Gran Canaria panorama

Walking on Gran Canaria Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Spain
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W07GN
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Ages: 13+

Trip Overview

Less than 100 miles off the north west coast of Africa, in the centre of the Canary Islands archipelago, sits the volcanic island of Gran Canaria - often referred to as 'a miniature continent' with its extraordinarily varied landscapes ranging from the north's lush green forests and valleys, to the towering mountainous interior, to the desert-like dunes and beautiful white beaches of its southern shores. For millennia, the elements have sculpted the most outstanding natural beauty: steep volcanic mountains punctuated by deep palm ravines; imposing rocks towering above high plateaux; vast fertile valleys of prickly pear, aloes, almonds and figs - it's little wonder that nearly half of the island is protected by UNESCO Nature Reserves and offers some of the finest hiking in Europe.

This twin-centre holiday offers varied and interest packed walking routes, with easier and more difficult choices of walk daily. We take you from the cauldron of Bandama whose eruption, over 2,000 years ago, influenced the entire geography of the island, to the emblematic Roque Nublo, an imposing natural crag made of volcanic rock from which there are 360 degree views of the whole island. Then there is Gran Canaria's vibrant and colourful capital, Las Palmas, where you can step back in time in the city's charming historic old quarter.

You spend your first three nights at the Hotel Rural El Mondalon on the outskirts of Las Palmas, nestled in tranquil vineyards but just a short drive from the city centre. For your next four nights, you'll head to the very heart of the island and the Parador de Tejeda, sitting at 1560m above sea level and boasting one of the best panoramas on the island.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights twin-centre accommodation in 4 star hotels
  • All buffet breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Car Hire essential (included when booking a flight-inclusive package)

Trip Highlights

  • Sunny fertile valleys, sweeping plateaux, plunging gorges, iconic rock formations and ancient calderas
  • Masses of archaeological, botanical and geological interest
  • Traditional white villages, forgotten farming hamlets, fascinating cave dwellings
  • Cosmopolitan capital Las Palmas: gorgeous beaches, fascinating museums, stunning historic centre
  • Extensive walking options available - choice of 1 and 2 level walks daily

Is This Trip for You?

Walking Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance: 10km (6miles).
No. of days walking: 6
Terrain and route:  This self-guided walking holiday follows mainly well marked paths and trails. You should be a sure footed walker. 

There is an option on this walking tour to choose a level 1 route on each day.
The above average daily distance, terrain and route and the walk descriptions in the itinerary are based off the level 2 walks. 

Car Hire is essential on this trip (included when booking a flight-inclusive package) so all walking transfers are also self-guided with directions provided to the beginning of each walk and return to the hotels at the end of the walks. Some of the roads on Gran Canaria are windy with lots of hairpin bends.

Adult min age:
13

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Los Hoyos
End City:
Tejeda

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Los Hoyos

    Collect your hire car at the airport and drive (30 mins) to the Hotel Rural El Mondalon, set in the most important vineyard area on Gran Canaria. It's convenient too for the island's vibrant capital, Las Palmas, with its seafront promenade and historic district of Vegueta.

  • Day 2

    Caldera de Bandama Walk

    It's a 10 minute drive to the fascinating Caldera de Bandama via the Jardin Canario - a stunning botanical garden set within a cliff - and Monte Lentiscal with its rich vineyards and wineries. Walk to the rim of the 1000m wide volcanic crater, created after Gran Canaria's last volcanic eruption, and savour the far reaching views over the mountains to Las Palmas - on a clear day, you might even see as far as Fuerteventura! Then descend to the bottom of the Caldera, passing ancient caves, deserted houses and abandoned fields, all that remains of previous habitation, before returning to the hotel.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3
  • Day 3

