Challenging hike on the steepest island: La Palma

La Palma

La Palma is the steepest island in the world. They say. Well, as I myself live in the flattest country of the world, I believe it.

Me and my husband went to this Canarian island for a walking holiday. Don’t expect that walking here is like making a stroll. It comes nearer to a struggle. But a screaming one! Some walks of only 11 kilometers took us about 7 hours. Because we had to descend and climb several deep ravines, one after the other. In phantasmal tropical nature. So no complaints at all!

We followed the Northern and most exciting part of the GR130 route, the circular coastal path. The GR131 is the circular height path. Local paths link the two.

Our accommodation and luggage transfer we had booked at a travel agency (see information below this post). We walked with our light day packs (picnic lunch, raincoat, water).

La Palma

Where do you wanna go?

La Palma

Day one wel walked from Los Tilos (a driver took us up here) to Barlovento through a beautiful wood with giant ferns. Nice starter.

La Palma

Day two: start of the red-white marked Camino Real. Beautiful subtropical flowers, like Leptospernum, cactus and steep green hills,

La Palma

We hiked a beautiful but challenging part of the GR130 to Franceses where we stayed in a charming B&B, where we slept in the cutest tiny house.

From up the high slopes to sea level and up again. Several times. We hit about 1500 meters down and the same amount up. But it’s absolutely worthwhile doing it. It was a gorgeous walk through a green fairytale. I feel my knees know and ate a large plate of home made pasta and drank some local wine to recover

La Palma

Day 3: walk from Franceses to Santo Domingo and back with the bus.

La Palma seems to be an island of diagonal lines.

After a quite exhausting but splendid (nature, views!) walk on the coastal path (more than 2000 meters up and down all together, aaaaah) we arrived a bit dizzy at Santo Domingo to get the bus back. Which only goes every two hours… So we even had to hurry a bit on the end.

La Palma

Day 4: Santo Domingo to Puntagorda. Green hills, nice village Las Tricias with flowering almond trees. The almond blossom was early this year. On this side of the island there’s hundreds of almond trees, they send great scents in the air.

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Day 5 en 6: Puntagorda to Tijarafe and Playa de Tazacorte. Nice villages and not such a heavy walk. You see a lot of amazing flowers like kniphofia (redhotpoker ❤), bougainvillea, hibiscus. When approaching Tazacorte there’s more and more banana plantations, see this fresh banana harvest on the  right.

(left above) Friday Flatlay with my path findings of the past two stretches on the hiking track GR130 on La Palma.

Lap Palma

Wow! What an enormous laurel tree (Ficus microcarpa) near the church of Tijarafe. Those trees were taken from Cuba around 1860. They do very well here too.

La Palma

This is an island with quite a few abandoned houses. Nature has taken them over finally. In the fifties, youngsters moved to Cuba and Venezuela – some of them even then still lived in caves – and saw emigration as a way to get more wealth. Which they presumably didn’t find in their new countries either…
In the end, nature takes over, always.

La Palma

 

Dragon tree. A mysterious tree that you will find in villages, as if they mark where people live.

La Palma
Cactus on the road! This is a beautiful walk in steep barrancos and on ditto slopes. The nature is a beauty with plenty of plants, flowers, birds and bees, an occasional butterfly and beetle.

 

Information about hiking on La Palma

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Follow the red-white signs and wear sturdy walking boots. When doing this particular hike, make sure you are fit enough to walk for a few hours and have some mountain walking experience.

We booked our trip with the Dutch travel organisation Stap Reizen, luggage and were transferred when necessary (or we went by bus) and we stayed in nice local hotels, B&B’s and guesthouses.