Walking on La Palma
45 day walks and long distance trails including the GR130 and GR131
By Paddy Dillon
A walking guidebook for exploring La Palma in the Canary Isles. The 45 routes include both day walks and long distance trails including the GR130 and GR131. The routes vary in terrain ranging from trails in Caldera de Taburiente national park to mule tracks and pilgrim trails in Santa Cruz. Includes routes that suit all abilities.
Seasonsbest between November and May, as the summer months are too hot, but it can sometimes snow on the higher parts; spring is especially colourful
CentresSanta Cruz de La Palma, Los Llanos, Fuencaliente, Refugio del Pilar, Tijarafe, Puntagorda, Garafía, Barlovento, Los Sauces, Puntallana and the mountain road
Difficultyroutes vary from short and easy to long, steep and strenuous; all are waymarked and signposted, and no special equipment is required beyond ordinary walking gear, except when snow lies on the highest mountains
Must SeeCaldera de Taburiente national park, Roque de los Muchachos, Canary pine forest, laurisilva 'cloud forest', deep and rugged barrancos, GR130 around La Palma, GR131 over the highest mountains
The dramatic volcanic landscape of La Palma, reputed to be one of the steepest islands in the world, is little known outside the Canaries, but offers an ideal winter walking destination for walkers of most abilities.
This guidebook explores the way-marked trail networks on the island of La Palma. Despite its small size, there are routes of all types – from easy strolls to hands-on scrambling, from simple day walks to long distance treks.
These cover rocky treks and mountain paths over the GR130 that circumnavigates the island and a part of the island hopping GR131. As these routes are fully signposted, walkers can follow them with confidence and enjoy the island to the maximum.
- 45 routes described with clear contour mapping
- includes the Caldera de Taburiente national park
- illustrated with maps and colour photographs
- full background information and practicalities on La Palma
- wide selection of routes for all abilities
- the first in a five book series of guidebooks to the Canary Islands. Others include Walking on Tenerife, Walking on Gran Canaria and Walking on La Gomera and El Hierro
The Fortunate Isles
When to go
Health and safety
Food and drink
Walking on La Palma
What to take
Waymarking and access
Food and drink
Tourist information offices
Using this guide
1 Santa Cruz and Lomo de las Nieves
2 Fuentes de Las Breñas
3 Buenavista and Pico de las Ovejas
4 Santa Cruz and Montaña de Tagoja
5 Pico de la Nieve to Santa Cruz
6 Santa Cruz to Puerto de Tazacorte
7 El Paso to Refugio del Pilar
8 Refugio del Pilar to Santa Cruz
9 Refugio del Pilar to Playa del Hoyo
10 Refugio del Pilar to Playa del Hoyo or La Salemera
11 Refugio del Pilar and Pico Nambroque
12 Jedey to Tigalate
13 San Nicolás and Coladas de San Juan
14 Llanos del Jable and Coladas de San Juan
Caldera de Taburiente
15 Pico Bejenado
16 La Cumbrecita to La Cancelita and Los Llanos
17 Barranco de las Angustias and Caldera de Taburiente
18 La Cumbrecita to Caldera de Taburiente
19 Caldera de Taburiente and Hoya Verde
20 Tijarafe and Porís de Candelaria
21 Tinizara to Piedras Altas and Tijarafe
22 La Traviesa: El Time to Briesta
23 La Traviesa: Briesta to Barlovento
24 La Zarza and Don Pedro
25 Roque del Faro to Garafía
26 Roque del Faro and Franceses
27 Roque del Faro to Roque de los Muchachos
28 Roque de los Muchachos to Puntagorda or Tijarafe
29 Pico de la Cruz to Barlovento
30 Pico de la Cruz to Los Sauces or Barlovento
31 Los Sauces and Los Tilos
32 Fuente de Olén to Las Lomadas
33 Fuente Vizcaína to La Galga
34 Pico de la Nieve to Puntallana or Tenagua
35 GR 130: Santa Cruz de La Palma to Mazo
36 GR 130: Mazo to Fuencaliente
37 GR 130: Fuencaliente to Los Llanos
38 GR 130: Los Llanos to Puntagorda
39 GR 130: Puntagorda to Garafía
40 GR 130: Garafía to Franceses
41 GR 130: Franceses to Los Sauces
42 GR 130: Los Sauces to Santa Cruz de La Palma
43 GR 131: Puerto de Tazacorte to Roque de los Muchachos
44 GR 131: Roque de los Muchachos to Refugio del Pilar
45 GR 131: Refugio del Pilar to Faro de Fuencaliente
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Topographical glossary
Appendix C Useful contacts
The Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), www.cnig.es, publishes maps of the Canary Islands at scales of 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. These are part of the Mapa Topográfico Nacional (MTN) series. To avoid disappointment, please check the style and quality of these maps before making a purchase, since they generally don’t show the sort of details that walkers require.
On La Palma, the best map of the island and its network of signposted trails is the 1:40,000 La Palma Hiking Map, published by the Cabildo Insular (island council). The next best map is the 1:50,000 Kompass map of La Palma, and this is available in Britain with an Automobile Association cover, as the AA Island Series 10 – La Palma. Tourist information offices provide a basic, but useful free map of the trail network, which can be used to supplement a topographical map.
Maps can be ordered in advance from British suppliers such as: Stanfords (12–14 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9BR, tel 0207 8361321, www.stanfords.co.uk), The Map Shop (15 High Street, Upton-upon-Severn, WR8 0HJ, tel 01684 593146, www.themapshop.co.uk) or Cordee (11 Jacknell Road, Dodwell Bridge Industrial Estate, Hinckley, LE10 3BS, tel 01455 611185, www.cordee.co.uk).
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Page 18 - Getting There - There are occasional direct flights to La Palma from London Gatwick and Manchester.
Walk 45 - Refreshment - There is now a restaurant beside the salinas at the end of the walk.
Owing to a production error, the statement at the bottom of the map key about map scales is incorrect. All maps in the book are at roughly 1:50,000, with the exception of the overview map of the Caldera de Taburiente on page 85.
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Paddy Dillon is a prolific outdoor writer with over 90 guidebooks to his name, and contributions to 40 other publications. He has written for a variety of outdoor magazines, as well as many booklets and brochures for tourism organisations. Paddy lives near the Lake District and has walked in every county in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; writing about walks in every one of them. He enjoys simple day walks, challenging long-distance walks, and is a dedicated island-hopper. He has led guided walks and walked extensively in Europe, as well as in Nepal, Tibet, Korea, Africa and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the United States. Paddy is also a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and President of the Backpackers Club.View Articles and Books by Paddy Dillon
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