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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.

Guess The Island

 

“The steepest island in the world, the deepest crater, the clearest skies: volcanoes you can climb without being shot into orbit; a subtropical forest minus the slimy things slinking up your trouser leg; 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.” (Author/researcher Charles Davis)

 

 

More clues? Okay then – it takes under 5 hours to fly there from the UK. It’s a whole lot warmer and sunnier than most of northern Europe, definitely so for more than half the year. Sometimes it is referred to as, ‘La Isla Bonita’.

 

So, have you guessed the location of this alluring destination? Check if you are correct, or give in and find out by looking HERE.

La Gomera – New Ferry Services Make Adventuring Easier

Simplified map of La Gomera by kind permission of David Brawn

La Gomera is a remarkable, almost circular island, a hop away from Tenerife, (Canary Islands) which rises like a giant cake to central forest-cloaked rugged heights, cut by barrancos (ravines) running to the sea. The island is still largely unspoiled which makes it a wonderful destination for hikers and bikers, though getting around takes time as there are few roads. If you don’t wish to get too energetic, simply amble about, dropping into cafés and fish restaurants and breathing in the pure air and beautiful views, enjoying the contrast between this quiet island and its busier big sister Tenerife.

This makes the introduction of not just one but two new sets of ferry services opening up some of the island’s best coastal towns really interesting. You could, for example, take the new car ferry Volcán de Teno from Tenerife’s Los Cristianos at 08.45 and be in Valle Gray Rey 90 minutes later, making a day out in this wonderful ‘Great King’s Valley’ feasible, heading back to Tenerife on the 16.30.

For all the details and to make a booking, see Naviera Armas website.

 

San Sebastian, La Gomera

It’s around five years since three of La Gomera’s most interesting and important coastal towns were linked by ferry services.

Now Fred Olsen has begun 3 services per day (becoming known as the ‘interior ferry line’), linking San Sebastián, Playa de Santiago and Valle Gran Rey, aboard the Benchi Express. If you’re starting from Tenerife you can do the first ferry hop from Los Cristianos. The Benchi can take bicycles, light motorbikes and pets! It also has a small cafeteria and is wheelchair accessible.

For details of the Fred Olsen services, look HERE.

La Gomera – in the south -Tenerife’s Teide visible

Valle Gran Rey

If you’re starting from Tenerife you can do the first ferry hop from Los Cristianos. The Benchi can take bicycles, light motorbikes and pets! It also has a small cafeteria and is wheelchair accessible. Take a look at their website for all the details and to book.

There’s a well- informed and highly readable blog with more La Gomera travel information here.

 

MAPS AND WALKING GUIDE BOOKS FOR LA GOMERA

For information about large-scale maps, digital mapping information and walking guidebooks, take a look HERE.

 

 

Maps for Corfu, Mallorca and Costa del Sol (Axarquia)

La Axarquia - views from Loma  de las Cuadrillas

Costa del Sol (La Axarquia)

Are you off to any of these destinations soon?

Or maybe you’re thinking of planning a trip for later in the year, when the summer heat subsides and most visitors disappear, leaving all that space (almost) all yours.

 

 

Corfu Tour & Trail map section

Corfu Tour & Trail Map section

If so, then here’s a great opportunity to get hold of digital Custom Maps free to download.

 

If you’ve ever used (or seen) one of DWG’s Tour & Trail maps you already know how detailed, clear and up to date they are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Mallorca’s north-west coast

Take a look at Discovery Walking Guides’ latest ENews to get hold of yours!

Who got a Garmin for Christmas?

If you are one of the many who found a Garmin GPS in their Christmas stocking, this post is for you.

Get your hands on a free sample ‘real-time’ map and see your Garmin come to life. You can choose a sample map of Graciosa ( off Lanzarote, Canary Islands) or Sierra de Aracena (Andalucia, Spain).

