|This exciting adventure takes us to the warm, sunny volcanic Grand Canary Island, a vacation paradise located less than 100 miles off the northwest coast of Africa in the center of the Canary Islands archipelago. Grand Canary Island is often referred to as a “miniature continent” due to its extraordinarily varied landscapes ranging from the lush green forests and valleys in the north, to the towering mountainous interior, to the desert-like dunes and beautiful white beaches along its southern shores. For millennia, the elements have sculpted an outstanding natural beauty: steep volcanic mountains punctuated by deep palm ravines; imposing rocks towering above high plateaus; and vast fertile valleys of prickly pear, aloes, almonds and figs. Nearly half of the island is protected by UNESCO Nature Reserves which have some of the finest hiking in Europe. From the comfort of our luxury hotel, we venture out each day to hike along well-marked, ancient Caminos Reales, centuries-old royal trading paths lined with broom, heather and Canarian Pine that crisscross the island, linking the sea to the mountains.
• Hikes along centuries-old paths with dramatic scenery and ocean views
• Tiny white villages, forgotten farming hamlets, and fascinating cave dwellings
• Charming, postcard-pretty and historic mountain towns
• A day in the sun at Playa Del Ingles, one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe
• Visits to botanical, archaeological, and geologic points of interest including volcanic calderas, monoliths, and sand dunes
• 4-star lodge on a mountaintop with a spa and classic Spanish cuisine
Day 1. Sunday, September 10. Arrive Grand Canary Island
Arrive at Las Palmas Airport on Gran Canary Island, clear customs and meet the group. In our private auto we drive about 25 miles to our four star hotel, the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda, located near the village of Tejeda in the center of the Island in the mountains at an elevation of 5,118 feet, and with magnificent views over the scenic landscape below. Our boutique hotel has 40 rooms, a restaurant, bar, gymnasium, spa, television and free internet. We have the rest of the day to relax or visit Tejeda, a small nearby attractive mountain village with winding streets, glistening white balconied houses, a historic church, tourist shops and restaurants. Tejeda is located on the edge of a volcanic basin 17 miles long. In the evening we have a get acquainted dinner and meet our fellow travelers. (D)
Day 2. Monday, September 11. Valleys & Villages Walk. 8 miles/4 hours
We drive 15 miles south on windy mountain roads to the “sugar cube” village of San Bartolome located on a unique volcanic landscape which combines rugged agriculture, scenery, rich vegetation and a diverse architecture. From the village it is a relaxed, easy-going walk through the Tejeda Valley and up through extensive palm groves to the pretty village of Santa Lucas for lunch. The museum here has an impressive display of archeological finds including Guanache artefacts, farming tools, leather goods and even an old skeleton. In the afternoon, we hike along a panoramic cactus-lined mountain ridge and have continuous views of the Tirajana Gorge as we cross the ravine floor and head back via the scenic village of Fataga where we can stop for a cold drink. This enchanted mountain village with charming rural houses, palm groves and a quaint church is considered the most beautiful village on the island. We will take time to visit the craft shops which have hand-made products. (B,
Day 3. Tuesday, September 12. Cruz Grande Circular Walk. 9 miles/5 hours
A 30 minute drive takes us to Cruz Grande, the area where our trail begins. Our trail takes us through a pine forest and then along an undulating mountain ridge were massive valleys slice through the wooded hillside to reveal the first glimpse of the magical Chira Dam, a stunning deep blue lake and habitat for waterfowl and wildlife. After a pleasant and relaxing picnic lunch at the lake, we hike along a trail bordered by an enchanting tangle of aloe, almonds, figs and prickly pear cactus, and steadily hike out of the ravine on one of the ancient Camino Reales. (B,D)
Day 4. Wednesday, September 13. El Roque Nublo Hike. 9 miles/5.5 hours
Today we travel to the nearby El Roque Nublo Nature Reserve and hike to the blood-red El Roque Nublo, a volcanic spire 262 feet tall and balanced on a 5,948 foot plateau. This monolith was an ancient place of worship for the Guanache aboriginals. From the plateau we have fantastic views of the nearby mountains and valleys and even the Island of Tenerife. We descend through a pine forest to the Tejeda Valley, the real Spain where we see herds of goats and donkeys in the fields, and to the tiny farming hamlet of La Culata and the Bar Roque Nublo, which doubles as the village café-cum-bar-cum local shop. After a relaxing lunch at the café, we hike along an almond-scented path to the Mirador Becarra viewpoint, the most renowned skyline on the island, and then back to our vehicle and travel back to our hotel. (B,D).
