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Gran Canaria: Island of Contrasts

8 Days & 7 Nights
  • 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."
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What To Expect

This trip is best suited to keen walkers and is graded moderate to strenuous. The walks are of 4.5 to 7.5 hrs a day, some long ascents and descents (max of 1300m in ascent, 715m in descent). Some options for easier alternate routes.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Coastal & Island, Mountains

Activity Level & Terrain

This walking tour is graded Moderate to Strenuous overall even though most days in themselves are graded on the higher end of moderate. Walks are 4.5 to 7.5 hrs a day, with 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.  The ascents and descents can be steep and footpaths rough. There are also some sections with steep drop-offs and on day 3 when you walk the Barranco de Azuaje there is a short section of scrambling involved where you use ropes to help you across the river. 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 and ensure you have plenty of drinking water. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this holiday. We also recommend taking walking poles for the steep descents.

It is also possible to shorten most days or there are some alternatives to avoid sections with the steepest drop offs and if you choose the easier options on each day the grading of the tour would be moderate overall, but this tour is not particularly suitable if you do suffer from vertigo at all.

Navigation

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

Navigation is also made easier as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has your maps and gps tracks information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation on this tour will be made simpler.

You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.

Accommodations

You will spend seven nights in comfortable rural hotels. All are good family run hotels, with an authentic atmosphere and great hospitality. The rooms are simply but comfortably decorated and have en suite bathrooms. 

Please note that some hotels may only offer twin-bedded rooms (no double beds available).

Occasionally we may need to use alternative hotels depending on availability.

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.

Solo Walkers

Unfortunately this walk is not available to solo walkers due to the remote nature of some of the walks

Meals

A breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinners are not included apart from at the first night in San Sebastian where it is included. Your hotel will be 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.

If we do have to use the alternative hotel in San Sebastian the evening meal on the first night is not included as there is plenty of choice in the centre of San Sebastian.

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
Extras
  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk

When To Go

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 and ensure you have plenty of drinking water. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this holiday. We also recommend taking walking poles for the steep descents.

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 the Start

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.

Luggage Transfer

 
Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

 

General Information

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.

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.

Travel Insurance

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

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Gran Canaria/Overnight Agaete Day 2 Walking on the Camino Real 7.8 miles / 12.5 km Day 3 Walking on the Barranco de Azuaje 7.8 miles / 12.5 km Day 4 Walk around Roque Nublo 12.5 miles / 20 km Day 5 Walk around Roque Bentayga 8.75 miles / 14 km Day 6 Walk to La Lechuza 11.75 miles / 18.8 km Day 7 Choice of walks or visit to Las Palmas 8.5 miles / 13.7 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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