Footpaths on La Palma

A steep section of long distance footpath in Garafia
A steep section of long distance footpath in Garafia

La Palma has a network of well-marked footpaths, most of which are centuries old.  As late as the 1960s, walking was still a major form of transport for the islanders,

The whole network of hiking trails on the island comes to over 1,000 km, and between them they pass through just about every kind of scenery on the island: lava fields, pine forests, lush laurel forests, farmland and village centres. Some are very short, but this small islands has two long distance paths. The GR 131 runs in a giant question mark from Puerto Tazacorte, up around the Caldera rim, past the Roque, and down the central ridge of the island to the southern tip. Super-fit athletes can run it in a day as an ultramarathon, but normal walkers take at least three days. The GR130 runs right around the island, between sea-level and 1,000 m, which includes a wonderful variety of landscapes. Someone well used to hiking takes about a week. I’m doing it in much smaller installments, but I’m loving it.

Where the two main footpaths meet in Fuencaliente
Where the two main footpaths meet in Fuencaliente

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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