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.

Gran Canaria – it’s a whole new world

They don’t call it the ‘mini-continent’ for nothing!

 

Though it’s under a 5 hour flight away (from the UK and western Europe), it feels like a different world.

There’s plenty to see and do, though the best thing of all is to walk the trails and marvel at the views, the forests, flora and fauna and the ancient villages.

Gran Canaria Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map is now in its 5th edition. This is the level of detail you need when exploring the island.

Here at Discovery Walking Guides, we’ve watched the rise and rise of this fascinating island as a hiking/biking/touring destination over the past few years. Gran Canaria has emerged from the shadows to become a ‘must walk’ destination in the Canary Islands.

There’s wonderful dramatic scenery and unspoilt villages, plus clean, spacious beaches for the days you don’t want to walk (or bike or drive).

 

To get the best from your visit, get the best map. Here’s a small segment – look at that clarity and detail. To find out more about the map look here.

There’s plenty of walking information from Rambling Roger, who lives there and knows the island like the back of his hand.

 

If you fancy 18-23C and mostly sunny days from December to April, hop over to Gran Canaria.

Fuerteventura? Yes,please!

Surreal pastel hills in ice-cream hues form Fuerteventura’s backbone. It’s an island of golden beaches interspersed with rugged volcanic coastlines, turquoise seas and watercolour landscapes.

High above the resorts (Fuerteventura)

High above the resorts

If you simply must have forests and lush greenery, it’s best to look elsewhere. But, if you want to be seduced by out of this world views, Fuerteventura ticks the boxes.

Looking across to Corralejo (Fuerteventua)

Looking across to Corralejo, Fuerteventura

Discover the island by bus, on foot or by bike to get a real feel of authentic Fuerteventura’s countryside and little white villages.

Iglesia de Nuestro Senora de Regla, Pajara (Fuerteventura)

Iglesia de Nuestro Señora de Regla,Pájara

 

Watersports are really big here too; note that Fuerteventura translates as ‘strong winds’.

Fuerteventura east coast

Watersport heaven on Fuerteventura’s east coast

Although the island is only around 5 hours’ flight away (from western Europe) it feels as if you’re on another planet. You’ll never forget Fuerteventura.

Dusk (Fuerteventura)

Nightfall, Fuerteventura

As winter’s grip takes hold, what better time to revel in the gentle twenty-something temperatures and blue skies of this unique Canary Island.

Take a look HERE for mapping information for Fuerteventura.

Madeira Walking – get the latest updates

­­­MADEIRA WALKS VOLUME ONE AND VOLUME TWO

 

Madeira Walks Vol2 Path to Encumeada Walk 61

High above the world on Madeira’s peaks

 

The good news is that there are dozens of excellent walks of all types on this beautiful island. As the summer heat abates and the August visitors leave, it’s an ideal time for a walking holiday. Our resident researcher/author on the island, Shirley Whitehead, has just sent in the following important updates affecting a few routes; some changes are temporary while Shirley suggests alternative detours for some of the walks.

 Volume One – Walk 9 – Monte – Bom Sucesso – Funchal

This trail is temporarily closed due to erosion of the pathways and levada following severe fire damage in 2016.  Unlike most other water channels, this levada is privately owned and therefore repair work is not at the discretion of the authorities.

Volume Two – Walk 6l – Pico do Areeiro – Pico Ruivo (PR1 Vereda do Areeiro)

This route is shown as ‘Conditioned’ on the official Tourism website describing the trail as accessible along the whole length of the western footpath which passes through tunnels to arrive at Pico Ruivo. However, the route along the eastern part of the trail via Pico das Torres is temporarily closed. This situation has been apparent for some considerable time but our notes will be updated as and when the alternative route reopens.

Volume One and Volume Two – Walks 27 – 64  – 66

Due to the construction of a large reservoir on the Paúl da Serra plateau, scheduled for completion in 2020, the following walking routes are shown as amended or closed. Those affected are as follows:

Walk 27 – Levada do Paúl – Cristo Rei – Fatima Chapel, Rabaçal

 This route is closed from Wp.7 where the channel crosses the regional road until it reaches the chapel of Nossa Senhora de Fátima and the Rabaçal car park on the ER105 at Wp.8.

As an alternative route, follow the notes until reaching the regional road at Wp.7 turning right for 300 metres to the junction with the ER105. Turning left from here, it’s around 1 kilometre to Wp.8 at the Rabaçal car park.

Note: the changes to the timings and distance from the original notes are negligible.

Walk 64 – Calheta Slopes – Levada da Rocha Vermelha – Levada Nova – Estrela da Calheta

This route is temporarily closed due to extensive construction work around Wp.3 where the trail becomes impassable in the area of the riverbed and Levada da Rocha Vermelha.

Walk 66 – Rabaçal: Ribeira Grande  -Lajeado – Paúl da Serra

This walking trail is impassable beyond Wp. 10. As an alternative we suggest two options: (1) to follow the trail to Pico Rabaçal as a (linear out and back) or, (2) to head in an easterly direction from Wp.9 following the broad moorland path until it reaches the ER209. Turning right here, it is around 800 metres to the cross roads with the ER105 and turning right, passing the Jungle Rain Restaurant, the original trail can be picked up again from Wp.17 to return to the starting point. This alternative section is around 4.8 kms in total making the timings and distances with the original notes negligible.

