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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > Spain & its Islands > Canary Islands > Canyons, Caves & Coast of Gran Canaria

Canyons, Caves & Coast of Gran Canaria

An island on a grand scale
Starting point:

Hotel las Tirajanas, San Bartolomé, where you spend two nights.

Day 1
Circular walk via Barranco del Data: 15km, 5.5hrs

Your first circular walk serves as an excellent introduction to the island and its dramatic interior. Setting off from San Bartolomé, you enjoy views into the Tirajana Gorge, but these are surpassed by those into the ravine of the Barranco del Data later on – the vista stretches almost as far as the south coast. These spectacular panoramas, combined with sections through scented forests of Canarian pine, make for a varied circuit.

Day 2
San Bartolomé to Cruz de Tejeda: 18km, 7.5hrs

Today starts with a short transfer to the nearby pass, from where you rise steadily into the central mountains, with incredible, wide-screen views over the dramatic peaks of the interior, to visit the iconic Roque Nublo ('Cloud Rock'), a 67-metre basalt rock needle which the island's first inhabitants held sacred. Dropping into a hamlet before ascending to a ridge and skirting the dramatic Tejeda ravine with expansive views over the Roque Nublo Rural Park, you descend to reach the geographic axis of the island at Cruz de Tejeda, where you stay two nights at the Parador.

Day 3
Circular walk via Artenara: 15km, 7hrs
Circular walk via Tejeda: 9km, 4hrs

Although it is not easy to drag yourself away from the tranquil surroundings of Cruz de Tejeda, we recommend taking the opportunity to enjoy one of the two splendid walks that we suggest for your day here. Whichever you choose, you can halve the distances shown by returning to the parador by taxi.

Our recommended option ranks as one of the best on the island. Follow a truly stunning ridge above the deep valleys of the dramatic Caldera de Tejeda and the Parque Rural Roque de Nublo. Passing ceremonial caves used by the island's first inhabitants en route, your path descends through fragrant pine forest to the fascinating cave village of Artenara, the island's highest settlement. Once there you can see what cave living is like by visiting the cave museum; enjoy more breathtaking vistas from the village's balcony location on the lip of the caldera; and visit a chapel entirely carved into a cave – pulpit included.

Alternatively, you may choose to descend the panoramic Tejeda Valley, where emblematic Roque Bentayga stands guard over the valley, flanked by Roque Nublo on the ridge and Mount Teide on the horizon. Your target is Tejeda, one of Gran Canaria's most picturesque villages. Explore its cobbled streets and leafy plazas with views down the valley; try some of its famous almond cakes from the bakery; or visit one of its museums which include a medicinal plants centre.

Day 4
Cruz de Tejeda to Fontanales: 16km, 7hrs

Your route out of Cruz de Tejeda takes you above the Las Cumbres Protected Area with its splendid views down to the coast and Las Palmas, before descending gently to a peaceful valley with a babbling brook. Passing through rural hamlets, you briefly follow a trail of ancient lavaderos (public laundry spaces), before reaching the mighty Barranco de la Virgen, whose flank you descend. Your final ascent takes you to a ridge from where you descend gently through meadows filled with the sound of goat and sheep bells, into the village of Fontanales and the welcoming Cabañas Valle Verde.

Day 5
Fontanales to Agaete: 16.5km, 6hrs

After an initial ascent along the ridge above Fontanales, today's route takes in some of Gran Canaria's most diverse landscapes, from rolling green meadows reminiscent of England to the prehistoric surroundings of the Barranco de Agaete with its cascades of water, old laundry basins and breathtaking views. As you descend through the Agaete Valley towards the delightful Las Longueras, your final hotel, you catch glimpses of the sea in the distance.

Day 6
Circular walk via Tamadaba Natural Park: 17km, 6.5hrs; shorter option returning by taxi: 11km, 4.5hrs
Circular walk via Puerto de las Nieves: 9km, 3.5hrs; shorter option returning by taxi: 5km, 2hrs

You could spend your last day relaxing by the pool or on the flower-bedecked terrace, but we recommend a final walk which shows a very different but equally dramatic face to this diverse island. After a short taxi ride (pay locally), you ascend into the splendid Tamadaba Natural Park from where you gaze down through the pine trees over two of the island's most spectacular reservoirs before descending to circumnavigate the lower lake and enjoy a picnic lunch by its shoreline. You can choose to take a taxi back, or to return on foot.

Alternatively, we offer the option of a gentler walk which takes you to the picturesque seaside village of Puerto de las Nieves, giving you the satisfaction of reaching the sea after your previous days’ journey through the island’s dramatic interior. After enjoying a seafood lunch overlooking the Atlantic, you have the option to take a taxi back to your hotel or to walk back, taking in the town’s small botanical gardens and the fascinating 1,300-year-old necropolis of Maipés which comprises some 700 tombs hewn from a lava field.

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 Grade 2-3 Walk
Local Map
 Walking Chart
Walking Chart:Canyons, Caves & Coast of Gran Canaria This is an approximation only. If comparing holidays, please note the scale of the chart as this can differ.
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