Atlantic Island Trekking
P2 - Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
T1 - No technical skills are needed. A good steady walking ability only is required.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
What a place the Canary Islands are… just 150 kilometres off the west coast of Africa, you need to expect the unexpected here!
This expedition came about after Marni and Rolfe, founders of 360, spent an impromptu three weeks in Gran Canaria. The moment they arrived they knew they must open this spectacular island up, incorporating all the very best bits is an incredible one week trip. The island was one of the most surprising places they had explored, with unique trekking, stunning views and an amazing diversity of landscape and microclimates all just on one small island…no wonder the island is often referred to as a mini-continent!
An adventure paradise, we’ll discover enormous vertical cliffs dropping into the Atlantic, deep rich canyons carved out from high plateaus dotted with enormous euphorbias, remote fir and bay laurel forests, desert-like landscapes with flora and fauna to match and enormous lava towers that could be straight out of a Dali painting. We will trek to abandoned villages, spend a night in a converted traditional cave house, explore UNESCO sites, and drink wine while watching sunsets, then wake to the noise of the Atlantic’s powerful, booming waves.
Marni and Rolfe decided there and then this was a perfect destination for 360. But, be warned, this expedition is far off the beaten track and well away from what you might find in the holiday brochures and write ups of this spectacular island! Put on your walking boots and join us for this unforgettable adventurous week…Find out more
Date & Prices
For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.
Departure & Return
Price (excl. flight)
Price (incl. flight UK-UK)
Start: 16 October 2021
End: 22 October 2021
Price without flights:
Price with flights: £1,445
16 October 2021
22 October 2021
Start: 30 April 2022
End: 06 May 2022
Price without flights:
Price with flights: £1,495
30 April 2022
06 May 2022
- 360 leader
- International flights to Gran Canaria
- Airport transfers to and from Las Palmas
- Transfers to and from start point of the trek
- 6 nights accommodation in local hotels or guest houses with breakfast
- Meals as per the itinerary
- 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
- Monthly payment plan, on request
- Visas, if necessary
- Personal equipment
- Trip insurance
- Unscheduled hotels and restaurant meals
- Alcohol, laundry phone calls and other items of a personal nature
- Crew / guide gratuities
- Airport transfers when not booking on with flights
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early
Please note that if international flights are booked, a supplement may be payable if costs increase due to the current situation with Covid-19.
Pics & Vids
DAY 1 : Depart UK, arrive Gran Canaria. (Transfer to Mogán)
We meet the team and board our transfer to the charming fishing village of Mogán, approximately a 60 minute drive through beautiful countryside and local villages. Mogán is, quite simply, stunning! It’s one of the most beautiful towns on the island, a charming fishing town nestled in a cove with a stunning sheltered beach and wonderful restaurants. It has a real air of stillness and one of the most tranquil fishing ports we have ever visited. Enjoy a walk around the marina, which hosts a wonderful close-knit sailing community due to its unique enclave and natural beauty, watch the boats and soak up the sea views in one of the many beautiful bars, or take a walk through the streets of the old quarter… today is for us to unwind.
There are a plethora of coastal restaurants so we can choose or favourite and sit and watch the sun dropping into the Atlantic sea. This really is the perfect start to your getaway and to the very unique adventure that awaits.
DAY 2 : Trek to Güigüi beach
How could we come to this magical island and not take the opportunity to trek to Güigüi beach?! Tucked away on a remote section of coastline, this is a little slice of paradise and we get to enjoy the wide and beautiful beaches practically to ourselves.
After an early departure from Mogán, we launch into the highlands on the wildly acclaimed roads of Gran Canaria and you’ll see for yourself why so many car commercials feature these roads! Remote, often single lane, hugging the impressive volcanic cliffs, the views we’ll experience just on the drive are captivating. The landscape is arid, yet full of desert palms and huge euphorbias, with traditional white washed villages dotted along the way.
At the start of our trek we have an immediate insight into what Gran Canaria is all about; we begin in a banana plantation set against a red rock landscape, more reminiscent of that of a sci-fi movie, which beckons to be explored. We follow a rugged trail, winding through huge (and much photographed!) cactuses, swathes of wild plants and flowers and impressive boulders, that finally brings us to the high pass, from the top of which the views of the wild west coast of the island are awe-inspiring. Its jagged coastline mimicking dragons’ teeth looks raw, yet incredibly beautiful.