    Finca de Osorio Walk

    Drive to Arucas (35 min), home of the Ron Arehucas Factory where you can learn about the history of the island's rum making and the almost disastrous effect it had on the local Doramas forest. Sample some of this local tipple perhaps, then it's on to Finca de Osorio and the colonial Hacienda de Osorio. Your walk here starts from the Hacienda's lovely gardens and takes you through evergreen laurisilva and chestnut trees to the tranquil Laguna de Valleseco, a haven for many native and migrant birds. Continue alongside the Acequia de Crespo canal to Finca de Osorio. On your drive back to the hotel, visit lovely Teror, arguably one of the most beautiful villages in Gran Canaria with its brightly coloured houses, traditional Canarian wooden balconies and 18th century Basilica dedicated to the island's patron saint, the Virgen del Pino. Then continue to the 'sparkling' white village of Firgas where more than 200,000 bottles of sparkling mineral water are produced every day! There's plenty to explore in this historic village, including its iconic stepped fountains.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 4

    Artenara Ridge Walk

    Begin the day with a drive (45 min) to Parador Cruz de Tejeda, your home for the next 4 nights, to drop off your luggage before setting off on today's stunning walk. After an initial ascent to the Caldera de Tejeda ridge, the descent offers outstanding views over the deep ravines, picturesque mountainside villages and iconic rock formations in the centre of the island. The snow-capped peak of Mount Teide on neighbouring Tenerife can be seen in the distance too! Explore the UNESCO recognised old troglodyte settlements of Cuevas Caballero and Cueva de Los Candiles before arriving in Artenara - at 1,270m it's the highest village on the island with nearly 400 cave houses, most dating back to the 15th century. From here, it's a short taxi ride back to the hotel with its superb spa facilities and panoramic swimming pool overlooking the surrounding cliffs and ravines.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3.5
  • Day 5

    Barranco de Guayadeque Walk

    Starting from the extinct volcano of Caldera de Los Marteles (20 min drive), you ascend through pine forest to Cruz del Socorro with views onto the Barranco de Guayadeque, one of the most iconic ravines on Gran Canaria. Descend into the gorge past cacti, palm trees and poppies and take your pick from one of the many picture perfect picnic spots offering superb views of the dramatic landscape. The valley is full of stone walls, terraced fields, troglodyte dwellings and ancient caves, some of which are still in use today. Almond trees, agaves and prickly pears are in abundance and you're likely to spot the Gran Canaria Giant Lizard, kestrels, buzzards and ravens too. After your walk, perhaps head into the lower valley and Montana de Las Tierras or Cueva Bermeja. There are several labyrinthine bars inside the manmade caves here - perfect for a post walk drink or a snack! On the way back to the hotel why not finish your day with a stop at Pico de Las Nieves (1.949m), the island's highest viewpoint, with vistas that won't disappoint!

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 6

    La Fortaleza de Ansite Walk

    Today's route takes you to Santa Lucia de Tirajana (50 min drive) and a descent through Canary palm groves to the pretty little villages of El Ingenio and La Sorrueda. Explore their characterful streets before continuing to the archaeological site of La Fortaleza, a 2000 year old fortified settlement chiselled out of steep rock which more recently was used in the 15th century by the indigenous islanders in their futile attempt to resist conquest by the Spanish. From here, pass through the site's original carved tunnel to an uphill path through olive trees back to Santa Lucia. Complete your day with a visit to the sleepy, white village of Tejeda, where their speciality almond biscuits and cakes are highly recommended!

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 10.5 km / 6.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 7

    Roque Nublo Walk

    Balanced on an 1800m-high rock plateau, the volcanic monolith of Roque Nublo dates to the Pleistocene Era and is a must-visit. Starting from Llanos de La Pez (10 min drive), ascend through pine forest to the Riscos de Tirajana ridge. From here, wide landscape views open up to the south, revealing deep barrancos and vertical cliffs. As you reach La Foguera, there are spectacular views to Roque Nublo, the Caldera de Tejeda - with Roque Bentayga towering in its centre - and deep ravines cascading down to the ocean. Then, ascend to 'The Rock' with 360º views over the island and as far as Tenerife, La Gomera and even El Hierro on fine days. Return to your car via the Presa de Los Hornos reservoir, the highest dam on Gran Canaria and consequently also known as the Summit Reservoir. Perhaps enjoy a spa session at the hotel and a drink on the terrace to admire the last stunning sunset of the week before dinner.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 8

