Turn over a new leaf for 2013 – nature walking in the Canaries

The world was supposed to end on 21st December – but it didn’t, and thank goodness for that. So as the New Year kicks off, now is the perfect time to go out and appreciate the world’s ongoing existence. And what better way to discover Mother Nature than the most natural way of all; on foot?  Whether you just enjoy a gentle stroll, or you can clamber cliffs like a mountain goat, visit the Canary Islands, and you’ll be in awe of your surroundings on some of Europe’s best nature walks.

Don’t forget to share your walking ideas & tips in the comments below!

Lanzarote

You might think of Lanzarote holidays as big resorts and busy beaches, but this one of the Canary Islands is stunningly colourful and visually dramatic. Climb up the slopes of one of the volcanoes, wander along dramatic red cliffs, or visit the surreal moonscape of the Timanfaya National Park.

 

Timanfaya Lanzarote

Walking style

This island will provide you with plenty of opportunities to get the blood pumping, but equally, if you’d rather experience the drama of nature without exhausting yourself, this might be the place for you.

What to watch out for

The active Timanfaya volcano puts on a wonderful show with its geyser of steam, which spouts metres into the air.

 

Gran Canaria

If you’re looking for some serious exercise for your legs and your eyes, a holiday to Gran Canaria will be happy to provide. With dramatic mountains to climb, ravines to explore, and mountain lakes to paddle in, this diverse little island is packed full of natural wonders.

Hiking in Gran Canaria

Walking style

You’ll need some good walking boots for this island. While there are some gentler walks around the coastline, or around the lakes if you drive there, the best of this islands lies in the views that require a scramble up a rocky ridge to see.

What to watch out for

Its not only your eyes that will get a treat – Gran Canaria is famous for its aromatic smells, from pine and chesnut groves, to slopes of sage and sea lavender.

 

Tenerife

The home to Spain’s highest peak, El Teide, this island is surprisingly under explored. While visitors frequent the bigger resorts, the North-West corner is not experienced by many tourists, and makes perfect walking territory. Many have compared the landscape to Mars, and Tenerife holidays will show you the area that has played back drop to many a sci-fi movie.

Tenerife hiking

Walking style

If hiking is your thing, a trip to Teide National Park, will have you above the cloud line and in heaven. If you want a real challenge, you could plan to climb the mountain, but the trek isn’t for the faint hearted!

What to watch out for

You might expect this other-worldly terrain to be sparse in plantation, but the volcanic soil means it’s home to some of the Canary Islands’ most spectacular plants. Look out for the Teide bugloss, whose red flowers can form a pyramid up to 3 metres high, and the coastal banana plantations.

What do you think of our walking ideas? Have you hiked one of these trails? Got better ideas? We’d love to hear it!

About the Author: Jessica

Jessica is a passionate traveller and regular contributor to the Monarch blog.

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