Now, it’s time to descend, making our way down into a deep canyon, passing remote, tiny unmanned farms. Güigüi is one of the most important parts of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Gran Canaria and when we finally arrive at the black and gold volcanic sands of the beach you’ll be left wondering which continent you are really on!
It’s time then to relax and enjoy a well-deserved picnic and a walk along the beach with its pounding waves that demand our attention. Our trek back up and over offers a whole new perspective on the walk in and, in all, it’s a truly wonderful first day of trekking. Now we’ve had our ocean fix, we will begin to head inland for some really wild scenery… but not before we are transferred a short distance to La Aldea de San Nicolás, our base for the night.
Trekking time: 6 hrs
Approx. 12 kms & 1,200m ascent / descent.
DAY 3 : The abandoned villages of Pino Gordo and Vigaroé
After an early breakfast, we set off to the neighbourhood of Molino de Agua where an old dirt track starts that leads us up to the water tunnel of Pino Gordo. With bare feet, we walk through the water tunnel and once we reach the other side; paradise awaits us! The lush palm grove of Pino Gordo will be our backdrop for the next hour as we hike up to the first abandoned hamlet with its old fruit trees and overgrown agriculture terraces. A steep and rocky climb then brings us to a mountain pass where we are rewarded with spectacular views reaching as far as the Crater of La Caldera de Tejeda and the pine forests of Tamadaba.
A well-deserved short break to not only catch our breath, but take in more of the island’s incredible vistas, then we hit one of Gran Canaria’s ‘lost mule paths’, El camino de Lo Picachos, which gently follows the curves of the ravine of Las Garabateras and Los Picachos into the abandoned hamlet of Vigaroé. During our descent to the lake of El Caídero de La Niña we follow the bed of the steep-sided, rocky ravine, passing pre-Hispanic caves, palms and giant boulders. We’ll be collected and transferred to the fascinating cave village of Acusa Seca, for a night in this wonderfully intriguing and unique cave accommodation.
Trekking time: 5-6 hrs.
Approx. 16km & 900m ascent / 650m descent
DAY 4 : Trek to the Tejeda caldera and explore cave dwellings in Mesa de Acusa
We start this morning’s trek at the fertile plateau of La Mesa de Acusa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll have time to explore a series of interesting pre-Hispanic cave settlements nestled in the cliffs that surround the plateau. History combines with beauty here, as we wander along the old camino real which links Acusa Seca with Artenara; the only real village in the whole municipality.
Artenara is famous for having the biggest troglodyte, or cave dwelling, community in the Canaries, with the community using the caves for everything from housing to churches, stables and storage rooms! A massive collapse of an ancient magma chamber formed the 20km wide Tejeda Caldera, and Artenara is perched on Risco Chapin, one of the calderas enormous walls.
Once we’ve gotten our fill of the historical aspects of this amazing spot, we’ll follow the Risco Chapin trail, dotted with colourful wildflowers, which leads us to the geographic centre of the island: Cruz de Tejeda. On our way we pass the cave temples of Cuevas del Caballero and Cueva de Los Candiles, both often used in the past for fertility rituals, but for us, a great stop for a lunch break!
Trekking time: 5-6hrs.
Approx. 18km. 600m ascent / descent.
DAY 5 : Roque Nublo & Pico de Las Nieves (1,950m)
We’ll want to make sure we fill up on breakfast, as the goal for today is the spectacular rock pinnacle ‘Roque Nublo’! Luring tourists like a beacon, this 90m-high spire dominates the island’s highlands and can be spotted from as far away as the coast. We start our trek on the well-trodden path that undulates along the rim of La Caldera de Tejeda before it drops dramatically to the charming village of La Culata, situated just below one of the world’s biggest monoliths: Roque Nublo.
