Tag Archive | Spain

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.

Tour and Trail Maps Go To Sea

We know that most people use our Tour & Trail maps for hiking and biking, for driving and occasionally while horse riding. Their strength, toughness, foldability and waterproof qualities make our maps ideal for all these pursuits.

Look at those magical blues! Paddle Boarding off Northern Menorca

But here’s a first! We received an interesting email from Oliver, a kayak, open canoe and paddle board guide. He uses our maps to navigate around coastlines and sent us a couple of photos showing how he does it.

Paddle Boarding off Menorca’s North Coast

“Just wanted to say how impressed I am with the quality of your maps, I use them to navigate our way around coastlines, most recently around some of the awesome north coast of Menorca on Stand Up Paddle Boards, (I guide in both sea kayak and Open canoe too).

Your maps definitely make life easy while afloat …

Oliver”

(Received 24 August 2018)

And here’s how to use your Tour & Trail map while paddle boarding.

Thanks Oliver!

You can see that map and many others from Discovery Walking Guides here.

Any more unusual uses for our maps out there? Let us know.

Late summer – perfect for a trip to Ibiza

Cove on Ibiza's west coast

One of Ibiza’s beautiful coves (on the west coast)

Forget the tabloid image of all-night clubbing, loud music and young visitors in various states of inebriation and undress.

The real Ibiza is a beautiful place, blessed by a wonderful climate with many hours of sunshine each month.

Numerous fine white beaches and little coves tempt the swimmer and sun-worshipper, while walking/biking trails meander through wild flowers underneath a canopy of fragrant pine woods.

A few Ibizan facts:

  • Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean east of the Spanish mainland.
  • It’s a naturally beautiful island with white sand beaches, turquoise seas and verdant pine woods, olive groves and wild flowers.
  • The island has a long history of invasion by various forces including the Ancient Romans, the Vandas, Byzantines, the Moors, the Norwegians and were finally claimed by Spain. Nowadays, the ‘invaders’ are tourists.
  • Ibiza is 572.56 square kilometres (221.07 sq miles) land area.The highest point of the island is Sa Talaiassa, at 475 metres (1,558 ft).
  • The population is estimated at approximately 132,500.
  • Eivissenc, a dialect of Catalan, is spoken on Ibiza, as is Spanish. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
  • Though renowned for its clubbing scene, there are beautiful beaches, pine woods and walking/biking routes across the island.

Late summer, when most of the tourists have gone and the sun is kind rather than fierce, is a perfect time to explore this gem.  Take the best map on your adventures – more info here.

Ibiza Sunset

Ibizan sunset

More Than A Coastline – Costa Blanca’s Mountains

Costa Blanca Mountains - Castell de Castells

Costa Blanca Mountains – Castell de Castells

Behind Spain’s Costa Blanca with its tourist resorts lies a mountainous region waiting to be explored.

 

When you’ve had enough of beaches, turn and look inland. Those rugged peaks are more accessible then you might assume. First impressions might suggest an arid, austere region; prepare to be surprised.

 

Costa Blanca Mountains - Vall de Laguar

Costa Blanca Mountains – Vall de Laguar

But, once you make the decision to explore on foot, bike or horseback, you’ll find green valleys between the rocky peaks. Villages and hamlets nestle in the mountain folds.

Costa Blanca Mountains - Puig Campana

Costa Blanca Mountains – Puig Campana

There are many walking tracks and paths, some signposted. To get the most from adventuring here, get hold of Costa Blanca Mountains Tour & Trail Map and Walk! The Costa Blanca Mountains.

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.

 

 

Where In The World? Pampaneira and Bubión

Bubión village, seen on Walk 3

 

The Telegraph Travel 15.12.17) wrote an article entitled ‘15 beautiful villages in Spain you’ve probably never heard of

 

 

 

 

Both villages lie in the Poqueira valley, Alpujarras.

 

We’ve certainly heard of most of them and two in particular took our attention; Pampaneira and Bubión. They are both ‘white villages’ in Spain’s Alpujarras, east of Granada.

 

 

 

 

What a place to walk! Spring is a great time to visit. There’s likely to be snow on the mighty peaks to the north, while Spring flowers burst through on the lower slopes and in the valleys.

 

Section from ‘Alpujarras Tour & Trail Map’

 

 

There’s more Alpujarras walking, mapping and digital information here.

 

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.

Cyber-Travel

Okay, enough of the cold, wet, windy miserable weather in the UK. Sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures seem to be a distant dream. What’s to be done? If you’ve enough spare cash and no commitments, you could simply find a sunny break on the internet and be off and away in a matter of hours.

But for most of us, that’s not realistic. But, consider this; many people find more pleasure in the planning of a holiday than they do when they’re actually there. According to a 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, just planning or anticipating your trip can make you happier than actually taking it.

So, in this most un-summery of British summers, why not lose yourself in the pleasure of cyber-travelling as you seek out your next holiday destination? Thank goodness for the internet, which allows us to zoom across the planet and home in for a closer look at potential places to explore.  There’s also the many reviews to look at of other traveller’s experiences which can help you home in on a few choices. Give yourself an hour or two’s virtual adventuring. Mountains? Beaches? Citybreaks? Cruising? Activity Holidays? Backpacking? The world’s yours to choose from (well, a good amount of it). You could start making shortlists of where and when  you’d like to go, making notes on the best times of year to visit. Look for trips that fit your budget, or maybe dream of that lottery win. TripAdvisor is one good source of ‘what-to-dos’ for your chosen shortlist.

Even if your plans don’t become reality this time, losing yourself in the fun and fantasy of your perfect holiday gives you a pleasant few escapist hours. And when you’ve got the time, money and opportunity, you’ll already be armed with great ideas.

PS

If you do happen to be in the position of just getting up and going right now, here are one or two suggestions:

Formentera

IMG_8800

Perfect sandy beaches on Formentera

 

La Gomera

La Gomera Walk 31

La Gomera – on Walk 31 (from Walk! La Gomera by Charles Davis).

 

La Palma

Walk la Palma Walk 10 The Southern Volcanoes ascending Teneguia

La Palma – walking on volcanoes

 

Menorca

Walk Menorca on the north coast route 39

Menorca’s rugged north-east coast

 

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!

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