walkhighlands

Roque Noblu & More - Hot Hiking in Gran Canaria!

Date walked: 30/05/2018

Time taken: 40 hours

Distance: 80km

Ascent: 4000m

Back in early May Fiona and I booked a week in Gran Canaria for the 1st week in June with the intent of exploring some of its mountains & walking trails. We had booked a rustic stone cottage high in the mountains near the centre of the island in Aberjales. https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/3937189?location=Gran%20Canaria%2C%20Las%20Palmas%2C%20Spain&s=i1fbfDOd

We left Glasgow Tuesday 29th May, having only arrived back in Glasgow Monday evening 28th May following a few days exploring the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=81756
The cottage was rustic, clean, and quirky. It was set high on farmland and was private, it suited our needs perfectly :) The owner, karin, was also very helpful. Providing vegetables, edible flowers, sage, & aloe vera from her gradens.

Day 1 - Wed 30th May
On Wednesday we took our maps, routes, food and started driving South West to the sand dunes of Maspalomas. Driving along the South Coast we kept looking North to the mountains, so in true adventure style we took a sharp right and headed up a lovely mountain road by Fagata. A quick map check provided two short walks to explore :)

Arteara Necropolis:
The Arteara Necropolis is the largest aboriginal cemetery of its kind on the island, both in terms of size and number of burial mounds there. It occupies an area of 137,570 m2 and houses 809 tomb structures, with both individual and collective burial mounds. It is located on a malpaís, an arid, rocky area caused by the pile up of phonolite volcanic rock following an avalanche.

Parked up near a camel safari park and started our first walk on Gran Canaria :)
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An easy stroll along the road with palm trees and mountains engulfing us :)
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Burial Mound
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Nice walk with information boards and a museum along the way. We took a circular route and stopped for food high above the camel safari park.

Tourists waiting for a ride :)
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Back at the car we drove up the road a few kilometres as we'd spotted some high peaks :)

Amurga - Our next walk, the ridge on the left :)
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It was difficult to find the start of this route but we managed and soon set of in the blistering heat

On route & smelling good :)
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The path was decent, further up with little pockets of scrambling.
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You can just make out the path cutting across the slope then heading straight up to the ridge left.
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To reach the summit involved a small scramble, but wasn't difficult. We sat a while and ate some food before heading straight back down the route we came up.

Some perspective
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Heading back down the ridge
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Back at the car we guzzled down any water we had left! We took a route back to our digs via the mountains and Cruz de Tejeda, we would drive around these spectacular high winding roads for the rest of trip.

Back at the stone cottage for 20.30hrs and too late for eating out as most places shut near us, so we cooked our own dinner :) This would be the pattern of our week, taking turns each evening to cook 8)

Day 2 - Thursday 31st May
Roque Noblu Circuit
Roque Nublo (Clouded Rock) is a volcanic rock on the island of Gran Canaria, It was formed by a volcanic eruption around 4.5 million years ago. It is a famous landmark of the island, protected as a natural monument. It is 67 m (220 ft) tall, and its top is 1,813 m (5,948 ft) above sea level. It is the second highest peak of the island after nearby Pico de las Nieves.

Our route was a 12k circular one which took in the village of La Culuta and El Juncal. At the start point, near El Juncal, Fiona took the lead and led the way, she has plenty experience in the mountains :) Turned out an absolutely belter of a walk, and very quiet apart from RN summit :) Anti - clockwise was the best way to go, well done Fiona :wink:

Our target
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From the off we took a steep path up through the rocks, met by the lushness of trees and a little reservoir.
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Reservoir
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View from behind
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Getting higher - beautiful surroundings :)
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Roque Noblu coming into view
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After 3k we stood on the final ridge/plateau that led to the massive Roque Noblu.
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Looking East
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A Spanish couple kindly took our photo, we returned the kind gesture :D
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Views from the summit
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Fiona larking around :)
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The summit was really nice, with little pockets to explore amongst the rocks. We sat a while before heading down to finish the rest of the walk.

