Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)
Arrive La Palma and then transfer by road to our hotel in Playa de los Cancajos.
Both Groups. Today we take a taxi ride to a tiny village called ‘Montes de Luna’, where we pick up a pathway which gently rises then falls as it contours its way around the south of the island to the town of Fuencaliente. Here, we stop for coffee in one of the charming bars before continuing down to the San Antonio Volcano. Here we watch an excellent short explanatory film in the Visitor Centre before venturing out on to rim of the volcano which formed in the 1600s. It is now quite safe and the walk is protected by hand rails where needed.
Grade 5. Our group looks down on even younger volcanoes (the youngest blew in 1971) before returning to the Visitor Centre. After lunch, we have another short walk, and then visit the ‘Bodegas Teneguia’ for wine tasting with the joint owner ‘Diego’.
Grade 6. After lunch, we continue down the island via some even younger volcanoes (the youngest blew in 1971) before reaching ‘Faro’ (lighthouse) where there is a small museum and a bar selling craft beers from the island.
Both Groups. We take taxis to La Cumbrecita, which is set in an amazing position inside the caldera of the main volcano of the island. This spot is limited to only 20 vehicles per day (plus a few taxis in-and-out), so it feels really remote. From here we climb on a steep but safe zigzag track up onto the southern rim of the Taburiente caldera – the views are some of the best on the Island – and along the wide ridge to ‘El Rodeo’ pass.
Grade 5. After reaching the pass, we turn south and descend on quiet tracks down to the valley, where there is a local bar for an end-of-walk drink before catching the bus back to the hotel.
Grade 6. From the pass, we climb another steep but safe zigzag track up onto the peak of Pico Bejenado: some say the 360 degree view from there is the best on the Island – you should be able to see the whole of the caldera rim and down to the west and south coasts! After lunch there, we descend on quiet tracks down to the valley, where there is a local bar for an end-of-walk drink before catching the bus back to the hotel.
Both Groups. Today we take a taxi ride up a long mountain road to around 1,800 metres above sea level, where we start our walks. Both groups hike (albeit at a different pace) up to the fabulously situated Pico de la Nieve and, from there, along the main island caldera to the subsidiary peaks of Piedra Llana and Pico de la Cruz. This is a broad, but spectacular, ridge walk.
Grade 5. From Pico de la Cruz, we gently descend to the Mirador de los Andenes, where our taxis will pick us up to return to the hotel.
Grade 6. From Pico de la Cruz, we gently descend to the Mirador de los Andenes and then continue on a more ‘switchback’ ridge walk (with some steep drops but still a well formed path) to the highest point on the island – the Roque de los Muchachos. Taxi return.
Free Day. We have the chance to spend some time in the capital of La Palma, Santa Cruz. It is only a 10 minute bus ride (or less than an hour’s walk along the footpath esplanade) and well worth visiting. La Palma has a fascinating colonial history (mainly Spanish and Portuguese) - with wonderful architecture reflecting this - and a long standing relationship with sea-farers as the starting point for voyages to the West Indies and, in particular, Cuba. There are museums (some are free entry) and other attractions, not least the interesting shops, super cafes and artisan ice-cream parlours!
Both Groups. Today we get back to business with serious hikes along the ‘spine’ of the island. We take a taxi ride up the mountain road to ‘El Pinar’ pass at around 1,450 metres above sea level, where we start our walks. Both groups hike (albeit at a different pace) up on the spine.
Grade 5. From the pass, we start off on the GR path, then turn off and climb up our first peak - Birigoyo – where we have truly amazing views back north to the whole Taburiente caldera. We may see the ‘Mar des nubes’ (sea of clouds) in the foreground, which we, hopefully, will be above by this stage! We continue over the peak of Barquita and down to the ‘Hoyo Negro’ crater (it means black hole). From there, we then climb up to Pico Nambroque (our main target for the day) before returning on the main GR footpath all the way back to El Pinar for our Taxi return.
Grade 6. From the pass, we stay on the GR path, bypassing the first few peaks and past the ‘Hoyo Negro’ crater until we reach the dramatic ‘Volcan de la Deseada’ – a spectacular volcano which is the highest on the spine. The (safe) climb up the rim is truly memorable and the 360 degree views awesome. From there, we descend south (staying on the spine) to reach the ‘View of Views’ – looking south to the Volcan de St Martin and beyond (on a clear day) out to sea and the islands of Tenerife, El Hierro and La Gomera. A steady descent to Fuencaliente completes this 18km classic walk to our Taxi return.
Both Groups. Our Taxis drop us off at the famous Biosphere reserves of Cubo de la Galga and Los Tilos. The islanders are very proud of these two areas of La Palma – they are temperate rain forests (Laurasilva) and, as such, are very different to any other part of the island.
Grade 5. From the little Visitor Centre at Cubo de la Galga, we hike up a well formed track which reduces into a path and then enters the ‘jungle’ of rainforest, which is a sensory delight of birdsong and flowing water. We emerge at the Mirador de Somada Alta, giving us a view of the tree tops far below. From here we descend to the bus stop to catch the bus to Santa Cruz.
Grade 6. From the large Visitor Centre at Los Tilos, we climb up a zigzag path in deep rain forest up to the Mirador de las Barandas for some great views out to the east coast and above the rainforest. From here we cross another Barranco to reach the sleepy town of Barlovento, where there is a welcome café by the bus stop!
Both Groups. After the two graded walks, we have a second walk optional add-on! Those electing to do so have the chance to walk up the remote Barranco del Carmen to the ‘Lady of the Snows Sanctuary’ well above Santa Cruz. This is a 16th century church set in a delightful courtyard with a lovely bar alongside. We finish with a walk down the Barranco del Rio into Santa Cruz for our bus or Taxi return.
Travel by road to La Palma Airport for the return flights to the UK.