From 28th to 31st October 2021 natural enthusiasts will enjoy 4 different stages to explore the Way of St James of Gran Canaria that crosses from south to north all the island.
Everything is ready in Gran Canaria to hold the new ‘Gran Canaria Walking Festival’ edition, the annual meeting where nature and hiking lovers find the opportunity to know the most authentic and natural side of Gran Canaria.
The 10th anniversary of the international hiking meeting ‘Gran Canaria Walking Festival 2021’ will take place from 28th to 31st October with the Way of St James in Gran Canaria as this year’s main feature, coinciding with the Jacobean Holy Year. The Gran Canaria Natural & Active association, the organiser of this event, wished to pay tribute to the Jubilee year and, at the same time, to show hikers and nature lovers from all over the world some of the most spectacular landscapes of the island, its cuisine and its historical and ethnographic heritage, and what better way to do this than by following this route that covers over 66 kilometres and crosses the island from south to north?
This year in particular Gran Canaria Natural & Active has chosen four trails -one per day- covering the three stages of the Way of St James in Gran Canaria. These four trails are home of some of the most beautiful spots on Gran Canaria and go through diverse and protected natural areas, such as ‘Montañón Negro’, one of the last volcanos on the island, or the ‘Necrópolis de Arteara’, the biggest necropolis of Gran Canaria.
The starting point of the first trail is the majestic Lighthouse in Maspalomas, ending at the Palmeral de Arteara -Arteara’s Palm Grove. The second trail goes from Arteara to the village of Tunte, while the third one begins in this village located in San Bartolomé de Tirajana and ends at the Cruz de Tejeda. The fourth and final stage will run from this emblematic area located in one of the higher areas of the island to the town of Galdar, in the northwest of the island, where the Mother Church of Santiago de los Caballeros is located, a church that was granted with a papal bull in perpetuum by Pope John Paul II, which means that the participants who register themself for all four stages of Gran Canaria Walking Festival 2021 will receive the Pilgrim's Credential, which will be stamped at the end of each stage and only those who have completed and stamped all the routes will be able to obtain an official certificate for completing the Way of St. James of Gran Canaria. This church is the first and oldest Jacobean pilgrimage site outside mainland Europe.
These four trails deliver a unique experience that no hiking enthusiast can or should miss, taking hikers through aboriginal sites, charming villages, volcanic calderas and wooded areas. A journey that will not leave any of the participants who embark on this wonderful adventure indifferent.
Additionally, to the main four stages, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the festival we added a very special route dedicated to the youngest members of the family. This route will be held on November 1st and will be a trip to enjoy and feel nature first-hand, an adventure to experience with your loved ones.
Furthermore, the hikers will be able to feel the island’s culture first-hand, surrounded by the history and the flavours of the local cuisine. For all these reasons, this experience is “much more than hiking”.
Gran Canaria Natural & Active
Faro de Maspalomas - Barranco de Fataga - Necrópolis de Arteara - Palmeral de Arteara
We begin the first stage of the Way of St. James at the emblematic Faro de Maspalomas. Along the route there are majestic palm trees and some native willows that will guide our way. As landmarks, we can find the "Faro de Maspalomas" at the beginning of the stage, one of the most emblematic architectural elements of the island of Gran Canaria and the "Arteara Necropolis".
Palmeral de Arteara – Fataga - Tunte
This route goes by the Church of Tunte, which dates back to the 16th century. This church houses the image of St. James the apostle whose name was chosen for the route that currently crosses the island of Gran Canaria: The Way of St. James of Gran Canaria.
Tunte – La Plata – Ventana del Nublo – Garañón – Cruz de Tejeda
We start the route with a short ascent surrounded by the characteristic pine forest of the caldera until we enter the traditional and famous "subida de la plata", or La Plata climb, which is as beautiful as it is difficult.
This third route is actually the entire second stage of the Way of St. James, where hikers are invited to enjoy the summits of the island and, more specifically, the Cultural Landscape of Risco Caído and the Sagradas Montañas de Gran Canaria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2019.
Cruz de Tejeda – Caldera de los Pinos de Gáldar – Monte Pavón – Gáldar
Visiting Montañón Negro, Lomo del Palo and Gáldar Church
We start our route at the Cruz de Tejeda, from where we continue our way up a short but very intense climb that will lead us to the highest area of Los Moriscos. From there, we go downhill more than 18 km through the pine forest of Caldera de los Pinos de Gáldar, the area of the Natural Monument El Montañón Negro, down Lomo del Palo and the area known as "Little Ireland", named after the striking green hills that characterise the place.
This fourth route brings the Way of St. James of Gran Canaria to an end; it culminates in the town of Gáldar, the first Jacobean site outside mainland Europe since 1482.
Caldera de Bandama
The Bandama Natural Monument is an important enclave of species belonging to the thermophile forest, given the altitude at which we will find ourselves along the path, and its relationship with the vegetation levels of the Canary Islands archipelago.
To enjoy this thrilling adventure through the several rural trails and paths of the island, Gran Canaria Natural & Active (www.grancanarianaturalandactive.com), the organizer of the event, offers 4 different guided routes or the full package that includes all the routes. Each route includes transport, picnic, guide, insurance, and tastings of local gastronomy or snack lunch and much more surprises. This year in addition to the previous routes, for the tenth anniversary of Gran Canaria Walking Festival there is a brand-new path for all ages, a trip to enjoy in family, that includes transport, picnic, guide, insurance, and gifts. The registrations are made at https://www.grancanariawalkingfestival.com/en/booking .
Due to the current situation SARS_Cov_2 and to guarantee the safety of all the participants and staff of Gran Canaria Natural & Active, -the association organizing the event-, all the hygienic and sanitary measures recommended by the competent administrations and entities will be taken. These measures are implemented to offer the best experience for hikers while guaranteeing their safety. Furthermore, the organization has adapted its terms and conditions that apply to their cancellation policy so the participants can make their reservation with peace of mind (further information at https://www.grancanariawalkingfestival.com/en/covid-19-en )
Don't miss out on this chance to participate in this event organized by the Gran Canaria Natural & Active Association, an official brand of the Gran Canaria Tourist Board to promote the island as nature and active tourism destination.
Route Bookings: https://www.grancanariawalkingfestival.com/en/
Gran Canaria Natural & Active
Live the most natural side of Gran Canaria through its wide range of rural accommodations and outdoor activities that Gran Canaria Natural & Active brand offers to all nature lovers. Enjoy your most authentic and natural experience in Gran Canaria visiting beautiful places where you can relax and be captivated by its natural environments. A unique opportunity to learn about the culture of Gran Canaria, and enjoy the taste of its wines and coffee.