The Amazing Island of La Palma

La Palma is the most north-westerly and the steepest of the Canary Islands; arguably it’s the steepest island in the world.

Walk la Palma Walk 10 The Southern Volcanoes ascending Teneguia

La Palma – walking on volcanoes

If you’re looking for a walking destination that’s wild, beautiful and unforgettable, La Palma will not disappoint.

07 [03] Views from Pico Birigoyo (Wp.9) EDITED

Views from Pico Birigoyo

The steepest island in the world, the deepest crater, the clearest skies: volcanoes you can climb without being shot into orbit; a subtropical forest ; black beaches, blue seas, high mountains, vegetation that is literally flamboyant, everything linked by 1080 kilometres of waymarked paths; and all virtually untouched by tourism.

31 La Cumbrecita landscape mode EDITED

La Cumbrecita

Discover this remarkable place on foot or by bike. Take a look at more information including Walk! La Palma guidebook and the newly-published 7th edition of La Palma Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map.

 

 

Zante, Zakynthos: party or adventure?

Party island? For some, yes, but there is so much more to Zante – also called Zakynthos.

This beautiful Greek island in the Ionian Sea offers white beaches lapped by turquoise waters. Water sports enthusiasts will be in seventh heaven.

Zante coastline (Photo by Mihail Minkov on Unsplash)

A fascinating coastline of rocky headlands, white cliffs and caves tempts exploration. There’s a fistful of walking guidebooks available offering strolls, walks and more challenging daily hikes.

Navagio beach (Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash)

Whatever you plan to explore, there’s an excellent newly-published island map detailing walking routes and a wealth of detail which will ensure you get the best out of your adventures.

Malta, Gozo (and Comino)

Malta and sister island Gozo offer a wealth of experiences. The climate is kind and there’s plenty of walking adventures to explore.

Malta coastline (image by Ferenc Horvath on Unsplash)

The islands are rich in history (there are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites), having been inhabited since around 5900 BC.

Valletta, Malta. (image by Micaela Parente on Unsplash)

Many of the powers that ruled the islands, from the Phoenicians to the British, have left their marks, making the islands a living museum.

The Citadel, Gozo (image by Reuben Farrugia on Unsplash)

With its unique flora, architecture and beaches, a visit to either or both islands (25 minutes ferry connection) offers plenty to interest and fascinate.

Discovery Walking Guides have just published their Malta & Gozo Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map, ideal for walkers, bikers, adventurers and visitors. The map is also available for use on some GPS devices; click here for details.

Madeira Walks – important updates

Things change, of course and our walking guidebooks for the garden island of Madeira are no exception. From time to time, erosion or weather events mean that parts of a walking route need to be changed, or other safety issues prompt the authorities to make route changes. If you have either of our guidebooks ‘Madeira Walks’ volume one or two, please take a look at these notes sent to us by our resident author/researcher, Shirley Whitehead.

Volume One – Walk 35 – Levada das 25 Fontes – Via Calheta Tunnel (PR6)

Volume Two – Walk 68 – Rabaçal – Levada das 25 Fontes & Levada do Risco (PR 6.1)

The following update applies to both the above routes along the final section between the Ribeira Grande Bridge and the 25 Fontes.

“Around 400m beyond the Ribeira Grande Bridge, a stairway appears on our right; this is a new return route recently constructed to improve safety to walkers by reducing the volume of traffic along the narrowest part of the levada which is subject to serious erosion.

One of the 25 waterfalls

Walkers are therefore asked to respect this safer diversion on their return to Casa do Rabaçal. The new route starts around 120 metres from the 25 Fontes. The stairway is approximately 250m in length with an ascent and descent of 50m therefore reducing the original return journey by around one kilometre.”

Volume Two – Walk 76 – Loreto to Madalena do Mar

Due to a large landslide below the levada around Wp.8, the right hand pathway descending to Lombo da Achada is now closed. As an alternative route to connect with Wp.10 and enable continuation down to Madalena do Mar, we suggest the following:

Just beyond Wp.2, turn right following the cobbled lane as it descends through the woodland. Around 100 m ahead, swing right onto a tarred road. This is “Impasso de Cova da Arco” which winds down the hillside towards Arco da Calheta. Shortly after a right and left bend around 800m ahead, go left down “Caminho das Paredes” to rejoin with “Impasso de Cove da Arco”. Turning left here, follow the road for around 500 metres to reach a T-junction. The total descent to this point is around 263 m.  You are now on “Rua da Achada do Santa Antonio” and turning left the route ascends towards Santa Antonio. 700 m ahead take a left turn following “Caminho do Lombo” the lane bends left around100m ahead. Another 50m ahead, you will arrive at a well on your left.

Madalena do Mar

This is Wp.10 of the original route where you now drop down steps on the right of the road to continue on to Madalena do Mar. The variances in timings and distance between the original route and this detour are negligible. The increase in ascents and descents is around 25m.”

2019 – a good year to go back to the Canaries?

2019 looks like being a good year for bargain holidays. Apparently, the unusually long, sunny summer of 2018 in the UK and large parts of Europe made staycationing a logical choice. As a result, travel companies, airlines and hotels offering holidays in many popular European resorts had a lean time of it last year. As a result, there are some attractive prices around for 2019.

On La Gomera – Tenerife’s Teide visible

If you’re looking at a Canary Islands break, there’s additional good news. The islands’ president wants a special deal for British tourists and hopes to get rid of IGIC (VAT) to make the islands even more attractive.

Each of the islands offers different experiences. Flight time from the UK is approximately 4 hours. And the blue skies and sunshine? Ah, that’s what keeps most visitors coming back again and again.

