Famous for its beaches and the great waves, hiking in Lanzarote is so good that it actually is a fantastic destination even for nature lovers. This is the easternmost of the main Canary Islands, and the third most populated in the archipelago. Arrecife is the capital and the main city.
Read more about the rest of the Canary Islands on my post “Which Are The Best Canary Islands?“
Lanzarote is known as “the island of eternal spring.” The weather is very mild on the island, as it only gets 16 days of rain in a year (this means that it’s virtually always a good time to go hiking in Lanzarote!). What it does get, however, is wind: this blows regularly in Lanzarote.
Lanzarote is of volcanic origins (like the rest of the Canary Islands), which means the landscape is quite barren. Famara and Montañas del Fuego, two of the highest “mountains” on the island, are separated by El Jable desert separate. The highest peak is Peñas del Chache, which reaches 670 meters.
Most tourists who visit Lanzarote each year go there to enjoy its beautiful beaches. Papagayo, a series of small coves nestled between lava formations, is the most famous one. Diving is another popular activity on the island, as well as surfing, thanks to the excellent waves. Adding to these, there are some beautiful small cities and villages; fantastic locally produced wine; and the fabulous nature. Lanzarote is home to the Timanfaya Natural Park, and there are several volcanoes that call to be hiked.
Between the beaches, the diving and surfing, the villages and the volcanoes, there are many great excursions in Lanzarote. Some hiking trails link the gorgeous beaches to the nice villages (such as the hike from Femés to Papagayo); others like the one of Caldera Blanca go to the craters of volcanoes.
This post strictly focuses on hiking in Lanzarote, mentioning the best trails to enjoy nature and views, and providing a few tips on how to make the most of the island.
Interested in reading about hikes in mainland Spain? Check this post! For hikes in other Canary Islands, read my posts about Gran Canaria and Tenerife.
There are some surreal sights when hiking in Lanzarote
Ten Beautiful Places To Go Hiking In Lanzarote
Camino de los Glacioseros
One of the nicest places to go hiking in Lanzarote is in the area of La Graciosa, on a trail that its inhabitants used to take to walk to Lanzarote and back. It is a 4 km trail one way, and the difficulty depends on whether you walk it downhill or uphill. The first part of the trail, around Yé towards Guinate is along cobbled path, and it zig zags down. The trail then goes along the cliffs of Famara, and the volcanic rocks make it a bit slippery. The views of the coast during the hike are fantastic, and on the trail it is possible to admire several native species of fauna and flora.
In the south west of Lanzarote there is Los Ajaches. This is a large volcanic formation in what is thought to be the oldest part of the island. The trail isn’t long (around 6 km) but it is very steep, making it one of the most challenging places to go hiking in Lanzarote. The starting point is in Femés. From there, the trail goes along a pathway, a track, pedestrian ways as well as roads.
The vegetation along the hike is beautiful. Wildlife in this part of the island abounds, with species such as the steppe birds, birds of prey and sea birds that live on the coastal cliffs.
Make sure to take water (and food) with you as there’s none along the way.
One of the nicest excursions in Lanzarote is that of Guatiza. It’s not a hard hike, but the trail is rather long. It is a 27.5 km oval trail that goes through Tinguanton and Loz Valles. Going towards Haria, the views from the Mirador are breathtaking. Another places that can be visited along the way is the hermitage of Ermita de las Nieves.
Medium difficulty hikes
Femés to Papagayo
One of the nicest hikes in Lanzarote is the one that goes from Fémes to Papagayo. It offers the very best of the island: mountain views; coast views that span to the Altantic and Fuerteventura; and gorgeous beaches at the end. The starting point is in Fémes, a village where only 200 people live and which is a favorite for people who plan to go hiking in Lanzarote.
There is also longer trail that goes through Los Ajaches and that can be walked in around 4 hours.
El Golfo to Charco de los Clicos
This 10.6 km hike that starts in El Golfo, a small fishing village on the west coast of Lanzarote, makes up for one of the top excursions in Lanzarote as it affords incredible views of the volcanic landscape. The trail actually is on the lava flows and it is quite easy to follow – however, it’s to always stay on the track because there are bubbles in the lava.
