The volcanic Gran Canaria offers far more than the beaches it is best known for. Staying in Aguimes and remote Aldea, discover dramatic landscapes, steep gorges, high peaks and semi-tropical valleys, exploring the Isla on foot. Roque Nublo - A distinctive rock formation and Gran Canaria's most famous landmark Canarian cuisine and sangria - Dine alfresco in picturesque villages Historic trails - Follow the network of 'caminos reales' to explore the mountainous interior
Our trip starts in Aguimes a small, traditional town in the east of Gran Canaria. For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Aguimes at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive at Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) which is around 20 minutes' drive. Should you miss the meeting, your leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to explore the historic narrow streets with pretty painted houses of the 'old town', or find a quiet cafe to sit in to acclimatise to the pace of life.
Today we make a walk along the main landmark of this side of the island - the stunning Guayadeque Canyon that runs south east along the slopes of Pico de las Nieves. There are lots of endemic plants, but the volcanic landscape has a lunar feel as we get closer to the deep gorge, reminiscent of Northern American canyons. We walk along a tarmac road for 30 minutes before heading into the gorge. This area has been inhabited since the stone age and the remains of cave dwellings from these times are still visible. As we walk we will also see some traces of lava fields from an ancient eruption of a smaller volcano. After the gorge we head back to Aguimes on foot. Please note there is little shade in the countryside around Aguimes, so strong sun protection is needed. Today's 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with 550 metres of ascent and descent.
This morning we drive west to to Degollada del Aserrador. From here we walk uphill on beautiful trail to the plateau with views of Roque Nublo mountain. A gentle ascent brings us to the base of Roque Nublo, the landmark rock of Gran Canaria and offering great views across the island and - weather allowing - across to neighbouring islands of the Canaries. After a picnic lunch we descend to La Culata where you can have a drink in a local café before continuing by bus to Tejeda (1076m). This small mountain village with white washed buildings is one of the prettiest hill village on Gran Canaria. There will be time for a quick walk around the town before driving onto La Aldea, our base for the next three nights. Today's eight kilometre walk is expected to take around three hours with 460 metres of ascent and 520 metres of descent.
Hopping on the local public bus, we travel a short distance to the start of today's walk at the Aldea Pass (700m). From here we follow an ancient pathway that in former days connected the villages of La Aldea, Tasarte and Veneguara. It is an undulating trail with one steep but short downhill section. On our left-hand side we enjoy the impressive walls of Los Azulejos, green layered rock sheets topped by the Inagua Forest. When we reach the village church of Veneguera we take a short break for lunch before continuing our walk over the last pass that leads us into the Barranco de Mogan. Here there will be time for a coffee break while waiting for the public bus that will take us back to La Aldea. Today's 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around four-and-a-half hours with 250 metres of ascent and 400 metres of descent.
Today has been left free. You may wish to relax around the hotel, enjoying the village life in La Aldea, or decide to go to the nearby beach five kilometres away. Further afield you could visit the city of Galdar and see the Cueva Pintada Museum to learn about aboriginal life on these islands - On your way back stopping off for a dip in the ocean. Alternatively keen walkers may wish to take the optional demanding walk through the Inagua Forest to the Pico Castellet, a flat rock outcrop with a spectacular view (this walk is only posisble if your Explore leader is able to accompany). Today's optional 13 kilometre walk is expected to take around five-and-a-half hours with 500 metres of ascent and 700 metres of descent.
This morning we drive inland to Acusa where our first walk of the day begins. We explore the Acusa cliffs with its white washed cave dwellings dating back to Stone Age times, some of which are still occupied. From La Candelaria we continue by bus to Pico de las Nieves (1942m). Here, we walk through the Pine forest to Degollada de los Hornos (1719m) and enjoy a picnic lunch with views to Pico de las Nieves and Roque Nublo. We descend to San Bartolomé and drive back to Agüimes for our last two nights. Today's first three kilometre walk is expected to take around one hour with 200 metres of ascent and 150 metres of descent. The second 11 kilometre walk is expected to take around three hours with 1,000 metres of descent.
Today we travel by local bus (50 min) to Santa Lucia for our long but scenic walk back down to Aguimes. As we start our descent we pass an old maize mill, before walking down into the Hondo Ravine and up to Lomo de Don Pedro. We continue eastwards to Temisas village following signed trails, then part of a 'Camino Real' marked out by stones to Aguimes town. Today's 17 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with 300 metres of ascent and 700 metres of descent.
Our tour ends after breakfast at our hotel in Aguimes. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Aguimes at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) which is around 20 minutes' drive.
7 Break Fast(s)
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