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Travel Gets The Green Light

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.

Plenty of fresh air and views, Las Canadas, Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)

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.

Palaiokastritsa Bay, Corfu (Greece)

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.

Dragonera, from La Trapa, Mallorca, Balearic Islands (Spain)

How about the quiet beauty of Brittany (France), or fascinating Malta and Gozo?

Pointe de Landunvez, Brittany (France)
Malta

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:

Our maps and/or guides:

FRANCE
Brittany

SPAIN
Canary Islands: Gran Canaria
La Palma
Tenerife
Lanzarote
La Gomera & El Hierro
Fuerteventura

Mainland Spain: Costa Blanca Mountains
Sierra de Aracena
Costa del Sol
Alpujarras

Balearic Islands: Mallorca
Ibiza
Formentera
Menorca

GREECE

Zakynthos (Zante)
Corfu

Malta & Gozo

Lanzarote’s north, Canary Islands (Spain)
Costa Blanca Mountains – Puig Campana (Spain)

MADEIRA WALKS, UPDATES

MADEIRA WALKS VOLUME ONE AND VOLUME TWO

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)

Portela to Porto Cruz (Walk 58).

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.

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

Spain’s ‘forgotten corner’? Really?

Last weekend, the Sunday Times Travel called this ‘the forgotten corner of Spain’. Not forgotten by us! (read the Sunday Times article here though you will need to sign in (free) to read it).

The entrance to Aracena Castle

The ancient bell-tower, Aracena Castle

We were intrigued by the Sierra de Aracena (Huelva), north-west of Seville, several years back while looking for lesser-known walking areas of Spain.

The plaza, Alajar

The plaza, Alájar

  • It’s green, natural, not too rugged and with fascinating villages and small towns.

Iberian pigs

Iberian pigs

  • There are inquisitive herds of pigs, wonderful flora and a laid-back air.
  • Little rustic bars and restaurants serve local foods at pocket-money prices.

The mezquita at Almonaster la Real

The mezquita at Almonaster la Real

  • There are castles and a sense of history, with the Moorish legacy clearly apparent.

Los Madroneros

Los Madroñeros

  • The walking isn’t too vigorous overall though many routes will whip up a healthy appetite for sampling those hearty home-made dishes.

Cortelazor

Cortelazor

 

If you’re intrigued, find out what to see, where to stay and what to do (other than walking): HERE’s a USEFUL LINK.

 

More? Take a look HERE where you’ll find the Map and Guide Book information.

 

 

Tenerife South Walks – Back To The Future

Tenerife is a fantastic choice for walkers, as the island offers a huge number of walks in a wide variety of terrains, with choices for all levels of fitness and endurance.

Tenerife South Life in the Raw looking towards Playa ParaisoSMALL

Walking high above Tenerife’s southern resorts

While this is great, it also throws up a problem when researching and putting together a comprehensive walking guidebook that’s portable. Some walks had to be left out of later editions of Walk! Tenerife, but many walkers let us know that they wanted them back.

Now Discovery Walking Guides has revisited some of their early and easily accessed southern routes that many walkers remember with fondness. These have been compiled into a free pdf book. The routes are ideal for families as they are not too challenging and are easy to reach from the resort areas. Tenerife South pdf walking book is free to download.

View from 'Walkers Who Lunch' route above Tenerife's south coast

View over Tenerife’s south coast from ‘Walkers Who Lunch’ route

For more information take a look at our latest ENews. Or go to Discovery Walking Guides website where you’ll find lots of walking information.

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