The trail reaches Charco de los Clicos, a funky looking lagoon where the Rupia-Maritima algae turned the water bright green. It’s an incredible place, as the background is very dark because of the black volcanic sand.
Haria to El Bosquecillo
The area of Haria and El Bosquecillo is one of the nicest to go hiking in Lanzarote. The trail that links the two starts in Haria and is 8 km long. It goes to two beautiful viewpoints –the Mirador Montaña Ganda and El Bosquecillo (which is Lanzarote’s only forest). The view of Famara from the Mirador El Bosquecillo is fantastic.
Playa Quemada to Puerto del Carmen
Playa Quemada is the starting point of yet another beautiful hike in Lanzarote. The walk is fairly easy (though it is a 12 km walk there and back), on a trail that follows the cliffs. The trail goes through Puerto Calero, a lovely marina from where there are water taxis to Puerto del Carmen – especially great if you need a break from walking!
Incredible nature when hiking in Lanzarote
Caldera Blanca is one of the highest peaks on the island and it is one of the nicest places to go hiking in Lanzarote. The hike goes through a large volcanic area. The walk is on a lava surface which was formed through the 1730 and 1736 eruptions. The overall hike takes 4 hours. The starting point is the church of Our Lady of Sorrows, the saint patron of Lanzarote.
The trail follows a marked pathways, a track and even a tarred road in points. It is an easy walk, suitable for families with children. However, it’s not a very popular trail. There are incredible views of the Montañas del Fuego.
There is no shade or water throughout the hike, so make sure to carry enough water and to wear sunblock!
Cueva de los Verdes
Another lovely area to go hiking in Lanzarote is that of Cueva de los Verdes, near Haria. The trail is really easy, perfect for families with children. It’s a 2 km trail part of of a 6 km volcanic gallery. The name of the cave takes from its former owners, the Verdes. The cave was formed by an eruption from the nearby Monte Corona, which took place between 3000 and 5000 years ago.
There are guided tours of the cave every day between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Caleta de Sebo, capital of La Graciosa, can be reached by ferry from Orzola, located in the north of Lanzarote. Once there, there are several gorgeous tropical beaches and walks (as well as people who offer 4X4 rides). It’s one of the nicest excursions in Lanzarote. Mske sure not to miss Playa de las Conchas, the most beautiful beach.
When hiking in Lanzarote you may come across a gorgeous beach like Papagayo
The Best Time To Go Hiking In Lanzarote
Thanks to the spring-like weather and the lack of rain any time of the year is good to go hiking in Lanzarote. One thing to keep in mind, however, is the lack of shade on most of the trails: make sure to wear a hat, apply sunblock and carry and drink plenty of water.
The Unmissable Places To Visit In Lanzarote
Among the nicest places to visit in Lanzarote there is Arrecife, the capital of the island since 1852. It’s name is due to the reef (arrecife, in Spanish) that surrounds its most famous urban beach. It’s a small city, with a nice promenade and a beautiful beach (even though the buildings behind it are not nearly as beautiful); some nice shops; several unpretentious bars and restaurants.
In Arrecife, the Castillo de San José, is a must see. This is a fortress built in the 1770s under orders of Carlos III to protect Arrecife from pirates. The construction of the castle was also meant to create more work opportunities. The views from the Castle are beautiful. The castle was completely restored in the 1970s and currently hosts a great exhibitions of pieces of Antoni Tàpies and Joan Miró.
Another interesting place to visit is the César Manrique Foundation, which opened to visitors after Manrique’s death in 1992. What makes the place worth visiting is the fact that it’s been built on a lava flow and it follows the shape of the volcanic rock. Inside, there is an art gallery with works by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.
