Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike The Volcanic Island of Gran Canaria

A challenging hike from the highlands to the coast of a tropical mountainous gem in the Canary Islands archipelago

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Trip Ref #10258

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike The Volcanic Island of Gran Canaria

A challenging hike from the highlands to the coast of a tropical mountainous gem in the Canary Islands archipelago

DURATION

5 nights

LOCATION

Gran Canaria

ANNUAL LEAVE

4 days off work

SEASON

Oct-July

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Gran Canaria Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Guesthouse

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

You’ll need to be fit and capable of hiking for up to 9 hours a day, up paths of moderate difficulty, with some steep, loose sections.

Stomp to the summit of Pico de las Nieves, the highest point on the island at a hefty 1949m

Bask in a subtropical climate, traversing one of the sunniest islands in the world, and cool off in coastal rock pools on remote beaches

Explore this biodiverse island on little-used hiking trails, experiencing dramatic mountain ranges, sunken calderas and epic ocean views

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Shannon, July 2022

    This was our first trip since Covid and it didn't disappoint!! Everything was fantastic - the hikes, food, scenery and group. Some of the hikes were tough in the heat but well worth it. Plus, big shout out to Luca who did his upmost to make sure everyone had a good time and adapted things as required to ensure this. We returned from this trip refreshed and recentered and would definitely recommend it!

    Robin, July 2022

    This MBA trip is 10/10 - the landscapes of the island are diverse and magnificent - we hiked through many of them, seeing stunning views and villages and nature. The host Lucas has unique approach to fostering the group's aware of the connections between us and nature, the island, and each other - it made the experience even more meaningful and fulfilling. The accommodations were very comfortable and fun, and the meals were epic. We had options to do more if we wanted to, and to increase or decrease the difficulty each day. Lots of beach/swimming opportunities and cultural adventures to take in as well! The trip could not have been better!

    Jess, July 2022

    Would HIGHLY recommend this trip! The hike alone is fantastic (if challenging at points!) - the views are breathtaking and endless throughout the trip, with the most stunning sunsets and sunrises that I have ever seen. Just a warning though - if you're bad with heights, maybe this trip isn't for you as some sections are a little exposed. However, the trek is beautiful and never gets boring as the landscape changes constantly due to the huge variety of micro-climates on Gran Canaria. This combined with Lucas's and Marina's (the guides') knowledge and obvious passion for their island provides you with an insight to the true Gran Canaria for its beauty and history, which is impossible to get from only going to the typical tourist attractions of the island. You know your guides know their stuff when they have an answer for all your questions, no matter how wacky! Lucas and Marina are also wonderful hosts, and ensured that we were always well watered, fed (food is plentiful, cultural and very yummy) and cared for throughout the trip - they are two of the loveliest people that I've ever met and seemingly thought of everything that could make the trip better. Accommodation is also very comfortable throughout. Overall, this trip is 100% value for money and I am thrilled to have ventured upon it! Thank you Lucas and Marina!

    Harriet, July 2022

    Very likely to be the best trip you ever have. The scenery is breathtaking and you get to see parts of the island that not many tourists do. Our guides, Lucas and Marina, were the most welcoming, fun and beautiful souls you could ever meet. They go to extra lengths to make sure that you have the best time and are incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the island, the flora and fauna and are happy to share all this knowledge with you. The difficulty rating is accurate but probably also depends on the time of year. We walked in very hot weather so it was particularly tough for us. If you’re a regular hiker, you’ll find it tiring but a comfortable distance and ascent. If you don’t hike much, you’ll probably find it tough but it’s doable. Food also amazing and great vegetarian options. Couldn’t recommend this trip more — book it now.

    Tom, June 2022

    Just book it! This was one of the best weeks of my life. Gran Canaria is a beautiful island, and Lucas is a fantastic host who showed us areas that we definitely wouldn't have discovered as private tourists. It was also excellent value for money- all the food and accomodation was brilliant. Would give 6 stars if I could.

    Elizabeth, May 2022

    Brilliant trip but tough! There are some hard climbs and the days are long but the views make it all worth it. Lucas was a great guide and kept us all informed of what to expect and he made sure everyone was happy. If you love hiking and want to see a different, untouched side of Gran Canaria just book this trip! (Remember your blister plasters though!)

    Ivars, May 2022

    I will remember this trip rather warmly and it will bring a smile to my face every time it so happens. Lucas and the team (plus army of aspiring interns) have done and I'm sure will continue to do a fantastic job of making it all a rare experience to cherish for all who visit. The hikes throughout the days can be very challanging and my one advice is to consider the weather conditions of the season so you can be prepared appropriately. The optional massage at the end of the trip is highly reommended as a cherry on top before you leave this beautiful place and start daydreaming of coming back before long. Again, thanks to Lucas and the team for the love and hard work you put into this adventure ❤️

    Alex, October 2021

    This is the best much better adventure I've been on, it was magical. Lucas was an amazing host, super knowledgeable about the island, made sure to keep everyone safe in the heat, and overall made it very special. It was just the right level of tough, and I loved how Lucas encouraged everyone to socialise in the evenings, joining in himself too. I wouldn't change a thing!