The steep and rocky platform which hosts the imposing tower of Roque Nublo looks unassailable from La Culata, but there are breaches in its cliffs that make our ascent more than comfortable. Here we have a picnic lunch, before continuing our trek by circumnavigating this massive monolith to appreciate it from every side. After, overlooking the South and West of Gran Canaria, we hit a path that zigzags uphill, on bare rock, past pines until it reaches El Montañón and Los Riscos de Tirajana where wild flowers provide more vibrant scenery between March and June. We hike on narrow edges, feeling on top of the world at times as we peer over the tops of the tall pine trees that climb to obscure the views. The summits of Pico de Las Nieves and El Campanario are well worth a stop if we can, as the views reach as far as the Maspalomas sand dunes, Tenerife and sometimes even the island of La Gomera.
Trekking time: 7-8hrs.
Approx. 23km. 1,000m ascent / 450m descent.
DAY 6 : Tamadaba Biosphere Reserve
Today we leave the highlands and descend to the Atlantic coast. We wake up in one of Gran Canaria´s most charming troglodyte or cave villages: El Hornillo. It’s located in the ravine of Agaete, below the towering massif of Tamadaba. This massif houses Gran Canaria´s best preserved humid pine forest and the second biggest cliffs in Europe, all packed together in one great nature park. Passing the islands highest village, and several small lakes and dams, it doesn’t take long before we drop steeply into the lichen-draped forest of the Tamadaba UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Once we have reached the remote forested uplands of Tamadaba we pass on to the drier side, where spectacular cliffs are the scar of a giant landscape landslide that turned Gran Canaria’s west coast to its current formation. In La Finca de Firma, we start our vertical descent to the sea, and the delightful coastal village of El Risco. We’ll then head to the bustling and vibrant Las Palmas for our last night, to enjoy delicious tapas and the fun atmosphere of this beach town.
Trekking time: 7-8hrs.
Approx. 18km. 400m ascent / 1300m descent.
DAY 7 : Transfer south of Las Palmas for departure flights home
Depending on flight times we’ll either have the morning or often the full day at leisure (with the option to jump into a local taxi and head to the stunning Maspalomas sand dunes to watch the sun rise!) otherwise if you prefer we’ll head on an early morning transfer to the airport to check in for our departure flights home.
However, if you’d like to have a full extra day here and depart tomorrow (or later!) please do let the office know on booking. There are so many options, spending longer at Maspalomas, you can try your hand at kite surfing, grab a surf board, or take a leisurely dip! Las Palmas and the Old Town are also just a wonderful place to meander, soak up the sun, and enjoy the last bit of your holiday!
This itinerary is subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.
Bags & Packs
40-60L rucksack that is well worn in and with a good waist belt. A waterproof cover is advisable (remember that these covers are not 100% waterproof but act as a barrier) and remember, whilst trekking, you will need to carry all of the kit that you are not wearing
Pack some fresh clothing into bags to keep them dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks!
Waterproof rucksack cover
To protect rucksack from rain
Optional, but handy for the evenings if you do get cold!
Wide brimmed hat
Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck
Julbo is our preferred supplier
Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection
High factor as the sun is reflected off the road into your face
This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. Handy for layering on any chillier days.
These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack
A couple of T-shirts are advisable for this summer expedition. The days are reasonably warm (with high temperatures at lower altitudes)
These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended
Optional. These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, they are not waterproof.
A couple of shorts are advisable for this summer expedition. The days are reasonably warm (with high temperatures at lower altitudes)
These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts
Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you
Optional – A lightweight pair of Goretex/eVent trousers that will act as a great windproof too.
Well worn in 4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support
Just in case
Optional, but great for use in the evenings in the hotels or the last day to give your feet a break from your boots!
Single layer or wearing 2 pairs is a personal choice and lighter weight merino wool is a good option
Water bottles / bladder
2L capacity either in a combination of bladder and Nalgene bottle or just Nalgene bottles
Although all water is filtered some prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag!
Comfortable clothes for the evening
A must have for good expedition hygiene!
Provided at the accommodation and any public toilets but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock during the day.
Handy for general cleanliness while trekking, one packet will suffice
Towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect if you wish to have one in case of wild swimming, but towels will be provided at the accommodation.
