Tell someone you're off to Gran Canaria and they'll inevitably think of beaches, resorts and advise you on a good book to soak up the sun. But concentrating solely on one small, sandy bit of coastline, or not stepping away from the bars in Las Palmas ignores everything else this Atlantic island has to offer.
The latest Paddy Dillon guidebook for Cicerone - Walking on Gran Canaria - includes almost 580kms (360 miles) of walking trails to explore on the island’s rugged volcanic mountains, forested and terraced hillsides and cliff-top coastlines. The Cicerone guide includes 40 day walks, as well as Gran Canaria’s 5-day leg of the GR131 – a coast to coast route that island-hops over all of the Canary Islands.
The walking is mixed, as could be expected on an island known as a ‘miniature continent’ due to its variety of landscape.
From semi-desert and sand dunes, to the high laurisilva ‘cloud forests’, there is plenty to explore and discover throughout the island.
Unless you have the endurance of a Saharan camel, summer will be too hot. Winter, spring, and autumn are better times to go walking on Gran Canaria, with the added benefits of cheaper travel and accommodation costs from the off-season. Walking on Gran Canaria gives advice on travel to and around the island, as well as information on history and points of interest, all accompanied by spectacular photography of the island’s walks.
Paddy Dillon’s Walking on Gran Canaria continues his Cicerone collection of walking guidebook to the Canary Islands, which include Walking on La Palma, Walking on Tenerife and Walking on La Gomera and El Hierro. The lesson of these are clear; there’s more to the Canaries than beach resorts, and it’s waiting for the walkers.