Tracks and Trails of the Canary Islands

Whether rambling along an ancient Shepherd’s path or ascending a volcano, the Canary Islands are home to thousands of tracks and trails, from the ocean to the stars

The Canary Islands may draw you in with beautiful beaches and year-round good weather, but this archipelago has so much more to offer holidaymakers.

Whether rambling along an ancient Shepherd’s path or ascending a volcano, the Canary Islands are home to thousands of tracks and trails, from the ocean to the stars.

Those who explore the Canaries on foot will find some of the world’s oldest rainforests, otherworldly landscapes, remains of ancient fishing settlements, hidden emerald lagoons, and viewpoints offering unsurpassed views.

Read on to find out some of the Canary Islands’ best tracks and trails…


Fuerteventura – Isla de Lobos
Located just 2km off the coast of Fuerteventura, Isla de Lobos is named after a large colony of sea lions that inhabited the island until a small human settlement was established in 1865. Today, the official population of Isla de Lobos is just four people.
To protect the island’s pristine natural beauty, visitors require a permit to enter the island which needs to be applied for three days in advance. This permit grants access to Isla de Lobos for four hours, giving plenty of time to cover the island’s entire network of walking tracks.

While exploring the island, pay a visit to the Marrajo saltpans, the lighthouses of Martiño and Puertito, and the interesting remains of the island’s old fishing settlement.

Length: 7 kms/2 hours
Elevation: 22 metres
Level of difficulty: Easy


Lanzarote – Los Gracioseros
Discover the dreamy landscape of Lanzarote along the Los Gracioseros trail. This route is used by local inhabitants as well as those of the outlying island of La Graciosa when they travel between the two.

Once you head off on the cobbled paths from the village of Yé towards Guinate, you will experience unparalleled views of both Lanzarote and el Río. The winding downward tracks are full of flora and fauna, unique to the island.

When you meet the water’s edge, make sure to take a dip in the cool sea before you start your journey back.

Length: 7kms/3 hours
Elevation: 358 metres
Level of difficulty: Medium to High


Gran Canaria – Ruta de la Plata
The century-old tracks of Ruta de la Plata were once used by islanders to get from one place to another or herd flocks to greener pastures. Over time, they became abandoned, but they are now a popular walking trail.

The surface of the Ruta de Plata varies between forest floor and stony pavements, taking walkers through pine forests with bursts of colourful tajinaste and succulent verodes.

Along the way you’ll be treated to views of the Roque Nublo, one of the largest volcanic outcrops in the world and the only remains of the volcano that was once located at the centre of Gran Canaria. At its highest point the path takes us to a piece of overhanging rock known as the ‘Nublo window’ for the way it naturally ‘frames’ the surrounding landscape and offers incredible views.

Length: 13kms/5 hours
Elevation: 838 metres
Level of difficulty: Medium


Tenerife – El Teide
At 3,718 metres, El Teide is the highest mountain in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world. Classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, El Teide has been formed over time by stratovolcanoes, caused by numerous lava eruptions.
For this trek, you need to be in good physical shape and be prepared for the progressive change in altitude.

If you’re not too fussed about reaching the summit or are perhaps visiting the area with your family – simply drive or take the cable car.

Whichever way you go, try and get to the upper levels a little before sunset so you can see the volcano casting its shadow over the entire island – this alone makes the trip worth it.

To see the sunrise, hikers can get a permit to stay at the Altavista shelter, located at the beginning of the final ascent to the crater of El Teide.

Length: 9kms/6 hours
Elevation: 1,194 metres
Level of difficulty: High


La Palma – Caldera de Taburiente
The Taburiente Caldera is situated in the centre of La Palma and is characterised by spectacular circle of peaks measuring almost 2,500 metres high. In 1957 the area was declared a national park and today the caldera is one of La Palma’s main attractions.
You can access the Caldera de Taburiente National Park via various steep paths hidden between pine trees and ravines.

Hikers should come prepared for this route with proper mountain boots, water, sun protection and a wind and waterproof jacket, as the temperature drops considerably the higher you go.

For experienced hikers, the trek to the Roque de los Muchachos viewpoint, at 2,426 metres above sea level, takes you around the edge of the crater. The Roque de los Muchachos is one of the best places on the planet to observe the night sky, which is why there is an observatory on its summit. You can also get there by car, or take the shorter, 6 km route to the base of the Pico de la Cruz.

There are numerous tour companies that will guide you to the summit, whether in a car or on foot. Whichever way you go, the reward for getting there is spectacular views across the Archipelago that, at certain times of the day, see the clouds fuse with the sea.

Length: 11,5 kms/6.5 hours
Elevation: 2,426 metres
Level of difficulty: Medium


La Gomera – Contadero – Cedro
This hiking path, through the valley of Parque Natural Garajonay, allows you to experience the true nature of ancient, subtropical forests.

This hike is suitable for most levels, is well signposted and carries you along forest floor amongst a range of native trees such as laurel, linden and tilo, finishing at El Cedro, a 150-metre-high waterfall which is a major water source for the farmers of the Hermigua valley. Towards the end of the route, you come across a chapel dating from 1935, which was originally built by an English governess.

It’s important to wear proper hiking boots, along with long trousers to protect yourself from any spiny vegetation. Near the El Cedro waterfall, there are camping facilities and a casa rural where you have a meal or spend the night.

Length: 6kms/3.5 hours
Elevation: 551 metres
Level of difficulty: Medium


El Hierro – Camino de Jinama
Known for its outstanding scenery, the Camino de Jinama is divided into two contrasting phases – the first being the most challenging and the second being significantly less difficult.

Witness unique juniper trees which have been twisted and doubled into weird and wonderful shapes by the strong El Hierro winds or check out the chapel of San Andrés – one of the oldest churches in the Canary Islands.

Make sure to come prepared when walking this historic pathway. You will need good walking shoes and wind-protective clothing for this route, which was used to get around the island before roads were built in the 1950s.

Length: 8kms/3 hours
Elevation: 885 metres
Level of difficulty: Difficult


La Graciosa
At just 29 square-kilometres and under 700 inhabitants, the island of La Graciosa may be small but is a real paradise, part of the Natural Park of the Chinijo Archipelago.

The Amarilla Mountain volcano can be reached after walking a trail of about 30 minutes from Caleta de Sebo – or an hour, hour and a half, depending on how many beaches you stop at! This route is the best way to access the beautiful beaches of El Salado, La Francesa and, of course, La Cocina, one of the most special coves on the island, boasting beautiful emerald waters contrasting with the yellow and ochre tones of the mountain.

Length: 30 minutes
Level of difficulty: Easy

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