Tag Archive | discovery

El Hierro? Where’s That?

Las Playas, El Hierro (photo by Jan Kostura)

El Hierro is small, unique and unforgettable. It’s the most westerly of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, for centuries thought to be the westernmost point of the known world – until Columbus went further west to the Americas. He stopped off here to gather supplies before making his second voyage to the Americas.

El Hierro – Las Playas (photo by Jan Kostura)

El Hierro’s Punta de Orchilla was the original prime meridian of 0º established by Egyptian astronomer, mathematician and scientist Ptolemy (born c. 100 ce—died c. 170 ce). It remained earth’s prime meridian for over 200 years until 1884 when an international conference voted to move it to Greenwich, England.

Las Puntas, El Hierro (photo by Jan Kostura)

El Hierro has only around 10,000 inhabitants and modest numbers of visitors. It’s small but offers a wide variety of landscapes from rocky cliffs to green meadows, hamlets and farms to ancient gnarled forests. You can hire a car, walk, bike or hire a taxista or explore by public bus at pocket-money prices. For all the travel information once you’re on the island see http://www.transhierro.com/

One of the world’s smallest hotels, Hotel Puntagrande, El Hierro (photo by Jan Kostura)

If you have already travelled to Tenerife you can either fly to the tiny capital of Valverde in 40 minutes, or ferry in about 2-3 hours. There are also flights from Gran Canaria (approx. 55 minutes).

EL Sabinar, El Hierro (photo b Jan Kostura)

El Hierro may be a small island, yet it has developed its own character and cuisine. They make excellent cheeses, wines and local specialties.

San Salvador, El Hierro (photo by Jan Kostura)

The island is in the forefront of using renewable energy sources. obtained from inexhaustible natural resources such as wind or waterfalls. A combination of hydro and wind energy at the Gorona del Viento Power Plant supplies a sizeable proportion of the island’s energy needs.

Camino Jinama, El Hierro (photo by Jan Kostura)

There’s a good website with plenty of useful and inspiring information:

https://elhierro.travel/en/information/

If you’re tempted to visit, we suggest a really detailed and up to date map from Discovery Walking Guides

https://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/lagdcmap.htm

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival

The coastal path, Isle of Wight

This wonderful festival had to be cancelled in 2020. The 2021 date was postponed – and now, the Isle of Wight Walking Festival is back! Held later than usual (from 09 October to 22 October 2021) it should make for an interesting experience for walkers. If you’ve been before, when the festival has typically been held in May, then you’ll enjoy your favourite walks and views in the glow of autumn colours this year.

The Pepperpot, Isle of WIght

Find all the information you need on the official website HERE.

Isle of Wight Walkers’ Map

Make sure you get the most out of your visit with a really good walking map. This one from Discovery Walking Guides is ideal; large scale, clear and waterproof tto. All routes are clearly marked and easy to follow. See the details HERE.

Looking back from Barnes High, Isle of Wight
Near Luccombe Farm, Isle of Wight

Malta, Gozo (and Comino) get the green light!

Malta coastline (image by Ferenc Horvath on Unsplash)

Great news! Last night (24 June 2021) the UK Government moved Malta to the green list for travellers from England. You’re free to go! Malta and sister island Gozo offer a wealth of experiences. The tiny limestone islet & bird sanctuary of Comino sits between them and is home to Blue Lagoon bay; there’s also a 17th century tower & chapel. 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.

Valletta, Malta. (image by Micaela Parente on Unsplash)

Many of the powers that ruled the islands, from the Phoenicians to the British, have left their marks, making the islands a living museum.

The Citadel, Gozo (image by Reuben Farrugia on Unsplash)

With unique flora, architecture and beaches, a visit to the islands (25 minutes ferry connection between Malta and Gozo) offers plenty to interest and fascinate.

Discovery Walking Guides have 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.

A Little Good News – Free Digital Maps For Everyone

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.

Mirador Del Time, La Palma, Canary Islands
Here’s the map section of the area shown in the photo (above).

There’s a whole hatful of exciting free maps to be had. Take a look at this list of adventure destinations.

Balearic Islands

Mallorca

Menorca

Ibiza

Formentera

Menorca’s rugged north-east coast

Madeira

Madeira – approaching Ribeira Funda

Azores

Greek Islands

Corfu

Zante (aka Zakynthos)

Malta, Gozo & Comino

Spanish Mainland

Axarquia / Costa del Sol

Costa Blanca

Alpujarras

Sierra de Aracena

Axarquia

Canary Islands

Gran Canaria

La Palma

Tenerife

La Gomera & El Hierro

Lanzarote

Fuerteventura

La Gomera, Canary Islands

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

Another Challenge?

Challenge No.2 The Yorkshire 3 Peaks

Great Britain offers many opportunities for discovering the outdoors, from gentle strolls to big challenges. Here’s one of the big ones. You could plan to tackle the Yorkshire 3 Peaks yourself, or simply lose yourself in the experiences of others who’ve planned and completed the climbs and descents, following them step by step from your own armchair.

On the way to Whernside from Ribblehead

Key to success in completing the Challenge Routes in good time is planning, down to the finest details. It’s fascinating to find out how it’s done.

Ingelborough; the half-way point

A good large scale map, rip-proof and waterproof is an essential tool. Find out about the most helpful ‘how to’ guide and the best map for the job here.

Heading towards Whernside

 

Pen y Ghent in the early morning

 

Our last peak – Pen y Ghent crags

Are You Up For A Challenge?

Challenge No.1 The National 3 Peaks

With the Christmas/New Year break coming up for many, why not plan to complete the National 3 Peaks Challenge. If that’s a bit too energetic, experience these iconic ascents and descents from your armchair. Here’s a few images to tempt you.

Snowdon – the highest peak in Wales.
Starting the last leg of the descent from Ben Nevis.

Find out how to plan your own Challenge. Get the best ‘how to’ advice from those who have completed it. Get the best, detailed up-to-date maps to keep you on track.

Standing stone at the junction of the Pyg and Miners’ Tracks

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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