    Dalen, March 2022

    An epic week on Gran Canaria - with delicious food, fun people, and of course the hikes. Lucas was knowledgeable and hilarious. He made sure everyone was comfortable and happy. He took in the moment feedback from people, and the weather, to ensure there were different options available. The hike can be challenging on a couple of sections, but each vista was totally worth it. Amazing time, met heaps of cool people. Excellent work Lucas and Ferre!

    Louise, April 2022

    Wow - such a positive, fun, peaceful, well organised and varied experience for my first solo travel experience! The island itself is beautiful and along with the stunning scenic views and nature, we got treated to some real hidden gems along the way! Our host Lucas ensured we made the most of each day, sharing his love, enthusiasm, knowledge and personal stories of Gran Canaria. A brilliant week spent with fantastic people, eating amazing food & seeing parts of the island that most probably never venture to!

    Included

    Guides

    English-speaking, qualified mountain guides

    Accommodation

    5 nights in small rural guesthouses

    Meals

    Tasty food to munch on throughout

    Luggage transfer

    Vehicle support to take your overnight kit

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Las Palmas City Centre or Gran Canaria Airport (LPA)

    Prior to 11:00 Las Palmas City Centre, or 11:00 - 16:00 Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) on Day 1

    Ends

    Gran Canaria Airport (LPA)

    13:30 on Day 6

    Transfers

    If you are flying into Gran Canaria on Day 1, please ensure your flight lands between 11:00 and 16:00 and the host will collect you from the airport according to your flight schedule (if your flight is scheduled to land outside of these times, please contact your host prior to travel to arrange alternative transportation).

    If you are already in Gran Canaria before the start of the trip, your host will collect you from your Las Palmas accommodation prior to 11:00 on Day 1 (if your accommodation is outside Las Palmas, please contact your host prior to travel to arrange alternative transportation).

    At the end of your trip, you will be dropped at the airport at 13:30, please book a flight that departs after 15:30. Once you have booked your flights, please provide your host with this information, who will plan logistics and provide you with pick-up times within two weeks of your trip starting.

    There are regular shuttle buses to/from Las Palmas to the airport, the journey into the centre takes 20 minutes.

    Travel options

    There are daily flights to Gran Canaria from major airports across the UK and Europe. If you choose to arrive early, there are regular buses across the island that you can use to explore. Our local host has a wealth of information about accommodation and activities - please do not hesitate to contact them for advice before planning your experience.

    Day 1

    Guesthouse · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Guesthouse · Same sex dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 4

    Guesthouse · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 5

    Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 6

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Savour the delights of Canarian gastronomy, with fresh produce cooked with love by the host's family chef and a wide variety of regional dishes, from artisan cheese to locally-grown coffee.

    Breakfasts most days will be continental style, consisting of tea and coffee, bread, butter, local jams and honey, fruit, pastries, cheese, ham and juices - or sometimes, you will grab something to eat from local eateries on the way. For lunch in some seriously scenic spots, expect more than sandwiches, as your support crew will provide an abundant spread of salads, cold mezze, meat and vegetarian dishes - all made using local produce.

    Dinners will be eaten at the guesthouses. You’ll feast on regional specialities, from delicious papas arrugadas con mojo (potatoes cooked in salt water with a piquant sauce), bienmesabe (a traditional dessert made on the island, consisting of almonds and lemon zest) to tapas and meat cooked on an open fire. This is a wonderful way to support the local economy and learn more about Canarian culture.

    Vegetarian, vegan and most dietary requirements can be accommodated, please just let your host know upon booking.

    What is the accommodation like?

    On the trek

    You’ll sleep in comfortable and unique guesthouse accommodation, known locally as casas rurales, with incredible views of Gran Canaria’s changing landscape.

    On the first night you will stay at Casas Cuevas Tagoror in cave houses looking out over a dramatic gorge. The next two nights will be spent at Hotel El Refugio, located 1,500m above sea level, with a small swimming pool and an incredible view of the sunset. On the fourth night, you will stay at Cabañas Valle Verde in Fontanales - one of the greenest places on this journey - in cosy wooden cabins with stunning mountain views. The final night of the trip will be spent at Yoga Hostel in Agaete, just ten minutes’ walk from a glorious beach.

    Most guesthouses are converted houses, the rooms available vary at each one but you will be in same-sex twin-share rooms for most nights. In general, the guesthouses have two or three single beds per room, (double beds can be arranged for couples). On the last night, you’ll be sleeping in single-sex dorms of up to six people.

    Due to the small size of the accommodation and limited room availability on this trip, there is no option to upgrade to a private room.

    Day 1

    Welcome to Gran Canaria

    After being met by your host, begin your Canarian adventure with a quick drive to a beautiful beach. Enjoy your first sea swim and bask in the island’s year-round sun, before heading inland to the peaceful Barranco de Guayadeque. This area was one of the first parts of the island to be colonised after the Spanish conquest in 1491. You’ll have dinner with your guide and fellow adventurers at a traditional cave restaurant and hear all about the challenge ahead.

