Hiking on Lanzarote

Since we've now done a fair amount of walking on Lanzarote and the blogs I've written on the subject are among my most popular posts, I thought it might be helpful to collect some information together on one page for people who are planning to hike on the island.

We're by no means experts on this subject and the blog posts aren't intended to be 
step-by-step route guides but hopefully they provide some background information, offer an idea of what to expect, and highlight occasional points of interest to look out for as you hike.

El Charco de San Ginés, Arrecife.

THE WALKS



There are more walks to follow from our last trip - watch this space!

PLANNING YOUR WALK

Maps

We use the Lanzarote Tour and Trail Super-Durable Map. Printed on a double-sided plastic sheet, this 1:40,000 map has an impressive level of detail and should be easily understood even by those not used to reading maps. It's paper-thin but extremely sturdy, it folds easily and it's water-proof. The latter's not likely to be much of a deal-breaker on Lanzarote but still... If you like to plan your hikes in the bath, there's always a chance you might drop it, I guess!

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Lanzarote is an island that's really geared up towards the walking and cycling communities so if you have a map and/or a guide book navigation is unlikely to be a problem, at least in our experience. It can be handy to have a GPX file as a back up though, especially if you're feeling nervous about hiking in unfamiliar territory. 

Some websites dedicated to walking in the Canary Islands provide files you can download and use on your phone or a dedicated GPS device. If you want to create your own GPX file, however, I've found that www.plotaroute.com is a really easy-to-use website for planning hikes outside the United Kingdom. It provides you with both the total distance and the elevation gain/loss for any routes you create, as well as offering all sorts of other features.

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I've also just recently downloaded the free version of the Back Country Navigator app for Android. It provides users with a world-wide selection of topographic maps and the ability to import GPX waypoints, much like other GPS devices. I haven't used it as a navigation aid in that way but the mapping it provides seems very impressive and, as you can see from the screenshots of Lanzarote's Famara massif below, you can zoom in on it quite closely. It's still new to me at time of writing and I'm still playing around with it - mostly just enjoying looking at the maps, if I'm honest - but I thought it was also worth mentioning.



WALKING GUIDES


If you want some "ready to go" routes, the Happy Hiker website has several pages dedicated to the island. The site provides detailed, photographic guides to over a dozen walks of varying length and difficulty; what's more these guides can be downloaded as a PDF, so you can print out a physical copy to take on the walk with you or view them on your phone without worrying about whether there's a signal or not.

The creator of the site also provides more general advice for visitors to the island and some personal thoughts on the best places to visit or stay, based on his own experiences.

You can access this excellent resource here: The Happy Hiker's Lanzarote Page.

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If you want a traditional book about walking on the island, for our 2020 trip to Lanzarote we bought a copy of Walk! Lanzarote by Jan Kostura and David and Ros Brawn. Whether or not you intend to follow the walks it contains step-by-step, there's a wealth of useful information between its covers and we thought it offered good value for money. Even if we plan and plot future routes ourselves, it's definitely a book we'll return to for inspiration. 

GETTING AROUND


Unlike the UK but like every European country we've visited, Lanzarote has an excellent public transport system: modern, clean buses that run on time and really don't cost very much to use. This means you can get around the island without a car very easily and use the buses to do both circular and linear walks. 

You can find the website for IntercityBus Lanzarote here.

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We rented a hire car on Lanzarote on both our trips - for a couple of days on our first visit and for the full week on our second. Compared to renting a car in mainland Europe, the prices have been very reasonable even when you insure for every conceivable circumstance. I'm not going to recommend a particular company, there are several to choose from and plenty of reviews online. 

I don't drive myself so I don't feel especially qualified to make recommendations or answer questions on this subject. However, I can confidently say that the roads are generally very well-maintained and that the levels of traffic are quite low compared to here in the UK . My partner assures me that it's a pleasant place to drive!

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Timanfaya National Park

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* The subject of this walk is the Montaña Corona in the north of the island by the village of Yé
and not the volcano just outside Costa Teguise.




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