You’ve probably seen at least one news report in the days leading up to December 25th, scaring your socks off revealing your likely calorie intake for Christmas Day. It seems that consumption of 6000 calories on the Big Day is quite usual. This is according to the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK.
When you’ve enjoyed all those goodies, what next? Given that one report suggests that you might well gain 26 stone or 165 kilos in one year (gulp!) if you ate like every day was Christmas, something’s got to give.
One report claims you would need to do 21.5 hours of walking, 13 hours of aerobics or 7.5 hours on a treadmill to use up that one festive day’s intake. Okay, let’s get real. That’s not going to happen for almost all of us.
Why not take an hour’s brisk walk (using about 375 calories) for starters? Deciding on achievable targets (keep them fairly small and reasonably regular) means you’ll get the satisfaction of ticking off a walk well done and you’ll feel more positive about keeping it going. There are multiple health benefits that come with taking a regular walk.
Taking a break or holiday which includes the opportunity to explore on foot will up your walking while you enjoy new surroundings and experiences.
Residents on the Island of Lanzarote tell us that more visitors than usual have been enjoying the great outdoors on this unique island during November and December this year. The dramatic volcanic landscape is unforgettable, though is usually desert-dry with little natural green to see.
It doesn’t rain much (or often) on this arid Canary Island, so recent falls have been most welcome, bringing colour and plant life back to otherwise arid areas.
What a great time to visit! Warm days and sunshine (average of six hours per day in December, even more in January), plus the chance to see the colourful green swathes and flower carpets that happen for only a few weeks each year. Walk, hire a bike or car, or jump on a bus.
There’s plenty of interesting information about the island on the Lanzarote Information website; use the link below.
For more on this fascinating and often surprising island, including printed and digital mapping and walking information, take a look here:-
One of the great things about Tenerife is that you can enjoy the snow-capped peaks in the morning and have time to watch the sun go down from a warm, sunny beach that same day.
If you like lively resorts, Tenerife has them; if you prefer quiet settlements and small towns, you’ll find plenty of choice also.
The bus service on the island is pretty good. If you have to drive while back in your ‘real life’, it’ll be so relaxing to discover Tenerife by bus.
If you want to drive, there are car hire companies galore.
And the walking – it’s varied and surprising. If you fancy country strolls or want to scale the mighty Mount Teide (or anything in between), Tenerife will not disappoint you.
Tenerife’s south is drier than the north, mostly due to massive Mount Teide dominating the island’s centre and affecting the island’s micro-climates.
Teide stands above the vast volcanic peaks and plains of Las Cañadas. The easy way to get to this highest point on Spanish territory is via the exciting cable-car ride. On A clear day you’ll see for many kilometres with fine views of some of the other Canary Islands.
The verdant north includes the capital of Santa Cruz, home to some fine old buildings and modern shopping. One of the original resorts, Puerto de la Cruz, sits on the north coast with plenty to
occupy visitors. Further west along the coast lies the ancient settlement of Garachico. It’s a fascinating old town with an unusual black natural rock-pool coastal area and a swathe of petrified lava remaining from Mount Teide’s eruption in 1706.
To the north-east is the wild area of Anaga, a walker’s delight.
Dramatic and extreme geology on the west coast makes for plenty of ‘wow’ factor. The tiny settlement of Masca has to be seen to be believed though only drive yourself there (and back) if you have nerves of steel and no fear of narrow, winding mountain roads.
Los Gigantes is farther down the west coast, a larger and more modern settlement with a huge vertical set of cliffs plunging seawards with a narrow beach at their feet.
Inland from the west coast are walking paths and small settlements far from the tourist crowds.
The sun-baked south of the island offers wide choices of accommodation, beaches, night-life, sports facilities and shopping. There are also some great walks in this region too. For more information about the island of Tenerife take a look at Discovery Walking Guides’ website
There’s a brand-new edition of the highly recommended Tenerife Hikers’ Maps, out now. Find out more by clicking HERE.
What do you need for an enjoyable walking holiday when winter closes in on the northern hemisphere?
RELIABLE WARMTH AND SUNSHINE
A 5 hour flight south (from the UK) gets you to the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa. You can expect about six hours of sunshine per day (average) with highs of 20C in December though of course there are variations depending on the island and location.
Madeira is a bit closer and almost as sunny (around 5 hours) and almost as warm though the chance or rain is higher. That’s why Madeira is so green and floriferous!
A GOOD CHOICE OF HOTELS, NIGHT LIFE, SHOPS and RESTAURANTS
The Canary Islands and Madeira don’t really have a ‘closed’ season for tourism so you will find a wide range of accommodation, eating places, shops and night life. There are quieter, smaller places to stay if you want to get away from the ‘bright lights’.
EASY TO GET TO
There are plenty of flights all year round to the Canaries and to Madeira.
WHAT’S THE WALKING LIKE?
Each of the Canaries is unique, offering a wide choice of walks and challenging hikes. If you are looking for a pleasant stroll for an hour or two, a coastal discovery route or a full day in the mountains (or something inbetween), the Canaries are an ideal choice.
Madeira is rugged and steep, though the many levada walks (mostly level walks alongside narrow water canals) make it a walking destination with plenty of choice for all.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT CANARY ISLANDS WALKING HERE:-
FOR MORE ABOUT WALKING ON THE GARDEN ISLE OF MADEIRA, LOOK HERE:-
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.
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.
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).
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.
Discovery Walking Guides cartographic survey team has just returned from Corfu, and boy, does Corfu need a good map.
It’s a tricky island for visitors wanting to travel around by hire car or bike, because road signage is confusing (or non-existent) and unusually, roads have not been allocated road numbers.
A few stretches of tarmac do have kilometre markers though this information is patchy to say the least. We also discovered that car systems such as TomTom and similar don’t work here.
So, it tuned out to be an interesting and most productive visit. The new Corfu Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map design work will shortly be under way, with a scheduled publication date around December 2016.
With a good, reliable and newly researched map, visitors can confidently go beyond the usual tourist spots and discover the heart of this beautiful island.
Some ‘main roads’ through Corfu’s mountain villages are a bit of a squeeze!
Corfu’s flora and fauna are beautiful.
Madeira is a beautiful, rugged island. It takes a bit of nerve to drive there if you’re a visitor and unused to the steep, narrow mountain roads and the spirited driving of some of the residents. It’s far more relaxing to take a bus and let someone else take care of the driving for you.
If you still prefer to drive yourself, you need a clear and up to date map. Newly published is the 6th edition of Madeira Bus & Touring Map, the ideal travelling companion for drivers and bus users.
Walking researcher/residents Shirley & Mike Whitehead know the island intimately and have followed up their Volume One book of 40 ‘Leisure Trails’ with a new Volume Two, tackling challenging trails and high altitude routes.
If you’ve never visited this beautiful and dramatic island, you’re missing one of the world’s great walking destinations.
Mountains, levadas, tiny hamlets and towering cliffs; unique flora and ancient forests.
In around four hours by air from Europe you can escape the long cold tail of winter and revitalise yourself with strolls, walks and challenging hikes.
Click HERE for more information.