Off we go...
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On lower ground looking back up to Roque Noblu
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At La Culuta we stopped for some ice cream. We also checked our map & compass, all working well :wink: :lol:

Roque Noblu was always in site, it was great to see it from all different aspects.

Roque Noblu from near El Juncal
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We stopped lots to admire the views, eventually though we came to the end of our wonderful walk :)
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Roque Noblu can be accessed easily from many directions but its definately well worth taking a longer circular route such as the one we took - fantastic walk 8)

Pleased with our days walk we drove back to Aberjales and had some dinner with a cold beer :) Strangely our accomodation was always in the clouds, apart from two clear sunny days, but once we doive higher up and West we had the clouds below us. Was nice witnessing this on a daily basis 8)

Day 3 - 1st June
El Soa & Artenera - Presa de Lugarejos
This day we drove a lot through mountains near the West coast, coming to a dead end which we didn't anticipate. It provided great views with just a little walk to admire them.

The views of El Soa
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We now had to drive back the way we came. Whilst Fiona was driving down the winding hairpinned road I was checking the map, only to lift my head and feel absolutely awful! This sick feeling hung about for hours but thankfully it went just as we reached Artenara, which is the highest village in gran canaria.

Artenara
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From here we would drive down to Presa de Lugarejos, a nice area with lakes. We took a short walk near a dam and sunbathed for a few hours. It was again very isolated, not a soul in sight :D

The dam
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The lake
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Back at Artenara and views to Roque Noblu (left) & Roque Bantayga (right). We would walk up Roque Bentayga soon :)
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A more leisurely day this one, but great to find some beautiful pockets of the Island.

Day 4 - 2nd June
La Data/Soria Circular
Today we drove South west to walk another circular route that took in some impressive scenery, lakes, and a quaint little village with a bakery(Soria)...shame the bakery was shut though when we arrived in Soria :(

The start of the walk is at a signpost at La Data, from here a very good wide path is favoured. We had a look at the map and decided to take a higher route that looked more interesting, turned out a good decision :)

The alternative route
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You soon come to high point above the cliff face with what looks like no way down, however it turned out there was a route that passed a cave. The cave looked habitated.

The cave
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Our route down, from right to left centre.
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Back on the main track, views to the reservoir.
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Palm Trees :) We would be ascending the mountain behind us 8)
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About half way you detour up to Soria, this provides a good view of the dam...and a seat :)

The dam
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The seat
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As mentioned before, the bakery was shut so we made do with some ice cream lollies and juice :)

Refreshed we left Soria and picked up the main path, this led us steeply up the rock face.

Flower Girl
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Onwards and upwards
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A plateau is soon reached high up in the rocks
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Lizard - Lots of them about!
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Balancing act
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Traversing up over the rocky face was easier then it first looked. Once over the other side a lake came into view. We found a nice spot and went on for a swim 8)

Looking out for a Japanese whaling Vessel :shock: :lol:
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Brilliant walk this one, very diverse, and with a lovely lake near the finish to cool down in :)

Day 5 - 3rd June
Roque Bentayga
Roque Bentayga is one of the most unique rock formations on the island of Gran Canaria and considered a sacred rock. Near the rock are the ancient Canarian aboriginal settlements of Cuevas del Rey and Roque Camello, which consist of a hundred caves with rooms, burials, and silos.

Bentayga is less visited than Noblu but is equally impressive. We drove to its car park and started the short walk from there, a musuem is also near the car park. We visited the musuem and watched a video detailing the history of the caves.

The start, and looking back at Roque Noblu
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Roque Bentayga
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Access to the caves is restricted via a rope, however no signs stating that people should not explore them...so we jumped the ropes and went expolring :roll: :D

The Caves
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Exploring the caves
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We had spent a couple of hours here so still had plenty time for another walk :)

Cruz de Tejeda
This was a walk we stumbled on by chance! It provided stunning views or Noblu, Bentayga, and Mount Teide on Tenerife.