One of the prettiest places to visit in Lanzarote is Teguise, which used to be the capital of the island until 1852. At the moment, it is one of the main tourist and cultural centers of Lanzarote. The city is located right in the center of the island, 10 km from the coast and at 200 meters above sea level. It has a number of good museums, a nice flea market every Sunday morning, and the historic center has a fantastic medieval look – it’s been declared an Architectural Historic Site.
One of the perks of hiking in Lanzarote is enjoying a fantastic sunset
Where To Stay In Lanzarote
Lanzarote is one of the most famous tourist destination in Spain, though not nearly as developed as the rest of the big Canary Islands. However, it’s been recently upgrading its appeal so there are more accommodation options.
Here is where to stay in Lanzarote:
There’s only one official camping sites in Lanzarote, in Papagayo Beach, which is fairly well equipped. It’s open from June to September.
How To Get To Lanzarote
The only airport in Lanzarote is in Arrecife, at about 5 km southwest of the city. There are regular and budget flights to several destinations in Spain and Europe.
Other useful information
More information about hiking in Lanzarote can be found on Happy Hiker, who also has his own book that can be found on Amazon and where he offers more detailed description of the trails. And this is a map of the trails in Lanzarote.
Guided hikes are offered by Adrenaline Hunter and H.F. Holidays.
For more hikes in the Canary Islands, read my posts on the best hikes in Tenerife and the best hikes in Gran Canaria. Also check my post on why I do not recommend hiking alone.
Have you ever gone hiking in Lanzarote? What did you like the most about it?
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Much like in mainland Spain, there are many incredible hikes in Gran Canaria. This popular tourist destination famous for its beaches actually is a top adventure getaway, which makes it one of the best Canary Islands.
To learn more about the rest of the Canary Islands, read my post “Which Are The Best Canary Islands?” And to find out about the best hikes in Spain, read my post “Where To Find The Most Amazing Hikes In Spain.”
This post highlights the nicest hikes in Gran Canaria, dividing them by length and difficulty level, and provides some useful tips to enjoy the island. Before I get to the core, let me however give some background information on this beautiful place.
Some Background Information On Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is largest of the Canary Islands and the second most populous of them. Its capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the capital, was founded in 1478 with the name Real de Las Palmas. It is the most populous city of the Canary Islands archipelago, home of a famous carnival where Las Canteras beach is located: this is a protected area and fantastic diving spot. Finally, but quite importantly so for hiking junkies, Las Palmas is a good base to go on more excursions in Gran Canaria.
Like the other Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is of volcanic origins. With its 1949 meters, Pico de las Nieves is the highest peak on the island, followed by Roque Nublo, which reaches 1813 meters. These are some of the nicest spots for hiking in Gran Canaria.
Known as “Miniature Continent,” Gran Canaria enjoys various different climates and varied landscapes. This is why tourists love it! More than 4 million people visit every year to enjoy the sandy beaches, explore the lovely villages, go to the green ravines, and needless to say to go walking in Gran Canaria.
The most famous attraction in Gran Canaria is the Maspalomas Dunes, in the south. Most tourists spend their time on that side of the island, which is where the climate is warmer and sunnier and most of the best resorts in Gran Canaria are located.
But Gran Canaria has yet more to offer. Some incredible places are located on the eastern side. Agüimes is a lovely restored small city. Not far from it there’s Guayadeque ravine, a protected area where a church has been built on the side of the mountain and which is the location of some incredible restaurants. Playa de El Cabron is a marine reserve and has some of the best diving in Gran Canaria.
The majority of the territory of Gran Canaria is protected by the Canary Islands Network for Protected Natural Area; and about a third of it is a recognized UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This is to say that nature is incredible there. Such incredible variety of landscapes makes Gran Canaria an incredible hiking destination.
So, without any further ado, let me finally highlight the top hikes in Gran Canaria.
There are some incredible hikes in Gran Canaria
11 Fantastic Hikes In Gran Canaria
The best long distance hikes in Gran Canaria
Camino de Santiago
Not to be confused with the official Camino de Santiago in mainland Spain, this is a good 3 day hike that has to be included among the nicest long distance hikes in Gran Canaria. It used to be a 55 km walk connecting connecting San Bartolomé de Tirajana (aka Tunte) to Gáldar (actually, the Obispado Diocesis de Canarias in the former’s Plaza de Santiago with the Iglesia Matriz de Santiago de los Caballeros).
