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Canary Islands Hiking

Apr 15, 2024 | Travel Tips

A few years ago, I spent a couple of winter weeks on Tenerife, aiming to hike its many mountainous areas, including Teide National Park and Anaga Natural Park. I had heard about the popularity of this Canary Island, particularly for British tourists looking for some winter sun, but away from the crowded beaches, there was quiet and serenity in Tenerife’s natural areas. The landscapes were so lovely that I wanted to find out what the other Canary Islands were like and if there was one island that was best for hiking.

Tenerife is one of the seven Canary Islands, a group of Spanish islands sitting off the northwest coast of Africa, and boasting warm temperatures all year round. Many of the islands draw tourists from all over the world (especially Europe) to their beaches, but all seven islands have fantastic hiking opportunities throughout the volcanoes, mountains, forests, cliffs, and deserts found on the islands. Read on to find out more about hiking in the Canary Islands and decide for yourself which one is best!

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Canary Islands

Hiking in Tenerife

The most popular (and largest) of the Canary Islands, Tenerife has long attracted beachgoers wanting a break from colder climes. While the beaches can become overwhelmed with sun-seeking tourists, the beautiful natural areas are much quieter. Tenerife boasts a diverse landscape, from lush forests in the Anaga mountains to the volcanic craters of Teide National Park, which includes Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide.

Some of the other popular hikes (aside from Pico del Teide) include Cruz del Carmen, Chinamada and Punta del Hidalgo in the Anaga mountains; Roque de Taborno in the Anaga mountains; Barranco de Masca, and Mirador de Sámara. If you’re trying to decide which island to go hiking on, Tenerife is great for the sheer size and variety of its landscapes.

Visit the Canary Islands page for information specific to hiking in Tenerife, and if you want more info on hikes, check out this guidebook: Walking on Tenerife: 45 Walks Including El Teide and GR131: Cicerone Guide, by Paddy Dillon, 2023, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3uRXAMA

 

canary islands mountain la palma

Hiking in La Palma

Arguably the best of the Canary Islands for hiking, La Palma is known as “Isla Bonita” (beautiful island) and its entirety is recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Boasting 850 km of trails, some of the popular trails include those in Caldera de Taburiente National Park, Ruta de los Volcanoes, and trails in Cumbre Vieja National Park.

In September 2021, La Palma experienced a major volcanic eruption, causing a state of emergency that lasted for three months and giving birth to a new volcano, Tajogaite. While the island is still recovering, tourists can experience this new, striking landscape by hiking up to the summit. Take a tour of the new volcano with Manawa’s guided tour of the new Tajogaite volcano: Guided Hiking to the New Volcano of La Palma  

Tourist numbers in La Palma have been down since the volcanic eruption, so if you’re looking to hike amongst stunning landscapes and contribute to the local economy, then this is the island for you.

Another guided hike to check out  is Manawa’s Guided Trekking to the National Park of Caldera de Taburiente in La Palma  

Visit the Canary Islands page for information specific to hiking in La Palma including these guidebooks:

Walking on La Palma: the world’s steepest island, including the GR130 and GR131 long-distance trails: Cicerone Guide, by Paddy Dillon, 2019, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3wVqlIz

La Palma and El Hierro: 4 Car Tours, 48 long and short walks, by Noel Rochford, 2020, Sunflower Books – https://amzn.to/4aC53iq

la gomera mountains

Hiking on La Gomera

This small Canary Island packs a punch. Lacking the beaches that attract visitors to its neighbours, the beauty of the island’s natural landscapes more than make up for ‘flaw’. Hike in Garanojay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or Majona Natural Park, or Valle Gran Rey. Or if you want to take in the whole island on foot, embark upon the GR 132, the La Gomera Circular Hike.

Visit the Canary Islands page for information specific to hiking in La Gomera, including this guidebook: Walking on La Gomera and El Hierro: 45 Day Walks and Treks for All Abilities, by Paddy Dillon, 2020, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/4a79KjE

canary islands

Hiking on Gran Canaria

Another Canary island that flies under the radar is Gran Canaria. There is something for every kind of hiker here, from the volcanic peaks of the interior to the sand dunes at Maspalomas to the rugged coastline where towering cliffs plunge into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Some of the popular hikes include La Cruz de Tejeda, Roque Nublo, and Pico de las Nieves. If you’re looking for a long-distance hike, then try the Gran Canaria Traverse.

Visit the Canary Islands page for more information specific to hiking in Gran Canaria, including the guidebook: Walking on Gran Canaria: 45 Day Walks Including Five Days on the GR131 Coast-to-coast Route: Cicerone Guide, by Paddy Dillon, 2020, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/4c8SsUN

If you’re looking for guided day hikes in the diverse landscapes of Gran Canaria, Manawa has you covered.  Check out their volcano tour: Manawa’s Volcano Tour in Gran Canaria or their canyon tour: Manawa’s Red Canyon Hiking Tour in Gran Canaria

fuerteventura mountains

Hiking on Fuerteventura

The second largest of the Canary Islands is closest to the African coast and the island is hotter and windier compared to the rest of the islands. Due to the climate, there are more desert-like landscapes to explore here.

Some of the popular hikes include Betancuria to Morro de la Cruz, Pico de la Zara, and a section of the GR 131, Corralejo – Calderon Hondo – Lajares. Check out Manawa’s guided hiking tour of the spectacular Montaña Escanfraga: Manawa’s Guided Hike to Montana Escanfraga Volcano Summit Near Corralejo Natural Park In Fuerteventura

Visit the Canary Islands page for information specific to hiking in Fuerteventura, including the guidebook: Walking on Lanzarote & Fuerteventura: Including Sections of the GR131 Long-distance trail, by Paddy Dillon: Cicerone Guide, 2015, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/48NVAm8

lanzarote lava field

Hiking on Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the flattest of the islands and the temperatures can be quite sizzling in the summer, so you want to try to avoid the summer months for hiking.

There are great hikes to explore in Lanzarote including the Caldera Blanca (probably the most popular hike on the island), Pico Redondo, Tremesana Route in Timanfaya National Park and the Volcán de la Corona hike. Check out Manawa’s guided hiking tour on Lanzarote for unique experience volcano and cliff hiking: Manawa’s Hiking Trip to Volcan de la Corona and Famara Cliffs in Lanzarote  

Visit the Canary Islands page for information specific to hiking in Lanzarote, including the guidebook: Walking on Lanzarote & Fuerteventura: Including Sections of the GR131 Long-distance trail, by Paddy Dillon: Cicerone Guide, 2015, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/48NVAm8

beach mountains el hierro

Hiking on El Hierro

One of the smallest of the Canary Islands (and the westernmost), El Hierro still packs a hiking punch. Another Canary Island declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, as well as a Geopark, El Hierro’s beautiful landscapes lure hikers onto its off-the-beaten paths. Some of the popular hiking trails on El Hierro include the Camino de Jinama, the El Sabinar route, the La Llanía path, and Camino de Isora.

Visit the Canary Islands page for more information specific to hiking in El Hierro, including the Cicerone guide Walking on La Gomera and El Hierro: 45 Day Walks and Treks for All Abilities, by Paddy Dillon, 2020, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/4a79KjE

 

One of the great things about hiking in the Canary Islands is that it is a year round destination and the perfect place to hike in the winter and spring months when many European mountains are under snow.

This post provided a small taste of how much the Canary Islands have to offer hikers – go to the Canary Islands page to get more information and inspiration!

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