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Walking on La Gomera and El Hierro

AuthorPaddy Dillon
PublisherCicerone Press
ISBNISBN-13: 978 1 85284 601 5 (First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978 1 85284 841 5 (Second Edition)
Also available in eBook and Kindle formats
View from the Lomo de Carretón on the GR 132 between Arure and Alojera.

View from the Lomo de Carretón on the GR 132 between Arure and Alojera.

Vallehermoso and the GR 131 are overshadowed by the huge Roque Cano.

Vallehermoso and the GR 131 are overshadowed by the huge Roque Cano.

The wispy ‘Sea of Clouds’ drifts over the highest mountains on El Hierro.

The wispy ‘Sea of Clouds’ drifts over the highest mountains on El Hierro.

This is one of three guidebooks that replaces Walking in the Canary Islands - West. An update to the original guidebook was planned, then shelved, as the authorities in the Canary Islands embarked on an ambitious plan to signpost and waymark a splendid network of trails across the entire archipelago. After a series of visits to keep a check on the developing trail network, all the routes were walked, photographed and mapped for this new guidebook.

La Gomera and El Hierro are the two smallest Canary Islands, lying at the western end of the archipelago. In recent years they established a comprehensive network of signposted and waymarked trails, following on from work which had been done as long ago as 1999 on neighbouring La Palma. The network is almost entirely based on traditional paths and mule tracks. These trails link villages to each other, as well as climbing to the highest points on the islands. These islands thrive almost entirely on tourism and agriculture, without the need for brash resorts.

The trail network on La Gomera includes a circular long-distance route, the GR 132, running around the island and crossing a series of impressive, steep-sided, arid barrancos. This takes up to a week to cover. The GR 131 runs coast-to-coast over the highest parts of La Gomera, which are covered in dense laurisilva ‘cloud forest’, protected as a national park. The route can be covered in only two days, despite its apparent length. Several shorter signposted and waymarked routes form a splendid network, often linking with each other, as well as linking with the ‘GR’ routes, so that any and every walk can be extended and adapted.

The trail network on El Hierro includes another stretch of the long-distance GR 131, which extends all the way across all seven of the Canary Islands. The middle stretch, over the highest point on El Hierro, is based on the centuries-old pilgrimage route, the Camino de La Virgen. The pilgrim route is the subject of a very long day’s walk once every four years, which the ‘GR’ route can be covered in two days. Several shorter ‘PR’ routes link with this, as well as with each other, so that walks can be extended and adapted all over the island, which is a World Biosphere Reserve.

Many visitors heads for the larger Canary Islands, almost forgetting that these two small islands exist. Make a visit to these islands a priority, because they really are incredibly interesting and take time to explore properly. The information in the guidebook has been completely overhauled as the book is now available in its second edition.

GPX tracks are available for the walks in this book. They can be downloaded from the Cicerone website.

Walk Contents

La Gomera

Walk 1 San Sebastián and Jaragán
Walk 2 Los Roques and La Laja
Walk 3 Degollada de Peraza and Contreras
Walk 4 Los Roques and Benchijigua
Walk 5 Pajarito to Playa de Santiago
Walk 6 Igualero to La Dama
Walk 7 Chipude and Barranco de Argaga
Walk 8 Chipude and La Matanza
Walk 9 La Laguna Grande and Alto de Garajonay
Walk 10 El Cercado and Valle Gran Rey
Walk 11 Las Hayas, Arure and Valle Gran Rey
Walk 12 Vallehermoso to Chorros de Epina
Walk 13 Vallehermoso and Cumbre de Chijeré
Walk 14 Vallehermoso and Los Loros
Walk 15 Hermigua and Aguló
Walk 16 Alto de Garajonay to Hermigua
Walk 17 Santa Catalina and La Caleta
Walk 18 GR 132 - San Sebastián to Playa de Santiago
Walk 19 GR 132 - Playa de Santiago to La Dama
Walk 20 GR 132 - La Dama to Arure
Walk 21 GR 132 - Arure to Playa de Vallehermoso
Walk 22 GR 132 - Arure to Vallehermoso
Walk 23 GR 132 - Playa de Vallehermoso to Hermigua
Walk 24 GR 132 - Vallehermoso to Santa Catalina
Walk 25 GR 132 - Santa Catalina to San Sebastián
Walk 26 GR 131 - Playa de Vallehermoso to Chipude
Walk 27 GR 131 - Chipude to San Sebastián

El Hierro 

Walk 28 Valverde and La Caleta
Walk 29 Valverde and Puerto de La Estaca
Walk 30 Valverde, Echedo and El Mocanal
Walk 31 Valverde to La Peña
Walk 32 La Peña, San Andrés and El Mocanal
Walk 33 Puerto de La Estaca, La Cuesta and Tiñor
Walk 34 Mirador de Isora and Las Playas
Walk 35 El Pinar to Cala de Tacorón
Walk 36 El Pinar to La Restinga
Walk 37 Ermita de Los Reyes to El Pinar
Walk 38 El Pinar to Sabinosa
Walk 39 La Dehesa Circuit
Walk 40 Sabinosa to El Frontera
Walk 41 El Frontera and Los Llanillos
Walk 42 Guinea and San Andrés
Walk 43 Las Puntas and Guinea
Walk 44 GR 131 - Orchilla to Fuente de La Llania
Walk 45 GR 131 - Fuente de La Llania to Estaca/Tamaduste