    Day 2

    Through the volcanic canyon

    Hiking

    9-10hrs · 21km · 1200m up · 200m down

    You’ll head off through the lower hills of Barranco de Guayadeque; this ancient gorge once housed a river that carved smooth walls into the cliffs. Filled with caves, the gorge has been a hiding place for pre-Hispanic mummies, pottery and inscriptions, and your guide will have plenty of stories to tell about this fascinating culture. Passing first through pine forests, then up a steep mountain pass, you’ll end up in the La Cumbre region, the highest part of the island. You’ll push on to the summit of El Pico de Las Nieves (1950m) - soak up that ‘top of the world’ feeling and check out the blanket of clouds below you.

    Day 3

    The Spanish Stonehenge

    Hiking

    7hrs · 19km · 700m up · 300m down

    Today’s hike crosses the highlands as you make your way to the famous Roque Nublo. This 80-metre monolith has inspired painters, writers and composers, and is a sacred spot rich with mystic stories and tales of worship and sacrifice. You’ll continue on the undulating track through lost hamlets before reaching the village of Tejeda - this circular route gives you the chance to soak up the enormity of the Caldera de Tejeda.

    Day 4

    Laurisilva Forest

    Hiking

    6hrs · 11km · 200m up · 700m down

    Enjoy a more relaxed day today as you pass through the highest caves on the island, Cuevas del Caballero, and catch sight of one of the youngest volcanos on Gran Canaria - Montañon Negro. After that, you’ll head deep into the greenest part of the island, and trek through Laurisilva Forest, a rare remnant of subtropical laurel forest related to those found in Macaronesia. There’s the opportunity for an excursion to a local cheese farm at Fontanales, where you can learn all about the traditions of the artisan cheese-making process. If you wish to participate, please contact your host in advance to confirm the price.

    Day 5

    What goes up must come down...

    Hiking

    8hrs · 18km · 300m up · 1400m down

    The morning begins with a hike into yet another new landscape, helping Gran Canaria live up to its nickname of ‘a continent in miniature’. You’ll descend into the green and humid gorge of Barranco Hondo, leading to one of the most fertile valleys of the island - the Agaete Valley, bursting with an abundance of flora and fauna. Before arriving at the coastal fishing village of Agaete, you’ll drop into a local coffee plantation to learn about the growing, harvesting and processing of the coffee beans, according to permaculture principles.

    Day 6

    Time to chill...

    Wake up refreshed and stretch into the day with a yoga class and relaxing ocean views to reinvigorate those tired muscles. If you wish to have a massage, a local masseur is on hand - please contact your host in advance to arrange this. Following a leisurely breakfast at a local farmhouse, jump into one of the volcanic rock pools along the coast, known locally as Las Salinas, and soak away that thigh burn. Spend the rest of the morning exploring the village of Agaete - why not try some of the local fish for an early lunch or spend a couple of hours relaxing on the black-stone beach. In the afternoon, you’ll head back to the airport and say your goodbyes.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    Bags

    Overnight soft duffel or rucksack
    Daypack/rucksack (approx 20 litres)
    Waterproof liner/drybag for day bag

    Clothes

    Waterproof jacket
    Breathable wicking layers
    Fleece or similar
    Buff or neckscarf
    Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
    Underwear and socks
    Swimwear
    Sunglasses
    Sunhat
    Something to sleep in
    Hiking boots or shoes (worn-in)
    Sandals
    Thermals (merino ideal) for Dec-Feb trips only

    Other

    Tupperware and cutlery for lunches
    Universal travel plug adapter
    Passports (and visas)
    Travel insurance documents
    Suncream (minimum factor 30) Towel
    Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
    Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
    Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper to the guesthouses to dispose of)
    Alcohol hand-gel
    2-3 x reusable water bottle x1 litre capacity

    Optional

    Ear plugs
    Insect repellent
    Energy bars and snacks
    Walking poles

    No optional extras are available for this trip.

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 148kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    This trek requires a good level of fitness. You must be capable of hiking all day up paths of moderate difficulty with steep, loose sections. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the loose footing and long climbs will make the going quite difficult in parts. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    You can fill your bottles up at the guesthouses every day and will need to carry what you need for the day.

    Gran Canaria enjoys year-round warmth and sunshine with very little seasonal variation. Summers are hot and dry while winters are just slightly cooler, with the potential for a few showers. The island’s southerly location is on the same latitude as the Sahara, meaning it is much hotter than mainland Spain in the winter. However, it will get cooler at night, and once in the high interior of the island, the temperature can drop by quite a few degrees.

    While hiking you can expect fairly consistent daytime temperatures of 18-24ºC and mostly clear skies; however, in the winter it can drop as low as 5ºC at night time. It can also be windy on the top of the peaks, and as you will be passing through different microclimates, it's not unusual to experience days where you will be hiking in 15ºC in the morning and 30ºC in the afternoon. As you will be getting up pretty high there is, of course, the chance of some showers in the mountains but these are rare, short and sharp if they do occur. The sea temperature will be approx 18-26ºC, so very swimmable in the winter months.

    Your overnight luggage will be transported with you in the van each day. During the day, you can leave your bag in your room at the mountain chalet.

    For current advice about travelling in Spain, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

    You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

    Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

    Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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