Incredible Views 8)
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Even more incredible :lol: :lol:
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These views were easily the best we witnessed, and again is total seclusion :)

For our final day we would visit the highest point on the island - Pico de la Nieves :)

Day 5 - 4th June
Pico de la Nieves
Pico de las Nieves is the highest peak of the island of Gran Canaria. Its height is 1,949 metres (6,394 ft) above sea level. The origin is volcanic. On its slopes, Canary Islands Pine was reintroduced in the 1950s. Most of the highest plateau is occupied by a military base, including a large ball-shaped radar. We would walk a circular 10k route through lush woodland.

Starting the final walk of our trip to Gran Canaria, and 11 days of holiday which included 3 days in Ardnamurchan :)
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Higher up we also visited this peak, some scrambling involved.
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Looking over to the radar and Pico de la Nieves
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The heat was intense but we made good steady progress and soon stood on the highest point in Gran Canaria :D 8)
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Information Board
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Feeling hungry we decided to head back down into the woodland and find a nice spot for lunch.

Looking back up at the radar
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Now immersed in the woodland
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Finishing this walk quicker than anticipated meant we still had time for one more walk :D

We took a stroll down to another lake which was situated near Roque Noblu

Heading down to the lake
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The lake
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Fish taking shelter
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We found a peaceful spot and lay on our towels, enjoying the last rays of sunshine...until a bunch of school children went past, all excited and making lots of noise! They all soon passed though and again it was tranquil :)

Unfortunately it was time to drive back to our accomodation, make dinner for the last time and pack our bags. Our flight was 06.45hrs which meant getting up at 03.00hrs :shock:

Photos of our accomodation & views.
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Thankfully we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Gran Canaria offers some seriously good hiking, and for all levels, the views are pretty sensational. Would I go back, yes to cycle...the mountain roads are amazing!

Big thanks once again to Fiona, especially for all the driving, not getting us lost, and making us some nice dinners :D

NB.
We used this map - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gran-Canaria-Tour-Trail-Super-durable/dp/1904946984
Bought this guys guide book - https://www.ramblingroger.com/
And this guide book - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gran-Canaria-Rother-Walking-Guide/dp/3763348166/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=6NK7S0JX0GFRTYK90H69

I also had viewranger and digital Gran Canaria map but never used it, the paper map & guide books provided plenty information and the walks were very well signposted.

I would definately recommend Gran Canaria for a nice hiking holiday in the sun :)

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dooterbang


User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Mental Health Nurse
Interests: Hillwalking, Running, Cycling, Cinema, Music. Comedy.
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Kintail Lodge
Mountain: Stac Polly
Place: Assynt
Gear: Buff
Camera: Sony rx100
Ideal day out: Early Start. Ridge Walk. Scrambling. Plenty of Ascent. Love long days in the hills and epic walks.
Ambition: Keep healthy - walk/cycle

Munros: 255
Corbetts: 53
Grahams: 17
Donalds: 10
Wainwrights: 21
Hewitts: 18
Sub 2000: 6



Filter reports


Statistics

2018

Trips: 15
Distance: 363 km
Ascent: 21850m
Munros: 11
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 3
Sub2000s: 1

2017

Trips: 12
Distance: 362.6 km
Ascent: 13944m
Munros: 8
Corbetts: 7

2016

Trips: 11
Distance: 301 km
Ascent: 19800m
Munros: 18
Corbetts: 10
Grahams: 4

2015

Trips: 11
Distance: 121.3 km
Ascent: 11648m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 10

2014

Trips: 12
Distance: 137.5 km
Ascent: 10445m
Munros: 10
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1

2013

Trips: 13
Distance: 289.6 km
Ascent: 20832m
Munros: 17
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 2
Hewitts: 5
Wainwrights 1

2012

Trips: 7
Distance: 149.8 km
Ascent: 13320m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 4
Hewitts: 5
Wainwrights 8

2011

Trips: 28
Distance: 660.28 km
Ascent: 42025m
Munros: 67
Corbetts: 5
Sub2000s: 1

2010

Trips: 11
Distance: 246 km
Ascent: 21161m
Munros: 37


Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Last visited: Jun 25, 2018
Total posts: 1817 | Search posts