Tenerife, walking above the west coast

The best known of the Canaries is, perhaps Tenerife, offering something for everyone. The highest peak in Spanish territory, great beaches, wonderful walks and bike rides, seafood, local fruit, vegetables, cheese and wine  .. if you’ve not been, you’re missing out.

Roques de Garcia, central Tenerife
High above the clouds, walking in Tenerife.

Want more reasons to take a trip to Tenerife ? Have a look at ‘Tenerife – antidote to the winter blues‘ and ‘Tenerife South Walks – Back To The Future‘.

Another Challenge?

Challenge No.2 The Yorkshire 3 Peaks

Great Britain offers many opportunities for discovering the outdoors, from gentle strolls to big challenges. Here’s one of the big ones. You could plan to tackle the Yorkshire 3 Peaks yourself, or simply lose yourself in the experiences of others who’ve planned and completed the climbs and descents, following them step by step from your own armchair.

On the way to Whernside from Ribblehead

Key to success in completing the Challenge Routes in good time is planning, down to the finest details. It’s fascinating to find out how it’s done.

Ingelborough; the half-way point

A good large scale map, rip-proof and waterproof is an essential tool. Find out about the most helpful ‘how to’ guide and the best map for the job here.

Heading towards Whernside

 

Pen y Ghent in the early morning

 

Our last peak – Pen y Ghent crags

Are You Up For A Challenge?

Challenge No.1 The National 3 Peaks

With the Christmas/New Year break coming up for many, why not plan to complete the National 3 Peaks Challenge. If that’s a bit too energetic, experience these iconic ascents and descents from your armchair. Here’s a few images to tempt you.

Snowdon – the highest peak in Wales.
Starting the last leg of the descent from Ben Nevis.

Find out how to plan your own Challenge. Get the best ‘how to’ advice from those who have completed it. Get the best, detailed up-to-date maps to keep you on track.

Standing stone at the junction of the Pyg and Miners’ Tracks

Axarquia? Think Costa del Sol

There’s so much more to Spain’s Costa del Sol than sun, sea and sangria. Turn inland and you’re looking at the Axarquia, an unspoiled wildly beautiful and rugged area, waiting for you to explore it. Mountains, wooded hills and plunging gorges, dotted with small towns, tiny settlements and farmsteads give a sense of the true heart of this unique region.

Dramatic coastline near Torre Caleta
Axarquia; Las Cuadrillas.

Almond, olive, lemon and orange groves thrive in valleys fed by springs and from streams descending from the mountains, fertile land carved into terraces to maximise the best agricultural areas.

Archez and La Maroma settlements, La Axarquia

The best way to explore is on foot or by mountain bike. Let’s get started with this free sample circular walk, quite short and not too energetic.

Walk 10 (free sample walk) Page 1 of 3
Walk 10 (free sample walk) Page 2 of 3
Walk 10 (free sample walk) Page 3 of 3
Cerro de Caleta

 Find out lots more from Discovery Walking Guides HERE.

You’ll also find information about using your device for accessing walks in the Axarquia as well as how to get your hands on the area’s most detailed guidebook and map. There’s also another free walk (pdf format) for you to download.

Lanzarote – what an experience!

Walking in the Haria region of Lanzarote

Each of the Canary Islands has its own unique personality. Lanzarote is strangely surreal. There’s plenty of wide open unspoiled places ideal for exploring by car, bike or on foot.

Lanzarote coastal adventure

Before you visit, get a really good map – and perhaps a walking guidebook.

The best map by a long way is Lanzarote Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map.

But don’t take our word for it – there are dozens of user reviews on line. Here’s a few of them:

Lanzarote Toast Rack Thingy

Kung Fu Panda

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended if planning a driving holiday on Lanzarote

Compared to many “travel” maps this map is very good with an impressive level of detail, including different road types, paths and tracks, contouring, etc. The map itself is printed on a very durable (and ultimately recyclable) plastic sheet material. I would highly recommend this to anyone planning to drive around Lanzarote and perhaps to combine that with some walking. I have just driven around 500 miles during a 10-day holiday and found this invaluable.

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Great product.

I’m a regular user of OS maps & wanted a map of Lanzarote for our forthcoming holiday. This map, with the accompanying book, looks just the job. I particularly like the way the map & book cross-reference each other & the useful information about the walks.

Dylan

5.0 out of 5 stars great product

Fantastic map at a very reasonable price. Large scale shows walking trails etc. Great for research prior to our planned trip.

Freddie

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent

Excellent map, a must for driving around as road signs are atrocious on Lanzarote for independent motorist! Very good for walks too. Also, yes bended, folded, chucked on back seat & footwell several times, and not a single tear of hole on the folds. Would recommend & will buy for other Canaries when we visit them.

 

Lanzarote for sunshine, blue seas, amazing huge skies and volcanic sci-fi landscapes. See it for yourself. You’ll never forget it.

Los Cocoteros, Costa Teguise

 

 

 

 

 

Tenerife – antidote to the winter blues

Wild Tenerife in Spring – wow!

Some folk don’t mind the short, dark days of northern European winters. If you’re like me and you really DO mind them, how about hopping over to Tenerife? With temperatures to 23C and 6 hours of sunshine daily, it’s just the place to recharge your batteries. If you’re able to travel just before or just after the Christmas and New Year rush, you can get good value all-inclusive or full board deals that won’t cost much more than paying your home heating costs and food bills at home.

Tenerife – unspoilt rugged coastline in the island’s north-east (Walk 41)

Ifyou tire of the sun and sea of the coastal resorts, you can visit the mountainous interior of Tenerife where there’s often snow in the winter months on the highest peaks, then go back down to the coast by sunset to warm up again.

Tenerife is a great destination for relaxing – and for hiking and biking too.

Roques de Garcia, central Tenerife

For more information and reasons to be on Tenerife this winter, take a look HERE.

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