    Leave Tejeda

    Leave Gran Canaria after breakfast

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels

HOTEL RURAL EL MONDALON, LOS HOYOS
Located on the edge of the Caldera de Bandama nature reserve and overlooking fertile vineyards is the Hotel Rural El Mondalon. Whist having a wonderfully tranquil location, it is only a 20 minute drive from the centre of Las Palmas! The hotel benefits from a heated outdoor pool with vistas onto the surrounding volcanic landscape and vineyards, whilst the bedrooms come with all the comforts you'd expect from a 4* hotel as well as a small terrace. There is a restaurant on site (closed Mondays) which serves traditional Canarian dishes with a modern twist.
Room upgrades: Superior room
Superior rooms are larger with a sitting area
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

PARADOR CRUZ DE TEJEDA, TEJEDA
The fantastic Parador Cruz de Tejeda occupies an enviable and elevated position 1500m above sea level, offering spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, and is adjacent to the El Nublo Nature Reserve. The bedrooms are decorated in cool contemporary colours with wooden furniture and tiled floors; all have panoramic views and balcony. The hotel boasts an elegant restaurant serving traditional Canarian cuisine, spa facilities and a pool overlooking the ravine and valley.
Room upgrades: Superior room and Junior suite
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Canarian dishes tend to be simple and elegant, owing much to sun-ripened tropical fruits such as paw-paw, prickly pear and bananas, local vegetables such as sweetcorn and potatoes and fresh fish such as moray and snapper.

Specialities include conejo al salmorejo (slow cooked rabbit with garlic, paprika and chili); rancho canario (a chickpea meaty soup), ropa vieja (chicken, pork and or beef stew); chocos (cuttlefish); and crema de puerros y bubangos (cream of leek and prawn stew). The most popular fish are members of the sea bass family - cherne, cabrilla or merluza are common, and you may find grilled swordfish (espada a la plancha), as well as calamares (squid), gambas (prawns) and pulpo (octopus).

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

In Gran Canaria the weather is superb year-round. The sun shines here for more days of the year than most other places in the world. The weather does depend on the time of year and also the parts of the island that you visit.

Weather Charts

Tenerife climate

Joining Instructions

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf (£30 admin fee per person). We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

If you wish to upgrade the standard car hire please enquire at time of booking.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Air prices include our standard flights:
TUI Airways Gatwick to Las Palmas 10:00/14:20 and car hire (air-conditioned hire car included). Drive to hotel, 30 mins. Return: Drive to airport, 1 hr then TUI Airways Las Palmas to Gatwick 15:30/19:45

Car hire is included in the price of this holiday when a flight-inclusive package is booked so will be self-drive. Directions to each hotel and to/from the walks will be provided.

Location start:
Los Hoyos
Location end:
Tejeda

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Walking boots

Day pack

Water bottle / hydration pack

Waterproof jacket

Sunglasses

Sun cream

Optional Equipment

Walking poles

Reading List

Tenerife Marco Polo Pocket Guide
The Real Tenerife: The Insiders' Guide
Lonely Planet Pocket Tenerife

Artenara

Practical Information

Passport

Spain

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Spain

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Spain's Timezone:
Europe/Madrid CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Spain's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Spain's Currency

The national currency of Spain is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2021) of approximately 1.17 to the GBP, 0.85 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.62 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need money for lunches (or picnic provisions) and the evening meals that are not included. There is a good choice of restaurants in Garachico or you can decide to eat in the hotel's room service menu. Lunches will cost between €5-15 and dinners between €20-50 per person, excluding any drinks.

caldera_de_bamdama

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.