2021 is a bit of a special year for hikers as it marks the 10th anniversary of the Gran Canaria Walking Festival. To celebrate this special milestone, the focus of this year’s Walking Festival will be the renowned Way of St James Hiking Route.
Hiking/walking is more than just some exercise, it’s something that has turned into an addiction for my husband Paul and I. Each weekend, without fail, we get fully kitted out and head to the hills and dales to walk and climb, and it is immensely rewarding. The freedom you get when out on a walk is almost unmatched, and some of the places we’ve discovered will remain a closely guarded secret.
Although we’re hikers who prefer to be away from everyone, there will be countless others will enjoy being in the company of others on a walk/hike. For those who do like the opportunity of a chat and some company, the Gran Canaria Walking Festival will come as the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, meet many like-minded people and experience the best of what the region has to offer.
About the 10th Gran Canaria Walking Festival
The Gran Canaria Walking Festival is an annual hiking meeting organised by the Gran Canaria Natural & Active association. It is hugely popular, drawing hiking enthusiasts from across the world. This year’s festival is somewhat special, being the 10th and will take place between the 28th and the 31st of October.
Being a very special milestone, the organisers wanted to do something a little different, and for the 10th anniversary, the main feature of this year will be the Way of St. James hiking route, which will offer selected hikes that coincide with the Jacobean Holy Year.
The walking route extends over 66km and will cross the island from south to north. The route should ensure that participants get to soak up the true Gran Canaria landscape and show hikers and nature lovers some of the island’s most spectacular landscapes along with its cuisine, historical and ethnographic heritage.
The hiking trail in more detail
The first of the trails begins at the majestic Lighthouse in Maspalomas before completing at the Palmeral de Arteara -Arteara’s Palm Grove. The second trail will begin from Arteara to the village of Tunte, located in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The third trail will then continue from Tunte and complete in Cruz de Tejeda.
In the fourth and final stage, participants will begin in the Cruz de Tejeda, one of the highest areas of the island, and continue to the town of Galdar, northwest of the island. Here participants can find the Mother Church of Santiago de los Caballeros, the first and oldest Jacobean pilgrimage site outside of mainland Europe.
The festival will provide a unique experience considered unmissable for hiking enthusiasts. Those taking part will be guided through aboriginal sites, charming villages, volcanic calderas and wooded areas. Each hike will include guides specialised in hiking the natural, ethnographic and cultural values of the areas visited, with no language barriers.
The route will also feature a tasting of Canarian products or a snack lunch pack, a picnic, alongside an opportunity to win great gifts. Participants can also be assured on route with civil liability and accident insurance provided.
Similarly to previous years, those interested in participating in the Gran Canaria Walking Festival 2021 can register for either a single hike or stage or all four scheduled routes. For those choosing to complete all four stages, they will receive the Pilgrim’s Credential, which is an official document that certifies completion. Upon receiving this, participants will then be able to obtain the Jubilee indulgence.
An event that can be enjoyed by the family
This year’s Gran Canaria Walking Festival also includes a hike that is specifically designed for all the family to enjoy, and this takes place on the 1st of November. The path will lead participants to the natural monument of the Pico and the Caldera de Bandama. The hike allows participants to experience some extraordinary beauty as they descend into the interior of the volcanic caldera; they will also be able to enjoy the historical legacy which dates back to the island’s first settlers. Within this hike, all participants are guaranteed transport, breakfast picnic, guides and insurance.
Gran Canaria Walking Festival Information
Registrations are now open for the Gran Canaria Walking Festival, which is being sponsored by Cabildo de Gran Canaria through the Gran Canaria Tourist Board. For more information, visit www.grancanariawalkingfestival.com.
For information on where to stay during the Gran Canaria Walking Festival and to read more about the most popular nature activities, visit www.grancanarianaturalandactive.com.
Gran Canaria Natural & Active Association has adopted all the health and safety measures recommended by the competent authorities to guarantee the safety of the participants and the staff whilst offering the best possible experience.
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