For further information of closures and conditioned sections of the Officially Recommended Walking Routes go to www.visitmadeira.pt “Notice to Walkers”

For walking map and guidebook information, look here.

Madeira SWMW Walk 33 Levada da Ribeira da Janela to Lamaceiros

A spectacular waterfall on the Levada da Ribeira da Janela

Tour and Trail Maps Go To Sea

We know that most people use our Tour & Trail maps for hiking and biking, for driving and occasionally while horse riding. Their strength, toughness, foldability and waterproof qualities make our maps ideal for all these pursuits.

Look at those magical blues! Paddle Boarding off Northern Menorca

But here’s a first! We received an interesting email from Oliver, a kayak, open canoe and paddle board guide. He uses our maps to navigate around coastlines and sent us a couple of photos showing how he does it.

Paddle Boarding off Menorca’s North Coast

“Just wanted to say how impressed I am with the quality of your maps, I use them to navigate our way around coastlines, most recently around some of the awesome north coast of Menorca on Stand Up Paddle Boards, (I guide in both sea kayak and Open canoe too).

Your maps definitely make life easy while afloat …

Oliver”

(Received 24 August 2018)

And here’s how to use your Tour & Trail map while paddle boarding.

Thanks Oliver!

You can see that map and many others from Discovery Walking Guides here.

Any more unusual uses for our maps out there? Let us know.

Late summer – perfect for a trip to Ibiza

Cove on Ibiza's west coast

One of Ibiza’s beautiful coves (on the west coast)

Forget the tabloid image of all-night clubbing, loud music and young visitors in various states of inebriation and undress.

The real Ibiza is a beautiful place, blessed by a wonderful climate with many hours of sunshine each month.

Numerous fine white beaches and little coves tempt the swimmer and sun-worshipper, while walking/biking trails meander through wild flowers underneath a canopy of fragrant pine woods.

A few Ibizan facts:

  • Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean east of the Spanish mainland.
  • It’s a naturally beautiful island with white sand beaches, turquoise seas and verdant pine woods, olive groves and wild flowers.
  • The island has a long history of invasion by various forces including the Ancient Romans, the Vandas, Byzantines, the Moors, the Norwegians and were finally claimed by Spain. Nowadays, the ‘invaders’ are tourists.
  • Ibiza is 572.56 square kilometres (221.07 sq miles) land area.The highest point of the island is Sa Talaiassa, at 475 metres (1,558 ft).
  • The population is estimated at approximately 132,500.
  • Eivissenc, a dialect of Catalan, is spoken on Ibiza, as is Spanish. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
  • Though renowned for its clubbing scene, there are beautiful beaches, pine woods and walking/biking routes across the island.

Late summer, when most of the tourists have gone and the sun is kind rather than fierce, is a perfect time to explore this gem.  Take the best map on your adventures – more info here.

Ibiza Sunset

Ibizan sunset

More Than A Coastline – Costa Blanca’s Mountains

Costa Blanca Mountains - Castell de Castells

Costa Blanca Mountains – Castell de Castells

Behind Spain’s Costa Blanca with its tourist resorts lies a mountainous region waiting to be explored.

 

When you’ve had enough of beaches, turn and look inland. Those rugged peaks are more accessible then you might assume. First impressions might suggest an arid, austere region; prepare to be surprised.

 

Costa Blanca Mountains - Vall de Laguar

Costa Blanca Mountains – Vall de Laguar

But, once you make the decision to explore on foot, bike or horseback, you’ll find green valleys between the rocky peaks. Villages and hamlets nestle in the mountain folds.

Costa Blanca Mountains - Puig Campana

Costa Blanca Mountains – Puig Campana

There are many walking tracks and paths, some signposted. To get the most from adventuring here, get hold of Costa Blanca Mountains Tour & Trail Map and Walk! The Costa Blanca Mountains.

Brecon Beacons – a jewel in Britain’s crown

Today it was announced that the British Government is “looking afresh” at our National Parks which could lead to new additions to the 15 currently designated (the official website is HERE).

In the meantime, I wonder how many of our existing National Parks you’ve visited, and which is your favourite. One of the finest of the existing National Parks (in this author’s opinion) is Brecon Beacons.

Brecon Beacons - on Pen Allt-mawr

Brecon Beacons – on Pen Allt-mawr

Brecon Beacons Sgwd yr Eira

Brecon Beacons; Sgwd yr Eira

It’s a beautiful and rewarding place to walk, where high peaks hide glacial lakes in ancient moorland, while man-made reservoirs and canals blend with their natural surroundings, and waterfalls cascade down secret gorges and canals.

Brecon Beacons - Llangattock (Walk 21)

Brecon Beacons – Llangattock

 

Castles, churches and monasteries bear witness to the rich history and heritage that can be experienced while walking in this unique area of natural beauty.

Brecon Beacons - on Walk 11

Brecon Beacons – views in all directions

 

Find out more about the walks in the Brecon Beacons HERE.

 

 

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