Winter Holiday in Gran Canaria – Hike Around Roque Nublo   10 comments

Warning – this post contains a lot of photos!

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Time for another walk in the mountains and a visit to one of the islands most famous sights (away from the beaches anyway)

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Both my walking guides seemed somewhat fixated on linear walks using buses to return. The excellent Discovery Walking Guide Map I managed to purchase (after a fruitless hour looking for the worlds most secretive shop hidden in hotel complex) showed what looked like an excellent circuit. In effect a tour around, and a visit to Roque Nublo.

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Accompanied by more blue skies and clear warm sunshine we headed into the hills on a trail very reminiscent of Arizona and Sedona region I’ve walked in many years before.

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It was absolutely stunning and a joy to walk among the fragrant pine woods surrounded by towers of rock.

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As we climbed higher, Roque Nublo itself came into view and became the focus of my gaze and the camera for the next few hours.

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Although there were many rocks towers vying for my attention.

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We had a short stop to take on cookie-based nutritional supplements with a view over to Tenerife and El Teide.

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Before approaching close to base of Roque Nublo.

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A path headed away towards what looked like an interesting viewpoint so we took off for a look.

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Interesting was the word indeed. The path finished abruptly on the edge of a sensational view over the NW of the island.

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A prime spot for lunch.

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What the photos don’t show is how sensationally exposed the edge was. I couldn’t get near the edge as it was sloping slightly downwards and making my legs turn to jelly just thinking about the drop. I reckoned there was clear drop of at least a thousand feet just a few feet from where I ate my sandwiches. An amazing perch.

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We set off back towards our main route and tour of the area.

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We were pleased to watch some nimble climbers descending after a climb to the top of the rock.

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Another needle-like spire of volcanic rock. I think it’s called El Fraile.

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And more amazing views across the deep gorges that slice through this most mountainous and dramatic of islands.

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As we approached our goal we encountered the crowds. Its a very well know landmark and a relatively short distance from the road so we were far from having the rock to ourselves (although we saw hardly anyone for the vast majority of the hike).

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The climbers we saw earlier were on their final abseil as we approached.

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Its a fantastic spot, close to the highest point of the island and views are just magnificent.

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Another snack stop was in order to sustain us through the second half of the walk.

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To reach the car we descended to the small and pretty village of Ayacata through a gorgeous valley full of blossoming trees. After last years trip to Lanzarote we were craving some flora and Gran Canaria delivers wonderfully in this regard.

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The pine trees add a splash of green to the high mountains.

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You can see the pale pinks of all the blossoming trees in the shot below

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And some close up shots of the blossom as we hiked down for a cheeky cold drink by the roadside in the village.

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All that was left was the hike back across to the car. The map showed a path but it wasn’t mentioned in either guide book.

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It proved a little difficult to find the start and it was a bit vague in places but we managed to follow it, accompanied by more sensational views as the sun started to dip and bathe the rock in golden light.

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The contrast in colours here was remarkable.

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A short steep climb back up to the car finished off a wonderful days hiking.

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Gran Canaria was very quickly becoming my favourite of the Canary Islands. What it lacks in terms of an iconic big summit like El Teide, it more than makes up for with its rock towers and deep gorges. There are paths through almost all of the island and at this time of year its a paradise for walkers of all abilities. A superb day.

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Posted February 12, 2019 by surfnslide in Gran Canaria, Spain, Walking

Tagged with , , , ,

10 responses to “Winter Holiday in Gran Canaria – Hike Around Roque Nublo

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  1. That lunch spot view. It must have taken some effort just to leave that view and carry on. Shame the area wasn’t flat, you could have taken your tent!!

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    • The whole walk was just one endless stream of amazing views. The weather is so clear and fresh up at that altitude in winter yet still warm. A memorable walk. A summit night out is a great idea I may go for when I next visit, water is bit scarce up there though 🙂

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  2. Truly spectacular place. Reminds me of Corsica and parts of the Pyrenees in rock and forest views yet different again with the vegetation. Much wildlife around… birds, lizards etc…?

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    • The Corsica comparison is another good one although there is a lot more running water there (the Canaries ere pretty arid). We saw a few lizards but not many I didn’t notice the birds as much as I did in the forests of Tenerife.

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  3. The rocks, cliffs and deep canyons are indeed impressive! Reminds me of Arizona.

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  4. Wow, so ruggard but so much being farmed. The blossoms seem a little early to me? I also noted the roads spiralling down into the vally. An amazing day.

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    • It’s quite amazing right across the islands how they make use of some pretty poor or non existent soil. The Canaries are extremely young, geologically speaking. Some of the roads, especially the coastal ones are amazing and pretty scary to drive. Winter moving into Spring is the best time to see flowers, summer is so hot that everything ends up parched and baked. Not a great time to visit unless you are a real hot weather sun worshipper, winter is much more pleasant.

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  5. That just looks amazing!

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