The good thing about Gran Canaria is that, if you tire of beaches and water sports, there’s also plenty to do on land. One leisure activity that has greatly increased in popularity recently is walking or – for those who like to strain themselves a bit more – hiking/trekking.
In an attempt to diversify tourism on the island, the Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria (Regional Government) invested in the recovery of the Caminos Reales (royal roads) and re-opened them to the public. These ancient paths, once the only means to get around the inner section of the island, centre on Cruz de Tejeda and radiate out from there to cover big parts of the island. Almost 66,000 hectares of the island are protected land which these old tracks provide access to. Some of these walks are on newly-built paths and there are some challenging ones with serious climbs, but there are also a series of relatively short and easy walks.
Conditions in the mountains can be very different from those on the coast, so ensure you are prepared for abruptly-changing weather conditions and commence your trek equipped with strong shoes, warm clothing, food, plenty of water, sun block and a good map. Also, we would advise you to never walk alone in these often quite deserted and rough areas in case of any mishap. It’s also a good idea to carry a mobile phone with you, should you need to use it in case of any emergency.
Walking or hiking is a great way of exploring less-known, unspoiled landscapes and the dazzling beauty of the ancient Gran Canaria.