The British Government has published the list of countries you can travel from, into England, with no quarantine needed. At last, the brakes are off and all of us who want to get away have a tempting array of countries to choose from.
Of course, keeping safe is important, so what better than getting out and about on airy mountain walks or breezy coastal trails, well away from the crowds.
Greece and its lovely islands is on the ‘good to go’ list, along with all of Spain including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
How about the quiet beauty of Brittany (France), or fascinating Malta and Gozo?
There’s plenty of information to help you choose your getaway destination here.
Have a look at our free digital maps, fully detailed and just what you need for adventuring away from the crowds. Take a look at our printed maps and walking guidebooks too.
We can offer maps (many also available as free digital downloads) and guidebooks for most of the following destinations which are all on the UK Governments ‘free to travel‘ list:
Canary Islands: Gran Canaria
La Gomera & El Hierro
Mainland Spain: Costa Blanca Mountains
Sierra de Aracena
Costa del Sol
Balearic Islands: Mallorca
Malta & Gozo
We may not be able to go adventuring for a while yet. However, we can plan ahead for when we can travel again. Have a look at our digital maps, clear and fully detailed for adventure planning of all kinds, including walking, climbing, biking or maybe daydreaming about your next big trip.
There’s a whole hatful of exciting free maps to be had. Take a look at this list of adventure destinations.
Zante (aka Zakynthos)
Malta, Gozo & Comino
Axarquia / Costa del Sol
Sierra de Aracena
La Gomera & El Hierro
We hope that we’ve inspired you to think about your next big adventure. To get your free digital maps, please look here https://www.dwgwalking.co.uk
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO WALKING ROUTES
20th FEBRUARY 2020
Volume One – Walk 10 – Levada dos Tornos – Monte – Curral Romeiros – Circular
Whilst this route remains open, is it should be noted that the forest section between Wp.3 and Wp.4 is currently in a poor condition. Therefore it is recommended that anyone finding difficulty ascending this path should turn back immediately and follow the lower route via the João Gomez valley. Once in Romeiros there is an option to walk out and back along Levada dos Tornos between Wp.7 and Wp.4 before returning again via the João Gomez valley. This is an extremely pretty section of levada and remains in good condition but does retain the grade 3 risk of vertigo due to a number of unprotected sections. There is also a very short section at Wp.4 where the channel shoulder has suffered some erosion, but this can be totally avoided by walking on the opposite banking crossing and re-crossing the two concrete slabs over the channel.
Volume Two – Walk 55 – Levada do Caldeirão Verde
This route is shown as ‘Conditioned’ on the official Tourism website due to a substantial rock fall around the green pool. Therefore at the present time walkers can either continue along the suggested extension to reach Caldeirão do Inferno or turn around after Wp.9 and return to the starting point where a new café facility has recently been opened in the Parque das Queimadas
Volume Two – Walk 58 – Camacha to Monte
After reaching the Choupana Hills Resort (this hotel was closed in 2016 following the fires in that area), we follow the path through the gardens, which remain open and continue along the levada to Romeiros, where you leave the channel descending steps at (Wp.13). Here follow the road right for a short distance to reach more steps ascending back to the levada. At this point we recommend that you consider the options for continuing on to Monte, either via the levada or by following the trail into the João Gomez valley. Both these options are described clearly in Madeira Walks Volume Two. However, you should note that due to some problems on the descent after leaving the levada (Wp.4) until reaching the point where both options rejoin at (Wp.3) it may be preferable, and much safer for some people, to take the lower route back to Monte. (Refer to the update above for Walk 10)
Volume Two – Walk 65 – Rabaçal Lagoa do Vento
This trail has recently been refurbished providing stepped ascents and descents along its whole length making for a much easier terrain. The upgrade also includes new signage and diverts the path away from the previous wet and slippery sections referred to in the original text in Madeira Walks Volume Two.
Looking for a great day out, possibly with your mates in a walking group, on the UK’s most scenic Challenge route?
Edale Skyline Challenge is your answer. At just over 20 miles, with a Challenge time of 10 hours, Edale Skyline is a great achievement for fit hikers. Our new Edale Skyline Challenge Map (and Guide) has everything you need to enjoy these ridge line panoramas, including gpx waypoint file for the route and digital editions of the map in a choice of Viewranger, Locus or Garmin Custom Map versions – simply follow the directions on the reverse of the map to receive your digital downloads.
Choose a good weather day, start early, and you will have one of the UK’s most memorable day’s adventure.
La Palma is the most north-westerly and the steepest of the Canary Islands; arguably it’s the steepest island in the world.
If you’re looking for a walking destination that’s wild, beautiful and unforgettable, La Palma will not disappoint.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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and sister island Gozo offer a wealth of experiences. The climate is kind and there’s plenty of walking adventures to explore.
The islands are rich in history (there are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites), having been inhabited since around 5900 BC.
Many of the powers that ruled the islands, from the Phoenicians to the British, have left their marks, making the islands a living museum.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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‘.