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Self-Guided Trails of La Palma
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At a glance
Fantastic walking across La Palma's dramatic volcanic terrain
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
Santa Cruz
End Destination
Santa Cruz
What's included
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • Route notes and maps
  • All baggage transport
  • Airport transfers

All breakfasts and dinners included. Breakfasts are generally a simple buffet affair at your hotel, usually including a selection of bread, jam, pastries and cold meats and cheese. Lunches are not included. A packed lunch can be requested from the hotel (please request this the night before) or there are many nearby supermarkets and bakeries where you are able to pick up food for your journey. Supermarkets are generally closed on Sundays so please be prepared for this. Dinners are taken from a set menu at a local restaurant or at your hotel and offer a variety of mouthwatering local specialities and international cuisine. Wine is not included with dinner but the average price of a bottle is €12.

Day 1
Start Santa Cruz
Arrive into La Palma and take an airport transfer to your hotel in the capital. Overnight in Santa Cruz.
Day 2
Follow the GR130 long-distance coastal path towards the village of San Andrés.
Today's walk follows the GR130 long-distance coastal path that runs across La Palma, through dramatic barrancos (ravines) with stunning coastal views. You will walk through citrus groves, avocado and mango orchards, small vineyards and banana plantations, arriving in the pretty village of San Andrés, one of the first colonial towns on the island. Take some time to explore the cobbled streets and houses in the historic quarter, visit one of the oldest churches on the island, or enjoy a side visit to a local rum factory. Then walk for another 15 minutes up the coast until you reach Puerto Espíndola where you spend the night. Distance 14.5km, approx. 5 hours walking. Ascent 500m, descent 700m.
Day 3
Walk uphill to Los Sauces, through the breathtaking Barranco de Herradura and ascend up to Barlovento (‘fresh breeze’) enjoying exhilarating sea views.
After enjoying your breakfast at a local fisherman’s tavern on the seafront, begin to walk uphill to Los Sauces, a small town with a vibrant atmosphere on the north east coast. Enjoy negotiating the dramatic ‘Barranco de Herradura’, considered one of the best walking trails in Spain, and then ascend just over 500m through several small villages to reach Barlovento (meaning ‘fresh breeze’) a village which enjoys breathtakingly beautiful sea views. Distance 8km, approx 3.5 hours walking. Ascent 600m, descent 200m.
Day 4
Trek through the ‘Dragon Trees Forest’ and across the dramatic Barranco de Franceses before a final ascent.
From Barlovento, follow a path through the ‘Dragon Trees Forest’, across undulating coastline with spectacular views towards the cliffs. Navigate a series of small barrancos to reach Los Gallegos, and then descend to sea level, crossing the dramatic Barranco de Franceses before ascending to the pretty village of Franceses. Distance 15km, approx. 5.5 hours walking. Ascent 600m, descent 750m.
Day 5
Trek down the steep sided gorge Barranco de Los Hombres to the tiny hamlet of El Tablado. Then a steep ascent before a bus transfer back.
Using ancient paths you discover the far north of La Palma, one of the most unspoiled parts of the island. Walk across the Barranco de Los Hombres, a spectacular steep-sided gorge, to reach the tiny hamlet of El Tablado. Then a steep ascent to yet another tiny hamlet, Roque del Faro, before taking a bus (fare included) back to your hotel in Franceses. Distance 9.5km, approx. 5 hours walking. Ascent 900m, descent 400m.
Day 6
Morning transfer to experience an exciting section of the GR131 route along the rim of the crater Caldera de Taburiente.
Today you take a transfer to walk an exciting section of the GR131 route from the highest point of the island, Roque de los Muchachos, along the rim of the crater Caldera de Taburiente, to the Pico de la Nieve. The route has breathtaking views across the island and the high mountain paths twist and turn across the rocky landscape. In the distance it is possible to see the peak of Mount Teide on Tenerife, emerging from the horizon, 3750m above sea level. After a soft descent, your transfer takes you to the capital of Santa Cruz. Distance 12km, approx. 5 hours walking. Ascent 250m, descent 750m.
Day 7
Walk a popular part of the GR131 along the 'Ruta de Los Volcanes'.
Take an unforgettable walk today along the ‘Ruta de Los Volcanes’. Here you navigate a series of volcanoes in the south of the island, with some of them having erupted only a few years ago. This is the longest walk of the trip, and although it involves a substantial descent it is a very popular and well-marked path, following the GR131 from beginning to end. The crater edge requires a head for heights, but there are parts that can be avoided if necessary. Overnight back in Santa Cruz. Distance 18.5km, approx. 6 hours walking. Ascent 550m, descent 1300m.
Day 8
End Santa Cruz
If you have time before your flight, take a small walk around Santa Cruz. This fascinating town attracted Flemish merchants who built imposing town palaces, which today accommodate museums and boutiques. A walk along the Calle Real, visiting the Plaza de España, Town Hall or the food market will be a perfect end to your La Palma experience before your flight home.
Prices & Availability
Superb Walking 5/5

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? The views on Days 6 and 7 - Caldera de Taburiente and Ruta de los Volcanes What did you think of your group leader? N/A - The route notes were generally good and the paths were very …

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