Nowadays, the hike is 75 km long, and as far as walking in Gran Canaria, this is one of the best places as there are some incredible views. The starting point is in Maspalomas and the walk goes by the resorts of Playa del Inglés. So it is a coast to coast walk. As during the hike several microclimates are crossed, make sure to carry all the necessary layers and gear.
Medium distance hikes in Gran Canaria
Playas de GüiGüi
With such a beautiful coastline, it goes without saying that some of the top hiking in Gran Canaria is along the coast. Some of the beaches such as the Playas de GüiGüi (which are gorgeous and off the beaten path) can only be reached by boat or on a hike. The trail that starts in La Aldea de San Nicolás is on the challenging side, but there is a shorter, easier one leaving from Tasartico – from there, it is a nice 3-hours walk round trip.
One of the nicest medium distance hikes in Gran Canaria is Tamadaba. This is a lovely, 22 km mountain walk starting in the hamlet San Pedro, home of several coffee plantations. The trail goes through a gorgeous pine forest (which actually is Gran Canaria’s largest nature reserve). Going up, the views of Agaete and the port of Puerto de Las Nieves are breathtaking.
The trail (a circular route) follows the signs to Camino El Valle-Tamadaba then reaches El Hornillo. Here, some locals live in cave houses according to a tradition that goes back to well before the Spanish conquered the island in the 15th century.
Ruta de Las Presas
This 32 km long trail takes its the name from “presas” (damn) that can be seen throughout the hike, such as Presa Caidero de La Niña, Presa del Parralillo (from where there’s a great view of Roque Nublo) and Presa del Candelaria. The trail starts in La Aldrea de San Nicolás, which is located on the west of the island, and goes all the way to Artenara, which is Gran Canaria’s highest municipality. One of the nicest hikes in Gran Canaria, it is part of the GC-210. It actually follows the road motorbikes passing by are quite common.
Venguerra is natural dark volcanic sand beach that can be accessed by the beach west of Puerto De Mogán. It’s thought to be one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria. In Puerto De Mogán, a road that is closed to cars takes all the way to Venguerra. The hike is quite long (overall 25 km round trip) but it’s fairly easy, so it takes around 5 hours to complete. It’s one of the nicest easy hikes in Gran Canaria.
One of the easiest hikes in Gran Canaria is the one leading to Moriscos, the highest peak in the north of the island. The trail is about 10 km and can be walked in around 4 hours. It follows in part the caldera of the Tejeda. During the initial bit, the hike goes through some beautiful chestnut groves. It then reaches a viewpoint from where it’s possible to see as far as Las Palmas. During the hike it’s also possible to visit the caves where the indigenous population used to live.
Some of the nicest hikes in Gran Canaria are in the area of Maspalomas
The nicest shorter hikes in Gran Canaria
Barranco de Los Cernícalos
One of the nicest, short hikes in Gran Canaria is that of Barranco de Los Cernícalos, which goes along the Kestrel Ravine. Locals living in the area of Telde and Valsequillo particularly love this trail, which can get quite busy during the weekend. Make sure to start nice and early to beat the crowds. The starting point is the Lomo Magullo’s Los Arenales parking lot, which can be reached by bus Telde’s San Gregorio. The trail, which takes around 4 hours to complete, goes through the Reserva Especial de Los Marteles and all the way to the waterfalls. Most of the walk is in the shade.
This is one of the nicest, most popular short hikes of Gran Canaria, taking about two hours to complete. The starting point is La Goleta car park (which is on the road that connects Ayacata with Pozo de las Nieves). Here, there are several stalls selling cheese, nibbles and also water. The path goes all the way to the Roque Nublo. It’s not a good idea to walk it in the summer, as it can get really hot – opt to go between October and May instead, but make sure to layer up as it may get chilly because of the altitude.
