Walking in Gran Canaria
Unknown to many, Gran Canaria is an amazing place to walk, there are literally hundreds of really high quality walking routes on the island, from super easy strolls you can do in your flip-flops to hard core 3 day hikes that require proper shoes and more than a small bottle of coke.
There is now a great iPhone app available with GPS guided walks around the island. The app is due to be launched at the start of Feb but you can see it at the app's website www.walking-app.com. We've been testing it for the developer for the last few months and it is really great. It is free with some trial walks.
The walks are not well signposted though (there are no signposts) and without a very good guide you will get lost. If you are keen on walking we would recommend the following books as they are cheap, very detailed, fit in your pocket and have a large selection of walks.
Our personal favourites are the sunflower guide (blue one with sunflower), the Rother walking guide (red one) and a map (the blue one). You'll find it very difficult to find a decent map on the island - we haven't yet found one.
If you speak Spanish there is also Descubriendo Gran Canaria ISBN 8460986829
Descubriendo Gran Canaria . This book has a variety of lesser known walks a bit closer to Las Palmas and Telde however make sure your Spanish is very good or you carry a dictionary with you as there is some quite specific vocabulary at important parts of the route and if you don't know what a willow is in Spanish you'll get lost.
A beautiful walk in a lushious Lord of Rings-esque valley quite close to GC1. It is usually really sunny here so pack some suncream. If you return to the start there are a couple of great Canarian restaurants on the road up to Guayadeque, one, inside a cave.
Barranco de La Sorrueda
A bit tricky to get to but well worth it once you're there. It is one of the only places on the island with running water all year round and there are rock pools to swim in when you get too hot.
To get there ... Head towards Arinaga and then head inland to Santa Lucia. Just before you get to Santa Lucia you will pass La Presa de Sorrueda (Lake) on your left, take the next turning to La Sorrueda. After the cemetery on your right take the sharp next turning right. Keep going through the tiny village, past the hostel with balconies and onto the dirt track. If you have a 4x4 you can keep going to the bottom of the path, if not I would recommend that you stop about 200m after the hostel and walk 1km down to the bottom. Once at the bottom turn right and continue walking, there is a bit of clambering involved so don't wear flip-flops!
About a 4 hour round walk that has valleys, farms and some great scenery - see the Rother Walking guide for the route.
Cruz de Tejeda
There are loads of walk around Cruz de Tejeda with some spectacular views towards the west of the island and Mt Teide in Tenerife. Check out the routes in the walking guides and make sure you stop in the restaurant in Cruz de Tejeda for a bit of tapas.
Pine forests right at the top of the island with great views over to Tenerife. Tamadaba is quite a long drive but it is definitely worth the trip. There are full picnic and barbeque facilities so if you don't feel like trekking you can relax in the sun with a hotdog and salad.
Bandama is a volcanic crater just 20 minutes from Las Palmas and Telde. You can walk around the top or hike down into the bottom where you'll be accosted by a grumpy donkey. The routes are pretty self explanatory and when you've finished you can have a really good tapas meal in the Bentayga restaurant about 10 minutes from the crater in Monte Lentiscal.
If you speak Spanish there are also various walking groups on the island. The most popular groups are the Turcon ecologist group and the Decathlon walking group. Visit the store for more details.
If you know any good walks please let us know and we'll add it to the website.