Keep it simple – remember, you’ve got to carry it! Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!
Personal first aid kit
The 360 med kits are designed to be used in emergencies and akin to an A&E rather than a pharmacy on Expeditions so please come prepared with useful meds for yourself such as painkillers (Ibuprofen if you can take it and a Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets and any muscle rubs you wish to use.
Keep this in your daysack
Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards
Bring spare batteries
Although you will be fed well we do we advise bringing a small selection of energy bars. Have a couple per trekking day
For protection against the inevitable snorers!
For the odd swim
These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill
Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity and the expiry date should be at least six months after the final day of travel.
Copy of passport
Just in case
Dental check up
We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip.
Please bring a copy of your own travel insurance details and relevant contact numbers.
We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip to include, at a minimum, medical evacuation and coverage for the maximum altitude and included activities of this trip.
Food and Water
Where do we get drinking water from?
All drinking water will be either provided in the mornings or can be bought at various stops for the day’s walking. We pass streams in various places that you can top up from if you should run out, so do take purification to add to it in the form of silver chloride or chlorine.
What is the food like?
The food in the local hotels and hostels is plentiful and of very good quality, often using locally sourced ingredients. Breakfasts consist of pastries, fresh bread and jams and you can expect hearty meals in the evenings and simple but filling packed lunches.
Do you provide snacks during this expedition? Or do you recommend that we bring our own?
360 provides some snacks for your trekking days, however do bring some of your favourite snacks from home! Flapjacks, shortbread, sweets, nuts and chocolate are great, anything really that you’re going to look forward to eating and which will give you energy!
What is the accommodation like?
We’ll be staying in simple but comfortable accommodation in hotels or local B&Bs along the way – they’ve all got their own unique character, in some gorgeous locations!
What bag do I need to bring?
A rucksack of around 40-60L should do you just fine. If you are borrowing or buying a rucksack, ask someone to help you adjust it to fit your back. And ensure you are making these adjustments with weight inside it, not empty. Generally it should sit reasonably high on your back so that the weight is acting vertically downwards, not forcing your shoulders back or drooping past your backside. Again, it’s about how you feel comfortable wearing it and important to get right.
Make sure too that it is either waterproof or you have a waterproof cover for your rucksack. It’s not a bad idea to pack your gear into waterproof stuffs sacs, or even bin bags, in case of a deluge.
Do we need any technical gear for this?
No, this is a trek, so standard walking gear outlined in the kit list should suffice.
Do I need a sleeping bag?
The accommodation will all provide blankets and bedding so no, you don’t need to bring a sleeping bag. Some people like to take a sleeping bag liner with them, but it’s not necessary, more a personal preference – do remember you’ll be carrying it though!
How fit do I need to be?
Although we’re not at altitude, or in somewhere like the Himalayas, don’t underestimate this trek. The days are relatively long with reasonable altitude gains (and losses) each day, and the temperatures can be higher than you may be used to. If you make an effort with fitness before coming out you’ll enjoy it far more than if you are struggling up every hill each day barely able to notice the spectacular views.
Can we swim if we pass any lakes?
They’ll likely be cold but there’s no reason why not!
What’s the weather like?
It’s likely to be lovely and sunny, and reasonably warm (pretty hot lower down). The average high temperature in October in Gran Canaria is around 26°C, while at night you can expect temperatures of around 20-21°C. However, we’re on the coast, and not very far from the Atlantic, so there is always a risk of rain, thunderstorms, and wind – a light waterproof is wise!
The climate is generally better than the UK, but there is still the risk of inclement weather, so we advise in the kit list to pack accordingly (see above). And just like any other holiday, having a quick last minute look at the forecast before you come out can be a useful pointer of what’s in store.
Do I need special insurance for this trip?
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on this trek without proof of insurance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip to include, at a minimum, medical evacuation and coverage for relevant activities and up to the maximum altitude of this trip.
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.
Will my mobile work?
It should do for the majority of the trek, but don’t rely on it as there could be exposed points where you get a signal, but in valleys and some of the cave sections you’ll be hard pushed to get a signal at times, though in the towns at the start and end points of the days and the trek you’ll likely get much better signal.