Lighthouse at Puerto De Mogán
Though short, this is not the easiest among the hikes in Gran Canaria. The trail is quite steep! It’s a very short walk towards the cliff in Puerto de Mogán, and there is a sign to the Mirador (look-out point). The view from there is great, but it’s even better at the lighthouse and the sunset from there is splendid.
Los Tilos de Moya
One of the shortest hikes in Gran Canaria (taking just little over one hour) is the one that goes through the Barranco de Laurel. The area is beautiful, packed as it is with eucalyptus trees, and with many Alpispas birds. It’s a great, easy excursion in Gran Canaria for families with children, who will be easily entertained in the forest and by all the beautiful birds.
With regards to easy hiking in Gran Canaria, the Santa Lucia one, going around the various municipalities of Santa Lucia for about 10 km, is a lovely one. It goes through fields, orange groves, palm trees forests and the archaeological site of Montaña de los Huesos, before getting back to the village.
There’s more than hiking in Gran Canaria. Windsurfing is great there!
The Best Time To Go Hiking In Gran Canaria
The best time to go hiking in Gran Canaria is from October to May. Most European tourists visit in the winter, when the mountains can get really cold, but walking in Gran Canaria remains pleasant. Keep in mind that the weather can change dramatically within a few minutes, with sun often giving way to mist and occasionally even heavy rain. If going in the summer, remember that it gets very hot, so only plan short hikes and start as early in the say as possible to avoid the hottest hours.
The Nicest Cities In Gran Canaria
There is a handful of beautiful cities on the island, all providing a good starting point for hiking in Gran Canaria. Las Palmas, the capital is a nice, medium sized city with interesting attractions. The old city center, with the squares, markets and urban parks is beautiful. Make sure to also walk along Avenida Maritima and enjoy the gorgeous beaches, such as Las Cantera, and to gorge on food in one of the fantastic restaurants.
Another town is Maspalomas, which is more of a resort place famous for the sand dunes and the beautiful lighthouse built in the 19th century. The best resorts in Gran Canaria are located there.
26 km south of Las Palmas and 5 km from the coast there is Aguimes. After many years or neglect from tourists, the city saw a new life when the center was restored. It’s a nice example of a traditional Canarian hill town, where travelers can appreciate the relaxed atmosphere of the island. And it is a good starting point for some nice hikes in Gran Canaria.
Other small cities worth visiting include Galdar, which is built on a dormant volcano; Teror, boasting beautiful cobbled streets; and Telde and its beautiful churches.
Las Palmas is a great city and a nice starting point for hiking in Gran Canaria
The Best Places To stay In Gran Canaria
The best resorts in Gran Canaria are in Maspalomas. However, as a major tourist destination, Gran Canaria has some excellent accommodation options in other locations too.
Here’s a selection of the best places to stay in Gran Canaria:
With regards to camping sites, there aren’t many options. There’s one in Playa de Vargas, where guests can pitch a tent. Another one is Club de Camping y Caravaning, though the webpage is only in Spanish. It’s supposed to be a good, clean camping site, so perhaps it’s worth bypassing the language barriers. Camping El Pinillo has cabins places for caravans, but doesn’t have pitches.
How To Get To Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria’s only airport is that of Las Palmas, which is well connected to mainland Spain, Europe and some African countries via regular and budget airlines.
Other Useful Information
The main resources for hiking in Gran Canaria are Outdoor Active and Komoot. However, although the main pages have information in English, the rest is usually in German and the information is often approximate.
Various companies offer guided hikes of Gran Canaria. Walking Gran Canaria and Macs Adventures both have multi-days hiking itineraries.
A map of Gran Canaria can be found on Amazon here, and there also is a book summing up 50 walks around the island which you can get here.
Here’s some more information on Gran Canaria.
For more hikes in the Canary Islands, read my posts on the best hikes in Lanzarote and the best hikes in Tenerife. Also read my post about why I don’t recommend hiking alone.
Have you ever been to Gran Canaria? What are your favorite hikes in Gran Canaria?
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