The 5th edition of Gran Canaria Walking Festival 2016 has been made up of 6 trekking routes which pass through some of the most beautiful natural landscapes on the island of Gran Canaria. Besides unique panoramas and incredible views, you’ll be able to discover a local and traditional ethnographic and cultural legacy. There are different route levels from introductory level to advanced level and local guides leading the routes.
Gran Canaria Walking Festival, was presented this week by the Minister of Tourism of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria and president of the Tourist Board, Ines Jimenez, who accompanied Emma Guerrero Doblas and Veronica Alemán Diaz, of Gran Canaria Natural & Active, who are the organisers of the event.
The 2016 Gran Canaria Walking Festival is now bigger than ever with nearly 600 participants, of which 68% are non-resident participants.
Walkers from 19 countries take part in the festival, participants from Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Finland, Poland, England, Denmark, Switzerland, China, Sweden, United States, Venezuela, Belgium and Spain.
“The trails of Gran Canaria offer various levels of difficulty that reveal the destination to people of any age, an attractive highly valued opportunity within our main markets, such as Germany, Nordic countries and the UK, where these activities are very popular,” said Jimenez.
The aim of Gran Canaria Walking Festival is to put on show and invite walkers to enjoy the amazing nature of the island, which offers unique possibilities for this activity in of the most beautiful places in the world.
Pico de las Nieves, El Barranco de Tirajana, the Barranco de Fataga, Laguna de Valleseco and the Cruz de Tejeda are just some of the places where the routes will run. The program of the festival, to be held from 2 to 6 November, consists of six routes designed for everyone. These include: the Centennial Route Aguas de Teror, Aboriginal Road, Route de La Laurisilva, Astronomical Road, Route of Artevigua and the route at the Summit.
Don’t miss your chance to get to know Gran Canaria. Remember that all the routes will also have specialised guides using different languages and there is also return transfers to Playa del Ingles or Las Palmas. Prices for different routes between €18-25 and they include everything. Participate one or even all with a special fare. Check registration and booking for the Gran Canaria Walking Festival 2016
Wednesday 2 November; Water Route. The Aguas de Teror Centenary Route starts in one of the most charming areas of the island: the Finca de Osorio. Located in the Doramas Rural Park, this special landscape combines mountains, ravines, forest and farmland. A model of the sustainable utilisation of the island’s natural resources, which culminates in the charming village of Teror, where participants can appreciate typical Canarian architecture and the famous balconies.
Thursday 3 November; Aboriginal route, starting in Fataga, a picturesque Canarian village, allows participants to discover the interior of the island on its south side. Walking through two of the most important ravines in the Caldera de Las Tirajanas, hikers can enjoy one of the highest concentrations of “Canary Islands Palm Trees” on the island. The route passes through the towns of Ingenio de Santa Lucia and Sorrueda, both places with strong traditions that actively maintain primary sector agriculture, and on up to the Fortress Ansite, a prehispanic site where professionals will guide participants back in time, to the daily life of an Aboriginal village of the same area.
Friday 4 November, Laurisilva route. Immerse yourself in a large woodland favoured by the trade winds known locally as the Jungle of Doramas. This forest, where the crowns of the trees do not allow the entry of much natural light, has some characteristics that have favoured several local species unique in the world.
The trail is the one in highest demanded, as it is a beautiful route that begins in the recreational area of La Laguna de Valleseco, a place of great interest in the island’s Laurisilva recovery project. The trail descends slightly through the municipality of Valleseco, crossing several ravines where participants can observe and enjoy the dense and thick vegetation typical of the ancient Laurisilva forests, which were the former refuge of Gran Canaria’s native ancestoral peoples, from which they defended the island against the conquerors. This trail will take you through the centuries old native vegetation of the island. Once at Montaña de Firgas, the last section will walk through the urban area of this fascinating town, to finish in the Melva Suit Hotel where participants will be able to enjoy a small sample of the local cuisine.
Friday and Saturday night, 4 & 5 November, Astronomical route. This activity is the symbiosis of night hiking with astronomy, in which you can enjoy the fantastic clear skies of the archipelago. During this tour we will be able to see the wonders of nature under the moonlight and the stars.
The route will run almost entirely through a pine forest located within the Llanos de La Pez, the largest area of expansion and recreation at the summits, bordering part of the Caldera de Tejeda. The tour is suitable for anyone, which makes it unique and includes a viewpoint from where you can enjoy the best views of the Caldera de Tejeda and the Central Summit. The activity will culminate with observation and basic knowledge on astronomy given by experts in the subject that will help you to understand the night sky and its secrets, using specific materials.
Saturday 5 November, Artevigua route. The Artevigua Route begins at the Cruz de Tejeda (Parador, where old drovers and shepherds once met) and will end in the town of Artenara. The journey follows an imaginary line that divides the island into two areas geologically speaking (Paleotamarán and Neotamarán). Another important aspect of the route is its pre-Hispanic theme and name giving a clue to the archaeological interests along the way. Artevigua most likely an aboriginal/native region where caves predominated intended for different uses, including both living spaces and the spiritual. The day will include a visit to the caves that dominate the Caldera de Tejeda.
Sunday 6 November, Summit Route. In the heart of the island we will go across the highest point of Gran Canaria. This spot provides one of the most impressive panoramic views to enjoy the impressive magnitude and beauty of the island, covered by a large pine grove, which was used as a source of raw material for many years.
In the epicentre of the island itself, while in the highest part of it, the last hike of the event, La Ruta de La Cumbre will rise to the top of the island (Pico de Las Nieves) where visitors can enjoy magnificent views and sights. This site provides one of the most scenic places to enjoy the stunning magnitude and beauty of the island, covered by a large pine forest. The trail has constant views of the famous Roque Nublo, emblem of Gran Canaria. Once completed, there will be a closing ceremony with a “Tenderete Canario” (popular party with canary music, folk dances and gastronomy) on the premises of the El Grañon recreation and camping ground.
The festival is a unique opportunity to experience the most beautiful places on the island. There are still some places available and registration can be formalised until 30 October on the official Website www.grancanariawalkingfestival.com.
Each route price is 18 euros and includes transport (from the south or the capital), insurance, specialised guides, a picnic and a chance to enjoy the unique diversity of the island landscape.
Gran Canaria Walking Festival is promoted by the Gran Canaria Natural & Active Partnership; and sponsored by the Tourist Board of Gran Canaria, among many other sponsors and partners across Europe involved in this experience, which over the years has grown to be one of the most exciting and natural ways to visit this beautiful island.