Trekking in the Canary Islands
The GR131 island-hopping route
By Paddy Dillon
Guidebook to the GR131, an island-hopping trail that runs coast to coast across each of the 7 Canary Islands, a sub-tropical Spanish archipelago. Described over 32 stages, the route begins on Lanzarote, finishes on El Hierro, measures 560km (348 miles) and would take an average trekker about 1 month to complete.
SeasonsCan be walked any time, but summers are very hot and there might be snow in winter on the highest parts of the route on Tenerife and La Palma. Spring is ideal.
CentresLanzarote: Órzola, Teguise, San Bartolomé, Yaiza, Playa Blanca; Fuerteventure: Corralejo, Lajares, La Oliva, Tindaya, La Pared, Morro Jable; Gran Canaria: Maspalomas, Tunte, Agaete; Tenerife: La Esperanza, Vilaflor, Arona; La Gomera: San Sebastián, Chipude, Vallehermosa; La Palma: Fuencaliente, Puerto de Tazacorte; El Hierro: Tamaduste, Valverde
DifficultyMost of the route uses quiet roads, tracks and old mule paths from village to village, but there are some remote stretches, as well as occasional steep and rocky mountain paths that need care. The route is well marked, but some navigational skills are required. Accommodation is unevenly spread.
Must SeeNational parks, volcanic landscapes, coastal views and Spain's highest mountain, El Teide
This guidebook provides a comprehensive and detailed description of the GR131, an island-hopping trail across the seven Canary Islands. The 560km (348 mile) route begins on Lanzarote and finishes on El Hierro and is presented in 32 daily stages. The route is well waymarked but some navigational skills are required, and the remote and occasional rocky sections need to be treated with care. Also included is an optional ascent of El Teide, the highest peak on Spanish territory at 3718m.
The guide is split into seven parts, one for each island. Overview statistics, detailed navigational description and 1:50,000 mapping is provided for each stage and the guide also includes key information about transport to and between the Canary Islands and availability of accommodation and services. There is background information on the geology, history, plants and wildlife and notes on local points of interest. An appendix contains a helpful glossary.
As a geologically young area, the Canaries boast rare wildlife across their dramatic volcanic terrain. The islands contain a number of national parks, and the landscape varies from semi-desert to forests and barren mountainsides. This month-long route is a great opportunity for walkers to fully immerse themselves in the diverse culture and scenery of the Canary Islands.
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Paddy Dillon is a prolific walker and guidebook writer, with over 100 guidebooks to his name and contributions to 40 other titles. He has written for several outdoor magazines and other publications and has appeared on radio and television.Paddy uses a tablet computer to write as he walks. His descriptions are therefore precise, having been written at the very point at which the reader uses them.Paddy is an indefatigable long-distance walker who has walked all of Britain's National Trails and several European trails. He has also walked in Nepal, Tibet, Korea and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the US. Paddy is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and President of the Backpackers Club.View author profile
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