Day 5. Thursday, September 14. Maspalomas, Playa Del Ingles & Sand Dune Nature Preserve
Today we drive 45 miles east and then south to Maspalomas, a resort town on the sunny desert south coast catering to Northern Europeans and the gay crowd. We can shop at the scenic pedestrian promenade which is lined with tropical flora and luxurious villas, or hang out at Playa Del Ingles, which lays claim to being one of the most famous beaches in Europe. This fun-and-sun beach offers all sorts of leisure and sports activities including jet-skiing, sailing, windsurfing and water-skiing. There are plenty of public conveniences along the beach including showers and kiosks selling food and drink. We can also visit the nearby Sand Dunes Nature Preserve with its fantastic beach and dynamic sand dunes, palm groves and lagoons. We visit the Gay Beach, located near the dunes, and mingle with Gays from around the world. At the end of a fun day in the sun, we head back to the comfort of our hotel. (B,D)
Day 6. Friday, September 15. Azujae Nature Reserve. 10 miles/5 hours
Today we drive 13 miles to the north side of the island to visit the historic village of Firgas from which on a clear day we can see neighboring islands. This 528 year old sparkling white village, famous for the production of mineral water, has a 16th Century church and waterfall/stepped fountain with artistic murals. A circular route from here takes us through the lush green vegetation of the Azujae Nature Preserve, famous for both its endemic and medicinal plants. We will ascend a narrow ravine before a final winding descent through a eucalyptus forest which loops back to Firgas. (B,D).
Day 7. Saturday. September 16. Cave Town & Villages. 7.5 miles/4.5 hours
We drive west for about 20 miles to the sleepy high-altitude village of Artenara. This peculiar village clinging to the mountainside is doubtless the most spectacular of the island with nearly 400 of its houses built in the solid rock of caves dating from the 15th Century and some to prehistoric times. A Christ statue with widespread arms, reminiscent of the famous Rio de Janeiro figure, welcomes visitors, and from the village we have views into a huge volcanic crater. We hike toward Lugarejos, an old cave village famous for its kiln-free pottery and along the way we have stunning views of Roque Nublo. Our trail, bordered by steeply terraced hillsides, continues upward through a pine forest to a shady ridge which has views to Lugarejos Reservoir below and across the island to the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. (B,D).
Day 8. Sunday September 17 Depart for Home
In the morning we head to Las Palmas Airport and our return flight home. (B)
LAND COST: $1,800 per person based on double room occupancy. Single supplement $301.
Cost Includes: Lodging, all breakfasts and dinners at our hotel, airport transfers, all land transportation and an American Tour Guide.
Cost Does Not Include: International airfare, lunches, drinks or alcoholic beverages with meals.
Grade: We hike on well-maintained trails for 4 to 5.5 hours per day for a distance of 7.5 to 11 miles. The hikes are rated moderate, as we hike at elevations of 1,000 to 5,600 feet and the vertical gains and descents range from about 900 to 1,900 feet.
REGISTRATION AND INFORMATION
If you would like additional information, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us locally at 303-449-0990 or toll free at 1-877-440-0990. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) Monday through Friday.
You may also download our trip registration form, and mail it in to us.
Parador de Cruz de Tejeda
Caldera de Tejeda
Caldera de Tejeda
Caldera de Tejeda
Firgas – Paseo de Gran Canaria
Playa de Ingles
Grand Canary Landscape