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Trails and Calderas of La Palma 1

Trails and Calderas of La Palma

Overview

The beautiful island of La Palma (known as La Isla Bonita – the Pretty Island), one of Spain’s Canary Islands, is a land of stunning calderas, deep gorges, laurel forests, dramatic cliffs and rugged coastline, all waiting to be discovered on foot using a first-class network of walking trails.

Important: All hiking routes (that were closed due to the volcanic eruption of September 2021) are open again.

  • Hiker’s paradise: well-marked walking routes through tranquil and varied landscapes
  • Caldera de Taburiente National Park
  • Pico Bejenado
  • Lunar landscapes and amazing views from above the clouds
  • Hand-picked quality accommodation with authentic rural charm

Click to view the map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in La Palma

Arrival at La Palma airport. A taxi will be waiting to take you to your first accommodation in the lively capital Santa Cruz de la Palma. Your hotel is located in the old town’s quarters and opposite the (black pebble) beach.

Day 2: Cubo la Galga | 7-12 km

Early in the morning, a taxi transfer is arranged to go to one of the cloud forests that are so typical of the Canary Islands: el Cubo de la Galga. The walk starts on wide forest paths but then changes to paved and unpaved country roads as you reach the coast, covered in plantations of the Canarian banana: the plátano. You can choose to end the walk after 7 or 12 km at one of the bus stops where you can get on the Guagua (Canarian for the public bus) to Barlovento. From this northernmost town, you walk another km to the comfortable hotel (with indoor and outdoor swimming pool) where you will stay for 2 nights. Dinner is included for both nights

  • Walking for the day: 7 km, 4 hours, 450 m 450 m (longer option: 12 km, 5.5 hours, 650 m 800 m)
  • Overnight in Barlovento (La Palma Romática or similar)

Day 3: Los Franceses to Barlovento | 11 km

Taxi transfer to the village of Los Machines de Franceses, situated in one of the most remote parts of the island. You will follow the historic “Camino Real de Los Machines”, walking via La Tosca (famous for its magnificent Canary Island Dragon trees) back to Barlovento. 

  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 5-6 hours, 925 m 725 m
  • Overnight in Barlovento (La Palma Romática or similar)

Day 4: Pico de La Nieve to Virgen del Pino | 15 km

Morning transfer to the foot of Pico de La Nieve (2039 m). Today’s route is along the edge of the deep Caldera de Taburiente. Then, a long descent along Camino Real begins through pine forests and the so-called Reventón until you reach the Virgen del Pino chapel. Then it’s only a few km further to the Visitors Centre of the National Park, where you take the Guagua (bus) to Llanos de Aridane.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 6 hours, 420 m 1420 m
  • Overnight in Los Llanos de Aridane (Hotel Benahoare or similar)

Day 5: La Caldera de Taburiente | 17 km

After a short transfer to Los Brecitos, at the heart of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, you begin your descent to the bed of the Taburiente River. Then you walk toward Roque Idafe, don’t miss the Colourful Waterfall, dyed by the sulphur generated by the Caldera. A transfer will be arranged at the end of the route to go back to Los Llanos de Aridane.

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 6 hours, 250 m 900 m
  • Overnight in Los Llanos de Aridane (Hotel Benahoare or similar)

Day 6: Tazacorte | 8-11 km

A panoramic route that starts with a super steep climb across ancient lava flow to the western edge of the crater Taburiente. Then you gradually descend over mainly footpaths and unpaved country roads to the restaurant and mirador El Time; the end of the standard walk. The route extension continues further downhill along mainly paved but quiet lanes to the friendly beach town of Puerto Tazacorte. Take your time to have lunch before travelling back to the hotel in Llanos de Aridane by public transport.

  • Walking for the day: 8 km, 4 hours, 250 m 985 m (longer option: 11 km, 5.5 hours, 250 m 1490 m)
  • Overnight in Los Llanos de Aridane (Hotel Benahoare or similar)

Day 7:  La Ruta de Los Volcanes | 9-18 km

On your last day, you will do another classic of the island’s hiking repertoire: the Ruta de Los Volcanes, between the hermitage of the Virgen del Pilar towards Los Canarios (Fuencaliente). Fortunately, this route is again open to the public after the most recent volcanic eruption at Cumbre Vieja (in September 2021). It was already a route of great geological interest, and now it is even more so, demonstrating the shaping and destructive force of nature, whose consequences the inhabitants of the Island still suffer daily.

If this route seems too long and hard, ask the taxi driver to take you to Los Canarios so that you can do the last part of the route only, towards the Fuencaliente Lighthouse (supplement to be paid directly on the spot). In both cases, you continue in the afternoon by public bus to Santa Cruz, where your luggage awaits you at the hotel.

  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 3 hours, 60 m 760 m (longer option: 18 km, 6-6.5 hours, 550 m 1270 m)
  • Overnight in Santa Cruz de la Palma (Holiday Time Hotel or similar)

Day 8: Departure

Your trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Transfer to the airport and departure.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in charming hotels, some of them with swimming pools. All of them have private en-suite rooms and offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days and 2 dinners in Barlovento. When no restaurant location is available en route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. When not included, you have plenty of options for dinner in the villages and towns.

Difficulty & terrain

This walking tour is quite demanding, with walks of 4 to 7 hrs a day with long (sometimes very steep) ascents and especially descents (up to 1200 m in a day). The walks follow cobbled tracks, either surfaced or unsurfaced footpaths and animal trails. You must be sure-footed as you may encounter some loose rock or muddy/slippery sections in wet weather. The crater edges demand a head for heights but can be avoided if necessary (read more about difficulty grades). Most of the routes are very well way-marked, and we will provide you with detailed road notes, GPS tracks and maps. We strongly advise you to follow the trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

You can start this holiday on any date from January till December.

The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

The weather is very pleasant and spring-like at any time of the year. The months of June, July, and August are the hottest, and it is important to keep hydrated and wear plenty of sun cream.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Santa Cruz de La Palma (SPC).

  • Airport transfers (Santa Cruz de Palma) on arrival and departure are included in your package.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in nice hotels in private en-suite rooms (mostly 3-star, some of them with swimming pools)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 2 dinners
  • Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure, and no printed documents are mailed or provided on site
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers (Santa Cruz de Palma)
  • Transfers on walking days 2-7 to the start of the trail
  • Transfer from the end of the walk on day 5 to the hotel
  • Luggage transfers when changing hotels (1 piece up to 20 kg per person)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and additional transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Supplement for dinner on 24 and 31 December
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
  • Supplements for obligatory dinner on 24th and 31st December
  • Private transfers instead of the mentioned bus transport

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