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 Island 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 Island archipelago

DURATION

5 nights

LOCATION

Gran Canaria

ANNUAL LEAVE

4 days off work

SEASON

Oct-June

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Gran Canaria Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Guesthouse · Mountain hut

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

Cross the craggy sun-baked mountain ranges taking in cool pine forests, sunken calderas and sky-skimming 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.

    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!

    Adrien, April 2022

    I was a bit hesitant to book this trip as it's generally more expensive that what I usually do (solo travelling, or solo hiking) but it was worth every penny! It was an incredible experience, our host showed us the real Canaries with some spots only known by the locals and made us experience local food. The walk was great and the views breathtaking! I also met a lot of great people and hope to meet them again, we all had an amazing experience and I can't wait to go back to Gran Canaria!

    Robin, April 2022

    A wonderful experience! Our guide, Lucas, knew the area like the back of his hand and ensured we had a more local experience. He was so attuned to the energy of the group, he made sure everyone had a great time. The nature on the island is stunning, the accommodations were comfy, the food was delicious and the people met were truly special. Thank you to everyone who helped organise the trip!

    Med, April 2022

    I really enjoyed this trip, this is my second time with Much Better Adventures and I am quite impressed! Lucas and Ferre were extremely good and knowledgeable about Gran Canaria, the ecosystem and the fauna and flora. I highly recommend it!

    Zoe, April 2022

    This was an awesome trip - the scenery in Gran Canaria is stunning and very varied, and when we went it was covered in brightly coloured wildflowers, very cool! Lucas is a brilliant guide, he’s super friendly and kept us entertained whenever we stopped with bits of Canarian history and culture. We had a few quick dips in the sea, and one in a small pool under a waterfall too which I loved! Met a lovely group of people I’m planning to stay in touch with. All in all - just book it ;)

    Matthew, April 2022

    A great few days hiking in the mountains and across the island! Lucas our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable & passionate and couldn't do enough to ensure everyone's needs were met. The accommodation and food was also great and the whole group gelled well together. Would definitely recommend going on the Gran Canaria Hike!

    Included

    Guides

    Expert, 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)

    14:30 Las Palmas City Centre or 15:30 Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) on Day 1

    Ends

    Gran Canaria Airport (LPA)

    13:30 on Day 6

    Transfers

    On Day 1 you have the option to meet at your host's office in the centre of Las Palmas at 14:30 or to be collected at Gran Canaria Airport at 15:30. If you arrive early and head into town, your host is happy to store your luggage for you at the office until the official start time of 14:00. If you are aiming for the airport transfer, please ensure your flight lands no later than 15:00. 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.

    There are shuttle regular buses to/from Las Palmas to the airport, the journey is a short 20-minutes right into the centre.

    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.

    Day 1

    Guesthouse · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Mountain hut · 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?

    Breakfasts most days will be continental style, consisting of tea and coffee, bread, toast, butter, local jams and honey and fruit juice - or sometimes you will grab stuff from local eateries on the way also. For lunch you'll make up picnic-style lunches to carry with you - your guide will seek out some delicious local produce to complement your sandwiches and fruit etc. Make sure you pack some Tupperware to avoid squashed sandwiches and excessive plastic use.

    Dinners will be eaten at the guesthouses and are a great time to try out regional specialities - those with a sweet tooth should try and seek out 'bienmesabe', a traditional dessert made on the island consisting of almonds and lemon zest. And don't miss the honey rum (Ronmiel de Canarias) to go with it!

    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 spend most of your nights in the mountains in small, locally-owned 'Casa Rurales'. These guesthouses are all found along the hiking route so you can hike from point to point each day with no transfers. As most are converted houses the rooms available vary at each one but you will be in same-sex twin-share rooms for most nights. Depending on the group size and availability you may spend a night or two in multi-bed rooms (up to 6 per room, usually less). Your guide will make every effort to ensure these stay same-sex - if you have a strong preference for this, please let him know at the beginning of the trip. On the coast, at the end of your hike, you will stay at Casa Calma Yoga House, or another guesthouse of a similar standard. Again, there is a mixture of rooms here but most will be in twin-share rooms.

    Due to the limited availability of rooms on this trip, there is no option to upgrade to a private room.

    Day 1

    Welcome to Gran Canaria

    Start your Canarian adventure with a quick drive to the coast for your first sea swim or beach paddle before heading inland to the peaceful Barranco of Guayadeque. This was one of the first parts of the island to be colonised after the Spanish conquest in 1491 and the tiny streets are steeped in history. You’ll have dinner with your guide and fellow adventurers and hear all about the challenge ahead before heading to a local cave restaurant for dinner.

    Day 2

    Through the volcanic Barranco gorge

    Hiking

    9hrs · 16km · 1000m up · 500m down

    You’ll head off through the lower hills until you reach El 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 prehispanic mummies, pottery and inscriptions and its steep walls are spectacular to walk below. 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 then 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 · 17km · 800m up · 500m 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. You’ll bed down for the night in a wooden cabins in the middle of the pine forest, a true mountain refuge

    Day 4

    Tambada UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

    Hiking

    6hrs · 17km · 250m up · 700m down

    A more relaxed day today as you pass through the highest villages on the island and check out the numerous cave-houses, before heading deep into the lichen-draped trees of the Tambada UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This is one of Gran Canaria’s most biodiverse and pristine spaces and you will spend today and tomorrow seeing the highlights.

    Day 5

    What goes up must come down...

    Hiking

    8hrs · 17km · 300m up · 1400m down

    This morning starts with an introduction to the ancient civilization of the area by one of the locals from the village of Artenara. Today is a long descent to the coast and you will follow the path of the ancestors, known as ‘Bajada de San Pedro’ and famous for its annual festivities that traditionally would see the islands praying for rain in the year ahead. Today’s hike ends in the valley of Agaete, a famous spot for coffee production.

    Day 6

    Time to chill...

    Wake up whenever you like. Jump into one of the warm volcanic rock pools along the coast, locally called ‘Las Salinas’, and soak away that thigh burn. Have the day to relax and explore this sleepy fishing-village. 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 20ltrs)
    Waterproof liner/drybag for day bag

    Clothes

    Waterproof jacket
    Breathable wicking layers
    Fleece or similar
    Buff or neckscarf
    Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
    Underwear & 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 for lunches
    Universal travel plug adapter
    Passports (and visas)
    Travel Insurance documents
    Suncream
    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 guesthouse to dispose of)
    Alcohol hand-gel
    2-3 x reusable water bottle x1 ltr capacity
    Sleeping bag liner (cotton or silk)

    Optional

    Ear plugs
    Insect repellant
    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 a few degrees.

    While hiking you can expect fairly consistent daytime temperatures of 18-24ºC and mostly clear skies (in the winter it can drop as low as 5ºC at night). It can also be windy on the top of the peaks also 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 for you each day so you only have to hike with a daypack containing the essentials (water, suncream, layers etc). We ask that you keep your overnight luggage as light as possible and in a soft holdall or bag, not a hard case. As you will be meeting at the host's office before, it is advised that you leave some stuff there (if you are traveling with a lot) as the transfer vehicle isn't huge so is for essentials only.

    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.

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