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The 9 Best Hiking Trails In Gran Canaria – What To Explore On Holiday
When you think about Gran Canaria, you picture fine sand beaches, great weather, clear waters, lots of cold drinks and entertainment. It sounds like a perfect holiday destination. No matter what you like, you will always hang out around the beach once there. But then, there is more.
Just like pretty much everywhere in mainland Spain, Gran Canaria has an abrupt mountainous terrain. Apart from the coastal beaches, the rest is quite green and fresh. This is one of the reasons wherefore the weather is hot, but it does not feel like it is killing you.
My life principle is pretty simple – if there are mountains, there are hiking trails as well. Gran Canaria makes no exception. Lots of tourists love the beach, but hiking gives you a feeling of freedom. Plus, you get the beautiful views – can you imagine those clear waters seen from the top of a mountain?
Gran Canaria is different from other regions in Spain because the entire island is an actual adventure. Make sure you have some snacks and most importantly – lots of water. You will need it if the weather is too hot.
Now, what are the best hiking trails in Gran Canaria and what makes each of them so special?
Camino de Santiago
There are many places called Camino de Santiago in Spain. For example, there is a popular location in mainland Spain as well. All in all, this hike is suitable to experienced hikers who like camping, as it is likely to take about three days.
Back in the day, this hike used to be a walk connecting a few villages. It was over 34 miles long. These days, it has more than 46 miles. Apart from enjoying a natural hiking experience, you will also be surprised by the astonishing views.
I did this hike with my partner, but we failed to complete it. We do like hiking, but we did about a quarter – a pleasant one day hike. It starts in Maspalomas and goes all the way to the other coast. You will experience a few different microclimates if you want to go through the entire hike, so bring the right gear.
Tamadaba is likely to take a couple of days. It is rated as a medium distance hike. It was the longest hike I have ever done and I must say – wow! It is about 13.6 miles long. If you start early, you can do it within one day. We started it in the most common point – San Pedro, one of the main coffee plantation spots in Gran Canaria.
We chose this hike because we had the opportunity to visit a massive pine forest too. The forest is among Gran Canaria’s top attractions, as it is the biggest natural reserve in the area. The trail is round and involves following signs for Camino El Valle-Tamadaba.
There are two things that will surprise you during this hike. First, you will have some amazing views over Puerto de Las Nieves and Agaete. Second, you will find some locals living in cave houses – a tradition that goes back more than 500 years.
This is probably one of the best hiking trails in Gran Canaria – I did it with my partner and a couple of friends. It is just over 15 miles long, but it is an easy trail. It will not wear you off, so we did it in about five hours – maybe a bit more if you are old or in poor physical condition.
First, you need to get to this beach. It can be accessed by the beach of Puerto De Mogan. It is a dark sand beach due to the volcanic rock. The color makes it look quite exotic, but it is also rated among the best local beaches.
Lots of tourists choose this hike due to its doable profile – not too much to go up. Although it seems long, it is quite doable. Make sure you have plenty of water if you go out on a hot day, not to mention a hat and some sun cream.
Playas de GuiGui
When you think about hiking, you imagine mountains and natural environments – perfectly normal! However, Playas de GuiGui is an interesting hike that goes along the coast. You have mountains and you have beaches and clear waters.
This is one of the less known hikes among tourists. Plus, there are two different versions of it. One of them starts in La Aldea de San Nicolas. It has a challenging start, so lots of people quit it. We took the easy alternative – the one starting from Tasartico.
The hike barely took three hours and that includes a few breaks. Plus, you get to admire Playas de GuiGui – a beach that can only be reached by this hike or boat. It is quite clear and clean, so you can enjoy some quality time.
Barranco de Los Cernicalos
This is rated to be a short hike. We expected to do it in an hour or two, but it actually takes around four hours. However, it is easy and enjoyable, so you will not feel too tired. You will spend more time admiring the surroundings than walking.
This hike goes along the Kestral Ravine. Lots of locals do it as well, so it might get a bit busy during the tourist season – but at least it means it is safe and you can always find someone if you need help. To beat local crowds, you should start it early. Besides, we did it early to avoid the noon heat.
The hike starts in the Los Arenales parking lot from Lomo Magullo. You can get there by bus or drive. As for the actual trail, you will visit the Reserva Especial de Los Marteles, but also the local waterfalls. If you are worried about the heat, you should know that most of it is in the shade – great on a hot summer day.
Roque Nubio is among the best hiking trails in Gran Canaria if you want to keep busy in nature for a few hours. It is relatively easy to do – we finished it in about two hours. The route is so easy that we brought our kids along as well.
All in all, the trail starts in the car park of La Goleta. You will find it on the main road, between Pozo de la Nieves and Ayacata. If you need something, you can find some stalls selling all kinds of snacks, as well as water.
The trail will take you to Roque Nubio, but it is worth noting that it is mostly in the sun. In other words, we did this trail on a holiday in October and it was a bit hot. I cannot even imagine what it is like in the summertime. Other than that, it might get a bit nippy at high altitudes.
Puerto De Mogan Lighthouse
Lots of people try out this hiking trail because it is short. We thought the same. Sure, it is short, but it can work you out a little – not what we expected. While a bit challenging, it is well worth the time and effort once you make it.
Some call it a trail. I would call it a walk towards the Puerto de Mogan cliff. Once there, you will see a sign leading you to Mirador – that is a viewpoint giving astonishing views. Here is a tip if you plan to do this one – do it close to the sunset, you will love it.
Los Tilos de Moya
Los Tilos de Moya is quite short. I did this trail with my parents, as they are getting old now. The whole trip barely took an hour. It has a few challenging parts, but overall, it is quite easy to do. It crosses Barranco de Laurel, so you have some nice views.
More importantly, check out the flora and fauna. If you are into birdwatching, you will spot lots of Alpispas birds. If you like trees, you will love the trail due to the numerous eucalyptus trees. Simply put, this trail is great for everyone – kids will also be entertained by the colorful birds.
Santa Lucia is around six miles long, but worth it because it is easy and you never get bored. It is a family hike that anyone can tackle. You go through all kinds of municipalities in Santa Lucia.
You will cross some fields or palm tree forests, then go through orange groves. You will also explore Montana de los Huesos – an archaeological village worth a visit while in Gran Canaria.
In the end, I am clearly obsessed with hiking trails, but once in Gran Canaria, they are different from what you know. This is what makes them so special.
These are the best hiking trails in Gran Canaria based on my personal experience.
You might find some smaller ones, yet there are also a few long trails that may take more than a couple of days to complete – suitable to experienced hikers only.