public

Walking on the Island of La Palma

Just come back from a week long walking holiday to the island of La Palma. We completed 5 of the best hikes the island has to offer and seen some amazing scenery, especially of the volcanic kind.

2 months ago

Latest Post Cold fingers in the Contraviesa by Perro Negro public

Just come back from a week long walking holiday to the island of La Palma. We completed 5 of the best hikes the island has to offer and seen some amazing scenery, especially of the volcanic kind.

We went with our Nomads Walking Group, 16 of us in total. The hotel was excellent as were the guides, Jill and Pete, that we used. The transport company was reliable and efficient. For Kiersten and I we enjoyed the Ruta de los Volcanes the best as it took us over terrain we had never before experienced. Recommended if you are ever on the island.

In the 5 days walking we covered 66 kilometers of terrain involving 2061 metres of ascent and a huge 5045 metres of descent. Not bad for someone who had a pacemaker implant 6 weeks ago! I found the uphill necessitaed very slow going to maintain constant heart rate, but on the level and downhill I was fine and back to my normal speeds.

We stayed at Hotel Las Olas, just 5 minutes drive from the airport

Moonrise, Hotel Las Olas
Mt Teide in Tenerife at sunrise from our bedroom terrace

This is a short summary of each the walks we completed.

WALK 1 - RIM OF THE CALDERA DE TABURIENTE

To get to the starting point of this spectacular walk we were taken up by private bus from sea level and through all five different vegetation levels, to the highest peak of the island (Roque de Los Muchachos). From here we walked over to a viewing point and later along the highest rim of the Island.

After visiting the superb viewing platform of the Espigon del Roque (2382m), we covered the peaks of Roque de los Muchachos (2426m), Pico de la Cruz (2351m), Piedra Llana (2314m) and Pico de la Nieve (2232m) before dropping down to a meeting point with the bus. This whole rim of the Caldera gives relatively easy walking on good, but sometimes rough paths with always spectacular views on the right hand side down into the crater.

This is a superb first day walk which helps to orientate you to the island. It gave us a birds eye view over La Palma all the way over to the neighbouring islands of Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro. The National Park of Caldera de Taburiente and it's huge crater was always at our feet.

WALK 2 - RUTA DE LOS VOLCANES

In our opinion this walk this is a highlight of the island. It visited lots of extinct volcanoes along the central rim of Cumbre Vieja. Just an incredible days hiking in spectacular scenery that was just so unusual and outside of most peoples experience. A "must-do" walk!

We started at the visitor center at "Area Recreativa El Pilar". From here we skirted Pico Birigoya and climbed slowly through the trees until we reached the huge crater at Hoya Negro and Pico Nambroque, which exploded in 1949.

Then its was onto view the huge lava fields of Maltorada before climbing to the crater and peak of Volcan de la Deseada (1945m). From there a gentle descent past Volcan Cabrito brought us to the crater of Volcan Martin (1529m). We descended through sandy lava fields on good tracks to our waiting transport at the Refugio Fuente de los Roques.

WALK 3 - CALDERA TABURIENTE AND RUTA ANGUSTIAS

Another spectacular transfer took us to a magnificent viewpoint right into the huge erosion crater of the National Park. The steep windy road zig zagged continuously up the gorge to arrive at the Mirador de los Brecitos (1030m).

We left the bus here and walked down into the very heart of the crater on superb paths surrounded by steep walls. Around and above us rise the peaks along the rim of the Caldera de Taburiente that we visited on our first hike. Truly dramatic scenery!

We arrived at the "Playa de Taburiente" where we took a lunch break and admired the scenery. Then its down through steep forest tracks to join the river at the Barranco de Angustias. Once down we had the option to visit the "waterfall of colours" and then we followed the valley downstream through the gorge of the Rio Angustias to the finish.

A bar with cold beer was conveniently only a few kilometres further!

WALK 4 - THE WILD NORTH, El TABLADO, COAST

Another diverse walk today. A beautiful transfer showed us a big part of the north eastern part of the island. The walk started in one of Europes last big laurel forests at the "Centro de Visitantes La Zarza". We dropped down into the rain forests of the Barranco Magdelena where impressive trees and huge ferns accompanied us. All of a sudden the view opened up as we climbed up out of the Barranco. We were allowed a view over the rugged northern coast of La Palma with its numerous deep canyons.

We dropped down to the east of the hamlet of Don Pedro to the Mirador de la Calzada. This is a superb viewpoint over the coast. From here we saw the route ahead. A very steep, rocky but well graded path led down in a series of zig zags to the valley bottom just above the sea. What followed was a tough ascent but we took it slow and it was on a good path.

This brought us to the tiny hamlet of El Tablado, where time seemed to have stopped 60 years ago. We convinced the small bar to open for us and all sat across the main village street drinking bottles of beer. Only 1 car passed in a hour! Our bus picked us up just above the village.

WALK 5 - THE SOUTHERN VOLCANOES

A short transfer led to the south west of the island. We started at the Mirador de Charca where we followed the long distance GR130 track through pine forests and alongside vineyards. With constant wonderful views towards the coast we arrived near the village of Fuencaliente, the home of the largest winery of the island.

The excitement built as we started to descend into volcanic territory, walking towards the coast. The good path descended gradually all the way down to the lighthouse. On our the way down we are able to have a look at the crater of the Teneguia volcano (which exploded in 1971) and walked through incredible lava fields that stretched down to the lighthouse. Here, nature is only now starting to get a grip back into the landscape. An experience not to be missed.

Perro Negro

Published 2 months ago