What you’ll get is a highly detailed real-time Tour & Trail digital download map, which you can save on your hard drive, transfer to your Garmin GPS CustomMap memory or onto a micro-SD card; you can also use the maps in Garmin Basecamp and Google Earth.

If you like what you’re seeing then you can purchase more mapping to download, for a whole host of destinations including:-

CANARY ISLANDS

Sample segment, Gran Canaria.

Sample segment, Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria
Tenerife
La Palma
La Gomera
Lanzarote
Fuerteventura

MAINLAND SPAIN
Alpujarras (Sierra Nevada, Andalucia, southern Spain)
Costa Blanca Mountains (Alicante, southern Spain)
Axarquia (Andalucia, southern Spain)
Sierra de Aracena (Helva province, southern Spain)

BALEARIC ISLANDS
Mallorca
Menorca
Formentera
Ibiza

PORTUGUESE ISLANDS
Madeira

For more information about Tour & Trail Maps take a look HERE.

Are You Off To Walk Madeira? Check Before You Walk.

Aloe aborescens clinging to Madeiran cliffs

Aloe aborescens clinging to Madeiran cliffs

Madeira! What a great desination, especially at this time of year.

 

Swapping the dark and cold of Northern Europe for Madeira’s green and spring-like mountains is a popular choice at this time of year.

 

If you are planning to walk there, it’s worth checking that the paths you’re planning on following are open. The best place to look for information is on the official ‘Visit Madeira’ tourism website. To see which routes are open or temporarily closed, LOOK HERE.

If you are already on the island, you can also ask in Tourist Offices who usually have up to date information on walks that are open/closed.

A spectaculat waterfall on the Levada da Ribeira da Janela

A spectaculat waterfall on the Levada da Ribeira da Janela

At the moment only three of the official routes are temporarily closed. The authorities are vigilant and usually restore routes quickly; often, the problem is a landslip after heavy rain.

The three routes to avoid at the time of writing this are:

PR1 – Vereda do Areeiro
Temporarily closed

PR12 – Caminho Real da Encumeada
Temporarily closed

PR19 – Caminho Real do Paul do Mar

Temporarily closed

Levada Nova, Madeira

Levada Nova, Madeira

There’s so much great walking on Madeira that you’ll find plenty to tempt you, from strolls to all-day high altitude challenges. Even if you aren’t keen to do much walking, it’s a great idea to use the local buses which give you brilliant (sometimes a bit hairy!) adventures around the island for pocket-money prices.

 

There’s a great bus map available, also really useful as a driving map; LOOK HERE for details of the Madeira Bus & Touring Map.

 

For more information including details our two Madeira Walks guidebooks Madeira Tour & Trail Map and digital mapping for Madeira, take a look at Discovery Walking Guides; Madeira pages.

 

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands – New 3rd Edition Tour & Trail Map

It may not be as well-known as some of the other Canary Islands – that means there’s plenty of room for you to explore this bold, beautiful and dramatic island.gran-canaria-tt-map-2016-cover

You want mountains and ravines? You want remote, unspoiled sleepy villages? You want abundant verdant woodlands, paths and tracks? You want endemic plant life found nowhere else? You’ve got them all on the island of Gran Canaria.

Map section, Gran Canaria

Map section, Gran Canaria

This third edition includes new walking routes, even clearer ways to show routes and other map features and all the detailed cartographic information that afficionadoes of the Tour & Trail series have come to expect and rely upon. Take a look at this small extract (left).

Look here for full details.

 

Detailed updating and addition of new walking routes and additional data have been researched by our ‘on the ground’ walking expert, ‘Rambling Roger‘ and his fellow walking researchers who know the island like the backs of their hands.

 

If you’re looking for an adventure away from the European winter, with almost guaranteed good weather and great walking (definitely guaranteed) then take a look at Gran Canaria.

(Custom Map digital edition for Garmin Users is available from Discovery Walking Guides’ website. Digital editions are available for 3G/4G GPS apps from Viewranger and My Trails.

 

 

 

 

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