Perhaps better known for escapist tranquility than action-packed adventure, the Canary Islands boast a plethora of scenic walks and challenging hikes fit for the adventurer inside everyone. And in today’s article, the Lanzarote locals from Optima Villas are going to prove it, offering up their selection of the very best hiking hotspots for an unforgettable getaway around the Canaries.
6 hikes in the Carary Islands
Estimated completion time: 8 hours
Recommended starting point: Caleta de Sebo
Located north of Lanzarote, La Graciosa is a volcanic island that boasts stunning natural beauty like no other. As part of the Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park, the island features one of the most important marine reserves in Europe, with an array of plants and animals unique to the island. Subsequently, hikes across the unspoiled beaches and around the base of Montana Amarilla volcano offer stunning panoramic views – making trips around the island an absolute must.
With unsteady terrain and varying altitudes, hikes around the volcano can vary in intensity, which means they probably aren’t suitable for younger children. This doesn’t mean La Graciosa is completely out of bounds for families with little ones though – instead consider more relaxed strolls around stunning beaches such as Playa de la Conchas.
Estimated completion time: 2.5 hours
Following a volcanic eruption 4.5 million (yes, million!) years ago, the island of Gran Canaria was left reshaped by a lava landscape on the island’s surface. As lava eroded over time, what remained was a series of dramatic outcrops such as the notorious Roque Nublo.
Considered to be one of the biggest natural crags in the world, Roque Nublo stands at a height of 80 metres, 1,813m above sea level. Declared a protected natural space in 1987, the crag was an ancient place of worship for the aborigines. Now, it’s a relatively easy hiking spot that offers stunning views of the great dams of Las Niñas, Chira and Soria along the way.
Estimated completion time: 5.5 hours
Recommended starting point: Femes
Heading back to Lanzarote, you’ll find Los Ajaches located to the south west of the island. The large volcanic formation is believed to be the oldest part of the island, boasting breathtaking vegetation and beautiful wildlife on the coastal cliffs.
Be sure not to underestimate this route, however. Though the short (approximately 6km) trail features pathways, tracks, pedestrian ways and roads from the starting point of Femes, it is a very steep route. As a result, this isn’t one for the faint hearted! For budding adventurers, ensure you’ve packed sun-protective clothing and cream, as well as closed shoes and plenty of water. Though it’s a tough one, completing this route will earn you some well-deserved R&R at your Lanzarote villa at the end of a hard day’s hike.
Cueva de los Verdes
Estimated completion time: 30mins – 1 hour
On the off chance it rains during your visit to the Canaries, the impressive caves of Cueva de los Verdes offer the perfect relief.
Formed following the eruption of Monte Corona somewhere between 3000 to 5000 years ago, these underground caves offer adventurers a unique glimpse at one of the world’s longest volcanic galleries. Artificially lit to ensure the safety of all walkers, these caves can be explored on a guide-led tour only, making it a perfect hiking option for all the family. Though it’s not free (standard entry is €9.50 for adults, €4.75 for children under 12), this is an absolute must for anyone visiting Lanzarote.
Distance: 9 km
Estimated completion time: 2 hours
Recommended starting point: Our Lady of Sorrows Church
Positioned within central Lanzarote, the Caldera Blanca route crosses volcanic badlands on a lava surface. Sounds scary, right? Don’t worry – this was a result of eruptions that occurred almost 300 years ago!
As one of the highest peaks in the volcanic ranges of central Lanzarote, you’d be forgiven for believing this hike is one for the veterans. On the contrary, walks starting from Our Lady of Sorrows Church (or ‘la Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Dolores’ to the locals) are predominantly flat, combining pathways, tracks and roads to create an easily accessible route. As a result, this route is one for the whole family to explore!
Recommended starting point: Agricultural Guatiza
For the very keenest of hiking enthusiasts, look no further than this mammoth Lanzarote hike. An oval route starting in Agricultural Guatiza, better known for Lazaorote’s famous Cactus Garden, this 27.5km route passes through the stunning scenery of Tinguaton and Los Valles, offering unforgettable panoramic views from the Mirador as you go.
With characteristically warm and dry weather most of the year, this colossal trek isn’t for the faint hearted – so be sure to pack plenty of protective clothing and water.
The Canary Islands really are packed full of action and adventure, and with spring-like weather for the majority of the year, there isn’t really a bad time to lace up your walking boots and get exploring everything these beautiful islands have to offer.