposting had all been changed. The information that we were given was exceptional in that the smallest details were included. All the transfers to either the hotels or the start of the walks were excellent. We found everyone that we came into contact with were friendly and helpful. As my husband said, we would do it again in a heart beat.

           
          4.0

          Just back from a great holiday

          By Stephen

          from Channel isles

          About Me World Traveller

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday

            Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

            A fun, active holiday in the sun. A good varied selection of walks, with flexible distances depending on your mood. Accommodation was clean and comfortable, but fairly basic. There are nice alternative restaurants at each stop. TIP - miss the first part of the first walk along the river bed (which is very overgrown, and full of biting insects), and join the route just up the road. All the other walks are thoroughly enjoyable.

             
            5.0

            Hike through beautiful and non-touristic landscape

            By Kaspar & Katharina

            from Basel, Switzerland

            About Me Hiking Enthusiasts

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Beautiful landscape
            • Great Accommodations
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Holiday
              • Trying Something New

              Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

              The hikes lead through beautiful and quiet landscape (away from the all inclusive resorts at the eastern coast line) in the inner part of the island. It was unexepectedly warm for the season (beginning of May). It was already low season and some of the shops and restaurants were closed, but there were everywhere enough shops and restaurant to buy lunch and have dinner. A very recommendable walking holiday!

               
              4.0

              Varied and breathtaking landscapes!

              By AnnofSery

              from Ardennnes, France

              About Me World Traveller

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Holiday

                Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

                We walked this tour in February 2015 and were a bit disappointed neither by the island, which offers breathtaking landscapes: magical views on the Teide and on the valleys ... during sunny spells nor with the organization- excellent as always with Macs Adventure. But the weather spoilt our holiday: changeable and really cold in the mountain: 6°C with strong bitterly cold gusts of wind.
                My pieces of advice: buy a good map or bring a GPS- we got lost a couple of times - and wait for April to start this walking tour.

                 
                4.0

                Hard work but fantastic

                By Jean

                from Cornwall

                About Me World Traveller

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Great Accommodations
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Holiday

                  Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

                  The grading is appropriate maybe a bit tougher than la Gomera that we did last year (or we are a year older!)
                  All the people who ran the hotels were lovely so helpful .
                  Our third hotel was fab but don't think we had a great room...the sound proofing was poor and we could hear everything the guy next door did and we had a weird bathroom that was actually part of the bedroom. The lounge with the open fire and the dining was great though.

                   
                  4.0

                  Excellent walking holiday

                  By Tony

                  from Yorkshire

                  About Me Love Trekking

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Excellent Tracks
                  • Excellent Varied Routes
                  • Fun
                  • Good Rural Hotels
                  • Good Weather
                  • Great views
                  • Little Road Walking
                  • Strenuousrewarding
                  • Well Organised

                  Cons

                  • Poor Maps Provided

                  Best Uses

                  • Exercise
                  • Holiday
                  • Relaxation

                  Comments about macs adventure Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts:

                  Generally excellent. Limited restaurants open off season but in hotel meals very good. Walking directions a little ambiguous or inaccurate on occasions. Take a better map such as Kompass Gran Canaria and mark routes on beforehand. Take your time ensuring you are on the right route. Be prepared for 2/4 hours fairly strenuous uphill walking for first half of the walk. Las Palmas is good for a visit on the flight departure day if a late flight - we had taxi to Las Palmas then another from last hotel with our luggage pick us up in Las Palmas and take us to airport - lovely promenade walk, potter in old town and seafood meal at the Mariner restaurant at far (north) end of promenade with view of the bay. Hotel staff very helpful making arrangements.

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